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Carl Ottersen 5 Days Riviera and Cote d’Azur

  • Five Days in the Riviera and Cote d'Azur

July - October

Actual start dates are flexible so that we can fit in with your own travel intentions. Once we have the first confirmed participant, we will block the date.

€500 per participant

€200 discount for a companion. To view the terms of booking and to reserve a place, please scroll down to the form at the end of this page.


Group Size

The target group size is from 4 to 6 participants, so that the experience and training is personal. But we only need 1 participant to confirm the tour is a 'go'.

Tour Only

This is a tour only offer. All lodging, meals and beverages are at your expense. We will suggest good local places to eat in along the way, with varied menus to suit all palates.

Photo tour led by Carl Ottersen

The Italian Riviera is a great arc of olive-green hills that curves around the northwestern coastline of Italy from Tuscany to France. It has a spectacular and famed coastline, with places like Portofino and the Cinque Terre the most prized of its many fishing villages, pitched atop steep hills that cascade to the sea. Then the fabulous French Côte d'Azur, with glittering Monaco, walled Antibes and the many sights in between.

Forgetting borders, for those who venture into the valleys behind, along winding gullies and over long-fingered ridges that slice the land into ribbons, another place awaits. Here are the hill-towns and mountain villages, hidden among olive groves and resplendent in tumbling bougainvillea, the fresh ripple of a stream beside them, just waiting to be discovered.

 Add all this together and you have a great photo tour!


Of course you can bring your companion with you! With our local partners we have created a number of interesting and rewarding activities for them to fully enjoy the time too.


This is the dry season so, though it does rain from time to time. In the plains it is hot, but up high, as we will be, it is very cold at night, even close to freezing, so bring a mix of clothes.


Energetic but not mountain climbing. You do have to be in reasonable health, capable of one hour hikes up hills. Do bring good walking shoes.

Tour Program

Touring the Italian Riviera and the Cote d'Azur is ideal for the photographer, with the light and shadow playing off hills, trees, stone buildings and the eternally present sea. These five days are much about stopping to photograph the natural scenery and local life as it is to see the places mentioned. You will learn and practice several photographic techniques: composition, street photography, unusual angles, portraits, film/shutter/aperture combinations, depth of field, using light and many others. Photo skills will be reviewed "as-you-go" and also at the end of the day so you get the best from these opportunities. At the end of the day you will also have something to see and enjoy, always with photography in mind.

Settling in • Camogli

Everyone is going to arrive at different times, so this is a very relaxed day, for settling in and getting to meet each other. Before dinner we will have an orientation session and a walk around Camogli as it comes alive for the night, with dinner in one of its most picturesque restaurant.

Day One • Portofino and San Fruttuoso

The tour begins at dawn, so you can take some wonderful views of Camogli as the sun rises over the Italian Riviera. After breakfast we take the ferry to the cove of San Fruttuoso, which is a hidden jewel along this coast, great for atmospheric shots. From there we take another shot ferry ride into world famous Portofino, where we spend a good part of the day photographing not only the village but the nature around. In the late afternoon another ferry back to Camogli, to shoot the sunset and take twilight shots of street life. After reviewing the shots of the day and a session on photo retouching, dinner in another delightful hotel.

Day Two • Cinque Terre

With a very early start we head off to the Cinque Terre, first to check in to the hotel in Portovenere, where we will stay the night, and then onto a long but wonderful series of ferry hoppings to and from the villages of the Cinque Terre. Towards the end of the afternoon our own transport will take us above the villages for those wonderful sunset shots, before heading back to Portovenere for the daily review, dinner and after-dinner night shooting.

Day Three • Mare e Monti

This is a day for both sea and the mountains. Just after dawn and an early breakfast we head west to drop in on a couple of delightful coastal towns before heading inland up one of the less travelled valley roads to see some of Liguria's hill towns, which in many ways are more beautiful than their seaside sisters. We finish the day in a wonderful hotel, with a warm welcome and an unforgettable stay,

Day Four • Behind Monaco

This is a day for photography and discovery, for only the locals travel into the steep ravines that slice into the steep mountains that separate Italy from France. After an early morning drive to get almost to the border with France we head on up the valley to Breil and La Brigue, whence we head back towards the coast by way of Sospel and Eze, to stay in another delightful hotel and enjoy true French cuisine. Evening and night are dedicated to Monaco, which is always much more beautiful at this time of the day. Lots of things to photograph, with plenty of time to relax and explore this picturesque region.

Day Five • Antibes

We start the day in Antibes, with plenty of time to see the fishermen coming in with their catch. From here we head inland to two truly lovely locations: Tourettes, near Vance, and Grasse, to visit glassmakers and the profumery of Fragonard. In the late afternoon we stand where Napoleon stood before he headed back to Paris and defeat at Waterloo, before returning to Antibes for the sunset. As this is the last night, the evening will be a special celebration of the tour, with a great dinner and award ceremony.


We provide shuttle from/to Genova airport or train station, tour transport, accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, light refreshments and soft drinks, museum passes and other related tickets. For indoor photography we have reflectors and light boxes. All fees quoted are inclusive of taxes.

Don't forget!

Other than your digital camera (any type will do) you should bring some lenses, a sturdy tripod and ideally a shutter release cable. There is a fair amount of walking, some in rough patches, so wear \'sensible\' shoes and casual clothes with lots of pockets. The sun can be strong; light headgear might be good for some.


If you don’t bring a tripod we have some spares. If you are using a Canon DSLR then we also have some extra lenses.

Reserve your place on this tour

Once we receive your request we will call and email you to confirm details.


Bookings are made directly with the photographer. For more details please contact Carl Ottersen by email to carl.ottersen@gmail.com.


  • Fees exclusive of your own travel to/from the pick-up point
  • Fees do not cover international travel or medical insurance


  • 50% on confirmed booking, by PayPal or wire transfer
  • 50% paid at the start of the tour, in cash


  • 50% refund or reschedule in the event of prolonged rain
  • 50% refund if cancelled 3+ days before the tour date
  • No refund for late arrival

Registration Form

Just to be clear, filling in and sending this form does not commit you to anything or any payment until the booking is confirmed, which will be done with the photographer directly after you both have spoken and agreed everything.

Please fill in all the fields.

Your Name

Your eMail address

Your telephone number

Your ideal start date for the Tour

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Photos from tours in the Riviera and Côte d'Azur

Carl Ottersen

Carl offers photo tours in Italy and Indonesia. He is the author of six books, mostly on travel, which are full of wonderful photographs. His photographs and articles have been published in several travel magazines and travel related websites. Carl also has an ongoing exhibition in Jakarta, Indonesia in partnership with JW Marriott to promote educational support for children.

Read more about Carl and his photo tours
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