About Nice

Excursions

If you are planning to stay a little longer, or if Nice starts to feel too small, there are numerous of beautiful and interesting places to visit in the neighborhood.

Nice is a great base and it's incredibly cheap and easy to use the local public transportation for excursions. Within 30 minutes to the west you are in Antibes or Cannes, turning east you are in Italy in no time – just don’t miss Monaco along the way…

Of course, having a car is the absolute best way to get around. Visiting the adorable picturesque small Provençal villages not mentioned in guidebooks is a charm. If you are unable to rent a car, the local buses are an affordable and pleasant alternative. During high season there is a risk that the buses are overcrowded with tourists, then the train might be the easiest way to get around.



Villefranche and Cap Ferrat

This small charming town is within walking distance of Nice. From the port, it will take about an hour at a leisurely speed to round the Mont Boron. Approaching Villefranche sur Mer, you’ll be met by a magnificent view of the town.

If you find it difficult to walk it only takes a few minutes by train or bus to get there.

Villefranche is like a postcard, with crystal clear water and plenty of idyllic streets and restaurants. Do not miss to walk one of France's oldest streets, Rue Obscure, which dates from the 1200s. The street was originally built to protect the locals against invading enemies.

Just beyond Villfranche is Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

Cap Ferrat has from the middle of the 1800s been one of the world's most expensive and exclusive areas. But even so, the village has retained much of its original character.

Village center is surrounded by magnificent villas and palaces in flourishing gardens, including the magnificent Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild which is now a museum open to the public.

On the peninsula there is also a zoo, several prestigious hotels and a couple of nice beaches.

Èze

The medieval mountain village of Èze is located at 427 meters altitude and offers incredible views across the Riviera. By Bus 82 from Nice it takes no more than 30 minutes to get to the village.

The village streets, blocked from car traffic, are lined with artists' studios and shops that are interspersed along the alleyways.

Here in tiny Eze there are two Michelin-starred restaurants, the two star la Chèvre d'Or and the single-star Château Eza - each with a magnificent panoramic view over the Mediterranean.

Monaco

The tiny Principality of Monaco is a must to visit if you're in the neighborhood.

With an area of less than 2 square kilometers, Monaco is the world's second smallest sovereign state (only Vatican City is smaller). The surface with its more than 30 000 inhabitants makes Monaco the world's most populous country.

After checking out the range of the latest car models and yachts, the most famous casino in the world is worth a visit.

Casino de Monte-Carlo was opened by Prince Charles III in the late 1800's to bring order in Monaco's poor economy. The casino was so successful that he abolished the income tax and laid the foundation to the tax haven which Monaco is famous for.

A visit to the Casino de Monte-Carlo requires that you are 21 years old, are dressed in smart casual (never shorts) and have a valid passport or similar identity document.

Menton

The beautiful small coastal town of is beautifully located between Monaco and the Italian border.

Menton has many hotels and restaurant and loads of fine sandy beaches.

The old part of Menton climbs up along a steep cliff, and the houses are built almost on top of each other. On the way up the cliff you will pass two beautiful baroque churches, and at the top there is the cemetery. Below the cliff lies the more “modern” Menton, with beautiful old houses along a grand boulevard and winding pedestrian streets with shops and restaurants. East of the cliff lays the large marina facing the Italian border, only one kilometer away.

More attractions in Menton are the pretty little Jean Cocteau museum on the waterfront, the Market Hall next door and the old city. In February each year the famous lemon festival is organized and huge sculptures of just lemons are created.

Menton has one of the Riviera’s most favorable microclimates and the weather is warm and sunny almost all year round.

To go by bus to Menton is a pleasant experience, and for an hour and a half long trip you pass towns like Villefranche, Beaulieu, Eze and Monaco. During high season the buses are overcrowded and travelling by train is a more efficient choice of transport. The trip to Menton takes only 30 minutes.

St Paul de Vence

St Paul de Vence is one of the most famous French artist villages, and to this day are some 50 galleries and studios within the medieval walls.

The art museum Fondation Maeght is within walking distance, and in the center of the village the famous restaurant La Colombe d´Or, has paintings by Matisse, Braque, Léger, Calder and César on the wall.

The village is beautifully situated on a hill surrounded by pine trees, cypresses, vineyards and stunning views over the Mediterranean and the surrounding mountains.

Go down to the Promenade and travel by bus 400. The trip to St. Paul de Vence takes about an hour.

Antibes

Antibes is a lively and busy town all year around with plenty of restaurants and shops. The peninsula of Cap d'Antibes is one of the world's most exclusive residential areas. Nearby is the seaside resort Juan-les-Pins where most of the beaches and hotels are located.

Antibes is a beautiful town with a labyrinthine network of streets, alleys and squares. The town has a castle built in the 1500s by the prince of the House Grimaldi in which there is now a museum of Picasso. Picasso worked for many years in Antibes and its neighboring towns.

Cannes

Central Cannes is located in a bay between the original settlement Le Suquet and the casino at the far end of the Pointe Croisette. On the famous seaside boulevard La Croisette you’ll find the famous luxury hotels Majestic, Carlton InterContinental and Martinez, as well as the recently renovated Palais des Festivals. A few blocks behind is the shopping street Rue d'Antibes, and to the west Cannes is bordered to the idyllic resort of Mandelieu-la-Napoule.

Cannes is a vibrant city all year round thanks to its status as an international conference and festival city, and there are plenty of good restaurants and hotels. The city is also one of the most exclusive residential areas on the French Riviera.

Grasse

The beautiful town of Grasse has been the world's most famous perfume city for 600 years.
This medieval town has lots of cafes and restaurants and of course boule is played on many of the small squares.

In the 1800's Grasse was a popular place for the royalties. Today the old charm remains in the big houses and the old town with its winding streets and accommodate both markets and beautiful architecture.

The three major perfume manufacturers Molinard, Fragonard and Galimard are all open to visitors.

In order to get the job as a perfume composer you must be able to differentiate between 1400 different scents - a normal person can distinguish about a dozen components. Everyday pleasures like coffee, alcohol and smoking are of course excluded for perfume composers…

Go down to the Promenade and travel by bus 500. The trip to Grasse takes about one and a half hours.

Saint Tropez

Saint-Tropez has had a varied history. It was a fifteenth-century military stronghold, an unassuming fishing village at the beginning of the twentieth century, and the first town on this coast to be liberated during World War II.

In later years, it has been a resort for the European and American jet set and the inevitable hordes of tourists in search of a little Provençal authenticity and an occasional celebrity sighting.

The world famous beach, Plage Pampelonne, offers a collection of beaches along its five-kilometer shore. Each beach is around thirty meters wide with its own beach hut and private or public tanning area.

Gorges du Verdon

The Verdon Gorge is a river canyon that is often considered to be one of Europe's most beautiful. It is about 25 kilometers long and up to 700 meters deep. It was formed by the Verdon River, which is named after its startling turquoise-green color, one of the canyon's most distinguishing characteristics.

The most impressive part lies between the towns of Castellane and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, where the river has cut a ravine up to 700 meters down through the limestone mass. At the end of the canyon, the Verdon river flows into the artificial lake of Lac de Sainte-Croix.


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Gorges du Verdon