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France In Photos: 3 Stunning Day Trips From Nice

day trips from nice

This post is part of a series based on my boyfriend and I’s two-week road trip through the South of France. Follow our journey here

It’s been eight years since I last visited Nice. My first time was less than stellar, as my airline lost my luggage for a week before I had to travel 10 hours to retrieve it myself (#truestory). Because of this I spent most days in my room trying to get my belongings back, not getting to experience much of the city.

I vowed this time would be different. And luckily is was. Along with exploring Nice through climbing up to a hillside castle, having a traditional meal in a local home and partying in the Harbor Area, my boyfriend Andy and I also had a blast enjoying the great day trips from Nice.

For me, the main reason to love the South of France is the ease of getting in your car, driving without a plan and making amazing discoveries along the way like wineries, lavender farms, beaches and charming villages. Based in Nice you’ll have beautiful drives to enjoy for days. Below, I highlight three of my favorite day trips from Nice that truly show the beauty of the area.

1. Visit The Medieval Village Of Eze

Pronounced “Ez,” (not Ease or Easy-E like I was calling it), this charming medieval village has a rich history dating back to the 3rd Century BC. It’s only 20 minutes from Nice and worth the short drive. Don’t miss the lookout point right before Eze with aerial French Riviera and yacht views. You can park here for free — or at least we did — and walk 10 minutes to the village. You’ll walk up a winding escarpment with restaurants, shops and galleries embedded into the rock. The crepes and salads (and views) we savored at Le Cactus were phenomenal, though La Plage (“The Beach”) had a funky vibe and comfy couches that was very fun. Bring your French Riviera Pass (or 6 Euros) to visit Eze’s cacti-filled botanical garden for the highest views in the village.

I’d recommend allotting about 90 minutes-to-two hours for your Eze visit as it’s beautiful but small.

These #France photos show the true #beauty of the #FrenchRiviera! Click To Tweet
day trips from nice

Gorgeous vistas from the viewpoint right before Eze when driving from Nice

day trips from nice

Moments in Eze. Notice the shot of the medieval village from a distance. Gorgeous!

2. Spend A VIP Afternoon In Monaco

It’s cool to walk around Monaco’s Port Hercules, photograph the yachts and Aston Martins, and see how Europe‘s elite live; though I was actually more overwhelmed by how stunning Monaco is than how VIP it feels. I mean, just look at those gorgeous pastel buildings below!

Take a dip in a giant waterfront pool, bring the young ones to the waterfront baby circus, lick ice cream while strolling the marina and walk 15-minutes up a 16th century staircase called the Rampe Majeure to the Palais du Prince (Prince’s Palace) in Old Town for aerial Monaco views. The climb itself is scenic as you feel like you’re in a park, and beautiful views pop in and out of sight.

The Rampe Majeure is visible from the waterfront (if you’re facing the water just look at the hillside to your right). There’s also a chill outdoor spot at Port Hercules called Brasserie de Monaco with communal picnic tables and homemade organic beer.

#Monaco is more than just Aston Martins. It's seriously #stunning! #travel Click To Tweet
day trips from nice

Exploring Monaco’s Port Hercules

day trips from nice

Buildings adjacent to the Prince’s Palace of Monaco. From here you get an aerial view of the port!

day trips from nice

Aerial views from outside the Prince’s Palace of Monaco

3. Villas, Gardens & Beaches In Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

The main attraction in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is the seaside Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild, absolutely stunning from the grounds to the 18th-century grand villa. Andy and I are from New York, so we’re always amazed when people have a yard, let alone nine themed gardens and fountains that dance — literally — to classical music. Inside the former home of Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild you’ll find gorgeous antique furniture, oil paintings, tapestries and formal details that will have you in disbelief over the grandeur of some peoples’ lives.

Afterward we headed to the nearby Port of St Jean Cap Ferrat for lunch, digging into a delicious tomato mozzarella salad and prosciutto mushroom pizza at the waterfront Cadillac Restaurant (1 avenue Jean Mermoz). The French Riviera’s proximity to Italy means you’ll find a lot of amazing pizza and pasta. Moreover, while Nice’s Promenade des Anglais is gorgeous, its beach has large stones that can make it challenging for walking or laying on a towel. We found the beach in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat to be more comfortable with course sand.

These #gardens outside #Nice are a must-see in #France. Here's why. Click To Tweet
day trips from nice

A little yoga at the Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild

day trips from nice

Moments from Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild as well as the nearby port

What are your favorite day trips from Nice? Please share in the comments below! 

Recommended:

These 5 Unique Accommodations Will Make You Crave A South Of France Getaway [Blog Inspiration]

Provence and the Cote d’Azur: Discover the Spirit of the South of France [Great Reads]

Clever Travel Companion Pickpocket-Proof Garments [Travel Safety]

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2 Comments

  1. Melissa on May 28, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Hi Jessie,

    Do you think it is possible to do the Ephrussi de Rothschild Villa and Monaco in one day from Nice on public transportation? If not, would it be possible to take public transport to the villa and grab a taxi to Monaco? We already have a lunch planned in Monaco at 1 pm but could probably push that to 1.30.

    • Jessie Festa on May 30, 2017 at 8:21 am

      @Melissa: Hmm I’d confirm that with your hotel. They’d know better than me since I had the rental car. Not sure how the public transport would be for that trip. Maybe you could also rent a car just for the day?

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