The towns of the French Riviera have been synonymous with wealth and sophistication since the mid nineteenth century. The pretty town of Nice, cradled by mountains that curve around to meet its majestic shoreline, is baked in year-round Mediterranean sunshine. Its central location and the excellent local rail and road connections make Nice (o6 Alpes-Maritimes, Provence ) an ideal base for exploring the French Riviera.
Nice is one of those charming towns full of affluent ladies of a certain age with pampered pooches in tow. A harmonious blend of old and new, it`s a place where sumptuous old palaces sit alongside typical downmarket cafes where local workmen take their morning break. Nice`s palm-fringed seafront promenade is dotted with fountains and lined with the most opulent of hotels, chateaux, aristocratic mansions and museums; the perfect place for an evening stroll and a touch of celebrity-spotting. Within the old town, the sunny squares around Cours Saleya come alive every morning to the sights, smells and sounds of the local market, overlooked by the austerity of impressive baroque chapels full of frescoes and chandeliers.
There is an excellent Christmas Market 6 December 2019 – 5 January 2020 Entertainment, craft chalets, gift ideas, shows, everything combined to bring you memorable Christmas moments with family or friends – in Place Massena on Tramway Route T1.
Nice`s old quarter is the perfect place for shopping amongst the town`s boutiques and souvenir shops where you can pick up local Provencal crafts and gastronomic items. Visitors to Nice also flock to the Phoenix Parc Floral botanical garden with its bird and insect zoo and fascinating museum dedicated to Far Eastern art.
Anyone interested in local art must also visit the museum of Henri Matisse, whose paintings were inspired by the majesty of the town.
For the perfect snaps, Le chateau, a castle now in ruins, is a tranquil area accessible via steps from the Quai des Etats-Unis, and is the best vantage point from which to enjoy views over Nice and the surrounding sea and countryside.
Eating out in Nice is a delight with cafes and restaurants around every corner catering for all tastes. Not surprisingly, gastronomic influences have flooded in from neighbouring Italy, with pasta on every other menu. Delicious local Provencal dishes bring a taste of authentic local cuisine whilst ample fish and seafood restaurants serve up the catch of the day around the Cours de Saleya and along the seafront. There are ample opportunities for gourmet wining and dining at the town`s top restaurants and opulent boutique hotels. On the other hand you can of course avail yourself of fresh local market produce, making a short break in Nice as low-budget or as indulgent as you wish.
In spite of its reputation for extravagance, a weekend in Nice need not break the bank, with a range of budget hotels available from as little as 25 euros a night.
For more info on Nice see the Nice Tourism Office website
By Train By Train/TGV/Eurostar with Rail Europe