A couple weekends ago I met up with my friends Laura and Claire, who are sisters, for a quick weekend in Nice, France. They were there for a whole week but I was more than happy to crash their sister time for a little exploring around the Cote d’Azur.
Unfortunately the weather was less than cooperative and days that promised to be sunny were rainy and days that were forecasted to be rainy were…rainy. So we had a few moments of sunshine and warmth, but we also spent a lot of time dodging rain and thunderstorms. Apparently the rest of the week had fabulous weather, so I suppose I’ll just have to go back!
I arrived in town in the early afternoon and spent a couple hours people watching and lounging at the local beach club Castel Plage & Restaurant while waiting for my friends to arrive later that evening. The beaches in Nice are very rocky and not comfortable but they will certainly do in a pinch if you’re looking for the last rays of sunshine and a place to take a warm nap. Do note that if you choose to go to a private beach club you should expect to spend about €15-20 to rent a chair and umbrella.
Our first full day was cloudy and misty so we spent some time lounging around the apartment and putzing around the city. The old town, Vieille Ville, looks decidedly like a movie set with its crumbling buildings and balconies spilling over with plants. It’s a fun place to simply wander around and get sucked into the little shops and alleys.
One morning we spent walking around Èze, a medieval mountaintop commune about thirty minutes outside of Nice. You can catch the 82 bus at the Boyer stop, just beyond Place Garibaldi, if you’re staying in Vieille Ville as we were. It’s a crowded ride, but thankfully it isn’t too long.
Èze offers beautiful views of the surrounding Alpes-Maritimes as well as the sea and coastal towns. The entire commune is surrounded by walls and the narrow, winding pathways make for a fun morning of discovery. The Jardin Exotique at the top is also worth a visit. They have beautiful cacti and of course those views. Wowsa.
That afternoon we walked around a different part of the city and made our way through the port and along the boardwalk just as a giant thunderstorm rolled in. We found refuge at Le Méridien, a very swanky hotel along the Promenade des Anglais. They have a rooftop bar with beautiful views and tasty drinks. We ended up staying here for dinner because it was just too convenient to leave. I’m glad we stayed.
The storm had blown through and we spent the evening walking along the promenade, watching street performers and artists and sitting in the city’s iconic blue chairs. We also stopped in the very grand Le Negresco. Their cozy bar was a perfect place for fancy tea, though their menu is quite extensive if you’re looking for something a bit more potent.
My sister-in-law had been the week before and offered up lots of great suggestions: places to eat, day trips (Antibes, Moncao, Monte Carlo, etc.), beaches (Paloma beach on Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Coco beach in Nice, etc.), and markets, specifically the Cours Saleya, which I walked through on my way to catch the bus to the airport. I only scratched the surface, but I’m grateful for the list of things to keep in mind for return trips.
It was a quick trip but I’m so happy I spent a couple days down their exploring a new city and seeing some of my favorite people. I’m looking forward to taking Adam there with me and checking out Saint Tropez, Antibes, and Cannes. Ooh la la!
(p.s. you may have seen some of these images earlier this week. thanks for indulging me : )