Itís Especially Nice in Nice
I’m off in a couple of weeks for a Rhone River cruise that begins with two days in Nice and ends with two days in Paris. 11 days, amazing discoveries. I can’t wait.
I’ve never been to Nice, but I’ve heard it’s really nice. I thought you might be interested in some of the things I’ve learned about the area and am looking forward to experiencing first hand.
The Cote d’Azur is the Mediterranean coast of southeastern France. It includes famous beach resorts such as Saint-Tropez and Cannes, and the independent microstate of Monaco. The area rose to prominence as a health retreat in the 1700’s, and in the 1960’s was known for attracting the "jet set." It has evolved into a wonderful holiday destination, with paths connecting many coastal villages and towns.
Nice (pronounced like your “niece”) is the unofficial capital of the Cote d’Azur (Blue Coast). It is also the largest city along that famous coast. Nice is said to be a down to earth city that puts the emphasis on fine dining and high culture. There is a 4 mile long promenade that borders the Mediterranean that is a large draw to visitors and locals alike.
Vieux Nice, or old Nice, is a step back to a more elegant time with its many pastel colored buildings, art shops and outdoor cafes.
Museums lovers will enjoy visiting the Matisse and Mac Chagall museums, as well as the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. The marvelous Musee Massena is housed in an Italianate Neoclassical villa-we’ll go there just to enjoy the architecture.
History buffs will love a visit to Cimiez Hill where there are Roman remains from 2 B.C.
I wish we were going to be in Nice on Monday, the farmers market there is famous for being one of the best in Europe, full of flower and produce stands.
Nice is the departure point for many luxury cruise lines, Avalon (our hosts for this trip), Azamara and Windstar. There are also many wonderful hotels in Nice if you want to arrive a few days prior to your cruise departure (as we are doing) and just soak up the ambience of the Cote D’Azur.
Matisse described Nice as emanating from light as if lit from below, ‘absurd, amazing, delicious’.
I’m going to try to find time to go to Saint-Tropez just to see for myself if it’s true the best mountain views on the Côte d’Azur are to be found there.
Even better it’s only 18 miles to Monaco (even though I read that the drive takes about an hour) and I hear the views along the way are amazing. I would love to stand overlooking the harbor in Monaco that Grace Kelly made famous, wouldn’t you?
If you would like to follow me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/thejoyoftravel/) I will post pictures and comments about our adventure from Nice to Paris as often as possible. This area of France has been on my bucket list for years, I’m just thrilled to finally be going!
Joy Gawf-Crutchfield owns and operates The Joy of Travel