My father came to visit me in France mid-June, and to take advantage of the fact summer vacation hadn’t begun for the rest of the country just yet, we decided to spend a week in the French Riviera.
On the itinerary? Nice, Monaco, and Cannes.
While we flew into Nice from Paris, travelling through the south by train ended up being an easy and cheap affair (something I’m not sure many tourists are aware of!). In case anyone else is planning to head that direction this summer, and looking to make the most of seven days in the South of France, I decided to do a small write-up on the places we visited and how we travelled.
Out of every city we visited in the South, Nice was my absolute favourite. With sun-drenched buildings, kind locals, delicious seafood, and plenty of great day trips less than an hour away, it is the perfect base for a trip to the South of France.
We stayed at an AirBNB within walking distance of the Promenade des Anglais, which we walked every morning and evening. The beaches are rocky, so laying on a towel there can be uncomfortable, but they’re fine to sit down on to watch the stunning sunrises and sunsets.
Our favourite day trip from Nice was the one to Villefranche-Sur-Mer. A picturesque seaside town with pebble beaches and beachside bars, it’s the perfect option if you want to spend the day suntanning.
To get there is incredibly easy and cheap. Numerous buses and trains will drop you off right at the beach and are often a single stop away from Nice. We personally took the TER from Nice Ville station, which cost 2€ each way and took a mere 8 minutes.
Other Places to Visit by Nice
While we personally didn’t make it there ourselves, there were numerous other places to visit near Nice that were but a short train or bus ride away. The ones I was most interested in were Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, a beautiful seaside villa filled with gorgeous gardens, and Beaulieu-sur-Mer, a seaside village with nice beaches.
The Antibes are also a half hour away from Nice, and can cost as little as 3.20€ to reach.
Interested in adding another country to our list, my father and I decided to spend an afternoon in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. A fan of Grace Kelly, I was very excited to see the country that she was a princess of!
We had a fun time visiting the various gardens (the Japanese one was my favourite), checking out the famous casino, watching yachts drift by, and sitting on the white sand beaches. Monaco is also known as the country of the super-rich for a reason, and it made for good people-watching, window-shopping, and luxury car-spotting.
We didn’t spend the night in Monaco but I personally didn’t feel like we had to – it’s a small city that can be covered in a day. We got there from Nice by train – it only took a half hour, and cost 4.10€ each way.
After four days in Nice and the surrounding area, we took a TER to Cannes, a speedy trip that took 40 minutes and cost a mere 7.20€.
Slightly pricier than Nice but not as over the top as Monaco, Cannes is a gorgeous city that boasts a slew of fantastic restaurants, great shopping, and white sand beaches. While there, we visited the theatre of the famous film festival, shopped at the local boutiques, and frequented the many nice Italian restaurants.
The biggest draw for us was, of course, the beaches. While many of the beaches of Cannes are private, there are two public beaches on the main stretch that offer beautiful views, soft sand, and turquoise water.
We ended spending three days in Cannes which I think was perfect, though I wouldn’t have minded staying there longer, if just for the beaches!