Nice Travel Guide | The South of France Diary
9.6.17 From Annecy we rented a car to drive down to Nice. We wanted to drive because even though riding on a train may be faster, and easier we wanted to be able to really see the south of France and have the liberty to stop wherever we wanted.
We really recommend driving! It's absolutely breathtaking you pass by acres, when I say acres I mean 10 minutes straight of lavender or sunflower fields! It's beautiful. Straight out of a dream.
*NOTE highway tolls are very expensive be prepared to pay about $15-$25 euros each toll. We first compared the route with tolls and then the route avoiding tolls. Its usually about a 30-45 minute difference so in some routes we chose to avoid tolls.
Let me tell you it was totally worth it because we got to drive through little french towns that were adorable in the middle of the countryside. The total travel time was about 5.5 hrs. but it went very fast! On the way to Nice we had several stops, our favorite was Les Gorges du Fier.
The Fier is one of the most important rivers in the Haute-Savoie region.
Just 10 km from Annecy, the river has carved out one of the most magnificent examples of erosion by running water, the Gorges du Fier, considered to be one of the natural wonders of the Alps. You spend about one hour here and the entry is $5.70 euros each person. There is free parking as well.
The legend of the Gorges du Fier here you can see the face of the young page morning his lost love. Legend says that on summer nights villagers can hear him mourning through the Gorges.
THE FRENCH RIVIERA
After 5.5 hrs, we finally arrived to Nice, the French Riviera. Nice is built on hills and we had to drive up hill to our Air bnb flat and downhill to the beach.
*WARNING it takes some time to get used to driving in Nice because their two way streets looks like a one way lane to us, plus its on the edge of mountains, with crazy twist and turns! To top it off the french drive fast!! Thank God Victor was driving!!
*NOTE at night you park on the side of the street so that "two way street" which is a one way street to me turns into half a lane!! It's intense! Victor felt like he was playing Mario Cart the whole time and was loving it.
The French Riviera is known for its beautiful private beaches. There is no sand which was a little odd for us since we are from Miami. All the beaches are pebbled beaches (ROCKS) so bring sandals. Its not very comfortable but the view is spectacular.
We recommend Castel Beach its in the heart of Nice. You can rent lounge chairs and they have a private restaurant where you can have lunch plus you can jump off the cliff!! The board walk is also very cool to take a stroll during the day or at night its also a great place to have a morning work out before going to the beach. Thats what we did!
THINGS TO DO
Take a walk up to Castle Hill and you will get one of the best panoramic views of Nice from up there. On the way up stop by the waterfall and the famous cemetery. One of the most beautiful cemeteries I have ever seen.
Visit the city's vibrant Old Town made up of cobble stoned narrow streets, colorful old buildings, squares, historical sites, boutiques, and restaurants! One of my favorite places! This is a must see! It's amazing during the day and at night its the place to be. Everyone is out eating at restaurants and talking in the plazas. Its so romantic.
One night we had dinner at La Favola an italian restaurant that was highly recommended by many people. It was incredible!! The food was delicious, service was great and the ambiance was really entertaining. Try the profiteroles for dessert they are known for it. I'm not crazy over profiteroles but I was blown away! These were amazing!
Other must see places in Old Town, all walking distance from each other are Albert Garden, Massena Square, Paillon Promenande (they have a cool water show every 5 minutes) , Rosseti square, Cours Saleya . If you are not staying in old town or on the boardwalk we recommend renting a car.
Sandals and two piece set from SHEIN.
Hat from Genuine People.
Next stop Provence.
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