Nice: A Must-Visit Stop on a Mediterranean Road Trip


Taking a road trip along a stretch of Europe’s Mediterranean coast is the ultimate summer holiday, with lots of fantastic scenery, beautiful beaches and vibrant towns and cities to explore on the way. Depending on how long you’ve got, you could take in destinations in Spain, France and Italy.

If you’re passing through France, one place you should definitely stop at is Nice. Incidentally, if this is the kind of break you’d like to go on this summer, it’s worth looking into the options for car hire – you’ll find further information about this here.

Why stop in Nice?

Nice is one of the main cities on the French Riviera and it oozes style, has bags of culture and a wonderful seaside location. All this adds up to an excellent stop-off point on a road trip. It’s best to allow a few days to discover all that Nice has to offer, as long as you’ve got the time.

Once you park your car, begin by stretching your legs on the picturesque Promenade des Anglais, which runs the full length of the gorgeous sandy bay. In the summer, you may want to spend a few hours soaking up the sun on the beach and swimming in the warm waters of the Med. If you’d like to inject some culture into your break, don’t miss out on the chance to visit some of the city’s 20 museums and galleries – more on those in a minute.

Top sights in Nice

When you’re travelling from place to place it can be tricky to find the time to research each destination in detail, so, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top attractions to see around Nice.

Art fans shouldn’t miss the opportunity to view some of Matisse’s paintings in an establishment dedicated solely to his life and work. Named Musee Matisse, this striking Genoese villa houses a selection of his paintings and drawings from throughout his lifetime, as well as a collection of his personal effects.

Head next to the Musee des Beaux Arts Jules Cheret, where you can see pieces by the likes of Fragonard, Dufy, Rodin and Carpeaux. History enthusiasts, meanwhile, should pay a visit to one of Nice’s two archaeological museums – there’s one at Terra Amata and another at the ruins of Cemeneleum.

Nice is also home to its fair share of beautiful religious buildings, but if you only have time for one, make it the Basilique Notre Dame – the largest church in the city. Its two square towers and stunning rose window make it easy to pick out on Avenue Jean Medecin.

Where to next?

Whether you’re beginning your road trip by picking up a hire car at Nice airport, or have been driving for a while before you reach the French city, you’ll need to know where to head to after you’ve finished sightseeing and soaking up the sun in this lovely location.

If you can, plan your route out of the city so that it passes through at least one of the nearby perched villages. Some of these places are considered to be among the most picturesque in France, so it’s well worth making a slight detour so you can explore them for yourself.

The one thing all these towns have in common is amazing views, as they’re typically located on high hills or the edge of cliffs, which is where they get their name from. The medieval village of Eze is one of the best known, with its Baroque church among the highlights. The gardens here are filled with all manner of exotic plants, including orange trees, date palms and carob plants. It’s also a great place for shopping thanks to the selection of artisan and craft stores that are dotted along its narrow streets.

Posted on: September 17, 2013