When my boyfriend mentioned about visiting the French Riviera, I didn’t really think of browsing the web and looking through pictures of France’s Mediterranean coast just because. The place didn’t really sound familiar to me so I just ended up being lazy and just went with the flow.
It was a horrible mistake not to be interested in Nice; which I soon realised after a 6-hour long train ride from Paris to France’s 5th most populous city, Nice and the beautiful French Riviera.
We had the pleasure to enjoy a day trip around the Riviera riding a mini van. Together with a couple of tourists from New Zealand, Australia and Ireland, we all enjoyed the warmth of the sun while seeing beautiful places by the coast.
Picked up from the hotel near the station, we initially drove around Nice, passing by Old Town plaza, and then heading to the village of Èze. Famous for the view of the sea from its hill top, Èze is a medieval village that was unlike any other village I’ve seen before. It’s filled with artsy and dainty shops, with tourists crowding its narrow, old streets. It is picturesque all through out!
We managed to witness a beautiful view of the sea and the rest of the coast from the village. It also has a botanical garden filled with a collection of cactus and exotic plants, offering the best view from the village!
After our wonderful first stop in Eze, we then had a tour around Parfumerie Fragonard, where we were able to see how perfumes and scents were made in a mini-factory. We enjoyed learning about the differences of perfumes, what the different perfume notes meant and how long they lasted. I loved trying out the lovely scents that they offered!
We then went to walk in the country of luxury and glamour, Monaco. Officially known as the Principality of Monaco, it is the second smallest country in the world and is the most densely populated. It is where the rich and famous are said to live, with an outstanding 30% of the population being millionaires.
Looking around the country and seeing the old town, the cathedral, the palace, the yachts and casinos will definitely make you daydream of a billionaire’s life. Even the city that we visited next, Cannes, where the Cannes International Film Festival are held, and where 5-star hotels, resorts, and high-end outlets line up its coast spells out a single word for its visitors – luxury.
After dropping by Cannes, we went to Antibes, which is the oldest city in the French Riviera, and is a town again popular for its beaches and its yachting community.
Last stop for our sightseeing tour was Saint Paul de Vence, an amazing medieval and residential village known for its famous artists and art galleries. It is said that the flourishing of art in the area was because of a hotel entrepreneur, Paul Roux. He offered to lodge artists for free in exchange of their paintings, hence the attraction of art and creativity in St Paul. Up until now, its beautifully maintained cobblestone streets are filled with high-end galleries and shops making it another tourist favourite in the French Riviera.
At the end of our short stay in Nice, we realised why it was considered as the “British aristocrat’s vacation destination.” With its proximity to the UK, you will never go wrong with its beautiful blue beaches and clear, sunny skies. Anyone back in London would love its perfect weather and beautiful sights. Everywhere you look is a treasure to the eyes.
Probably someday when we’re older, someday when we’ll live without worrying about expenses, someday when we have all the time in the world… we’ll be checking-in to one of these fancy resorts, having a drink and a nice chat on-board our yacht, and living the life in Côte d’Azur just as how it was meant to be lived.