Glamorous French Riviera Day Trip

Posted on 18. Feb, 2010 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, France

You know how it works. Your favorite budget airline is having a sale to an exotic location not that far away from home, and somehow you realize that you’ve always wanted to go. And then bam! Before you know it, you booked your tickets for a  French riviera day trip.

Landing in Nice is quite something. The plane has to turn around over the Mediterranean and land on a tiny tarmac next to the beach… welcome to the French Riviera!

My first time at the sea!

I hopped off the shuttle bus at the Promenade des Anglais to enjoy the somewhat rocky yet beautiful beach for a little while. Or so I thought - early morning flights to sunny destinations should carry a warning about falling asleep on the beach! I woke up two hours later, red as a lobster and cold as a fish after dipping my toes in the sea. But somehow,  I quickly came back to my senses when I realized that most men on the beach were wearing the tiniest Speedos I had ever seen. Trust me, fabric shouldn’t rarefy and tighten with age.

I wandered around the city for awhile, exploring the market for fresh products to eat at lunch. I took the elevator up the Colline du Château to get the best view of the harbor and the city, because let’s be honest, who takes the stairs when there’s an elevator avialable? The views from up there are amazing no matter what option you decide upon - the Mediterranean doesn’t get any better than from this spot. I was so glad I booked a day trip to the French riviera!

Although I could have spent some time at one of Nice’s many museums, I preferred to enjoyed the sea as I was a first-timer. But for art lovers, Nice is certainly a dream destination. 

Monaco harbor

At around 2PM, I decided to hop on a bus and head to Monaco for the afternoon. The bus route 100  leaves from the bus terminal  and costs only €1. After careful consideration, I came to the conclusion that this was the best €1 I spent during my trip, and it was easily the best bus ride I’ve ever been on. It gets to Monaco by driving through all the small villages along the dramatic coastline, allowing the traveler to sit back and to enjoy the beautiful, dramatic show.

Once in Monaco, I climbed up “the Rock”, where the Palais Princier stands. It is still today the official residence of the Prince of Monaco, and is honestly easy on the eyes with its opulence and pastel colors. The palace is also a great vantage point on the surrounding harbor and the rest of the principality, i.e. villas and yachts (because yes, the cliché is true).

However, a visit to Monaco wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Monte Carlo’s casino, length of said stop depending on the thickness of your wallet and the chicness of your outfit. If all else fails, you can always spill on the $40 t-shirts and pretend you gambled in one of the world’s most glamorous casinos. I swear I won’t tell!

Nice harbor at sunset

After another pretty bus ride back to Nice, I decided to indulge on take-away goodness and enjoy it on the beach, soaking in the last sun rays and being amused at the weird evening population that took over the beach. I’m not sure if they were all high on crack but something, somewhere made them really strange and slightly entertaining (but I was glad I had to leave the beach before dark to catch my plane back home).

Have you been on a French riviera day trip? Did you find it as glamorous as its reputation pretends it to be? Where are your favorite spots?

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3 Responses to “Glamorous French Riviera Day Trip”

  1. NiceLife

    20. Jun, 2010

    “I won’t be going back. ..just wasn’t fun. Final mark: 3/5″

    Oh dear. To be honest, you hardly scratched the surface of the Cote d’Azur, you did the same few things every tourist does, you didn’t see 99% of whats here, but youre “not coming back”.

    If the Cote d’Azur were to award you as a visitor marks out of five, how many do you think you would get?

    Reply to this comment
  2. Marie

    21. Jun, 2010

    There are dozens of other places where I hardly scratched the surface and where I happen to definitely want to go back. I just didn’t connect with Cote d’Azur at all, what exactly is wrong with that?

    Reply to this comment

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