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Villefranche. Photo: Colourbox
Villefranche. Photo: Colourbox


Explore the surroundings of Nice

“When in Nice, go somewhere else” might seem like a strange recommendation but it’s not completely crazy. Charming small towns and villages, all with different characters, surround the city. You’ll only have to travel 15 minutes to come across beautiful places on the seafront or up in the hills. Take a bus, a train, or rent a car. You won’t regret it.


Villefranche is so close you can walk there from Nice. It’s the place to go if you’re looking for a sandy beach, or if you want to admire a town full of lovely houses on the hill. Be warned, though, it gets very crowded in the summer. French artist, playwright Jean Cocteau decorated the chapel with murals in 1957, and right across the street, there’s the famous Welcome Hotel where members of the US Navy spent time just after World War II.


Saint Jean Cap Ferrat

Saint Jean Cap Ferrat may look like a sleepy seaside town but once there, you’ll find the real, discrete luxury on the Cote d’Azur. Take a lovely walk along the sea front or visit Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild and its lovely gardens. If you’re in the mood for more Jean Cocteau art, Villa Santo Sospir is your destination. Don’t forget the beaches, they are fabulous.


Beaulieu sur Mer

Beaulieu sur Mer is a well-kept secret of the region. This is where to go to relax when you get tired of the buzz in Nice. Beaulieu is sober and calm, but that may change with the reopening of the old casino, that has been beautifully renovated. Villa Kerylos with its antique Greek style is a must-see.



Just a half hour’s drive from Nice, Cap-d'Ail is for the nature lovers who also dig luxury villas from the Belle Epoque. Steer clear from the modern center of town, it’s a nightmare due to traffic. Walk down towards Plage Mala and then follow the coastal path all the way to Monaco. It only takes an hour and you’ll never forget it – especially if you stop for lunch at le Cabanon, an extraordinary nice restaurant by the sea.


Haut de Cagnes

The medieval village of Haut de Cagnes, close to the Nice airport, is one of the most romantic places on the Riviera and famous for its many restaurants. Stay at the exquisite and ancient hotel Chateau Cagnard, stroll around the old alleys, and visit the magnificent garden at Renoir’s house. Oh là là!


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