FRENCH RIVIERA, MONACO TO NICE
We had an early start to the morning for the journey northwest with views of the Italian Riviera. We continued to France for a visit to a Perfume Workshop in Eze before travelling along the celebrated Cote d’Azur onto an overnighter in Nice. That night we took an optional Monte Carlo by Night excursion with dinner.
No, Monaco is not as expensive as you may think. Some of you may be contemplating a trip to Monaco in the near future but have this impression of the Principality as a place where you cannot get by with under 1.000€ per day. Naturally, if you do have the desire to spend that amount, you can easily find hundreds of exotic ways of getting rid of large sums of money in a couple of minutes!
The good news is that Monaco is also a place where normal people, not just multi-millionaires, live and work, and that there are therefore plenty of ways for the common of mortals to have a wonderful sample of what the country can offer on a very reasonable budget. Monaco isn’t a very large place but getting around on foot can be quite tiring after a while due to the very uneven terrain and the heat in the summer.
We started late afternoon in the heart of Monaco, Old Town, has been meticulously preserved over the centuries and welcomes visitors to meander down in its narrow, well-lit streets while gazing at old medieval houses and vaulted passageways. We pasted many wonderful attractions located in this area including the Place Saint Nicolas, the Chapelle de la Paix, and the façade of the Law Courts. The Saint-Martin Gardens was the perfect place to take a break from the steep climb and we enjoyed breath-taking views of the sea. Also located here were a plethora of little souvenir and pastry shops and restaurants. After dinner we passed by the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, the current and official residence of the Prince of Monaco (and also where Princess Grace lived). It’s best to do this early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds but if you have no choice, do it anyway, it’s worth it. You can always stand in the sunshine on Palace Square and watch the changing of the guard ceremony with all the crowds if you enjoy that kind of thing, every day at 11.55am sharp..
We then checked out the luxury cars in front of the Casino and the Hotel de Paris on Casino square, and explored the lush casino gardens and wandered through the marble alleyways of the Metropole shopping centre. We Enjoyed the great views over the whole of Monaco from the Casino terraces just behind (basically the roof garden of the Fairmont hotel), probably my favourite view of the whole of Monaco.
We jumped back on the bus and headed back to the hotel in Nice. I left Kim sleep the long day off and grabbed my camera and ventured out late to check out a little of Nice There’s something about being out and about after dark with a camera in France that I really like. The French are artists with facades, trees, and floodlighting. Nice’s old town artfully mixes the character of Italy (it was Italian until 1860) and France (elegant dining and a general affluence). In researching our guidebook, the selection of great-value restaurants was abundant. Back to the hotel for a couple of hours sleep I managed to get out very early to capture the sunrise before breakfast. Would love to pencil in Nice again.
Check out our tour video here: