The French Riviera is a very beautiful part of the world, certainly the most beautiful place I’ve been too.
Stepping out of Nice airport, you’re greeted by palm trees against an ever present blue sky backdrop – this is only part of the appeal of France’s south coast.
So what is there to do in Nice? Not a lot as I found out. Those looking for a lazy holiday to work on their tan will feel right at home here. Those looking to see the sights should go elsewhere (might I recommend Rome?).
There’s a certain laxidasical feel to Nice, no one is in a rush (apart from those who are driving, in which case don’t need a second opportunity to use their horn) and it’s easy to see why.
The number of cafes, parks and benches to stop and watch the world go by is incredible, which is great if like me you prefer to walk everywhere. Like Ferris Bueller said “If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”. What you’ll see is mostly lost tourists but still…
If I had to pick my favourite thing about Nice it would be between walking the promenade and scuba diving.
The promenade seems to never end as you stand at the peak of one end. The pavement is about the width of a road, which is lucky as it seemed the whole of Nice walks, cycles, rollerblades and runs on it. At night it’s especially pretty all lit up.
Lido Beach, a private beach, has a wonderful band play every night. It’s very peaceful sitting in one of the famous blue seats, listening to the band and watching the tide come in and out a thousand times.
It was my first time scuba diving and it’s one of the most awesome things I’ve ever done. I’m sure it doesn’t compare to scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef or the Maldives, but it’s pretty spectacular if you have nothing to compare it too.
I saw a jellyfish, held an oursin (sea urchin) in my hand and saw lots of other colourful fish. It was like being in Finding Nemo! One thing I didn’t like was the water which tasted a lot like a cooking – salty.
An honourable mention goes to the many parks dotted around the city. Unlike in the UK, when the sun is in full flow, they’re relatively quiet and there is plenty of space to park yourself down on a bench or grass.
There are only two disappointments I have with Nice – the beach and the Modern Art Museum.
There is no sand on the beach. I knew this before I went, but sitting on these flat stones is more uncomfortable than I thought. I highly recommend bringing a cushion, or better yet go to Cannes to get some sand between your toes.
While the museum is huge, they’ve only half-filled it with work. The building is much more impressive than what’s on show.
I managed to write this whole post without writing ‘Nice is nice’. Apart from now. That one doesn’t count.
Have you been to Nice? What did you do there? Tell me what I missed when I was there!