Exploring along the coast from Nice is fun, you don’t need a car as public transport is easy and cheap.
Going west from Nice one of my favourite destinations is Cros de Cagnes as it combines a beach, lovely restaurants and pétanque all in one place! I usually go by bus (ligne d’azur 200) and get off at Les Oliviers as it’s a short walk from there down towards the sea and the promenade. Best of all this route takes you along Avenue Général Leclerc where you’ll be able to stop off to watch the locals playing pétanque on the terrain. You’ll find a game in progress most afternoons.
You can get a train from Nice to Cros de Cagnes and take a slightly longer walk down the Avenue de la Station (closest bus stop Les Tritons) leading you to the lovely beach and Promenade de la Plage nearer to the little port.
I’d love to hear what you think of Cros de Cagnes!
Do you fancy a bus ride? Eastwards along the coast from Nice is Villefranche-sur-Mer, an attractive small town built on the slopes of the hill tumbling down to the sea. The train can also take you there but you would miss the beautiful views of the sea and coastline – including a spectacular view of the port and the Baie des Anges as you head out of town. The ligne d’azur 100 and the smaller bus 81 both take the route along the Corniche Inférieure, or Basse-Corniche, the lowest and easiest to drive along of the three coastal routes. From Villefranche the 100 continues to Monaco and Menton, whereas the 81 calls in at Beaulieu and St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat all well worth a visit.
The deep harbour means that Villefranche is a favourite stopping off point for cruise liners, so it can get very busy in the summer months but there are plenty of cafés and restaurants both in the town near the bus stop and also down along the harbourside.
At one end of the harbour is a narrow beach with gravelly sand, perfect for young children and sunbathers.
So many beach bars and restaurants to choose from for a hedonistic breakfast on the beach! Of course the easiest solution could be to pick up a croissant or baguette from your boulangerie on your way down and sit on the pebbles as near to the waves and sound of the sea as possible.
However for comfort and a touch of luxury my favourite place recently has to be Hi Beach, found just west of Boulevard Gambetta. With the stylish loungers and parasols matching the turquoise of the sea this is a beautiful place to relax.
There’s no getting away from it…Nice beaches are pebbly.
However with flipflops – or jelly shoes for the unfashion-conscious (after all you’re on holiday) – the beautiful grey/blue pebbles need not be a problem. In fact for trouble-free walking over the pebbles and a comfy foot-related entrance and exit from the waves look out for the black rubber beach shoes which most of the little beach shops sell. These are the best solution and look good too.
Getting in and out of the sea can be tricky because of the slope and swell! I do best to surf in on my tummy and reach for the shore this way. Of course you’re taking advice here from probably the least agile bather around so it’s very likely that you will experience no difficulty at all in nimbly nipping in and out of the waves.
Please share your tips with me!