Nice: tourism on France’s magnificent Côte d’Azur
Though the Mediterranean sunshine and jewel-toned water suggest a vacation spent firmly by the sea, Nice is way more than sunbathing. With a thriving art scene, delicious food and rich history, this French Riviera favourite has many things to do for any kind of tourist.
Le Vieux Nice has hardly changed since the 1700s, so its narrow streets retain an antique charm despite the sleek gentrification that has popped up in recent years. Clusters of ladies gossiping in Niçois and dingy diners full of locals assure visitors the original residents haven’t gone anywhere.
Tourists imagining their Nice vacation on an endless stretch of coastline dotted with multi-coloured parasols and topless bronze bathers can rent a mattress at one of 14 private beaches, or brave the pebbles at the Plage Publique des Ponchettes, which provides lifeguards and cold showers.
Castles, museums and much more
The Musée Matisse contains one of the biggest and most fascinating collections of Henri Matisse’s works. Located in Cimiez, where the artist died, the museum is right across the street from his gravesite.
For a spectacular view of the Baie des Anges and Nice’s port, tourists hike up to parc de la colline 90 metres above town. The site is named for a 12th-century castle destroyed in 1706 by Louis XIV. All that remains today are a few crumbling walls.
Pan bagnat, a local specialty, can be found all over Nice, but the best ones are sold at La Gratta. Served on crusty bread with local olive oil, it’s a tuna sandwich of divine proportions.
Ice cream lovers make their way to Fenocchio where they can choose from over 70 kinds of glace. The daring ask for a cone of black olive, tomato-basil or lavender.