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Home base in the French Riviera

Hello,

After staying in Aix en Provence for a few days, my husband and I will be visiting the French Riviera next September for two weeks. We need guidance deciding what to choose as our home base. The places that we would like to visit during our stay are Antibes, St. Paul de Vence, Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Eze, Monaco and Menton. I am assuming Nice would be the most central to be able to visit this places but please, I welcome your suggestions. We are open to have two different home bases but would prefer not to do that.

We would also appreciate suggestions on airbnbs, hotels or bed and breakfasts that offer parking or public parking very close by.

Thank you!
Lourdes

Posted by
1511 posts

Antibes would be my base choice to stay in the Cote D'azur and explore the adjacent towns. Nice is also another choice but accommodations would be more expensive there.

Posted by
29 posts

I would agree with Antibes. We used Nice as our home base and wished we’d chosen Antibes.

Posted by
17 posts

Thank you fir your replies. Any suggestions in lodging?

Posted by
3319 posts

I loved the French Riviera last September for five days as part of my 3-week vacation in France! I stayed in Nice at the Hotel Regence, and I would definitely stay there again. It’s on a pedestrian-only street, but there’s a parking garage near that street. You wouldn’t need your car to go see several of the places you listed. The handy tram in Nice, and the cheap bus and train took me to everything I wanted during those days. Check out the options before you decide to always drive. (Eze would be better with a car.)

If you need a food activity idea, I really enjoyed the “Nice Food & Wine Tours” in Nice with Nadia! I took this the first full day I was there which was perfect to be able to return to some of those absolutely delicious places later during the week.

Posted by
6018 posts

I looked at Antibes but decided Nice worked better for me. I wasn't driving and found the transportation options from Nice better. I also found prices better in Nice than Antibes but that was 7 years ago so maybe things have changed. I found a very reasonable hotel in the pedestrian area of Old Nice. Since you're driving Antibes may work better.

Posted by
13904 posts

Anywhere that has a parking garage! Driving on the coastal roads in September will be madness, and finding parking for a few hours anywhere will be time-consuming.

Get a couple guide books and read about each coastal town, see what sounds better to you. Nice has many more sights than any other, and a larger selection of restaurants and cafes, many on/near the seashore. Antibes seashore is mostly high walls. Villefranche was my favorite but it is tiny. Monaco is, well, Monaco. I spent 5N in Nice, then rented a car and stayed 3N in St. Paul, within the walled town. It was a wonderful place to use as a base, very quiet until mid-morning, by which time I was on the road, and the last of the daytrippers were leaving when I returned around sunset - but that was in late March. I loved it but driving in and out was very challenging, some lanes were so narrow I couldn't pass a pedestrian, often had to fold in the outside mirrors, and there were stone buildings on one side and 2 meter high stone walls on the other side.

Posted by
17 posts

Thank you all for your helpful replies! Chani, do you recall the name of tthe place where you stayed in St Paul de Vince?

Posted by
5552 posts

We spent two weeks in Nice. It has much better transit options than Antibes; I would rent a car if in Antibes. I do love Antibes though. Villefranche is cruise ship port so eliminate it. We had no interest in Eze. Went to St-Paul de Vence for second time, upscale, art galleries. Go to Vence to see the incredible blue and white Matisse Chapel.
Favorite day trips were Antibes and Cap Ferat which included Villa Ephrussi, St-Jean, and Villa Kerylos.

Posted by
13904 posts

La Maison aux Bonsais in St Paul. Luc, the owner, has two apartments, I ended up staying in both (slight mixup in reservation dates). He was charming and very welcoming. The flats don't have dedicated parking places but I was able to find nearby parking.