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4 Days for Honeymooning in Nice... where to stay, what to do??

After working our way down from London, Paris, Mont St. Michel, and the Loire Valley, we are ending our Honeymoon with 4 days in Nice. I want a really nice place with a view over the water for my giggle WIFE. Suggestions?

We want to get the "local" experience by wandering the streets, hanging out on the beaches, sitting in cafés, picnicking, etc. Ultimately we don't want to feel the pressure to GO, DO, and SEE everything... just take it easy and soak it all in. But we also want to explore the mountain villages, take a peek at Monaco, and... well... anything else you would suggest.

What do you recommend???

Thanks for your time!
Mike

Posted by
1878 posts

I recommend staying in Villefranche rather than Nice. It's only one train stop down but a world away. Nice is a big city, the old town has some charm, but when we were there a few years back, and stopped in Villefranche on the way back from Monaco, we wished we had stayed in Villefranche. It might cost you an extra $15 for a taxi to the airport, but worth it. BTW, you can get the train to any of the Riveira towns, thought they run less frequently on Sunday as we discovered.

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you both! I think you're right... maybe it would be best to stay (and relax) in a smaller, quieter part of the French Riviera to end the honeymoon rather than directly in Nice. Thanks so much for your time. If you have any other thoughts, please let me know!

Posted by
1288 posts

Hi Michael - If you decide to stay in Nice, I'd recommend Hotel Le Royal, not too expensive and fabulous views of the Med. The beaches are rocks though. Villefranche sur Mer is a charming town with a better beach and the Hotel Welcome and Hotel de la Darse have Med views. For a really nice beach, go to Cap Ferrat (you can walk there from Villefranche) and rent chairs at the Plage de Passable.

Even if you don't stay in Nice, it's worth wandering through the Cours Saleya and down the Promenade des Anglais. Try one of the cafes on the Cours Saleya.

Enjoy and congratulations on your marriage.

Posted by
408 posts

If you are in Nice for an evening meal, grab a port-side table Ma Nolans and watch the boats (large and larger) go by. An Irish 'pub' with a French chef ... and Leffe pints during 'happy hour'.

To get between cities, the bus is painless and inexpensive ... 1 euro to go from Nice to Monaco (or any other city, such as Villefranche).

Posted by
7 posts

Okay, so here's a follow up. I booked the Welcome Hotel in Villefranche, right there in the heart of the old town, right on the water. Looks beautiful. But now I'm wondering if I should opt for something with more of a view, perhaps in Eze. What do you think? They both look like spectacular towns... which one, do you think, would serve as the best "base" for going everywhere from Nice to Monaco, enjoying gorgeous views, and having good beach access? Really looking for some advice from people who have been here and know the whole area fairly well.

Thanks so much for anything you could offer. And thanks, as always, for your time!

Mike

Posted by
1288 posts

I would stick with Villefranche. As Keri said, the bus is very easy and inexpensive and you can quickly go to Nice or Monaco or many other places up and down the coast.

Posted by
8700 posts

Villefranche-sur-Mer makes a much better base than Eze-le-Village. There is frequent train and bus service through Villefranche. There is no train service to Eze-le-Village (not to be confused with Eze-Bord-de-Mer) and limited bus service.

Grier mentioned Cap Ferrat and the Plage de Passable. Here's a quote from a Lonely Planet guidebook: "Some 14km of marked walking paths cross the cape. A coastal path links Plage de Passable--a fine shingle beach (part public, part paying)--on the cape's western shore with the cafe-lined port on its eastern side....Other trails take you inland. Routes are clearly marked on a map distributed at the tourist office. On a clear day scale the 164 steps of the lighthouse on the cape's southern tip for a stunning panorama of the coast from Italy to the Esterel."

You can take the train to Cap d'Ail and then walk the secluded Sentier du Littoral (coastal path) from there to Monaco.

Antibes has a sandy beach, a walled old town, and an outdoor market.

You could take the Train des Pignes (Pinecone Train) from Nice up into the mountains to Digne-les-Bains and back. See here.

You said you want to take it easy when you're on the Cote d'Azur; but if you're art lovers you should know that, outside of Paris, Nice and the surrounding area have the best art museums in France.

Posted by
196 posts

4 days in Villefranche is a long time... but it's going to make a good base. When you visit Nice spend a little money to buy a place at the beach. I prefer Beaurivage. You will have great beach service all day. Lunch, carafes of wine, parasail... Here's a link:

http://www.plagesdenice.com

I think it was 30 euro (hard to remember)for two lounge chairs two towels and an umbrella. If you ask me it's the best way to enjoy the beach in Nice. The pebbles make the public beach intolerable.

Congratulations on your new life together,

Posted by
263 posts

My wife and I went on our Honeymoon two years ago to Paris, Provence, and The Riviera. We chose Antibes as our base for the Riviera. We stayed in the back house at Hotel mas Djoliba. http://www.hotel-djoliba.com/index_uk.html

It's not that convenient to the train (we walked it with our packs, but a taxi would have been better). We spent our last day on an outcropping nearby on the rocky beach (on lounge chairs with service).

The above hotel was nice, but not as nice as the pictures lead you to believe (isn't this always the case?). But if you've ever been to Europe and understand what the hotels are like over there, then you'd probably enjoy this place.

I agree with the others - don't stay in Nice.

Trains are easy to get around, but plan for the trips. I think it took us an hour to get from Antibes to Monaco.

Posted by
4 posts

If you are still considering Nice, check out Marche aux Fleur it is a small hotel right on the main boulevard, overlooking the Med. We loved it there and it was surprisingly affordable. Personally, I love being able to stroll from my hotel to visit the beach, restaurants, shops, nifty alleyways etc. I'm not sure when you're going, but there is a wonderful jazz festival in Nice that ends around July 25th (I think). Staying in Nice has another bonus - city transit costs about 1 euro and that takes you all the way to Monaco...it is a steal! (Prettiest bus tickets in all of Europe.)

Last thing: the Nice flower market and shopping market is right behind this hotel.