Discover Nice, Menton & Monaco

 

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The eastern part of the French Riviera is a small stretch of coast but it’s packed with some of the most interesting and vibrant places in the whole of France. The Corniches from Nice to the Italian border serve Villefranche, Monaco and Menton; the very names conjure up alluring images of the French Riviera that you can hardly resist. Inland are the Gorges de la Vesubie, smaller than the Gordes du Verdon but possibly even more rugged, these are well worth a visit and only about an hour from the coast. 

Nice is often known as "La Belle". It’s the second largest city of the French Mediterranean and sits happily between the Med and the Alps, resulting not only in an awe-inspiring city but also in beautiful scenery roundabout. The city's famous Carnival is simply not to be missed! Another delightful spot is Menton with its colourful buildings, picturesque streets, numerous bars and restaurants. But probably the best known town in this region has to be Monaco. In this world-renowned sovereign city-state luxury and extravagance are the norm. This fairy-tale kingdom, well known as a tax-haven, is home to a lot of wealthy people. Whether you want to get lucky at one of many casinos, spend a month’s wage on dinner or try out your brand new supercar on the racing tracks, Monaco is the place to be. Don’t have a million to spare? Don’t worry, the city is great to visit for a day, admire the wealth, and enjoy the richness and splendour around you.

 

Things to See & Do in Nice, Menton & Monaco

Beaches & Bars

The best beaches in this area can be found in Cagnes sur Mer and Juan-les-Pins

The seaside village of Cagnes sur Mer is a beautiful beach destination close (but not close enough to disturb you) to the airport of Nice. The old centre of this village is a photogenic mix of coloured houses, little parks and small cobblestoned alleyways. There is a small but good array of bars and restaurants in the centre as well as along the beach promenade.

From here, art lovers should visit the nearby Renoir museum (1.5km) and music lovers should not miss the laid-back jazz restaurant 2km outside the little-explored village of La Gaude. There is also a choice of restaurants in the port of St. Laurent-du-Var. There’s bike hire at the marina (5km), tennis (2km) and several golf courses within 15km.

At Juan-les-Pins you'll find sandy beaches with a life-guard present in the Grand Plage zone during the summer months. Further along the coast you'll find more private beaches and restaurants. Juan is renowned for live music and nightlife so is an excellent location for anyone wanting to enjoy the sun, sea and sand into the evening!

The beaches at Marina Baie des Anges are approximately 5 mins walk away from the centre of Antibes. These are pebble beaches with the nearest sandy beach at the end of the Marina complex (approx 10 mins walk) and are directly across from the train station, Villeneuve Loubet. The sandy beaches of Cannes / Juan les Pins are reached by a short train journey along the coast from Villeneuve Loubet.

For swimming or sunbathing the beaches at the Marina are all within 5 mins walk.

 

Towns & Villages

Apart from the main cities and towns, of Nice, Menton and Monaco, there are many other worthwhile places to visit. These include:

  • Antibes, a pretty town with a vibrant cafe culture and also home to the Picasso museum for art and culture lovers. For families looking for a fun day out and a place to cool off, Marine Land is located close by.
  • Biot, close the coast and in contrast the larger towns, explore this medieval village with an interesting history.
  • Carros, a hilltop village with breathtaking view to the mountains and the sea.
  • Vence, a town that is a great place to visit all year round but really comes alive for the jazz festival, which usually takes place in July.
  • Villefranche-sur-Mer, a beachside town with a sheltered port and interesting history, having been invaded through the ages by the Greeks, the Romans, the Dukes of Savoy, the French and even, at the turn of the century, Imperial Russia.
  • Juan-les-Pins is actually a district of Antibes but since it has its very own ambience and attracts its own fans, it is often taken as a separate town in its own right. Here you'll find some great nightclubs, such as the New York, as well as some excellent live music venues. We recommend Le Cristal and Pam-Pam. 

 

Events & Festivals

The two main events in this area are the Monaco Grand Prix, which takes place in May and the Menton Citrus Festival: two very different events drawing very different crowds!

Juan-les-Pins is famous for, is its jazz festival and its nightlife. Since right back in the 1920s, Juan has attracted many talented artists,  musicians and writers; F. Scott Fitzgerald and Douglas Fairbanks were regular visitors here. After the Second World War, Juan became known as the 'European New Orleans' and devotees flocked here to hear the likes of Sidney Bechet. Since 2000, the base of music has widened to include funk and rock. Kool and the Gang, Charlie Winston and even Tom Jones have performed here.

 

Activities for Families

Marineland is located in Antibes: a great day out for everyone young and old with a chance to see dolphins, sea lions and killer whales.

 

Markets & Museums

Markets are a staple of French life, especially here in the South of France. The highlight of this region is the main market in Nice centre: a great way to spend a morning and stop for a lazy lunch to watch the world go by. Art lovers should visit the Renoir museum (1.5km from Cagnes sur Mer).

 

Restaurants & Bars

There are too many great restaurants in this area to name them all, but one of our favourites and one we recommend to all our customers is the Cote Sud in Menton. A recommended destination for music lovers is the laid-back jazz restaurant 2km outside Cagnes sur Mer in the little-explored village of La Gaude.

 

Sites and Attractions

If you're looking for somewhere new to explore - perhaps by bike or with a walk along the quay - we recommend the Marina and Baie des Anges in Antibes. 

Find a Villa in Nice, Menton or Monaco

Choose one of the destinations below to view our range of holiday villas, chateaux and apartment rentals. If you're not sure which area would suit your best or have specific needs, you can always call or email us and one of our team will be able to help you with your search.

 

 

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