A Day In Nice on the French Riviera
We arrived in Nice to fantastic weather. It was 27 degrees, calm, sunny and perfect for walking and eating (which lets face it is our favorite thing to do)!
I had done little or no research on Nice and expected it to be nowhere near as lovely as it is. Along with miles of esplanade (promenade to you non Aussies), there are galleries and restaurants, an old city, marina's, bars, markets and heaps to see and do. After dumping our bags at our hotel (The Jay Hotel – review here) we headed off for an afternoon of browsing the area and having a few wines while watching the world go by.
We wandered through an incredible assault of colors in the markets from flowers to fresh strawberries, smells from seafood to leather sandals. Our gracious hosts at The Jay Hotel recommended a local restaurant for dinner and we spent the early evening grazing on a divine meats and cheese platter while drinking local red wine.
Jet lag after a two day trip from Australia to get here made sure we were both wide awake at 5am, so true to form we headed off on our morning 10k walk. We passed so many people coming home from the night before and it was at least 6:30 before we sighted any other exercisers. Feeling old – CHECK!
It was still pitch black when we left our hotel and it was great to see the sunrise over the Cote D'Azure. We walked past homes, seafront, marina's and a very cool diving platform built off a restaurant “Le Plongeoir” that went straight into the sea. I'm assuming the restaurant name is “The Dive” but that's just my shocking french translation.
I expected Nice to be very touristy, so much so that it had no real personality but that is just not the case.
It's maintained it's French feel while being very cosmopolitan at the same time. The beach is lovely and even though the water was a bit cold for us Aussies, it was a nice way to spend a few hours that afternoon.
After my only pair of sandals broke, luckily when I put them on, not when I was miles from the hotel, I had to purchase some new ones. I'm a terrible shopper so Brad was enlisted to make sure I actually bought some and didn't just wander the streets in tears. I thought it might be difficult but we found a few shops that gave me a multitude of options. They weren't cheap but fingers crossed the quality they look to be will turn out to be the case and they will last well.
NOTE: A year later I'm still wearing them to death and they still look great.
Saleya Food Market toward the marina and close to the ocean front, is a great place to buy strawberries, or fruits and vegetables. It also has a raft of popup restaurants who will cook some local seafood for you.
We loved it and I've never tasted Strawberries like it.
Vieille Ville Nice is the city's Old Town district. The narrow streets and colorful buildings wind past unique little shops and delicatessens offering delicacies off all flavours. If you get tired of walking its not hard to find a pub, restaurant or cafe to rest you legs and recharge on wine or coffee. If you make it to the hilltop park you will be rewarded with amazing city and sea views. Well worth a visit.