Côte d’Azur (Nice, France and Monaco)

[ 2 ] September 14, 2011 |

The climate and landscape drew us to the Côte d’Azur, perhaps better known as the French Rivera.  This stretch of Mediterranean seaside communities is located on the southeast coast of France.  The Côte d’Azur is a major yachting and cruising area with several large marinas along its coast.

We arrived by car (hitched a ride with a couple from New Zealand) and took a fast spin through Monaco around part of the Monte Carlo Formula-1 racetrack. 30 minutes further down the road we arrived in Nice, France.

Alison and Pat arriving in Monaco

Formula-1 Track

We rented an apartment in Nice and enjoyed a week by the Mediterranean Sea.Nice is a beautiful seaside city. The French architecture of iron balconies and corner cupolas draws your eye up on every street. It has plenty of outdoor restaurants, cafes and shops for browsing. It’s a large city so you can find anything you want or need.  This is a major vacation hot spot so the beaches were packed with people on “holiday” from all over Europe. August is pretty much a vacation month for most of Europe.  More than half of all the shops are closed for multiple weeks and the things that are open have very limited hours.  At first it seemed completely impossible to us- but grocery stores, banks, big box stores, major chains- everyone takes a break and goes on family vacation.  I think a lot of them go to Nice.

our apartment- top floor dome


beachside park

Nice, France Beach

We stayed in Old Town, which is located an easy walking distance to everything including the famous seaside promenade, the Promenade des Anglais.  Rollerbladers are everywhere so we had to watch out for the tourists with rented skates accidently veering outside of their designated lanes. Unfortunately (in my opinion) the beaches are mainly rocky (pebble) beaches so a lounge chair is a must for a beach day.


One evening we took a train back over to Monaco to check out the scene.  It’s a tightly packed mini country. Most people had on cocktail attire and looked like they were going somewhere fabulous. The hotels are outrageous and the streets are lined with only high end shopping. In front of the famous Monte Carlo Casino, lined up one after another with only inches between them, are the cars that cost more than houses. Quite a scene to see- Pat probably appreciated seeing the cars more than I did. We strolled through one of the casinos and watched some men play craps for a while.  There were hardly any chain-smoker old women with fanny packs and sun visors living at the slot machines.  I guess you could say Monaco = money show.

Pat outside Monte Carlo Casino

zonda (expensive car)

After seeing the nightlife we headed to the marina to admire the mega and super yachts.  Each year the Riviera hosts 50% of the world’s superyacht fleet and 90% of all superyachts visit the region at least once in their lifetime.  The harbor was filled with incredible boats. Most had private security guards at the rear gangways that were backed up to the dock.


At the close of our evening before taking the last train back to Nice there happened to be a large fireworks show over the harbor.  It was my favorite glitz of the night.




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Category: Alison's Blog, Featured Posts, France, Monaco

Comments (2)

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  1. Megan says:

    Beautiful, always thought I’d like to go there…now I know I do want to go there! Hope everything is still amazing and you are loving every new experience!!!

  2. Ashley says:

    my cousin always raved about his vacations to Nice, France. I ABSOLUTELY love your blogs and incredible experiences. I’m really enjoying reading everything and living vicariously thru you guys at times!! 🙂

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