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Nice - The French Riviera

Nice and beautiful - that's the nickname of Nice and sums up the area very well.

Nice is believed to be among the oldest human settlements in Europe with its strategic location and port playing a large part in its importance.

For decades now, the picturesque Nicean surroundings have attracted not only those in search of relaxation, but also those seeking inspiration. The clear air and soft light has been of particular appeal of painters.

Indeed there are museums a-plenty here hosing vast collections from European artists.

Being a vacation resort with a Mediterranean climate, Nice hosts many festivals throughout the year, such as the Carnival de Nice and the Nice Jazz Festival.

Top 5 things to do in Nice

Nice Harbour

The port of Nice is known locally as Lympia port, named after the Lympia spring which fed a small lake in a marshy zone where work on the port was started in 1745.

Far from a small lake, the harbour front at Nice can now accommodate luxury yachts and cruise liners bringing thousands of vacationers to the area every month.

The picturesque port is lined with all types of fishing vessels and it's here you can find excursion boats and a deep sea diving school for those seeking something a little bit more energetic.

Beautiful 18th century buildings surround the inner port with Castle Hill and Mont Boron in the background and around the area you will find an assortment of local bars, cafes and restaurants serving dishes made from locally sourced produce.

Promenade de Anglais

A stroll along the 7km long Promenade des Anglais ("Promenade of the English") will definitely set you up with a good appetite.

The promenade started it's life in the latter half of the 18th century when wealthy English people started spending the warmer winters here and building houses closer to the beach front.

Today the promenade is one of the main attractions of the area and can get very busy during the height of the summer holiday season.

One of the more popular areas of the promenade can be found just off Place Masséna, and running parallel to the promenade. The Zone Pietonne (" pedestrian zone") is where you will find a fine selection of restaurants, specializing in both Niçoise cuisine and various types of foreign cuisine as well as a large selection of cafés where one can sit and enjoy a drink while people-watching.

The promenade webcamwill give you a little taster of what you'll see here.

Place Garibaldi

Situated on the edge of the old town in the heart of Nice, this is one of the most beautiful and popular squares in the city.

Place Garibaldi is named after Giuseppe Garibaldi, hero of the Italian unification and a statue of him stands in the centre of the square.

The square was built at the end of the 18th century and served as the entry gate to the city and end of the road to Turin.

The square today is surrounded by small bars and cafes and is a great central place to grab a drink and meet with friends.

Cours Saleya

The Cours Saleya is described as the most traditional of all the squares in Nice.

The houses and buildings here originally belonged to the upper class with the square opening up to the Palais des Rois Sardes ("Palace of the Kings of Sardinia").

Today it is more well known for the famous flower market which runs almost every morning in the square except for Mondays where you'll find a flea market in it's place.

Probably once of Nice's more active places to visit, the square is lined with pubs, cafe's and souvenir shops.

Monte Carlo

Being only a 20 minute drive from Nice, Monte Carlo is one of the must excursions to go on when you are in this area.

Widely know for it's Casino de Monte-Carloand Monte Carlo Grand Prix motor race, the city has been a favourite for many a film maker and celebrity with stunning backdrops and boutique shopping.

Another worthwhile sight to see in while in Monaco is the Palais Princier ("Prince's Palace"). The old Monaco-Ville offers daily guided tours. The Palace also offers a breathtaking panoramic view overlooking the Port and Monte-Carlo.

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