Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Travel Inspiration

Best Day Trips from Nice, France

29/02/2024

Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
This article may contain compensated links. Please read disclaimer for more info.

Places to Visit Near Nice

Nice, the capital of the French Riviera, is a feast for the sights and senses, with many things to see and do. But the attractions in the region aren’t bound by the city limits, and you can visit many wonderful places in the French Riviera on a day trip from Nice.

From hilltop villages to lovely beaches or hikes in national parks, here’s our pick of the best day trips from Nice, France, all close enough to get there and back in one glorious day.

Are you planning your Nice trip last minute?

Below are some of the best Nice tours, hotels, and more!

Looking to travel around Nice independently? Click here for the best rental car rates in Nice.

Top Experiences and Tours in Nice:

Top Places to Stay in Nice:

Don’t leave for Nice without travel insurance!

Compare plans, prices, and coverage with Travel Insurance Master, a comparison site that will find the perfect fit for you amongst the world’s leading programs. Travel Insurance Master is also the best place to look for senior travelers.

Map of Nice Day Trips

Best Day Trips from Nice France Map Made with Google My Maps

Click here to view this Day Trips from Nice Map on Google

Best Day Trips from Nice by Train (or Bus)

1. Villefranche-sur-Mer

Villefrranche-sur-Mer

Villefranche-sur-Mer is one of the easiest day trips from Nice by train. This stunning town located between Nice and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is one of the French Riviera’s most coveted places by the world’s millionaires.

Stroll around the Old Port with its colorful boats, known to be one of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean and the base of numerous cruises in the summer.  

Then, visit the 16th-century Citadel overlooking the sea and admire the Old Town with its narrow streets, stairways, and colorful houses. Don’t miss the pretty Chapelle Saint-Pierre, re-decorated by the writer and filmmaker Jean Cocteau.

  • Location: 5 km east of Nice
  • How to go: take the TER train to Villefranche-sur-Mer (7min ride, every 30 min)
  • No need to buy your train tickets in advance

2. Eze Village

Eze Village is one of the most picturesque spots in the region. Eze’s popularity comes with the crowds, but it is one of the ‘must’ side trips from Nice.

This small medieval village is perched on an imposing cliff with spectacular views over the Mediterranean Sea. Stroll around its narrow streets and admire the superb stone houses, little squares with refreshing fountains, and numerous boutiques selling beautiful crafts. Eze also has several sites listed as historical monuments, like the watching towers at the entrance, the doorway, and the gunboat.

From Eze Village, take the delightful Nietzsche Path down to the beach. The German philosopher is said to have composed the last part of his work, “Thus Spoke Zarathustra,” under the pine trees along this Path. The beach here is easy to access, and it is shaded by pine trees, which almost grow down to the water’s edge.

  • Location: 12 km east of Nice
  • How to go: take the LR112 bus from Boyer Nice (rue Boyer) and stop at Boyer Village (25 min ride, 5 times daily). There’s no need to buy your bus tickets in advance
  • There are many day tours from Nice to Eze, and they all have positive reviews!

3. Take the Train des Merveilles

Train des Merveilles – R390 CC BY-SA 4.0

The Train des Merveilles travels between Nice and Tende, an incredible 2-hour journey through the valleys of Le Paillon, La Bévéra, and La Roya in the Alpes Maritimes department.

Enjoy a scenic train ride from Nice, passing by canyons, viaducts, and tunnels. Stop by picturesque villages and explore the jewels of Piedmont baroque art.

You can book this train ride alone (enter “Nice-Ville” for the departure station, “Tende” for the arrival station, and select TER #22987 from 9:15 am) or with this guided tour from Nice that combines adventure by train, exploration of medieval villages, and incredible natural landscapes in the middle of the Alps.

4. Monaco

If you like glamorous places, a day trip to Monaco from Nice won’t disappoint. Monaco is an independent state ruled by His Highness Prince Albert. It is also home to many worlds’ fortunes, and you can get an idea of the city’s wealth by strolling around the port, dotted with luxurious yachts.

On this day trip from Nice to Monaco, expect to see luxurious hotels and boutiques, Porsches and limousines, chic restaurants, and the infamous paparazzi if there’s somebody famous around.

Monte Carlo is also home to interesting sights like the Palace (with the guards changing at 11.55 am), the world-famous Casino, the Cathedral, and the Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium. You can also visit Monaco’s racecourse, which is used for the Formula 1 Grand Prix.

5. Menton

Menton - French Riviera

Menton claims to be France’s sunniest city, and it’s definitely one of the best destinations in France in winter.

Well known for its citrus, used for cooking or preparing essential oils, Menton is also home to the Lemon Festival, held every year between February and March.

Menton has the best of everything: fantastic food, beautiful beaches against the pure blue Mediterranean Sea, and a warm climate year-round. Explore Menton’s Old Town, with its colorful houses, fabulous staircases, beach stone mosaics, and ceramic murals. You can also visit the seaport, the beach resort, and some pretty gardens.

For a more cultural Nice day trip, visit Jean Cocteau’s Museum or the Beaux-Arts Museum in the Palais Carnoles.

6. Cannes

Old Harbor - Cannes

If you’re looking for Nice day trips with a touch of luxury, you can’t miss out on Cannes. This city is the kind of place you visit when you want to relax and enjoy some luxury. With its stunning beaches, warm weather, and convenient location close to Nice, this is where the stars go for a holiday.

The city of Cannes boasts spectacular natural beauty and many high-end casinos and restaurants. Don’t miss the Old Port and La Croisette walkway. Then, you can explore Le Suquet (Cannes’ oldest neighborhood) and La Croix des Gardes for some great views.

Best Day Trips from Nice France by Car (or Guided Tour)

7. Villa Ephrussi Rothschild & Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, located between Nice and Montecarlo, is one of the loveliest places on the French Riviera. The peninsula is known for its luxurious properties, nestled amongst lush vegetation and often with private beaches.

One of the musts of Cap-Ferrat is the visit to Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, a beautiful mansion surrounded by a stunning garden. The villa was the property of Baroness Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild, and you can see her spectacular collection of more than 5,000 artworks.

The visit continues in the gardens overlooking the sea. The seven gardens were designed around several themes (Spanish, Florentine, Japanese…), and the Baroness’ trips inspired them.

After visiting Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, take the coastal walk in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat to appreciate this fantastic place’s beauty.

8. Grasse

In the Alpes Maritimes department, Grasse is the world capital of perfumes. Every year, thousands of visitors come to Grasse to visit the Perfume Museum and the perfume factories to buy their favorite scents.

Grasse’s perfume tradition dates back to the 17th century, and the city is the headquarters of historic grands parfumeurs like Fragonard, Galimard, or Molinard. They all propose guided visits, and their tours are both interesting and pleasant.

On this day trip from Nice, visiting the Old Town is also interesting. Stroll through its narrow streets and vaulted passages and admire some historical sites like the square Saracen Tower or the vestiges of the 16th-century ramparts. There are also medieval houses, superb mansions, beautiful 18th-century villas, pretty squares with stone fountains, and sunny cafés.

Finally, don’t miss the cathedral Notre Dame du Puy, built in roman-provençal style with Bréa, Rubens, and Fragonard artworks.

9. Cassis

Cassis

Cassis is a pretty coastal town in Provence, not far from Marseille. Cassis is one of the furthest proposals, but we could not help adding a touch of Provence to this list of daytrips from Nice!

Cassis is a beautiful seaside resort nestled at the foot of an impressive cliff, and it seduces for its charming neighborhoods and picturesque port. Cassis’ sunny quays, lined with cafes and restaurants, are great for a stroll or a coffee break.

Cassis’s surroundings are beautiful, too. On the west, you can easily access some of the most beautiful Calanques of Marseille–Cassis. On the east, the Route des Crêtes links Cassis to La Ciotat through impressive cliffs and stunning panoramas.

  • Location: 150 km west of Nice
  • How to go: by car (1hr 50min drive, route départamentale)

10. Saint Paul de Vence

Saint Paul de Vence - France

Built on a rocky outcrop and surrounded by ramparts, Saint Paul de Vence is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful villages in Provence. The beauty of the surrounding area, exceptional light, and quality of life inspired many famous artists, some of whom took up residence in the village.

Saint Paul de Vence is the best day trip from Nice if you are looking for a relaxing day. Walk around the picturesque streets and admire the magnificent stone facades from the 16th and 18th centuries, little squares with pretty stone fountains, and the gardens’ floral exuberance. Visit some artists’ workshops or craft shops for a lovely souvenir.

Finally, don’t miss the wonderful views over the surrounding hills and the sea from the ramparts.

  • Location: 12 km west of Nice
  • How to go: by car (22min drive, route départamentale)
  • This Provence countryside day tour includes a stop at Saint-Paul de Vence

11. Discover the Côtes de Provence Wine Region

Wine of Provence, France

One of the lesser-known French wine regions, Provence produces excellent wines, primarily rosés (90%). Due to the warm climate and proximity to the ocean, the wine of Provence has a wide range of excellent grapes that are often full-bodied and absolutely perfect wine options.

The region of Provence is dotted with vineyards and wine shops all over, many of which offer their own wine-tasting experiences. Because wine-tasting and driving are far from perfect partners, we recommend taking a wine day tour from Nice with an expert guide.

This Côtes de Provence Wine Tour from Nice visits three wineries with an expert wine guide. See vineyards, bottling rooms, cellars, and more, and sample wines from the region’s celebrated rosés to well-balanced reds and lively whites.

Closer to Nice, the Domaine de la Source (AOP Bellet) produces reds, whites, and rosés with endemic grape varieties dating from Roman times. The plots are nestled in the hills of Nice and are worked organically to preserve the environment and its magnificent terroir. Domaine de la Source offers several tours in English, such as commented wine tastings and a walk through the vineyards with tastings.

12. Gorges du Verdon

Gorges-du-Verdon, France

Located in the beautiful Verdon Regional Park, Gorges du Verdon is one of Provence’s best places to visit. This is one of the largest canyons in Europe and reaches a depth of more than 700 meters.

The water in the Gorges is a stunning bright turquoise color, and you can see the canyon from several viewpoints along the road or take a boat /kayak and stop for dips in the water as you go. This natural landscape is also famous for its hiking and climbing routes.

This is one of the best day trips from Nice by car but also the longest. During the lavender season in Provence, you can combine the Gorges with some lavender fields nearby (check out this Gorges du Verdon road trip itinerary for inspiration).

Click here for more Travel Inspiration

Back to Homepage