France Travel Inspiration

Best Day Trips from Nice

06/11/2021

This article may contain compensated links. Please read disclaimer for more info.

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

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

Join France Bucket List Facebook Group

Nice Day Trip Planning

Except for a couple of places, easy to reach by bus or train, the best way to explore the French Riviera on day trips from Nice is with your own car. If you don’t have one, we recommend booking your car with RentalCars.com.  This site takes all of the major rental companies, such as Hertz, Avis, etc., and more and makes the comparison of prices for you.  This helps to ensure that you get a great price without all the time and work.

Click here to rent you car with RentalCars

Add a couple of these Nice day trips to your Nice itinerary or combine them on a fun French Riviera road trip.

Guided day tours from Nice are also an interesting option, and they usually combine several of the destinations proposed below at very competitive prices. Here’s a list of the best day tours from Nice:

Day Trips from Nice Map

Best Day Trips from Nice Map Made with Google My Maps

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

Villefranche-sur-Mer

Villefrranche-sur-Mer

Villefranche-sur-Mer is one of the easiest day trips from Nice. 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 port with its colorful boats, known to be one of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean and 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
  • Best way to visit on a day trip from Nice: by train (7 min ride)

Villa Ephrussi Rothschild & Saint Jean Cap Ferrat

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

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’s trips inspired them.

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

  • Location: 10 km east of Nice
  • Best way to visit on a day trip from Nice: by car (14 min drive)

Eze Village

Eze Village is one of the most picturesque spots in the region and one of the French Riviera’s favorite stops. Eze’s popularity comes with the crowds, but it is one of the ‘must’ day 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 the numerous boutiques selling beautiful crafts. Eze also has several sites classed 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 sea. The beach here is easy to access, and it is shaded by pine-trees, which almost grow down to the water’s edge.

It seems that the German philosopher composed the last part of his work ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’ under the olive trees and pine trees along this path. The walk takes about an hour down to the sea, a little more on the way back.

  • Location: 12 km east of Nice
  • Best way to visit on a day trip from Nice: by car (14 min drive)

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 Nice day trip, 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, and the guard’s changing at 11.55 am, the world-famous Casino, the Cathedral, or the Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium. You can also visit Monaco’s racecourse used for the Formula 1 Grand Prix.

TIP: enjoy a unique experience with this day trip Nice to Monaco by boat

  • Location: 22 km east of Nice
  • Best way to visit on a day trip from Nice: by train (24 min ride)

Menton

Menton - French Riviera

Menton claims to be France’s sunniest city, and it’s definitely one of the best places to visit 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.

Explore Menton’s Old City, 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 Museum or the Beaux-Arts Museum in the Palais Carnoles.

  • Location: 22 km east of Nice
  • Best way to visit on a day trip from Nice: by train (24 min ride)

Saint Paul de Vence

Saint Paul de Vence - France

Saint-Paul de Vence is one of the most famous perched villages in the hinterland. Built on a rocky outcrop and surrounded by ramparts, Saint-Paul is certainly 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 perfect for a relaxing day trip from Nice. Walk around the picturesque streets and admire the magnificent stone facades from the 16th and 18th century, little squares with pretty stone fountains, and the gardens’ floral exuberance. Visit some of the artists’ workshops or the craft shops for a pretty souvenir.

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

  • Location: 12 km west of Nice
  • Best way to visit on a day trip from Nice: by car (22 min drive)

Grasse

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

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 interesting and a pleasure for the senses.

On this Nice day trip, a visit to the city is interesting too. 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 villas, pretty squares with stone fountains, and sunny cafes.

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

  • Location: 28 km west of Nice
  • Best way to visit on a day trip from Nice: by car (40 min drive)

Cassis

Cassis

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

Cassis is a beautiful seaside resort nestled at the foot of an impressive cliff, and it seduces for its charming neighborhoods and a 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 have easy access to 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 beautiful panoramas.

  • Location: 150 km west of Nice
  • Best way to visit on a day trip from Nice: by car (1 hr 50 min drive)

Côtes de Provence Wine Tour

Wine of Provence, France

If you are a wine lover, consider a Côtes de Provence wine tour from Nice. While a lesser-known and not-as-popular French wine region, Provence’s area is simply stunning, and you can find some fantastic wines here, like so much of France.

This region is dotted with vineyards and wine shops all over, many of which offer their own wine tasting in Provence experiences: reds, whites, and absolutely fantastic rosés.

This top-rated full-day tour of the Côtes de Provence wine region with an expert guide takes you through 3 award-winning wineries where you can taste a variety of fine wines. The tour includes transportation, visits, tasting fees, and it leaves you some free time.

Click here to book your Côtes de Provence wine tour from Nice

Click here for more Travel Inspiration

Back to Homepage