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Best Day Trips from Nice, France

05/03/2022

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Best Nice Day Trips

Nice, French Riviera‘s capital, 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 day trip from Nice.

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 get there and back in one glorious day.

Nice - French Riviera

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Nice Day Trip Planning

1. Day Trips from Nice France by Train

Most of the destinations here below are easy to reach by regional trains (TER Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur). Try to book your tickets well in advance, especially during the high season. You can buy the tickets directly at the train station on the same day for the closest destinations.

2. Nice France Day Trips by Car

A Nice day trip by car is the best option for places difficult to reach by public transportation (e.g. Gorges du Verdon, lavender fields, hilltop villages). If you are planning several day trips from Nice, consider this fun French Riviera road trip which visits the best of the area.

If you don’t have one, we recommend booking your car with Discover Cars. This site takes all of the major rental companies, such as Hertz, Avis, etc., and makes the comparison of prices for you.  This helps to ensure that you get a great price without all the time and work. If this is your first trip to France, check out our tips for hiring a car in France.

Click here to rent your car from Nice

3. Guided Day Tours from Nice

If you want to get the best of your day, then you should explore the area around Nice on a day tour with an expert guide. This will give you the guidance of a knowledgeable guide as well as a reliable and comfortable car to make your travels that extra bit convenient and special. Here’s the list of our favorites day tours from Nice, with something for every traveler:

Day Trips from Nice Map

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.

TIP: don’t miss this top-rated sightseeing cruise from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer

  • 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. 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’s 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.

  • Location: 10 km east of Nice
  • How to go: take the TER train to Beaulieu-sur-Mer (10min ride, every 30min). Then it’s a 25min walk to the villa
  • There’s no need to buy your train tickets in advance

3. 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’ 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 the 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. 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 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 bus LR112 from Boyer Nice (rue Boyer) and stop at Boyer Village (25min ride, 5 times a day)
  • There’s no need to buy your bus tickets in advance

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 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 (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 used for the Formula 1 Grand Prix.

TIP: this Monaco tour by night from Nice always gets the best reviews

5. 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’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. Grasse

Grasse, in the Alpes Maritimes department, 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 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 day trip from Nice, 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-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.

  • Location: 28 km west of Nice
  • How to go: by car (40min drive, route départamentale)

8. 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 to this list of Nice France 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
  • How to go: by car (1hr 50min drive, route départamentale)

9. Saint-Paul de Vence

Saint Paul de Vence - France

Built on a rocky outcrop and surrounded by ramparts, Saint-Paul de Vence 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 centuries, 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
  • How to go: by car (22min drive, route départamentale)

10. Côtes de Provence Wine

Wine of Provence, France

One of the lesser-known French wine regions, Provence produces excellent wines. 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 table wine options.

The region of Provence is dotted with vineyards and wine shops all over, many of which offer their own wine tasting in Provence 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 Provence Wine Tour from Nice is for 8 people maximum visits three separate 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.

11. 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 gorge 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.

The best way to explore this area is by car (check out this Gorges du Verdon road trip itinerary). If you don’t have a car, you can join a Gorges du Verdon guided tour from Nice, which also visits Valensole’s lavender fields (when it’s the right season).

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