Day Trip: Gorges du Loup, France

The canyons and mountains near Nice make for a spectacular day trip. The area makes for a great drive and has a number of hiking trails.

Stop in Gourdon to take in the view of the coast from Place Victoria. Grab some candy from one of the shops on the main street to appreciate the sweeter aspects of the region.

Hop back in the car and head around to St. Paul du Vence for lunch overlooking the gorgeous valley views. After a long lunch and a chance to explore the galleries along rue Grande, head up the (steep) hill to Foundation Maeght. Take a guided tour run by the St. Paul tourist office to get the most out of your visit.

A hike can easily replace the gallery visit – it all depends on your interests.

Gorges Du Loup Canyon Day Trip. T: view from Gourdon, sculpture on the way from St. Paul de Vence to Foundation Maeght; B: Views from bourdon, View from St. Paul de Vence

Gorges Du Loup Canyon Day Trip. T: view from Gourdon, sculpture on the way from St. Paul de Vence to Foundation Maeght; B: Views from bourdon, View from St. Paul de Vence

Views in Gourdon.

Views in Gourdon.

Panorama in Gourdon

Panorama in Gourdon

The buildings are beautiful.

The buildings in Gourdon are beautiful.

Even the shops in town enjoy amazing views in Gourdon.

Even the shops in town enjoy amazing views in Gourdon.

Super-cute village on the western side of the gorges on D3.

One last shot of the super-cute village of Gourdon on the western side of the gorges.

A view from Gourdon.

The view from Gourdon on the way back to the parking lot.

Sculpture outside the village of St. Paul de Vence in the Gorge du Loup.

Sculpture outside the village of St. Paul de Vence in the Gorge du Loup.

A view from St. Paul du Vence, a charming village transformed by people like Chagall and Picasso.

A view of St. Paul du Vence, a charming village transformed by people like Chagall and Picasso.

Seriously stunning views.

Seriously stunning views in St. Paul du Vence.

Another gorgeous view.

Another gorgeous view.

 

Day Trip: Eze & Monaco

This day trip is perfect for a sunny day. If it is cloudy, you can skip Eze – the views are incredible but with cloud you you can’t get the full effect.

Have breakfast in Nice before hitting the road. You start your day with a trip to Eze, either taking the bus from Nice or driving in (expect to fight for parking during high season). If driving, you can take advantage of the numerous places to stop along the route and take in the breathtaking views.

Once in Eze, head up the mountain to the Jardin d’Eze cactus garden at the top of the village. Spend some time wandering around, taking in the view from the very top, and relaxing in the chairs by the water feature. Once your tummy starts to growl, head to Chateau Eza for a great meal with a view.

After your meal, wander back to your car/the bus depot and continue the journey to Monaco. In Monaco, there are a couple of options: 1) grab an ice cream concoction or coffee at the Cafe du Paris then head back towards Nice on the Corniche Inferieure and hit a beach along the way or 2) visit the Oceanography museum before wandering back across the marina to the Monte Carlo casino and an ice cream. If you are so inclined, head into the casino and check out the penny slots before heading back to Nice.

 

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Nice 10 Day Adventure

First “imaginary” trip! This trip is from experience, as I just returned from 10 days in the beautiful south of France.

Accommodation:

You could check out AirBnB and stay in something like this cute downtown studio, right in the heart of the city, making your own meals with fresh produce from the market. This one is also cute and likely a little quieter, set away from the hustle and bustle of the old town.

For a more traditional tourist stay, you could find something at any budget on Hotels.com, and earn a free night over the 10 day vacation. Something like the Radisson Blu Hotel has a pool, is set outside the real core of the city yet still on the main stretch of beach. It is also walkable to the market and old town, although it is a 20 minute walk. If you want something a bit more luxe, try the Mercure Nice Promenade Des Anglais.

Transportation:

In terms of getting around, the region has excellent rail and bus connections. They even have an app to help you plan your route. It is also easy to rent a car at the airport and use it to get around but note that the traffic in the region can be bad during peak travel season. However a vehicle is a great option if you have rented a villa or apartment outside the core.

Trip Plan:

Take an overnight flight from North America on a Thursday, arriving into Nice first thing Friday morning. Drop your bags at your accommodation and head to the beach after wandering old town and grabbing a coffee. Today is a lazy day to get settled, although art lovers should consider a trip to one of the museums in town (Matisse and Chagall museums are both located in or near the city).

Day 2: your first full day in Nice has you waking up early for a walk or run along the promenade. If visiting in summer, get up and run by 7:15am – it gets really hot if you wait much longer. Running along  the Promenade des Anglais is amazing. After your run, hit the market in Vieux Nice (old Nice) on cours Saleya. Grab an espresso and some fresh fruit – or a pastry – at a cart or one of the many shops nearby. Head back to the hotel to shower and then hop in the car for a trip around the Gorges du Loup. After your day trip, have a nap, and grab a late dinner in town.

Day 3: Cannes for a day in the sun.

Day 4: Run the Promenade then hit cours Saleya for the antique market that pops up on Monday, replacing the regular market. You can grab breakfast at any of the local spots near by. After the market and your shower, hit the beach for a relaxing day. If you are feeling up to the challenge, hike up Parc du Chateau on the west side of the city for a great sunset.

Day 5: Day trip to Eze and Monaco.

Day 6: Today you can skip the run and head to Cap D’Ali for a hike & day at the beach.

Day 7: Run on the promenade then head to Antibes for the day.

Day 8: Boat to Ile Ste-Marguerite for a hike around the island and a swim in the clear waters.

Day 9: Run in the morning and hit the beach for a few hours. In the afternoon head to Jardin Rothchild to experience the beautiful gardens.

Day 10: Quick walk/run along the boardwalk followed by one last swim. Grab a coffee and pastry, then head to the airport. Back to the real-world before work on Monday!

So, what do you think? What would you change or add?