French Riviera France
flickr image by Daniele Falciola

French Riviera

The drive from Nice, France to Monaco is considered to be one of the most beautiful, and famous, drives between these two destinations, providing breathtaking panoramic views of the French Mediterranean coastline (the Cote D’Azur, or the azure coast), with mountains and steep cliffs creating a dramatic backdrop for the brilliant blue sea stretching as far as the eye can see.

French Riviera

flickr image by Sonal And Abe

The city of Nice is the biggest resort on the French Riviera, while the principality of Monaco is the ultimate in luxurious wealth along this famed coastline, making them two natural end destinations of this route. Passing a number of picturesque ancient villages, stunning beaches, and breathtaking natural beauty along this route, one will encounter a number of postcard perfect views along almost every road of the famed Mediterranean coast; encompassing some of the most beautiful quaint picturesque villages that Europe is famous for perched along one of the most stunning stretches of coast found anywhere in the world combine to make this a truly memorable and spectacular road trip. This particular road trip may be taken by a number of routes – the A8 highway, which runs parallel to the coast and is considered to be one of the fastest and most efficient routes between these two cities, or the three more scenic and cliffbound roads of the Grande Corniche (the Great Coast Road), which passes through the town of La Turbie and Col d’Eze (Eze Pass), the Moyenne Corniche (Middle Coast Road – Highway 7), or the Basse Corniche (Low Coast-Road – Highway 98), or Corniche Inferieure, which is closest in terms of elevation to the sea, with the view of the cliffs being above the driver’s head rather than below (hence the name low coast road). This drive typically takes about one hour but may be extended to view both the destination cities as well as a number of attractions along the route. Be advised to have a camera handy and not packed in the trunk when you embark on this drive, as you will definitely find many opportunities to use this when traversing this panoramic drive.

Moyenne Corniche

flickr image by Karmor

Beginning in the origin destination of Nice, one may wish to visit a few of this city’s landmark attractions before embarking on the road trip; although this city is a separate vacation in and of itself, there are nonetheless a few sites located near the start of these highways that one will wish to visit before embarking on this road trip. This city is the Riviera’s most luxurious beachfront resort (making it a suitable host for the country’s yearly Cannes Film Festival), with a combination of beaches, hotels, resorts, shopping destinations, and promenades as well as medieval towns and landmarks. There are a number of landmark attractions, located by the coastline (and start of this road trip), that one may find suitable to visit. The Promenade des Anglais, a walkway that borders the city’s beaches and along which some of the city’s most famous and elegant hotels and shops reside, the Hotel Negresco, located on the Promenade des Anglais and renown as Nice’s most luxurious and famous hotel, and the beach located along the famous Baie des Anges are a few of the attractions which one may wish to visit first at the start of this road trip.

Once you proceed along this trip you will pass famous destinations such Villefranche over Saint Jean Cap Ferrat (considered to be the gateway to the cities of Nice, Monte Carlo, and Cannes, and Monte Carlo, this city offers beautiful beaches and resorts, red-roofed quaint villages, and some of the most picturesque scenery of this trip), Saint Jean Cap Ferrat itself (home to some of the richest and most elaborate resorts, mansions, and villas as well as its yachting harbor), the Bay of Millionaires on Cap d’Antibes, and St. Tropez. Other sites include the medieval village of Eze, a dramatic village perched on a hilltop 1500 feet over the sea with otherworldly views (considered to be a must see site) and the Villa Ephurissi de Rothschild, a renown historic building.

Once you reach Monaco you will be greeted by a number of stunning architectural landmarks, scenic views of the city built into the hillsides that descend into the brilliant waters below, and the lavish city of Monte Carlo. This city will continue the theme of resort luxury, stunning coastal villages, and beautiful natural scenery characterizing this route thus far. Made famous by the marriage of Prince Rainier to Grace Kelly, Monaco also contains a number of sites dedicated to the memory of these two that one will wish to visit upon arrival here, including the royal palace of the Grimaldis and the tombs of both Prince Rainier and Princess Grace; the site of Grace Kelly’s fatal accident is also often visited as well. There are also a number of other landmark historic buildings and attractions that one will wish to visit upon arrival, including the Monte Carlo casino, the Place du Palais, where the government of Monaco convenes, the palatial Belle Époque hotel l’Hermitage, the Monte Carlo casino, the Salle Garnier, the Musée National, and many more. Overall, this scenic and cultural drive will not only provide some of the world’s most extraordinary scenic views but also a number of sightseeing opportunities as well, and is said to be the epitome of European natural beauty as well.

Date posted: 22nd April, 2016

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