A week before our London wedding, Sandy and I escaped to the Côte d’Azur for a relaxing long weekend. I had already been to Nice once before, but this time I had the chance to explore some of the most charming towns, islands and beaches along the French riviera.
I always take advantage of bank holidays for a little getaway in England or Europe and I try to book everything months in advance to save a little money. Côte d’Azur is not a cheap destinations, but there are ways to make it affordable by booking flights ahead of time or choosing a self-catered accommodation.
Nice and the French Riviera
I booked a lovely charming beautiful apartment on AirBNB. It was my first experience booking through this site and it was an all-round great one too! We departed on Friday after work, reached Nice airport and after a short bus ride we were in the city centre and at our apartment.
On Saturday morning, we lazily slept in, only to be woken up around 10am by the sun light and chatters coming from the street. First thing I did, was walking down to the nearest boulangerie and buy fresh pain au chocolat! Ohhh, la belle vie! :)
I also bought fresh fruit every morning: figs, peaches, apricots, bananas. It’s so good to eat tasty and fresh fruit!
St Paul de Vence
We had breakfast in the flat, the kitchen was picture-perfect, so cute and cosy. The plan for the day was to visit St Paul de Vence. We took a bus from Nice city centre and after a long ride (1h30′) we arrived at the small hill town.
A city of artists and famous for the local production of olive oil and lavender.
In the afternoon we took the bus back to Nice, getting off at the promenade beach to dive into the water and get off the day’s heat. The beach of Nice is not the prettiest, but it is free and within walking distance from pretty much anywhere.
St Jean Cap Ferrat
The second day of our holiday was dedicated to the beach and to getting tanned! After a sweet breakfast at home, we took the bus to St Jean Cap Ferrat.
Our intended destination was the Paloma beach, but it was very crowded and the nearby beach was less so, hence we settled there. It was a stunning beach, look at that view!
On Sunday evening I was determined to have Socca for dinner, the chickpea flatbread that is traditional of this region (a similar dish can be found in Italy’s Liguria and Tuscany regions). But we got delayed after going for a long 14km run on the promenade, so by the time we reached the famous Chez Pipo restaurant, the kitchen was closed! :( We had a forgettable dinner in a touristic restaurant in Nice old town, but the night was saved by a cone of my favourite Speculoos ice-cream at Fenocchio.
Day trip to Cannes
On the third day we packed our bags, sadly waved goodbye to the lovely AirBNB apartment, and walked to the train station to leave our bags in the station lockers. We then took the train to Cannes. We didn’t spend much time in Cannes aside from a quick walk along La Croisette and a stop at a patisserie to buy macarons.
Take a ferry to Isle St Marguerite
Instead from the harbour we took a ferry to Isle St Marguerite. The small island is a fantastic destination for a beach day and for relaxing time away from the glitzy Cannes riviera.
After a few hours on the island we took the ferry and train back to Nice Airport. Cote d’Azur is so close to London by flight and there are several connections daily, so it’s really easy to go for even just a weekend. Sunshine and good food are just a few hours away…