Nice is located on the shimmering coast of the French Riviera; it is not just a destination; it’s a vibrant gateway to an array of experiences that stretch beyond its azure shores. For those enticed by the charm of Côte d’Azur, venturing out from the city’s embrace reveals a tapestry of culture, history, and natural beauty, each day trip promising its own unique story. This guide to the best day trips from Nice is your passport to the treasures that lie within a short distance from the bustling city streets, where Mediterranean allure meets diverse landscapes.

Each destination offers a distinct flavor of the Riviera lifestyle. Monte Carlo has an opulent casino. Menton has peaceful, citrus-scented streets. Cannes has cinematic glamour. And Saint-Tropez has timeless elegance.

Antibes has a laid-back feel. It entices travelers to stroll its ancient lanes. Eze invites you to climb its steep paths for breathtaking views. Meanwhile, Sainte-Maxime is quiet and alluring. Villefranche-sur-Mer has a colorful harbor. Both offer peace from city life. Each place has its own story. They tell of ancient glories and whispers of modern luxury.

Nice, France
Nice, France – Source: Wikipedia

Embarking on these day trips from Nice, you’re not just moving between locations; you’re journeying through time and culture. You’ll encounter the opulence of Monaco, where luxury yachts bob on sparkling waters, guarded by the stoic Casino Monte Carlo and the grandeur of the Prince’s Palace. Venturing further, the tranquil beauty of Menton awaits, where the air is perfumed with citrus, and vibrant gardens paint the town in a palette of joy.

Cannes offers a blend of cinematic history and contemporary luxury. Its streets are lined with tales of film legends and the echo of the film festival’s red-carpet glamour. Saint-Tropez, with its golden beaches and the allure of seaside sophistication, beckons those in search of the quintessential Riviera experience.

This guide to the best day trips from Nice is more than a travel itinerary; it’s an invitation to explore the depth and diversity of the French Riviera. From the quiet, cobblestone streets of Antibes to the panoramic vistas of Eze, each destination holds a promise of discovery. As you set out from Nice, let your journey be guided by curiosity and a desire to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of experiences that await. Let’s see some of the best day trips from Nice.

Monte Carlo, Monaco: A Symphony of Splendor

Monte Carlo, a name that evokes images of glittering opulence, luxury, and a touch of mystery, is not just a destination; it’s an experience. Located in the heart of the Principality of Monaco, just a stone’s throw away from Nice, this iconic locale is a world-renowned playground for the rich and famous. Yet, beyond its glamorous façade, Monte Carlo offers a depth of culture and history that beckons travelers from all walks of life. From the architectural marvels that line its streets to the azure waters that whisper tales of maritime glory, every corner of Monte Carlo tells a story.

At the epicenter of Monte Carlo’s allure lies the Casino de Monte Carlo, a testament to the grandeur and elegance of Belle Époque architecture. More than just a gambling haven, the casino is a cultural landmark, offering visitors a glimpse into a world where luxury and art converge. The opulent façade and lavish interiors are not merely backdrops for games of fortune; they are a canvas that displays the splendor of Monaco’s rich heritage.

Monte Carlo, Monaco
Monte Carlo, Monaco – Source: Britannica

A stone’s throw from the casino, the Prince’s Palace stands as a symbol of Monaco’s sovereign spirit. This majestic residence, with its Italianate façade, is not only the home of the ruling Grimaldi family but also a living museum of the principality’s history. The changing of the guard ceremony, a daily spectacle, is a tradition that embodies the pride and precision of Monaco’s heritage.

Perched on the edge of the legendary Rock of Monaco, the Oceanographic Museum is a tribute to the principality’s deep connection with the sea. Founded by Prince Albert I, a pioneer of oceanography, this monumental institution is more than a museum; it’s an odyssey beneath the waves. Through its exhibits and aquariums, visitors embark on a journey that explores the mysteries of the ocean, highlighting Monaco’s commitment to marine conservation.

Beyond these landmarks, Monte Carlo unfolds as a canvas of experiences. The Exotic Garden, with its lush collections of succulents, offers a tranquil escape, while the Larvotto Beach provides a slice of Mediterranean paradise. The district’s culinary scene, from Michelin-starred restaurants to quaint cafes, invites a gastronomic journey that blends the flavors of the Riviera with global influences.

In every facet, Monte Carlo is a symphony of splendor, a place where luxury meets legacy. It’s a destination that promises not just memories but stories to be told, making it an essential chapter in the narrative of any traveler seeking the best day trips from Nice. 

Menton: The Citrus Jewel of the Riviera

Located between the sea and mountains, Menton is often heralded as the “Pearl of France,” a title it wears with grace and elegance. This coastal town is renowned for its mild climate, which fosters the growth of lush gardens and exotic plants, making it a haven for botany enthusiasts. However, it’s the citrus groves, particularly lemons, that truly define Menton, giving rise to its annual Lemon Festival, a vibrant celebration of the town’s golden treasure.

The heart of Menton beats in its Old Town (Vieille Ville), where narrow, winding streets lead to discoveries at every turn. Here, the pastel-colored facades of historic buildings bask in the sunlight, while baroque churches stand as sentinels of the town’s rich heritage. The Basilica of Saint-Michel Archangel, with its impressive bell tower, offers not only spiritual solace but also panoramic views that stretch across the town and the sea beyond.

Menton’s gardens are legendary, each offering a unique escape into nature’s embrace. The Val Rahmeh Botanical Garden, with its exotic plant species from around the world, is a testament to the town’s microclimate. Meanwhile, the Serre de la Madone garden, once the private haven of a wealthy British aristocrat, now welcomes visitors to wander among its terraced landscapes, where art and nature intertwine.

Menton – Source: Gateway Tour

The artistic soul of Menton is best embodied by the Jean Cocteau Museum, dedicated to the multi-faceted French artist who left an indelible mark on the town. Housed in a modernist building on the seafront, the museum holds an extensive collection of Cocteau’s works, spanning from his early drawings to his later, more experimental pieces. Beyond Cocteau, Menton’s cultural tapestry includes the Museum of Fine Arts and numerous galleries that celebrate the creative spirit.

Menton’s culinary scene is a reflection of its location, blending French cuisine with Italian influences to create a gastronomic experience that is both familiar and surprising. From seafood restaurants by the harbor to quaint bistros tucked away in the Old Town, dining in Menton is a journey through flavors, where local produce, especially lemons, play a starring role. The town’s markets are a feast for the senses, offering everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to artisanal cheeses and regional wines.

Cannes: A Tapestry of Glamour and History

Cannes is not just a destination; it’s a statement. Renowned worldwide for hosting the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, this city is a blend of cinematic glamor, azure waters, and a lifestyle that epitomizes luxury. Yet, beyond the red carpets and yacht-lined harbors lies a rich tapestry of history and culture, waiting to be explored.

La Croisette, Cannes’ waterfront avenue, is the city’s pulsating heart, flanked by sandy beaches on one side and opulent boutiques and hotels on the other. This promenade is more than a mere pathway; it’s a stage for the city’s vibrant life, offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean and the Îles de Lérins. La Croisette is where the worlds of beauty, fashion, and leisure converge, creating a mosaic of experiences that define the essence of Cannes.

Contrasting the modernity of La Croisette, Le Suquet, the old quarter, stands as a testament to the city’s medieval past. Wandering through its winding cobbled streets and stairways, one is transported to a time when fishermen and artisans called this hillside their home. At the summit, the old castle, now the Musée de la Castre, offers panoramic views of Cannes that are simply unmatched, juxtaposing the city’s historic charm against its contemporary allure.

Cannes – Source: Hotels

Just a short distance from the bustling city center lies La Croix des Gardes, a natural haven offering some of the best views over Cannes and the vast expanse of the Mediterranean. This area, with its lush forests and walking trails, is ideal for those seeking a moment of tranquility away from the glamour. It’s a reminder of the natural beauty that forms the backdrop to this city of lights and festivities.

The journey to Cannes from Nice is as seamless as it is scenic. Approximately a 22-minute ride on the TER train not only makes Cannes easily accessible but also offers travelers a glimpse into the stunning Riviera landscape that characterizes this region of France. The ease of access ensures that a trip to Cannes can be a spontaneous adventure, a planned excursion, or anything in between.


Embarking on a journey to Saint-Tropez, we uncover a world where the quintessence of French Riviera glamour is brought to life. Renowned for its golden sand beaches, exclusive beach clubs, and the timeless allure of its marina filled with luxurious yachts, Saint-Tropez is a symbol of the high-end lifestyle that has captivated artists, celebrities, and travelers alike.

The beaches of Saint-Tropez are legendary, offering a blend of natural beauty and sophisticated charm. Pampelonne Beach, in particular, stretches over five kilometers and is lined with chic beach clubs that cater to the elite, providing a perfect setting for relaxation and socialization under the Mediterranean sun.

For those seeking adventure amidst this luxurious backdrop, the Ramatuelle nature reserve offers an untouched piece of coastal paradise. Kayaking through its waters allows visitors to explore hidden coves and the stunning biodiversity of the Mediterranean coast, offering a serene escape from the bustling town.

Saint-Tropez – Source: Hotels

Art enthusiasts will find solace in the Musée de l’Annonciade, where the works of post-impressionist masters like Paul Signac, Henri Matisse, and Georges Braque are displayed. This museum, housed in a 16th-century chapel, reflects the artistic heritage that has made Saint-Tropez a haven for creatives and art lovers.

Reaching Saint-Tropez from Nice encapsulates the Riviera’s charm, with various travel options available. The journey by train and bus offers a glimpse into the scenic beauty of the region, while driving allows for a more personal exploration of the picturesque landscapes. Alternatively, arriving by boat offers a unique perspective of Saint-Tropez, approaching the town as many seafarers have, with the Mediterranean breeze guiding the way.

Saint-Tropez’s marina is a spectacle of luxury, where some of the world’s most extravagant yachts anchor, embodying the town’s glamorous lifestyle. The allure of Saint-Tropez is not just in its visual appeal but in the vibrant lifestyle it offers. Boutique shopping in Saint-Tropez is an experience in itself, with high-end shops and local artisanal markets providing a treasure trove of fashion, art, and culinary delights.

Saint-Tropez is more than its postcard-perfect image; it’s a blend of natural beauty, cultural depth, and a testament to the art of living well. Saint-Tropez stands as a beacon of the best day trips from Nice.


Located between the glitzy allure of Cannes and the bustling streets of Nice lies Antibes, a serene haven that captures the quintessential charm of the Mediterranean. With its historic roots dating back to ancient Greek and Roman times, Antibes offers a unique blend of cultural richness, scenic beauty, and a laid-back atmosphere that stands in contrast to its more flamboyant neighbors.

The essence of Antibes lies in its ability to maintain a tranquil atmosphere amidst the vibrancy of the French Riviera. The town’s picturesque coastline, dotted with sandy beaches and quaint coves, invites visitors to bask in the serene beauty of the Mediterranean Sea.

The heart of Antibes is its Old Town (Vieil Antibes), a maze of narrow, cobbled streets that whisper tales of the past. Surrounded by ancient ramparts, the Old Town is home to the Grimaldi Castle, now the Picasso Museum, which celebrates the artist’s legacy and his connection to Antibes. The town’s Roman and medieval heritage is palpable, with remnants of ancient ruins providing a glimpse into its storied history.

Antibes – Source: Forbes

Getting to Antibes from Nice is a breeze, with the town being easily accessible by train in just 15-20 minutes. This short journey transports visitors from the hustle and bustle of Nice to the tranquil embrace of Antibes, making it an ideal day trip for those looking to explore the diversity of the French Riviera. For those interested in a more guided experience, several tours are available that not only explore Antibes but also delve into the cultural and historical significance of this ancient town.


Perched high above the Mediterranean, the enchanting village of Eze offers a journey back in time, combined with breathtaking views that span the French Riviera. This medieval gem, with its narrow cobblestone streets and stone buildings, stands as a testament to the enduring beauty and history of the Côte d’Azur.

Eze’s prime position on a hilltop provides unparalleled views of the Mediterranean Sea. The village is strategically located between Nice and Monaco, making it a popular spot for travelers seeking the beauty and tranquility of the Riviera without the crowds.

The architecture in Eze is a delightful dive into the medieval past. The village’s ancient buildings, fortified walls, and winding pathways are meticulously preserved, offering a glimpse into life centuries ago. Walking through Eze feels like wandering through a living museum, where every corner and crevice tells a story.

Eze – Source: French moment

One of Eze’s crowning jewels is the Jardin Exotique (Exotic Garden). Situated at the village’s highest point, the garden is home to a stunning collection of cacti, succulents, and rare plants from around the world. The garden not only offers a peaceful retreat into nature but also boasts some of the best vistas of the village and the azure waters below.

The exploration of Eze’s cobblestone streets leads to discoveries of charming boutiques, art galleries, and artisanal shops. Each turn unveils hidden terraces, quaint courtyards, and picturesque facades adorned with flowering vines. The village’s small but fascinating churches add a layer of historical depth, enriching the visitor’s experience.

Access to Eze is an adventure in itself, with the journey from Nice taking visitors along one of the most scenic routes on the French Riviera. Exploring by car, bus, or even a challenging hike, the ascent to Eze rewards travelers with its beauty, history, and panoramic views. The village’s blend of medieval architecture, exotic botanical beauty, and stunning seaside vistas makes it a must-visit destination on the Côte d’Azur, captivating the hearts of those who wander its ancient paths.


Located on the shores of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, Sainte-Maxime stands as a serene counterpart to its more famous neighbor, Saint-Tropez. This charming coastal town is a haven for those seeking the idyllic beauty of the French Riviera without the bustling crowds and high-profile glamour. Sainte-Maxime offers a blend of rustic charm, inviting cafes, and tranquil beaches, making it a perfect destination for relaxation and leisure.

The heart of Sainte-Maxime is its old town, where narrow streets and traditional Provençal architecture paint a picture of a quaint Mediterranean lifestyle. The town’s history is reflected in its buildings, with the 16th-century Tour Carrée (Square Tower) and the Art Deco-style Sainte-Maxime church being notable landmarks.

Sainte-Maxime’s culinary scene celebrates French Riviera flavors. The town is dotted with cafes and restaurants that offer everything from casual seaside dining to gourmet experiences. The local cuisine emphasizes fresh seafood, Provençal herbs, and, of course, the region’s excellent wines.

Sainte-Maxime – Source: Engel and Volkers

 The coastline around Sainte-Maxime is lined with beautiful beaches that offer a mix of public and private spaces. From the family-friendly La Croisette Beach to the secluded Plage des Éléphants, each beach has its unique charm. The crystal-clear waters and sheltered locations make them ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

Reaching Sainte-Maxime is straightforward, with the town accessible by road, sea, and air. Its proximity to Saint-Tropez also makes it a popular choice for day-trippers looking to explore more of the French Riviera. Whether you arrive by car along the scenic coastal roads, by ferry from Saint-Tropez, or by helicopter for a bird’ s-eye view of the Gulf, the journey to Sainte-Maxime is part of the experience.

Sainte-Maxime embodies the essence of the French Riviera’s quieter side, offering a blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and leisurely charm. It’s a place where time slows down, inviting visitors to embrace the joys of seaside living. 


Tucked away between the bustling cities of Nice and Monaco lies Villefranche-sur-Mer, a hidden gem on the French Riviera that captivates with its old-world charm and serene beauty. This picturesque harbor town is renowned for its colorful Italianate buildings, which cascade down the hillside to the azure waters of one of the most beautiful bays in the world. Villefranche-sur-Mer offers visitors a tranquil atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

The influence of Italian architecture is unmistakable in Villefranche-sur-Mer, with its vibrant façades and terracotta roofs adding warmth and character to the town. The narrow, winding streets of the old town (La Vieille Ville) lead to hidden courtyards and charming squares, inviting exploration and discovery.

Villefranche-sur-Mer – Source: Pocket Wanderings

Villefranche-sur-Mer is not just about natural beauty; it’s also rich in culture and history. The 16th-century Citadel Saint-Elme, now a cultural center, houses art collections and hosts exhibitions throughout the year. The Chapel of Saint-Pierre, decorated by Jean Cocteau, is another must-visit, showcasing the artist’s unique vision.

The town’s beaches, such as Plage des Marinières, offer a perfect setting for relaxation and water sports with their clear, calm waters. For those interested in exploring the area’s natural beauty, there are several coastal paths that offer breathtaking views of the Mediterranean and the surrounding landscape.

Villefranche-sur-Mer also serves as an excellent base for exploring the French Riviera, with easy access to nearby attractions such as the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and the vibrant city of Nice.

Villefranche-sur-Mer embodies the timeless allure of the French Riviera with its blend of natural beauty, historical richness, and Mediterranean charm. Villefranche-sur-Mer is a place where the past and present merge seamlessly, inviting visitors to relax, explore, and immerse themselves in the beauty of one of France’s most enchanting coastal towns.


Grasse, located in the hills north of Cannes, is revered as the world’s perfume capital, a title it has held with pride for centuries. This charming town is not just about its fragrant legacy; it’s a place where history, culture, and the art of perfumery intertwine, offering visitors a unique glimpse into the world of scent.

Grasse’s global reputation as the perfume capital is built on its long history of producing essential oils and fragrances. The town’s unique microclimate is ideal for growing a wide variety of flowers, including jasmine, rose, and lavender, which are key ingredients in perfumery.

A visit to Grasse offers the unique opportunity to tour some of the world’s most famous perfume factories, such as Fragonard, Molinard, and Galimard. These tours not only provide insight into the intricate process of perfume making, from distillation to bottling but also allow visitors to create their own signature scent in some workshops.

Among the must-visit cultural sites in Grasse is the International Perfume Museum, which delves into the history of perfumery through an extensive collection of artifacts, bottles, and documents. The museum not only charts the evolution of scent-making but also explores the role of perfume in society and art.

Grasse – Source: Villa Hostels

Grasse offers more than just olfactory pleasures. The town is surrounded by stunning landscapes, from flowering fields to verdant hills, which can be explored on foot or by bike. The local cuisine is a reflection of Provence, with dishes that emphasize fresh, aromatic ingredients, often incorporating the same herbs and flowers found in perfumes.

A trip to Grasse is an immersion into a world where the air is filled with the essence of flowers, and the streets tell stories of a centuries-old craft that continues to enchant the world. 


Gourdon, often regarded as one of France’s most beautiful villages, is a remarkable perched village that seems to emerge straight from the pages of a fairy tale. Situated on a pinnacle of rock, it offers some of the most breathtaking views over the Loup Valley and the Mediterranean Sea beyond. This historical gem is a gateway to exploring the rich tapestry of Provence’s past and its enduring artisan traditions.

The panoramic vistas from Gourdon are truly unparalleled. On a clear day, you can see far across the Côte d’Azur, from the azure waters of the Mediterranean to the snow-capped Alps in the distance. The village’s exceptional vantage point makes it a favorite destination for photographers and nature lovers alike.

The Château de Gourdon, which dates back to the 9th century, is the centerpiece of the village. Although the castle itself is private and not open to the public, its gardens, designed by André Le Nôtre (the landscape architect responsible for the Gardens of Versailles), are accessible and offer a serene setting to enjoy the surrounding beauty.

Gourdon – Source: Youtube

Gourdon is renowned for its artisan shops, where local craftspeople sell their wares, ranging from traditional Provençal textiles to handmade jewelry and perfumes. Strolling through the village’s narrow streets, visitors will encounter a variety of boutiques and workshops, each offering unique and locally made products.

Visiting Gourdon provides an opportunity to step back in time. The well-preserved medieval architecture, cobblestone streets, and the overall ambiance of the village evoke a sense of history and tranquility. 

Gourdon is not only a feast for the eyes but also a haven for those looking to immerse themselves in the tranquility of rural France. 

Given its location, Gourdon is best accessed by car, allowing for a scenic drive through the Provencal countryside. The village is a popular day trip from nearby cities like Nice and Cannes, making it an easy addition to any itinerary on the French Riviera. For those interested in history, culture, or simply the pursuit of beauty, Gourdon is a destination that promises enchantment and inspiration at every turn.

Saint-Paul de Vence

Saint-Paul de Vence, found in the heart of the French Riviera, is a captivating medieval village that has long been a sanctuary for artists, writers, and art lovers from around the world. Its cobbled streets, fortified walls, and well-preserved buildings exude an atmosphere of historical richness and creative inspiration, making it one of the most picturesque and visited villages in the region.

Saint-Paul de Vence’s reputation as a haven for artists began in the early 20th century and continues to this day. The village is dotted with numerous art galleries showcasing a wide range of art, from modern and contemporary to traditional Provençal works. The Fondation Maeght, located just outside the village, is a world-renowned art museum and one of the most important cultural attractions in the South of France, offering an exceptional collection of modern and contemporary art.

Walking through Saint-Paul de Vence is like stepping back in time. The village’s medieval architecture, including its ramparts, gates, and narrow streets, has been beautifully preserved. La Grande Fontaine, a fountain built in 1850, is a focal point in the village, symbolizing the importance of water in the development of Saint-Paul de Vence.

Saint-Paul de Vence
Saint-Paul de Vence – Source: Saint-Paul de Vence

Over the years, Saint-Paul de Vence has attracted many famous artists and writers, including Marc Chagall, who lived and was buried here. The village’s unique light, scenic landscapes, and tranquil atmosphere have provided endless inspiration. Cafés like the famous Café de la Place offer a spot to enjoy the local vibe, often buzzing with artists capturing the scenic views on their canvases.

Visitors to Saint-Paul de Vence are encouraged to wander its streets, explore the art galleries, and visit the local artisan shops offering handmade crafts, jewelry, and other unique souvenirs. The village also hosts numerous art exhibitions, workshops, and cultural events throughout the year, further cementing its status as a center for arts and culture.

Given its popularity, Saint-Paul de Vence can get crowded, especially during the summer months. Early morning or late afternoon visits can offer a more peaceful experience. The village is easily accessible by car or public transport from major cities along the French Riviera, including Nice and Cannes.

Saint-Paul de Vence remains a timeless destination where the beauty of art and the charm of Provence merge to create an unforgettable experience. 


Exploring the enchanting day trips from Nice unveils a tapestry of experiences that encapsulate the essence of the French Riviera. From the opulent allure of Monte Carlo to the tranquil charm of Sainte-Maxime, each destination offers its own unique blend of beauty, history, and culture. Grasse invites visitors into the fragrant world of perfumery, while Gourdon boasts breathtaking views from its lofty perch. Saint-Paul de Vence captivates art lovers with its galleries and medieval architecture, creating a haven for creativity and inspiration.

These destinations, each with their distinctive allure, provide a glimpse into the diverse landscape and rich heritage of the French Riviera. They invite travelers to step beyond the familiar and immerse themselves in the beauty, the history, and the art that define this storied region. 

The invitation to explore these destinations is an opportunity to experience the myriad facets of the Côte d’Azur, from its lavender-scented fields and sparkling seas to its art-filled alleys and historic ramparts. Each visit promises not just a day trip but a journey into the heart of Provence and the French Riviera, where the beauty of the landscape merges with the spirit of its people to create a destination unlike any other in the world.

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