First day in Nice was really wonderful. However, we decided to explore the area a bit more. This is also partly because we are not much of beach lovers, and Nice itself is mainly a beach holiday destination. Anyway, for the next few days our goal was to visit famous Eze Village with it’s cobblestone streets and lovely galleries, shops and cafes and famous Monaco with it’s luxury properties, supercars and yachts.
Eze Village and Nitsche path
To reach the famous village, there are several possibilities. There are organized tours, which are a bit costly. Another option is to take a train, but that would mean either climbing the Nitsches path (4km uphill) or taking a local bus. We went for the third option – taking a bus directly to the village. The bus in question is number 82 and it is leaving from the bus stop Boyer located near Garibaldi square (which can be reached by tram). Here is it on the map:
In fact, we were not alone on this trip. Most passengers were heading to the village, as it is famous for it’s cute tiny streets filled with galleries. The place feels like it barely changed in the last couple of centuries. It still has the unique atmosphere of tiny, isolated world and exists on it’s own. You forget about the time and everything else.
Strolling through the village, depending on your shopping needs, will take between one to four hours. So what to do afterwards? If you are adventurous and enjoy long walks and hikes, Nitsche path is not to miss! Caution: not a great idea if you have problem with your knees, as it involves a lot of steep stairs! Otherwise amazing hike down the hill with great picture opportunities. make sure to bring some water and snacks. The hike will take, depending on you speed, from 1 to 2 hours. The sun is quite hot towards the end, so make sure to wear some sunscreen and a hat.
You will meet some fellow travelers on their way up – true heroes to my opinion!
Once all the way down, you can either take a bus or a train back to Nice. Please note that bus number 100 (from Monaco) will only take you to the port area. You will need to walk up the Rue Cassini to reach Garibaldi in order to have access to the tram.
Monaco from Nice
Visiting Monaco from Nice is really simple. There is a direct bus as well as train connection. Bus is cheaper – only 1,50€. Make sure to avoid peak hours, as that’s when a lot of local workers will be coming back to Nice after work. The bus can take you as far as Monte Carlo, which is where the king’s palace is located. It’s possible to walk through the whole Monaco – it’s really tiny. However, there is a local bus line and some people are riding their Bentley’s and Ferrari’s.
Once up the hill, make sure to check out the famous curve known from the Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 – right in front of the Fairmont hotel. You can recognize the race track by the white and red stripes on the sides of the road.
If you are coin collector or considering to be one someday – I recommend checking out coin store for the Monaco coins. They are quite rare and are potentially a good investment. However, you might get lucky and get some local coins as a change.
Some things that I notices different about Monaco, compared to France:
– People are generally better dressed and seem to have more money
– There are many apartment blocks versus villas and private houses
– Less people on the streets (mostly tourists)
On the way back
Now here is a bit of a warning – if you get easily dizzy and seasick, please avoid the bus. The road from Monaco to Nice is a bit like a rollercoaster, and you might get sick from constant jumps (road blocks to slow down traffic). If you know this is not for you, better take the train. It’s also faster and not too expensive (3,90€). We made the mistake of taking the bus and ended up walking for an hour from Villefrancge on the motorway the remaining 6 km, since it was impossible to continue riding that bus. The view was amazing by the way, so it was a nice walk.
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