I love when my phone sends me a message, “You have a new memory”, like the message I got this morning. September 15, 2014, I was on a girls’ trip to Nice, France. I was living in London with my family at the time, and a group of my expat girlfriends decided to sneak away for a long weekend. What a magical girls’ weekend away it was!
Nice is located in the French Riviera, on the south east coast of France on the Mediterranean sea. The city is nicknamed Nice la Belle, or Nice the Beautiful, which is quite apropos. Taking an afternoon stroll down Nice’s famous seaside promenade, with the towering Alps on one side and the white sandy beaches on the other, you can’t help but feel you’re living a beautiful life.
When to go
Nice has a year-round temperate Mediterranean climate, with mild, relatively rainy winters and hot, sunny summers. However, sometimes is seems as though all of Europe is vacationing in Nice in the summer, so I recommend visiting this magical place in fall, September – November. You’ll still see beautiful days but without the overwhelming crowds.
Where to Stay
For the life of me, I can’t remember where we stayed. (Does it even matter? All you need for a girls’ weekend away is sun, sand and sumptuous servings of food and wine, right?). But I can recommend two wonderful hotels.
The first is the Hotel Negresco, a classic, sophisticated choice, with a prominent spot right on the beach and prime for people watching. This hotel is filled with beautiful French artwork from the 17th century to today, and it also boasts the city’s finest restaurant, the Michelin-starred Le Chantecler.
Another wonderful option is the Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée, a hotel built in the grand Art Deco style. All 5-star hotel rooms and suites offer guests the latest accommodations and spectacular view over the Mediterranean Sea or the city of Nice. Don’t miss the wonderful indoor/outdoor pool with a beautiful sea terrace.
Things to do in Nice
First and foremost, visit the beach! If I recall, my girlfriends and I checked into the hotel and were at the beach minutes later. Walk the promenade, stop to gaze at your surroundings, bury your toes in the sand. Truly, there’s not much need for anything else.
Museums and Shopping
Of course if you do want more, Nice is filled with museums, churches and ancient ruins to explore, or you could spend days shopping at boutiques or checking out the outdoor markets along the Cours Saleya.
One afternoon, we rented a yacht to spend the afternoon pretending to be Beyonce, soaking up the rays in the various harbors of the French Riviera. Sipping rosé and munching on baguettes, we all made plans to give up our current lives and move there permanently (which hasn’t happened yet but I haven’t given up hope!) There was nothing like taking a plunge into the cool, sparkling Mediterranean straight from the boat. Renting a yacht is actually quite easy to do, and is a great way to explore the area. Message me for details.
Hiking to Eze
We spent another great day hiking up to the ancient city of Eze, a beautiful hilltop medieval village about 7 miles to the east of Nice. The village has spectacular views of the French Riviera from almost every vantage point, as it’s located on a hilltop about 1,400 feet above sea level. The architecture is amazing, with structures several hundred years old. You can hike up in the morning before it gets too hot, and spend the afternoon lunching and meandering around the narrow cobblestone streets before grabbing a bus or car back down. Before you leave, be sure to check out Le Jardin Exotique d’Eze, the Exotic Garden, full of beautiful cacti and other interesting plants.
Or plan to spend the evening at one of the two hotels in the village. We spent part of the afternoon at the Chateau Eza, which dates over 400 years old. This intimate hotel of just 14 rooms and suites clinging to the side of the ancient rock walls of Eze has stunning views of the Mediterranean and a spectacular restaurant/bar area overlooking the bay. It’s the perfect place to unwind and feel the history and luxury of Eze. Grab a Kir Royal and toast to a great girls’ weekend away!
Contact me for Travel Advice
If you have interest in exploring the Nice region, or anywhere else in the world, please connect with me. I love inspiring others around the world to experience new and diverse travel and am always up for a chat. As a member of Virtuoso through my affiliation with Brownell Travel, I am able to secure you VIP benefits and perks, such as room upgrades if available, daily breakfast for two, and early check-in/late check-out if available.