When we first arrived in France at the Nice airport, we rented a car at the airport and drove into downtown Nice. It’s just a quick 10-15 minute drive from the airport along the coast to the heart of Nice, the beaches! There are tons of below-ground parking lots and there are signs all over the city telling you how many spaces are left in each parking lot. Just find one, hop out and get to walking! The city is very walkable.
There was an Iron Man marathon going on when we arrived, so parking was a bit of a challenge, but once we found a garage with spaces, we were on our way to exploring Nice! Our first stop was grabbing a bite to eat at a tiny bakery called Savuers D’autrefois, and taking it to the beach for a picnic. There’s nothing like a fresh baguette after an overnight international flight with the sun and sea there to wake you up!
After we enjoyed some time at the beach, we walked over to Colline du Chateau Point. After climbing many stairs, you reach the top of the observation deck which gives you a glorious view of Nice. It’s well worth the climb!
We only had a few hours in Nice before we were on the road again to our next destination. The few hours were all we really needed of touristy Nice, though. Once you take in the sound of the waves crashing on the rocky beaches, see the city from above and walk through the winding historical roads of Nice, you’ve pretty much get the vibe of Nice.
Be sure to make a note, if you have to go to the bathroom, there are paid public restrooms…but even though you pay to pee, they’re disgusting. And that’s all I’ll say about that.
After a quick and lovely visit to Nice, we were on the road to see some lavender fields before heading to our first overnight stay in the city of Aix-en-Provence. Below is the route that we followed from downtown Nice, through the lavender fields and onto Aix-en-Provence. We arrived just a few weeks before all of the lavender was set to bloom. I bet it just magnificent when it’s full of purple blooms! Even still, the rows of green were stunning and peaceful as they blew in the wind!
The total drive from Nice to Aix-en-Provence, using the detour to the lavender fields was 150 miles (3 hours, 42 minutes).
We had to leave the lavender fields by 7pm to get settled into our airbnb in Aix-en-Provence for the night….see you in the next blog post, all about Aix-en-Provence and Day #2 of our France trip!