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Roadmap to the Riviera – a drive from Nice to Monte Carlo

Today’s article takes us on a driving tour of the French Riviera from the food specialities of Nice, through the town of Eze, home of the perfume industry with winding paths overlooking the sea, ending your journey overlooking the nightime harbour lights of Monto Carlo.

The south of France is known for its ability to overwhelm the senses. If Europe were the brain, then Provence and the French Riviera would be the pleasure center, assaulting the senses with dazzling beauty, sweet lavender breezes, sumptuous cuisine, and a hot terracotta sun.

Market in Nice

Market in Nice

An ideal way to take in the region is to cruise the coastal roads by car making your way from Nice to Monte Carlo. The area is a playground for the rich and famous and you will catch glimpses of awe inspiring villas and yachts along the way.

Nice is the most famous city in the area and there is an abundance to do here ranging from hitting the beaches to sampling Niçoise food. For me the food is truly the highlight as the small pastry shops offer delectable morsels at prices that won’t break the bank. If you’re lucky enough to travel to Nice at Carnival time (18 Feb – 8 Mar) the local food vendors bring their shops out into the streets and sell their specialties amongst the parades and celebrations.

Once you’ve had your fill of Nice and all it has to offer, hit the road and take the coastal road (motorway D6098) to Monte Carlo. There is plenty to see and do along this route. The road will take you through the gorgeous village of Villefranche-Sur-Mer and provide views of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat which is a peninsula that juts out into the Mediterranean. It is littered with estates owned by both celebrities and royalty alike and often referred to as the “Crown Jewel” of the Riviera.

Eze , town of winding walkways

Eze , town of winding walkways

One of my favorite detours is the village of Eze. This town of winding walkways cascades from a scenic overlook down to the coast. Eze is primarily known for the thriving fragrance industry and you can tour many of the facilities and sample the perfumes and colognes. There are also museums that document the genesis of the perfumeries in the area for those that are interested.

Monaco Harbor

Monaco Harbor

Eze is only a 15 minute drive from Monte Carlo and there you can explore the Grimaldi Palace and of course place some wagers at the infamous Monte Carlo Casino. People watching along the harbor in Monaco is the perfect way to wind down the day and you can watch as the lights from the yachts light up the harbor as the sun dips below the horizon. What a way to spend a day!

Wes Davidson has been working in the travel industry for ten years and is a travel writer for Auto Europe, one of the leading providers of car rental in Europe. He encourages you to use Auto Europe for your car rentals in France and car rentals in Paris.

More things to enjoy in France

The Eiffel Tower – Icon of Paris or tourist trap?
Inside the glacier – at the Mer de Glace above Chamonix
Gone fishing for crabs on the Ile de Houat – in Brittany, France

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read more travel articles at Travel Blog Home

You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Jason
    January 11, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Heather,
    This sounds like a beautiful drive and the photos are gorgeous. I haven’t heard of Eze but it sounds enticing.
    Happy New Year.
    Jason
    Jason´s last blog post ..Top 10 Travel Tools

  • Reply
    Mark H
    January 11, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    I struggle to think of a more beautiful part of the world than the south of France – its tiny lost-in-time villages, its stellar scenery and superb cuisine.
    Mark H´s last blog post ..Luxury Holidays at Le Touessrok and The Residence Mauritius

  • Reply
    islandmomma
    January 12, 2011 at 8:23 am

    I agree with Mark H I returned there five years ago (for the Carnaval in Nice as it happens) for the first time since 1979, and loved it even more. Generally, I’d opt for less “developed” places, but the south of France is unique, those villages are so lovingly restored, and in summer (because I then went back in summer!) it seems that there is a constant perfume in the air. Eze was fascinating, and both experiences surpassed expectations by a long way. The only place I didn’t like was Monaco, but I have no doubt I might have liked it had I been rich!

  • Reply
    Ole
    January 12, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Its looks gorgeous, i cant wait til summer and im already starting to plan for the summer trip, i had south france in my mind and this just makes me more sure

    Ole

  • Reply
    Eurotrip Tips
    January 13, 2011 at 2:04 am

    I took the bus between Nice and Monaco and it was astonishing. Everything looked so pure and untouched! Great photos.

  • Reply
    Best Vacuum Cleaners
    January 14, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Southern France,
    I used to go there with my parents years in a row!
    I’m looking to these pictures with nostalgie 😉
    Best Vacuum Cleaners´s last blog post ..Hoover Spin Scrub Review

  • Reply
    Robert
    January 15, 2011 at 1:52 am

    We were on a Cruise last summer visiting the south of France.
    Beautiful coastline!
    Great site here, lot’s of valuable information.
    Thans.
    Please drop by my travel tips website at:
    holidaysforfamily

  • Reply
    Brianna
    January 18, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    I think I have to stop reading travel blogs… The more I get to read about beautiful places the more I demand for travels which I cannot afford all. Meaning I am just making myself sorry and envy those who can before I am only contented with reading now I wanted more.

  • Reply
    Sherry Ott
    January 20, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    This post brought back memories of my trip to Nice and Eze from so many years ago! I never made it to Monaco though…sorry to have missed it!
    Sherry Ott´s last blog post ..signs

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