Tour de France 1 : Nice

Text read by Mary Peters

You missed this year’s Tour de France? Geneviève guides you along at a more leisurely pace.

Start at the Promenade des Anglais and soak up the town atmosphere. It is 7 km long and good for people watching. Located directly on the Mediterranean Sea it is a good start to discover Nice and the town life. It has a special flair.

Stop at the Musée Masséna, a local historical museum in the belle époque style where you can also see Napoléon’s death mask. At the western end is the Parc Phoenix. There is a huge greenhouse with tropical gardens and many different animals. Free for children, €3.00 per adult, a must for botany enthusiasts.

The old town: it is very compact with many alleys and extremely colourful with a slight Italian flair. There are many cafés and restaurants in the lively squares. Do not forget to try the local speciality, the “Salade Niçoise”. I recommend a city guide to discover details and the special history of the old town. Continue to the Colline du Château. You can use the elevator or can walk up the steep hill. The reward is a magnificent view over the Baies des Anges. (Bay of Angels) and the whole town.

Another place to discover is the Musée Marc Chagall.  He created the museum himself and we can admire his 17 most famous biblical paintings from the Old and New Testaments. If you have been inspired by these paintings, you should step through the door into the Baroque style Cathedral. It is unassuming (yet beautiful) outside, but magnificent inside. 

From there, visit the Cours Saleya Market (daily except Mondays, when it is a flea market). You can savour and explore many Provençal and Alpes Maritimes products. (Olives, honey, Provençal linen, pottery, plates made from olive wood, cheese and a huge choice of local fruit and vegetables.)

After discovering the city, have a relaxing time on the beach.

When the heart calls you, visit the Benedictine Monastery (Monastère de Cimiez) and its famous and also the oldest gardens (14th /15th century) in the Côte D’Azur.

If you have time, make a small, but worthwhile detour to Mont Boron and then Cap Ferrat.