IntroductionNice itself is the undisputed capital of the Cote d’Azur. Home to over three hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants and its own University, it is not only a year-round holiday destination but also a thriving commercial city. Having only joined France in 1860 it is an exciting mix of the French, Greek, Italian and British cultures.
The Cote d’Azur or French Riviera, conjures up images of the rich and famous sunning themselves amongst the palm trees, the crystal blue sea and beautiful sandy beaches. Running from St Tropez in the west to Menton on the Italian border, the Mediterranean sunshine ensures year-round enjoyable climate. Consequently it can get crowded particularly in July and August.
Situated at a convenient junction along the French Riviera it is an excellent base for exploring the rest of this region including Monaco, St Tropez and Cannes. Nice hosts the world famous Nice Carnival in February as well as the King Carnival just before lent, which has been likened to New Orleans’s Mardi Gras. Known for its spectacular scenery the French Riviera is visually stunning and Nice does not disappoint with a backdrop of charming villages perched on lush, green mountains.
Home to an opera, numerous museums, bustling markets and a charming old town Nice stretches along eight kilometers (five miles) of pebbly beach. The Paillon River divides the city into two, west of the river being the more modern district and the east conversely being the more traditional.