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Côte d'Azur In-A-Day

From Nice to Italy on the French Riviera

This itinerary explores arguably the most scenic and exotic parts of the Côte d’Azur which lie between Nice and Italy. The scenery is absolutely stunning and no visit to Nice would be complete without exploring at least part of this nearby fabulous coastline with its magnificent mountains, great beaches and fabulous sea views.

The trip can be done in one day by car but if you plan to venture into Liguria too, then think about overnighting there or perhaps at Menton.

Route Planning

Before you begin: Get a copy of the Michelin Departmental Map 341. This Côte d’Azur itinerary begins right next door to Nice at Villefranche-sur-Mer and continues along the coast via Beaulieu, Monaco and Menton before crossing the border into Italy. The coast road, or Basse Corniche, is always very busy while the Moyenne (Middle) and the Haute (High) Corniches are less so and have tremendous views but take care especially on the Moyenne. If you choose the higher Corniche roads you will have to deviate to reach all the points of interest listed. My preference would be to use the Basse Corniche on the outward journey and return via a higher route.


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A beautiful place by the sea


Sweet Water Town

Hanbury Gardens

A garden lover’s paradise at La Mortola

Monaco Monte-Carlo

The Principality of the Grimaldis

Place David Niven

David Niven's mansion on Cap Ferrat


A beach resort with a perched village above


The World's best address?


Twenty mile town

Villa Ephrussi

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild


Nice's deep water port

Text © Paul Shawcross

Images by Christian Williams, © Paul Shawcross