Road trip from Nice to Monaco

Best places in French Riviera. Bestplacesin.com. Pedro Sagüés

Road trip from Nice to Monaco

August 19, 2010  |  France  |  No Comments

The French Riviera (Côte d’Azur) is one of the best places in the world. What I liked the most of all was the road trip from Nice to Monaco, along the Mediterranean coast that I discovered thanks to Robin’s blog.

Nice

The trip starts in Nice, the capital of the French Riviera, the second most visited place in France after Paris. It has plenty of things to do: you can visit the old town (with narrow streets, old houses, …), walk up to the castle hill (in fact, there’s no castle anymore, but stunning views of Nice), visit the Matisse Museum, walk down the seaside promenade (by the way, the beach has no sand, just rocks!!) or walk around Cours Saleya, a place that transforms during the day from a food and flower market to a bar and restaurant area. Few places in the world have so many people on the streets at night. I recommend just walking around but having dinner in the streets that surround it (Rue Rossetti, Rue de la Prefecture, …).

From the city center, head east to Boulevard Princesse Grace de Monaco, pass by Villefranche Sur Mer, take Bd Napoleon III (great views of the bay), and head to Saint Jean du Cap Ferrat, popular getaway for the rich and famous, with a small but impressive marina and perfect for romantic walks (along the coastal paths) or peaceful holidays with your family. I loved this place!

Eze

Continue your trip: pass by Beaulieu Sur Mer (really close to Cap Ferrat and also a very nice place), Eze Bord de Mer and head up to Eze, an “eagle’s nest” medieval fortified town overlooking the sea from a 427 metres high cliff (1,401 ft). A not very touristic town with a beautiful church and glamorous and expensive hotels with stunning views of the Mediterranean sea (Relais & Châteaux de la Chevre D’Or and Chateau Eza).

La Turbie

Right before arriving in Monaco you’ll find La Turbie, a small town known as Monaco’s balcony. You can enjoy impressive views (you don’t need to pay) of the Principality from the terrace of 13 B.C. Trophée d’Auguste, a symbol of the power of the Roman Empire.

Finally: if you like superyachts, this is your paradise. The French Riviera is a major yachting centre, with marinas along its coast. Each year the Riviera hosts 50% of the world’s superyacht fleet.

Thanks also to http://twitter.com/Guide2CdA for his great tips about French Riviera!

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Photo credits: Pedro Sagüés

Sault, the capital of the Lavender

Sault, the capital of the Lavende. BestPlacesIn.com. Pedro Sagues

Sault, the capital of the Lavender

August 17, 2010  |  France  |  9 Comments

People often associate French Provence with the lavender fields. When visiting the Provence and not seeing them, they usually get disappointed. Visiting Sault, the capital of the Lavender, is the only way of really enjoying the magnificent views of the lavender fields, walk through them and smell its aroma. If you’re asking yourself: Where can I find the best Lavender fields? Sault is the answer. You won’t be disappointed, trust me: Sault is what Provence really looked like in your mind and, definitely, one of the best places in the world.

Lavender is harvested from July to October. After that, very few fields remain unharvested so the tourist can enjoy them. I really encourage you to visit Sault before September. On August 14th and 15th is the Lavender Festival. The celebration comprises games, competitions and other activities to do with lavender, including sales exhibition of local products.

I recommend taking the “Chemin des Lavandes”, a 1,5km walk through the Lavender fields and distilleries.

If you’re coming from Avignon, take the road through Mazan and you’ll enjoy the beautiful views from the Mount Ventoux

Sault official website

These are some of the highest ranked books in Amazon about Lavender:

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Photo credits: Pedro Sagüés

Carrière de Lumières in Baux de Provence

Cathedrale d'Images. Baux de Provence. Photo by Pedro Sagüés

Carrière de Lumières in Baux de Provence

August 14, 2010  |  France  |  4 Comments

In the heart of the Provence, in the beautiful medieval fortified village Baux de Provence, you’ll find this 25 meters tall limestone quarry turned in 1977 into an incredible experience of images and music called Carrière de Lumières.

Each year, a different show takes place (Picasso, Van Gogh, Africa, China, Venice, …). In 2010 they featured AUSTRALIA. It lasts 30 minutes and it costs 7,5 € per person (kids is 3 €). You can get in and get out whenever you want, the show is always running. It takes a 10 minute walk from the town’s parking lot. If you don’t want to walk, you can leave the car right at the entrance. Bring a jacket with you, inside the quarry is 15º celsius. To have an idea of what the show is about, I recommend watching this 2 minute video I’ve prepared.

Baux de Provence was granted in 1642 to the Grimaldi family, rulers of Monaco. To this day, although administratively the town is entirely French, the title of Marquis des Baux remains with Princess Caroline of Monaco. The town is small, really well preserved, has multiple tiny shops (I bought a great Olive Oil) and is very touristic. I recommend visiting the church, one of the most original and beautiful I’ve ever seen. Although I didn’t visit the Castle, locals really recommended it.

This amazing show, together with a visit to Baux de Provence, one of the most beautiful villages in the Provence and best places in the world, makes it a must on your way through the Provence.

Cathedrale D’Images web site
Baux de Provence web site
Baux de Provence in wikipedia

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Photo and video credits: Pedro Sagüés