A beautiful place by the Mediterranean sea and an absolutely fantastic place to unwind and forget about reality even for a little bit. Here’s an article about Nice, France, and my French Riviera travel experience.
Located in the southern part of France by the eastern coast and is the fifth most populated city in the country is by far one of my favorite travel destination to date. I was not expecting so much about this place and did not even bothered to research about it. I traveled with my girlfriends and they took care of everything! Early this year we scored an amazing deal through as.fi – and by the way, if you’re under 26 years of age you can avail the youth fare which is a discounted price and somehow cheaper than regular tickets around Europe.
Prior to this, I’ve been to France once before and had a blast Couchsurfing in Paris!
French Riviera Travel Experience
Bathing under the Mediterranean sun
Since I was not expecting much from this place just imagine how much in admiration I was when we landed and witnessed this breathtakingly the beautiful Mediterranean Sea! I couldn’t believe my eyes and all I just wanted to do is to strip off my clothes and jump in that very inviting sea of clear blue water.
I was never a beach bum but in Nice, I was longing for its water every single day! When we arrived at this beautiful city we had a mission in mind to find our AirBnB apartment which was not a challenge to find the old town part of Nice was rather tiny and we found the apartment rather easy and the best part, it was just 5 minutes away from the sea!
Our AirBnB host was an American dude named Jack who has basically lived all his life as a nomad and has literally traveled the world so hanging out with him was yet another experience for us while in this amazing city because of his beautiful tales about his adventurous life.
Beautiful clear blue water
We pretty much chilled out by the beach nearly every single day. We woke up really early in the morning and paved our way to the beach carrying breakfast along with us and spent the whole morning taking in the morning sun and a long dip in the sea. We normally bring with us our own choice of coffee from our neighboring cafe and as well Baguette Traditional and some cheeses, fruits and tapas style snacks and, of course, a bottle of morning wine for me… I am not a drunk but I was in France! I need to have wine for breakfast! Just few of the many things you must do if you’re in France, in general, really.
I usually spend a good hour just swimming and testing myself how far I can swim like a little child because you see I have this great fear for deep water but in this place, I had no fear somehow and I just swam my way through this beautiful Mediterranean water! After our morning dip and breakfast we usually head on to the nearest market to buy some fresh and local produce for us to cook to feed
After our morning dip and breakfast we usually head on to the nearest market to buy some fresh and local produce for us to cook to feed off our hunger by lunch time and this is possibly one of the highlights for me since as a chef I always enjoy shopping for food rather than shoes and especially in France they are so abundant with fresh produce that I just always end up going crazy over it. After shopping, we normally agree on who is making the food and then we feast on it with wine (of course) and carried on to have a little siesta to relax for a very eventful afternoon.
After shopping, we normally agree on who is making the food and then we feast on it with wine (of course) and carried on to have a little siesta to relax for a very eventful afternoon.
My friend Katja and a food stall at Grasse
Beautiful town of Grasse
During afternoons when the sun is not so strong and the heat is bearable we head on to explore the city by foot and just simply get lost and discover the place’s gems one by one. My friends are very artistic themselves, therefore, we enjoyed gallery hopping which was a joy since in the old town alone you’ll find several galleries run by independent local artists who are so inspiring because most of their works are very strongly influenced by the Mediterranean scene. We just normally wandered around and eventually, when our feet were sore enough we ought to have a coffee break with French pastries and a wonderful talk about all the beautiful things we saw and exchange stories.
On the evening, we normally sought after good restaurants around and were always searching for the cheapest yet best ones and so far we never had a single bad experience eating out in Nice. So far our search has been successful and not a single bad experience eating out! It was a little difficult to find cheaper places to eat though since Nice is known to be quite expensive in the first place but otherwise we weren’t disappointed. We even had a dinner by the beach at one point where we bought several kinds of cheeses, snacks, baguette, and wines! That was the cheapest and best dinner we had because on that day we were granted an amazing weather.
It was quite chilly beating the heat during the day but not too cold to take an evening dip. It was an experience indeed because seriously, dinner by the beach? That is something rather quite amazing. After dinner, we just needed to reward ourselves with ice cream… just because why not.
Delicious eclair from our neighboring cafe
Mussels in white wine sauce served with chips
To make most of our travel experience during our trip in Nice we also decided to pay a visit to other neighboring villages such as Grasse – a village specializing in perfumes, Menton – a beautiful small town bordering to Italy and we even had the chance to visit another country which is Monaco, a very luxurious place I have to say! We didn’t like Monaco that much because, in contrast to Nice, Monaco was too much for us. It was too luxurious and there was nothing we could afford, but otherwise it was a nice experience to lose my 5€ over gambling. I was devastated yet a good learning experience that you should not gamble!
Our time in Nice went so slow and laid-back which we enjoyed and miss so much. However, there was this one night when our host, Jack, told us that there will be a château party nearby and we should go there because there would be live bands and food stalls. We did go to that said party since it was for free and we thought why not? We packed our trusty water bottles filled with wine and headed for a little hike over the mountain to reach the said château and found ourselves in complete darkness until the loud noise and party people started popping out.
We had so much fun dancing and just simply laying down on the grass listening to French music we could not understand and as well watched as the young people lose their minds over drugs, alcohol, and the music. It was something I’ve seen before but this one was quite an experience because it is a different scene than I am used to.
Gelato, our favorite guilty pleasure!
The next morning when we woke up after the party my friend just found out from our host that the party was organized by one of the largest communist parties in France for a some kind of awareness. Seriously Jack? Thank you because if you told us that maybe we wouldn’t have one of the best nights of our stay. We just laugh it off now because he is a smart man and he knows that if he told who organized this event, we probably won’t go there.
This travel experience was probably one of the most memorable for me since it was exactly what I just needed. I had so much fun and as well traveling with your girlfriends is certainly a must! Plus Nice was an amazing city and I am longing to be back there again anytime soon. I am really a girl on a mission to find people to come with me and visit that wonderful place yet again. Heck, to be honest, I have this great fondness towards the Mediterranean cities! From now on my mission will be to visit all Mediterranean villages, towns, and cities down south of Europe! I have to. It is a paradise on earth and the water is just beyond beautiful. I can’t wait to swim in the Mediterranean Sea once again.
Overall our experience was sheer bliss and certainly something to remember. I enjoyed the laid-back, no-fuss and a chilled life they got in there. It almost seems like there are no problems going on and everyone was happy and seemingly so detached to reality.
This trip was really something that I needed in the end. A simple trip with my best girlfriends and just a simple chill time by the sea and as well a little site seeing was an absolute treat for us all.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
- Would you like to visit Nice?
- Have you been?
- If yes, how did you like it?
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