Experience Nice, France
If you’re thinking of flying to Nice – a vibrant, cosmopolitan port city situated on the Côte d’Azur in southern France – here are a few great things to do that will enrich your experience in this much celebrated city.
Take a walk to the top of Cimiez hill to look around the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Cemenelum. Relics dating back nearly 2,000 years include three thermal baths, shops and an amphitheatre which once sat 5,000 spectators. An on-site archaeological museum hosts an intriguing array of artefacts found in the area, dating back to the Roman age and the Greek period before it. The area is very calm and quiet particularly during the week so it’s an ideal place to get away from the city buzz for a few hours.
Nice Jazz Festival. Taking place over eight days in July, the Nice Jazz Festival is a big fixture in the city’s cultural calendar and is a major event for fans of the genre worldwide. Historically, the festival has welcomed music legends including Louis Armstrong (who headlined the inaugural festival in 1948) Miles Davis and Ray Charles. Until 2011 it was held at the above-mentioned amphitheatre at Cimiez; currently, the event is being held at the Place Masséna, a more central venue.
Sample the local speciality, socca; a pancake-like dish made from chickpeas and olive oil, which is usually served with a generous helping of black pepper while still hot. Although it originates from Genoa, socca (or ‘farinata’ as it’s known to Italians) is inextricably linked with the city of Nice and the region that surrounds it. Enjoy it freshly-prepared in a street-side restaurant with a Niçoise salad and a glass of rosé wine.
Go for a hike along the cliff tops. Make the most of the French Riviera’s stunning coastal views and go for a walk along the Sentier du Littoral, a coastal path that snakes its way along creeks, pebble and sand beaches and cliffs. A fair level of fitness is needed to climb the many steps and slopes that unfold in front of you as you go, especially in stretches like the one between Cap de Nice and Lazaret in Villefranche, but it’s worth the exertion for the breath-taking views.
Flights to Nice from Monarch are now available from just £40. You can get cheap deals on flights to destinations around the world by visiting Monarch.co.uk. Monarch’s scheduled flights to Nice depart from Birmingham airport.