Five must visit villages across Nice and the Cote d’Azur

There’s something for everyone in the Côte d’Azur, a region that offers a lot more than just a beautiful coastline.

From cycling in the mountains, to exploring cliffside Medieval villages, here are five towns you must visit during your stay in France for next year’s Rugby World Cup.


Villefranche-sur-Mer is a small seaside town just five or so minutes by train or bus from the centre of Nice. But when you arrive at Villefranche-sur-Mer, you feel like you’re a million miles from the hustle and bustle of the city. Beautiful beaches, views to die for and plenty of restaurants and bars near the water to enjoy a meal and a few drinks. 

You can also rent a boat, with or without a licence from Villefranche-sur-Mer to discover more of the Cote d’Azur. 

The old town

Nice’s old town is only small but packs plenty into a small pocket of land. Filled with traditional Nicoise restaurants, cafes, antique stores and art galleries, it’s not hard to get lost for an afternoon. It’s also just a five minute walk from the beachfront, yet again, it feels a million miles away. 


Somehow tucked into the Cote d’Azur cliffs halfway between Nice and Monaco is the medieval town of Eze. Eze is one of those tiny towns you need to see to believe. Even after walking around the medieval village, which now doubles as a five star hotel in parts, it’s still hard to imagine how the hell they built the place where they did. 

The drive to and from Eze is equally as spectacular and well worth an afternoon outing. 


Arguably the best kept secret of the Cote d’Azur, Vence is a beautiful hillside town about 30 minutes drive inland from the centre of Nice. Surrounded by hills, the views from Vence stretch north to the alps, east and west to the Cote d’Azur countryside and south to the coast and Mediterranean sea. 

The medieval village at the centre of the town, still home to …. residents, is well preserved and filled with restaurants and galleries. 

The food, views and friendly service at Cote Jardin Also make Vence well worth the trip. 


The second most expensive pocket of real estate in the world, St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat it well worth a visit. But don’t stress, you can leave your wallet at home for the afternoon and still have a great time exploring the beautiful headland, beaches and coastline. 

For a few bucks, you can also visit the former palace of Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild, once the richest person in France. 

Mont Boron

If it’s good enough for Elton, it’s surely good enough for you and me. Mont Boron, just a short but steep walk up the hill from the Old Town is home to Parc Forestier du Mont Boron, the best views in Nice and Elton John’s holiday villa. 

It doesn’t take long to realise why. 

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