Nice, Côte d’Azur and Monaco

After six weeks of traveling typically cooler places, with the exception of Barcelona, the next part of my trip began with a group tour with a company called Contiki. The specific trip I selected was Mediterranean Quest, which took us from Barcelona, through the south of France and throughout Italy.

Nice was our first stop on this tour. I had heard it was beautiful, but I really didn’t know what to expect. It was a beautiful smaller french city, with lovely architecture, a great tram system and stunning views of the coast and the ocean.

Views from outside of Nice:

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In Nice, we visited a french perfumery, and then had an afternoon to explore. We went off to find possibly the most beautiful beach I have seen in Villefranche-sur-mer. It was a stunning coastal town, complete with shops and restaurants, all on a large hill leading down to the ocean. The water was perfectly blue and the perfect temperature to swim. Many of the beaches in the area are rock beaches, not sand like we’re used to in North America, but this one had small pebbles.

Beach at Villefranche-sur-mer:

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Villefranche-sur-mer:

This area was absolutely a highlight of my trip! Next time before booking a trip to the Caribbean, I would definitely consider the French coast.

Our evening just continued the wonderful day we were having with an excursion to Monaco. Our tour group was lucky enough to be there during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend. Our evening was a dinner, with free time to explore Monaco and the Monte Carlo casino. Think tons of fancy Ferraris and Lamborghinis and people dressed in outfits you thought only existed on runways. Yachts + rich people = Monaco.

Princess Palace in Monaco:

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Monte Carlo Casino and the yachts at night:

Overall, seeing this region was absolutely amazing. I would absolutely go back and could happily spend a week or two, enjoying the beaches, seeing the sights and pretending to be rich and famous!

Paris

Paris was one of the few places I visited on this trip that I had visited before. I was there four years ago, but it is a beautiful city that deserves more than one visit. 

The architecture is obviously beautiful, there are numerous famous landmarks to see and the Parisian culture is unmatched anywhere. Baguettes, wine and accordions… need I say more? 

One stop I made on this trip was to the area of Montmartre. It’s located on a giant hill and offers spectacular views of the city. The best part was how close this was to the Gare du Nord so perfect to visit if you’re traveling to or from Paris by train. 

The area is also home to the Sacre Coeur Basilica:



The Eiffel Tower is obviously a must and it’s hard to miss from many areas of the city. Sometimes, the best views are from further away or other vantage points such as Trocadero. If nothing else, grab a bottle of wine and have a picnic near the Eiffel Tower. 

 I personally find the Eiffel Tower most beautiful at night. We decided to go up at night and it was definitely worth it and only €8 for students. 

We took advantage of Sandemans free walking tour which offered a great summary of the city’s history. We saw key spots like the Louvre, Notre Dame and the Latin Quarter. 

Notre Dame:

The Louvre at Sunset:

Picnics all over Paris are definitely the best part! Enjoy the beautiful buildings, architecture, and food! 

Parisian picnics: