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A beach hopper’s guide to Nice

Nice is a well-known seaside destination in the south of France, making it the ideal place to visit if you’re after a bit of relaxation in the sun. While the city itself is home to several stunning beaches, it would be a shame not to explore some other parts of the coastline.

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The easiest way to do this is to hire a car when you arrive, as this will give you plenty of freedom to travel outside Nice should you wish to (check out this websitefor information about car rental). To give you an incentive to explore, we’ve put together a list of some of the top beaches in and around Nice.

One thing to remember about Nice’s beaches is that there are private and public seaside stretches, with the private options generally thought to be the best.

Blue Beach

Our first pick is Nice’s Blue Beach, a private cove that’s got excellent facilities and is renowned for its brilliant restaurant. As well as the high-end eatery that is a must-visit for gastronomes, there is also a volleyball court and a table tennis table, so there’s a lot to keep you from getting bored while you soak up the sun.

You’ll find Blue Beach just off the Promenade des Anglais and close to some of the city’s best hotels, such as the Palais de la Mediterranee.

Beaulieu-sur-Mer

Around a 20-minute drive to the east of Nice is the charming seaside town of Beaulieu-sur-Mer, which happens to boast some of the most picturesque beaches in the French Riviera.

You don’t need to look hard to find that perfect sweep of sand, either, as the main beach is wonderful. It’s around 1 km long and is made up of a mixture of sand and pebbles. Running along its entire length is a promenade where you can go for a leisurely stroll if you tire of lying in the sun.

Plage de la Mala

Plage de la Mala is in Cap d’Ali, which is roughly 30 minutes to the east of Nice. This is the ideal seaside spot if you’re hoping to avoid the crowds, because the steep steps you have to climb down (and back up again after your day of sunbathing) put many people off.

This secluded cove is well worth the effort to get down to, though, with azure-blue waters lapping gently at the shore and few people to fight over space with. There are private areas on this beach, which are backed by high-end restaurants – perfect if you want to treat yourself to an indulgent meal before heading back up the steps.

Eze bay

Our final pick is the bay in Eze, a delightful perched village that is worth a visit regardless of the quality of its beach. The village itself is located high on a hill overlooking the coast and dates back to the medieval era. At its highest point are the ruins of a 12th century castle – so drive up to the fortified centre and explore before hitting the seaside.

The beach is made up of pebbles but is very picturesque. There’s a private section – known as Anjuna Beach – where the restaurant and sun terrace are decorated to give visitors a taste of India and Bali. Head down on a Sunday and you’ll be treated to live music at the beach club as well.

 

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Five ways to live like the French

What is the French way of life? Do you imagine cycling through Province, sun beating on your back, wearing a beret and an amulet of garlic around your neck? If you do you may be in for a surprise, as statistics show three quarters of the French population live in the towns and cities. So much for stereotypes, but one stereotype about typical French way of life does ring true, the food and more specially the art of eating.

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Eating out in France is not, generally, expensive. A two-course lunch can usually be found for around €12, but if you’re travelling on a tight budget, that may still be too much. Which is where a supermarket comes in handy, eat well and healthy for less.

But eating out in a French restaurant is a joy you have to savour once while on your holiday if you wish to really learn the French way of life. The French love taking their time over food, fast food is not an option for authentic French living. Good food and even better wine is an integral part of France.

Eating at home or at your rented accommodation is an excellent way to experience the French way of life. Tracking down a local farmer’s market or even a local food stuff shop and you’ll be amazed at the array of cheeses, cured meats and beards available.

But what is traditional French cuisine? The French place a high priority on the enjoyment of food. Dishes and ingredients vary by region but there are some significant regional dishes which have become national dishes of France. Cheese and wine play a major role in French cuisine, while there still differences regionally, it is safe to say no French meal is complete with a cheese board or glass of wine.

 

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