I know it’s been a little while but I do want to finish sharing about my trip to Europe. After Avignon, we headed to Nice. Nice was definitely one of my favorite cities of the trip! It was just so beautiful and I had such a great time there!
We had a pretty full day before arriving in Nice with stopping in Aix-en-Provence and at the Fragonard Parfumeur so we didn’t arrive until late afternoon. Driving into Nice we drove right along the coastline – I immediately fell in love with the city- the beaches were gorgeous with beautiful blue water and the mountains along the coastline. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any time to check out the beach on the first day. We headed straight for the hotel to get ready to head to Monaco. The hotel in Nice was seriously the smallest hotel room I’ve ever seen! Of the whole trip it was probably the least nice of all my accommodations; it was clean just very small!
We only had about an hour to get ready for our night out in Monaco so it was a little bit of a scramble but everyone managed to be on time. We hopped on the bus to start our night! We drove along the coast on the way to Monaco and saw some more amazing views of the coastline. We even stopped at a lookout area to take a few quick pictures.
Upon arriving in Monaco we headed directly to the royal place. It was pretty, just not as lavish as I was expecting considering how rich the country is. Our tour manager gave us a brief history of Monaco including the fact that residents of Monaco are not allowed to gamble in the Grand Casino. This rule was put in place to preserve the wealth of the country. There’s also a pretty intense application process to become a resident of the country.
The group had dinner in a restaurant pretty close to the royal palace. We had a nice three course dinner with wine before heading to the Grand Casino. The outside of the Grand Casino was just like all the pictures! Fancy cars like Ferraris and Maseratis lined the entrance. It was all very lavish! But the inside wasn’t as grand as I was anticipating; it looked fancy inside but it was tiny – the areas open to regular people consisted of two rooms and there was no one there. We ended up having some champagne and it cost €60! I also played a round of roulette but at €25 a spin I was done once I lost my €25 (it only took one round! I’m not very lucky haha). We only spent about an hour inside the Grand Casino then we went outside to take some pictures and wait to go back to the bus.
We got back to Nice around 11 so a group of us decided to check out the night life in Nice. We actually ended up at an Irish pub. It was a pretty chill bar (which is typically my style) but since we only had a little time in Nice the group decide to go check out High, a night club, directly across from the beach. It was packed when we got there and only got more crowded as the night went on. It was fun but definitely too crowded for me!
The next day was a free day so we had the whole day to relax and enjoy Nice. The girls and I decided to sleep in a little which was much needed. We decided the day would be spent at the beach. Marine had brought flash tattoos for us to wear to the beach so before heading out we had a temporary tattoo party. Flash tattoos are metallic good and silver tattoos – I had never heard of them before but now they seem to be becoming popular. The set Marine brought had peacock feathers and designs that could be worn like bracelets. We all picked a peacock feather to don and then some of the line designs (the girls wore them as bracelets and I put one along my spine). After getting ready for the beach we were kinda starving so we headed straight for lunch. We stopped at a little cafe near the port. Neli and I both ordered pizza – prior to each ordering our own we asked the waiter how big the pizza was. He informed us it was about the size of a plate but when it arrived it was massive! We definitely should have shared one. After grabbing our quick lunch we headed directly for the beach. In Nice, they have several places along the beach where you can rent a lounge chair and umbrella and then they offer drink/snack service. It’s seriously the best thing ever! I hid under the shade of an umbrella while Neli was able to tan! Neli and I also decided we had to go in the ocean. The other unique thing about the beaches in Nice is that the beaches are all pebble beaches instead of sand. I loved that I didn’t leave with sand all over myself but the pebbles were quite painful to walk on. When Neli and I went in and it looked like we had never been to the beach before due to the pebbles making us walk so weird – it was so funny tho. We finally figured out that if you float around in the water instead of trying to stand it’s totally fine. I seriously had the best time at the beach! I’m not typically a beach person because I don’t like tanning but the umbrellas made it perfect! And swimming in the Mediterranean was amazing (it was my first warm water beach trip)!
After spending the majority of time at the beach for the day it was time to head back to get ready for dinner with the group. We had dinner in a cute restaurant that had a very home-like vibe to it. Following dinner, our tour manager showed us a few of the popular bars. By the end of the night my whole Contiki group was packed together in one bar – we pretty much took up the whole place with room for just a few people that weren’t in the group. I had a blast that night – lots of dancing and laughing with the group. By the end of the night a group of about 8 of us ended up walking back to the hotel together. But before heading back to the hotel we decided to take a 2 am swim in the Mediterranean Sea. I had even more fun swimming in the ocean that night than I had during the day! It was just a fun way to end our time in Nice!
Those two days in Monaco and Nice were definitely jammed packed and two of my favorite days of the trip! Next up Cinque Terra!