After a day of exploring Nice, and another day touring wineries in Provence, it was time to take on the rest of the French Riviera. Trains and busses abound from Nice to Menton, running through beautiful coastal towns.
Take the 100 bus from Nice (starting location may vary due to construction in Nice) and ride it to the end of the line in the resort town of Menton. The scenery along the way is amazing, and it only costs 1.50 euro! Busses run every 15 to 20 minutes, unless it’s a holiday, in which case they may not run at all. Menton has beautiful scenery and cheaper beach bars than Nice, and it’s fun to wander around the beach. We ate a lovely lunch on the beach and explored the old town a bit before heading to Monaco.
I wasn’t sure what to expect visiting Monaco. We started our visit in Monaco Ville, wandered by the palace and through the botanical gardens. It’s a great view from up there, of the sea, hills and a hodgepodge of expensive apartment buildings and hotels. We walked downhill, then along the F1 racetrack and by some yachts in the harbor to Monte Carlo. Since it was during the day, and we hadn’t dressed up, we only made it as far as the atrium in the casino. People were dressed up though, and I imagine if you want to gamble at night, it’s a lot of fun to dress up and make a night of it. During the day I was a bit underwhelmed.
Our next stop was Villefranche-Ser-Mer, a beautiful seaside town on a hill. We hiked down to the water and bought some gelato before wandering along the base of the fortress, which I would highly recommend. We watched the sun start to set over the Mediterranean and when it got cool, caught the train to Nice and found ourselves some dinner.