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13 of the best hill villages near Nice

The Alpes-Maritimes department in south-east France, including the world-famous Côte d’Azur, is home to several hundred medieval hill villages, fortified towns and ruined iron age camps and many are close to Nice.  The “villages perchés” vary from little more than a pile of ruins to perfectly renovated sophisticated small towns…Continue reading here to find out about Phoebe’s favourite villages near Nice.

Things to Do in or near Nice:

If you’re looking for a day out near Nice and the Côte d’Azur, it’s hard to beat a trip to Entrevaux citadel and fortified medieval village in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.  Located some 75 kilometres from the French Riviera on a bend in the Var river surrounded by cliffs, the first view of the village is breathtaking, but it only gets better. The citadel, which is perched 150 metres above the village high on a rocky outcrop, can be seen for miles.

Bellet is one of the smallest appellations and the first to receive the AOP status in Provence, on November 11, 1941. The vineyards of Bellet are actually within the urban city limits of Nice, France. It is the only AOP in France where that is the case.  There are two indigenous grape varieties, which are found in the rosé and red wines. The Braquet varietal is the main ingredient in a Bellet (AOP) Rosé and often the only variety used. The other indigenous variety, Folle Noir is used in red wines blends along with Braquet.

The French Riviera city of Nice did not lack options for entertainment, but now there is one more to add to your list, a visit to the Gare du Sud. This new marketplace, which opened in May 2019, is a stroll from Place MassénaThe transformed train station is a dynamic public space — designed as an arts and entertainment centre with a focus on dining options. Located in the Libération area of Nice, Gard du Sud is a short distance from the daily – Marché de la Libération – a bustling local market selling fruit, vegetables and other goodies. 

A visit to Nice starts and ends with the Promenade des Anglais. This celebrated seven (7)-kilometre coastal boulevard between the sea and palm trees offers superb views of the Bay of Nice and gives the city its unique identity. The openness and long span of the uninterrupted path gives a sense of freedom and space that is found nowhere else in the city. The history of the Promenade des Anglais dates back to the 19th century.

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Phoebe Thomas

Phoebe Thomas

Phoebe Thomas carries two passports British and Australian. She married a Frenchman and now the couple are living in Provence with their two children. This bilingual and multi-cultural family has travelled extensively to Asia, Eastern Europe and Australia before settling in Roquefort les Pins in 2007.

Read more about Lou Messugo the Cote d'Azur holiday home rental owned and managed by Phoebe and her husband here.


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    Brett hawkes
    July 22, 2018 at 12:54 pm — Reply

    We are a group of 10 American cyclists. I am looking a substantial hilltop town where we will stay a week, therefore has to have a variety of restaurants. We will bike from that town. what would you recommend?
    I speak French also.

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