Top Popular Destinations from Nice within one Hour of Driving

The finest destinations from Nice described in this post are particularly suitable for those aiming to make the most of limited time and budget while venturing into numerous places. Refining my original list, I’ve carefully selected destinations accessible within an hour’s drive from Nice. The beauty lies in the ability to explore in multiple locations in a single day.

Having visited each location, some multiple times like Grasse and Eze, these destinations have etched lasting memories. From the azure Mediterranean to charming hilltop villages, and culturally rich cities, each place offers a unique facet of Provencal culture. What makes these magical destinations even more special is their family-friendly appeal. We’ve explored them with our child over the years, starting when he was just a year old.

Antibes; Day Trip from Nice, Provence

Destinations from Nice

Some of the destinations from Nice are renowned among global travelers, while others remain hidden gems that are less well-known. In my perspective, these lesser-known places are ideal for exploration without the crowds of tourists. The magic destinations from Nice include:

Based on my personal experience, I’ve compiled the essential information for each of the destinations from Nice:

  • The distances from Nice to these destinations
  • Transportation options for reaching these places
  • Key attractions and highlights at each location
  • Recommended hotels if you plan to stay overnight
  • Guided tours available for exploring these areas
Antibes; Destinations from Nice

Eze Village

Distance from Nice: Nine kilometres from Nice

Transportation options:

  • By Bus: Bus line 82 from Nice (Gare Routière Vauban), approximately half-an-hour travel time.
  • By Car: Accessible via the A8 highway, with options to take the lower, middle, or high coastal road.

Key Attractions and Highlights:

  • Narrow Alleys: Explore the charming and picturesque narrow alleys, offering glimpses of cozy courtyards and stunning views of the ocean.
  • Exotic Garden: Wander through the exotic garden located in the ruins of a medieval castle, showcasing diverse cacti and succulent plants. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Mediterranean coast.
  • Cliffside Terraces: Some hotels and restaurants boast terraces and rooms at the cliffside, providing guests with unforgettable panoramic views.

Hotels in Eze Village: Hôtel Les Terrasses D’eze and Château de La Chèvre d’Or

Tour suggestion

La Turbie

Distance from Nice: Located 23 km from Nice airport

Transportation options:

  • Bus Line 116: A convenient option for reaching La Turbie from Nice, taking approximately 50 minutes. For bus schedules, check Lignes d’Azur.
  • By car: Accessible via A8 with an exit at La Turbie. Consider combining a visit to Eze Village and La Turbie, as they are only 5 kilometres apart.
  • Hiking: For outdoor enthusiasts, an alternative is to hike from Monaco to La Turbie.

Key Attractions and Highlights:

  • Panoramic Viewpoint: Positioned at 1,150m, La Turbie offers a panorama of the Principality of Monaco and the Mediterranean. A lookout area provides a sweeping view, making it feel like a balcony over the sea.
  • Trophée Auguste à La Turbie: Adjacent to the lookout area, this is a historical monument.
  • Preserved Charm: The village has retained the charm of its glorious past, featuring cobblestone streets, well-preserved stone houses, vaulted passageways, quaint fountains, and the magnificent baroque church of Saint-Michel, crowned with a square bell tower roofed with varnished tiles.

Hotels in La Turbie: Studio Independant La Turbie

    Tour suggestion:

    Eze Village: Destinations from Nice
    La Turbie; Hilltop Village in Provence


    Distance from Nice: Approximately 33 kilometres.

    Transportation options:

    • By train: Easily accessible by SNCF trains in about half an hour.
    • By bus: Buses from Terminal 1 & 2 at Nice Airport to Cannes Bus Station take less than an hour for the journey.
    • By car: Driving via Highway A8, it takes about 30 minutes to reach Cannes from Nice.

    Key Attractions and Highlights:

    • Palais des Festivals et des Congrès: It is renowned for hosting prestigious events like the Cannes Film Festival. Don’t forget to stroll along the Star-studded pavement, where film industry luminaries leave their handprints and signatures, reminiscent of a scene from Krakow.
    • La Croisette Boulevard: Immerse yourself in the elegance of La Croisette Boulevard, famous for its upscale shops and historic luxury hotels that have shaped Cannes’ illustrious history.
    • Shopping Paradises: Rue d’Antibes, Rue Antibes, Rue Meynadier, Rue Hoche, and Rue Commandant André, are the places to find prestigious boutiques and chic stores.
    • Forville Market: The local vendors offer various types of Southern Provence’s finest products, including fresh tomatoes, olive oil, seafood, and delicious aniseed biscuits.

    Hotel in Cannes: JW Marriott Cannes and The View YourHostHelper

    Tour suggestion

    Mandelieu-La-Napoule; Destinations from Nice


    Distance from Nice: Approximately 48 kilometres

    Transportation Options:

    • SNCF offers scheduled train services from Nice Ville to Mandelieu-la-Napoule.
    • A mere 40-minute car ride from Nice by taking the A8 highway and using the Mandelieu-centre exit (Exit 40). Alternatively, access the city via the scenic route using D6007.

    Key Attractions and Highlights

    • Mandelieu-la-Napoule is renowned as the first golf destination on the French Riviera, featuring two prestigious golf courses.
    • Experience the vibrant Mimosa Festival, celebrated every February, honouring the winter sun and embraced by the local community.
    • Enjoy the scenic Mandelieu-la-Napoule beach walk.
    • Take a picturesque drive along the Golden Corniche d’Or, a road linking La Napoule and Saint-Raphaël.

    Hotels in Mandelieu-la-Napoule: La Napoule Marina Sea View and Pullman Cannes Mandelieu Royal Casino

    Mandelieu-La-Napoule; Cote d'Azur


    Distances from Nice: Approximately 50 kilometres

    Transportation Options:

    • Take Bus LER 31 at Nice Gare Routière to Grasse. The journey takes about one hour.
    • Take the train from Nice, and it takes one hour and eleven minutes.
    • Follow A8 and then change to D6185, and it takes about 40 minutes by car.

    Key Attractions and Highlights:

    • Explore perfume factory tours offering insights into perfume production, with opportunities to purchase the latest products. Consider guided tours to create your own custom perfumes.
    • Discover local products and unique finds along the picturesque shopping street.

    Hotel in Grasse: Skylark Bed & Breakfast and Aec Village Vacances – Les Cèdres

    Tour suggestion

    Grasse; perfume capital of the world


    Distance from Nice: Approximately 30 kilometers

    Transportation Options:

    • The regional TER train, operated by SNCF, offers a convenient journey of just over 30 minutes to Menton. Disembark at the Menton station, the last stop before Italy.
    • If you prefer driving, the A8 highway provides a scenic 30-minute route from Nice to Menton..

    Key Attractions and Highlights:

    • Menton has several renowned gardens, including Fontana Rosa, the exotic botanical garden of Val Rahmeh, and the gardens of Villa Maria Serena. The Palais Carnolès houses Europe’s largest collection of citrus trees.
    • Explore Menton’s rich cultural heritage at the Regional Prehistoric Museum, offering a journey back to one million years ago, and the Musee du Bastion in a 17th-century fort showcasing Jean Cocteau’s artworks.
    • The charming old town features a labyrinth of narrow streets descending from the old castle to the sea and the quaint port of small fishing boats. The pastel-colored buildings exude an Italian Cinque Terre atmosphere, especially along the Rue Saint-Michel pedestrian street, where numerous cafes and restaurants beckon.

    Hotel in Menton: Le Cap and Villa Philae

    Tour suggestion


    Distances from Nice: Approximately 31 kilometres

    Transportation Options

    The most convenient way to reach Chateauneuf-Grasse is by car. Combining a visit with Grasse is a common and efficient choice.

    Key Attractions and Highlights

    • Chateauneuf-Grasse offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and the Bay of Cannes in the distance.
    • Explore the quintessential Provençal narrow street that offers a picturesque and authentic experience. Each street features a decorative strip of flagstones down the center, while the facades of houses showcase a harmonious blend of older-style stone-and-mortar architecture.
    Gourdon; Destinations from Nice

    Saint Paul de Vence

    Distances from Nice: Approximately 19 kilometres

    Transportation Options

    • By Car: Drive from Nice via the A8 highway, changing to M336 at Cagnes-sur-Mer. The journey takes about 30 minutes.
    • By Bus: Bus 400 from Nice Airport offers a direct route to Saint-Paul-de-Vence. For Maeght Foundation, alight at the stop just before. The entire journey encompasses 31 stops.

    Key Attractions and Highlights

    • The village has numerous sculptures scattered throughout its winding, pebbled narrow alleys like Rue Grande.
    • Art enthusiasts can explore various galleries showcasing diverse artworks. Don’t miss the exhibitions at the Maeght Foundation, offering impressive and educational art collections.

    Hotel in Saint Paul de Vence: Hotel Le Saint Pau and Luxueuse villa piscine et jacuzzi

    Tour suggestion

    Saint-Paul-de-Vence; Day Trip from Nice
    Chateauneuf-Grasse; Day Trip from Nice Provence


    Distances from Nice: Approximately 10 kilometres

    Transportation Options:

    • Reach Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat with ease by taking a scenic 30-minute drive from Nice.
    • Ligne d’Azur operates bus 15 from Nice to Beaulieu-sur-Mer, with stops at various points in Cap Ferrat.

    Key Attractions and Highlights

    • Take three picturesque hiking trails – the 4.8 km route around Cap-Ferrat (1.5 to 2 hours), the 1.8 km Pointe Saint-Hospice trail (40 minutes), and the 1.3 km Maurice Rouvier walk (20 minutes).
    • Discover the cultural heritage of Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, featuring a remarkable collection of art objects and a dream villa surrounded by nine exquisitely themed gardens.
    • Explore the Shell Museum, showcasing an impressive collection of 7,000 shells, including over 400 unique varieties.

    Hotel in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat: Cap Ferrat View Ap4162 and Cap Ferrat Luxury Terrace Sea Front

    Tour suggestion

    Gourdon (Provence)

    Distances from Nice: Approximately 40 kilometres

    Transportation Options:

    Navigate through the A8 autoroute and D2085 to reach Route de Gourdon/D3 in Châteauneuf-Grasse. Combining the visit of Grasse, Chateauneuf-Grasse, and Gourdon in one day by car is entirely feasible.

    Key Attractions and Highlights:

    • The town has one charming main street and a couple of side streets.
    • At the town’s end, the Eagle’s Nest provides breathtaking panoramic views.
    • And the historical gem, Chateau de Gourdon, houses two museums and is surrounded by gardens.

    Hotel in Gourdon: La Cigale

    Tour suggestion

    Gourdon; Destinations from Nice


    Distances from Nice: Approximately 32 kilometres

    Transportation Options:

    • Car: Enjoy the convenience of a 30-minute drive via the A8 highway.
    • Public Transportation: Alternatively, if opting for public transport, take the train from Nice Ville to Cannes and then board bus line 600, connecting Cannes to Grasse. Disembark at Mougins.

    Key Attractions and Highlights:

    • The village has artistic workshops and galleries, with the Mougins Museum of Classical Painting proudly housing the world’s largest private collection of ancient weapons and armor.
    • Mougins is home to numerous restaurants, including Michelin-starred establishments, It takes centre stage in the International Gastronomy Festival every June, attracting world-renowned chefs.

    Hotel in Mougins: Hôtel Villa Sophia and Le Manoir de l’Etang

    Mougins; Gourmet Centre of Provence
    Eze Village


    Distances from Nice: Approximately 22 kilometres

    Transportation options

    • Train: Enjoy a swift 20-minute train ride from Nice Ville to Monaco Monte-Carlo, immersing yourself in picturesque landscapes along the way.
    • Car: Opt for a leisurely 35-minute drive via the A8 highway, soaking in the coastal beauty as you approach Monaco.

    Key Attractions and Highlights

    • The iconic Prince’s Palace and the ceremonial changing of the guard are common yet fascinating sights.
    • Explore the glamorous Port de Fontvieille and Monte Carlo Harbor, where luxurious yachts grace the waters.
    • Monte-Carlo, Monaco’s wealthiest district, exudes sophistication, with luxury cars and elegant individuals seamlessly blending into the upscale neighbourhood.
    • Discover cultural treasures such as the Musée Oceanographique, perched spectacularly on Le Rocher.
    • Explore Le Rocher (Monaco-Ville), the oldest neighbourhood in Monaco, the architectural wonders like the Opéra de Monte-Carlo (Salle Garnier), and the Roman-Byzantine-style cathedral, constructed with pristine white stones from nearby La Turbie.

    Hotel in Monaco: Port Palace and Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo

    Tour suggestion

    Monaco; Destinations from Nice


    Distances from Nice: Approximately 8 kilometres

    Transportation options

    • The coastal town is also reachable via train in less than 10 minutes.
    • Start a walking trail from Nice Port that passing through Cap de Nice, and follow the M6098 until reaching the picturesque Villefranche-sur-Mer.
    • For those preferring a leisurely drive, the scenic route takes approximately 25 minutes.

    Key Attractions and Highlights

    • Villefranche-sur-Mer has a Citadel encompassing lovely buildings, well-maintained gardens, a diverse array of artworks, and engaging museums.
    • A notable feature is its status as a cruise port, enhancing its maritime charm. It’s crucial not to confuse this quaint fishing town with Villefranche-de-Conflent, a picturesque destination nestled in the French Pyrenees.

    Hotel in Villefranche-sur-Mer: Studio Leopolda and Stunning Seaview Villa

    Tour suggestion


    Distances from Nice: Approximately 23 kilometres

    Transportation options

    • Express Bus 250 from the bus center at Nice Airport provides a convenient option. The journey to Antibes typically takes between 20 to 40 minutes, subject to traffic conditions.
    • Additionally, all categories of trains make a stop at Antibes Train Station SNCF-TGV, with the train journey lasting about an hour.
    • If you choose to drive, the journey via the A8 highway takes around 30 minutes, offering a picturesque route between the two charming towns.

    Key Attractions and Highlights

    • The old town echoes the traditional character of a Mediterranean city, inviting a delightful stroll amidst stone buildings, elegant fountains, and bougainvillea-draped alleyways.
    • Start a scenic coastal walk from Port Vauban, encompassing landmarks such as Fort Carré, the sandy Plage de la Gravette with medieval ramparts, and the renowned Musée Picasso.
    • For a serene escape, explore the Sentier de Tirepoil coastal path at the southern tip of Cap d’Antibes. This two-hour hiking trail guarantees a unique experience where the only sounds you’ll encounter are the soothing melodies of nature.

    Hotel in Antibes: Apartment Port Prestige and Les Remparts Antibes

    Tour suggestion

    Antibes, Provence France

    Travel Tips to the destinations from Nice

    When it comes to travel time, it’s advisable to check the local traffic situation before embarking on your journeys from Nice, particularly in the bustling coastal area.

    The mentioned tours are designed as budget-friendly day trips from Nice, given that most packages cover multiple destinations. If you’re mindful of both time and travel expenses, opting for organised tours could be the economical way to explore various places.

    The driving time for these budget day trips from Nice typically falls within an hour, but it’s wise to allocate sufficient time for specific locations. For instance, compact spots like La Turbie may only require an hour, whereas larger destinations like Antibes or Cannes might demand a whole day for thorough exploration.

    So, which of these enticing destinations from Nice would you fancy visiting?

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