Take a trip into Nice
Published 29 September 2021
The coastal city of Nice, affectionately known as Nissa Bella by the locals, is one of the most interesting destinations on a French Riviera yacht charter. Its centrally located Port Lympia has capacity for yachts of up to 190m (623ft), just a stone’s throw from the historical Old Town area with its famous flower market and labyrinthine streets flanked by tall, terracotta hued buildings with brightly painted shutters. The most populated spot along the French Riviera, it has a thriving arts and culture scene, a wide selection of shops and great restaurants, ranging from classic bistros to modern fusion cuisine.
For the beaches
The Baie des Anges beachfront of Nice has attracted international visitors for over a century, with its alluring bright blue water proving irresistible for an afternoon’s relaxation. The renowned Promenade des Anglais, which follows the length of the beach, is home to a host of famous hotels on the inland side and numerous private beach clubs along the seafront. So, which to choose?
A short walk from the renowned Negresco Hotel, Blue Beach is located midway along the Nice waterfront. It offers beach loungers shaded by its trademark cobalt blue umbrellas and a reliable French-Mediterranean restaurant, which is open all year round if you happen to be visiting out of season. Active visitors may wish to head to the neighbouring watersports centre to try out parasailing, wakeboarding and such.
The oldest beach club in Nice, Opera Plage was founded in 1889. It is conveniently located a short stroll from the Old Town, where you will find a wide selection of cafes, souvenir shops and the regular market that sells local produce and flowers. This family-owned establishment prides itself on the friendly yet sophisticated ambiance, with a seasonally changing menu with pairings suggested by the in-house wine expert. If you forget your swimsuit, there is a selection available to purchase here, and the staff speak French, English, Italian, Russian and German. Why not stop in for a late dinner after enjoying a performance at the nearby Nice Opera before walking back to your charter yacht a few hundred metres away?
Plage Beau Rivage
An institution among the local clientele, the Beau Rivage private beach club offers an all-day wellness experience, from the healthy breakfast and water-based exercise classes in the morning to a post-lunch moment of peace in the steam room followed by a dip in the swimming pool. Alongside your virtuous activities, indulge in delicious modern Mediterranean cuisine with a long lunch on the deck under the pristine white umbrellas, or come after sunset for tapas, cocktails and dancing while the DJ provides the soundtrack to your evening.
For the architecture
As a historically important city, Nice has benefitted from centuries of wealth and prominence in the region, which can be observed in the many styles of architecture. From the elegant Beaux Arts hotels to the hodgepodge rustic homes of the Old Town, you can feel the history of the town resonate from their very walls.
Promenade des Anglais
Take a walk along the historical Promenade des Anglais, starting from the elevated Colline du Chateau which provides panoramic views across the Baie des Anges. From here, a winding staircase leads to the edge of the Old Town where you can stop for an espresso and croissant before tracing the coastline with the wide variety of grand hotels, lush parks and stony beaches on offer.
Le Port de Nice
Le Port de Nice provides a window into the everyday life of Nicois locals, with brightly coloured buildings surrounding Port Lympia. Head past the imposing Eglise Notre Dame du Port to find a number of charming streets that are home to hidden gem restaurants, the unmissable Deli Bo patisserie and the Place du Pin, an archetypal French square with cafes and restaurants galore.
Palais de Justice
The Palais de Justice, in the very heart of the Old Town, is one of the most spectacular public buildings you will find anywhere in the world. This imposing building fronts onto a large square with a sculpture and a number of cafes ready to serve an espresso or cafe au lait at your leisure.
For the cuisine
The Nicois are very proud of their culinary traditions (there is more to the city than tuna salads) and a growing number of top restaurants offering more than the standard Mediterranean fare is now on offer.
Le Plongeoir has to have one of the most striking and fun locations for a restaurant and bar anywhere in the world. Once the site of a viewing point for the Restaurant de la Reserve, and a famous set diving board plunging directly into the sea, Le Plongeoir offers one of the best sunset views in Nice. Come for an Aperol Spritz in the lounge bar and stay for the atmospheric dinner, with a menu focusing on fresh fish and meat from the region.
Hidden away on an unassuming street in the Old Port, JAN is a culinary revelation. This bijoux establishment has just 24 covers and is run by the world’s first Michelin-starred South African chef, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen. JAN recently opened a 'secret’ garden to expand its capacity, but be sure to book well in advance as this is one of the hottest restaurants in town.
For a truly authentic Nicoise bistro experience, head to La Merenda in the Old Town. Think stuffed sardines and chard pie, immaculately executed by head chef Dominique Le Stanc, a two Michelin-star chef who previously ran the kitchen at the Negresco Hotel. Reservations cannot be made by telephone, so be sure to arrive early to avoid a wait.
For the shopping
Whether you are looking for a special evening outfit or something more casual, Nice has the full gamut of shops for every possible need.
Offering high street staples as well as more upmarket clothing stores, Nice Etoile is a one stop shop for your retail therapy needs. Travel like a local and jump on a tram directly from the Port or take a 15 minute taxi ride to explore the mall’s various boutiques, from Adidas to Lancel.
Le Carre d’Or
One of the smartest parts of Nice is Le Carre d’Or, which means 'Golden Square’ in French. It is home to couture boutiques along Rue Paradis and Avenue de Verdun, offering international fashion brands as well as smaller local labels. Much of the quarter is pedestrianised and it is a short walk from the famous Negresco Hotel, a perfect spot for afternoon tea when your shopping is complete.
Rue Catherine Segurane
A short walk from the Port on the way to Place Garibaldi, rue Catherine Segurane is a must-see for anyone looking to acquire high quality antiques and furnishings during a French Riviera yacht charter. With shops specialising fine art, sculpture, Asian antiquities and contemporary pieces, there is something for everyone.
For the culture
For centuries, Nice was aligned with the House of Savoy, which went on to become part of Italy; this cultural influence can still be found in the Italian street names of the Old Town today. The French Riviera has attracted artists, poets and writers for centuries, with many living in or passing through Nice. As such, the city provides a unique cultural blend for visitors to enjoy.
With one of the largest collections of Henri Matisse works in the world, this is an essential stop on the artistic trail of the French Riviera. Located in the historically wealthy Cimiez quarter that overlooks the city, the grand Genoese villa setting and its olive tree lined grounds themselves are worth the trip alone. Matisse made Nice his home for much of his life, and produced more work here than anywhere else during his career.
Boulevard de Cimiez
To see some of the finest architecture in Cimiez, take a walk along this residential street. This gracious upper-class residential district used to be the Roman settlement of Cemenelum. Later becoming one of the favourite haunts of the rich and famous, notably British aristocrats, in the late 19th Century - resulting in the sumptuous Belle Epoque facades.
The Marche aux Fleurs Saleya is Nice’s most famous market, in Cours Saleya nestled in the heart of the Old Town and just off the Promenade des Anglais. Here you will find sellers of local fruit and flowers, speciality candied fruit and souvenirs. Fragonard is a local perfumery that offers beautifully scented soaps, perfumes and toiletries as well as linen goods that make excellent gifts for loved ones at home. Spend an hour or two walking through the stalls and shops before enjoying a typical local lunch at one of the restaurants on the edge of the square.
Get in touch
When you are sailing in the French Riviera or Mediterranean, make sure that Nice is on your itinerary. We will give you all the tips on the hottest restaurants and nightclubs, as well as the inside slant on when to visit the local beauty spots to really get the most from your trip. Give us a call to find out more about charters to the French Rivera and your trip to Nice.
To find out more about Burgess’ yachts for sale and yachts for charter, please contact a Burgess broker. Alternatively, get in touch with one of our offices directly: London, Monaco, New York, Miami, Singapore or all other locations.
- Yachts, prices and availability are correct at the time of publication.