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A Nice vacation ideal for a motorhome

Pronounced niece not nice, the beautiful capital of Côte d’Azur is a large city curved around the Bay of Angels on the French Riviera. Bewitching and scenic, it’s a popular destination for motorhome rental travellers, both young and old. Its famous waterfront is one of the most picturesque postcard opportunities in all of France. And though the beaches are packed during summer, Nice was traditionally a winter getaway for the English and then the wealthy aristocrats of Russia.

From Nice, you can reach Marseille or Montpellier in just a few hours. Corsica is also waiting for you, just a ferry ride away. Finally, MilanTurin and Genoa, in Italy are other destinations to consider.


Where to stay: Camping in Nice

  • Camping Les Cent Chenes is a beautiful site with shady, private pitches. They have very helpful staff who speak excellent English and plenty of room to park your Nice camper hire. The location is only a short distance to Nice and its airport and lovely villages surround the area. There’s even a pool.

  • Camping Les Gorges du Loup is in an ideal location near Grasse and the Gorge du Loup. The sites are very clean and modern with a swimming pool and restaurant. Mainly Scandinavian tourists visit here, so the atmosphere is quiet and relaxed. Wi-Fi is available but expensive.

  • Camping Parc des Maurettes is a nice and quiet, medium-sized camping ground with friendly staff. The supermarket is only a five-minute walk away; the train station and the beach are both a seven-minute walk. Trains run to Nice, Monaco and Cannes daily.

  • La Vieille Ferme have very friendly staff, speaking a wide array of languages. It’s an ideal location for those withcaravans – close enough to Nice without the crowds. Getting back up the hill to the campsite from the train station is exhausting, but it’s only 1km from the beach and 15km from Nice.

French cuisine is a religion

Taste some of the world’s best food in Nice. It’s home to the Nicoise Salad, Gnocchi (it’s not Italian), Socca and Aioli.

Le Chantecler is a two-star Michelin restaurant in a realm of wood panelling. Chandeliers hang each table and everything is grandiose – particularly the price. Eating is theatre,so go all out on the fillet of beef with grilled foie gras and glazed turnips if you’re taking a break from the motorhome stove.

La Terrasse is truly haute cuisine,10 floors up on a terrace on top of Le Méridien Hotel withstriking views of the sea and mountains. The dishes are elegant and simple – but not cheap.

Fennochios is an institution. It’s the very best ice-cream shop and serves flavours such as lavender and orange flower. Chilli pepper is also on the menu. It’s open from 9am to midnight at the Place Rossetti.

Indulge in local dishes. Traditional nicoise salad packed with seafood can be found at Le Chat Gourmand on the edge of the Old Town. Try gnocchi how it was first created at La Feniera, a cosy and family-friendly spot. They also serve boeuf en daube a la Nicoise – warming classic beef stew. Socca is another local speciality. It’s a pancake-like dish made from chickpea flour mixed with olive oil and water and baked in a wood-fire. It’s a cheap picnic snack to take to the beach. Or get some fougasse, a bread made with olives and herbs and some cheese for a proper French-style lunch.

With a fabulous square that’s home to Nice’s wonderful food market, it’s hard to go wrong if you eat in the Old Town. For affordable Southern France fare, try Lu Fran Calin. Oliviera, located at 8 bis rue du Collet, is arguably the very best restaurant in Old Town. The food is divine and well-priced so you can enjoy luxury without blowing your budget.

Things to do: Galleries, museums and nighlife

Brush up on your art history with the countlesspieces offine art in Nice. Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain has a large collection of contemporary work, if that’s your thing. In contrast, the Musée National Message Biblique Marc Chagall shows a collection of Biblically-themed paintings. The  Musée Matisse houses a huge number of paintings, drawings, engravings and personal effects of the artist and is worth a look. The building which houses the Musée des Beaux-Arts, the former residence of a Ukrainian princess, is a work of art in itself, but the real treasures are to be found within, from 15th century altar pieces to Rodin's imposing sculpture,The Kiss.

Spin around the dance floor at Ôdace or Guest. Visitors will be wearing Prada, show-boating and dropping a cool dime or two. In contrast, Blue Moon is sweaty and carefree with pumping house music and crowded dance floors.

Whatever your religion, the charming churches are a divine way to spend an afternoon. Cathédrale Saint Nicolas is one of the most arresting examples of Russian Orthodox architecture outside Russia; Chapelle de la Miséricorde is classically Baroque; while the 18th century Cathédrale de Sainte Réparate has three organs to take your breath away.

Delve into the past at Musée de Paléontologie Humaine de Terra Amata, but you can’t go to Nice and ignore the Promenade des Anglais. Contemplate the vastness of sea and sky or simply people watch. It curves almost five miles around the Bay of Angels under a canopy of palms. The tightly packed labyrinth of Old Town (Vieux Nice) comprised the whole city before foreign aristocrats started showing up in the early 19th century. And before the aristos dominated, life was different. Palais Masséna has escaped redevelopment and tells Nice’s story from Napoleon through to the mid-20th century. Best of all, like most Nice museums, it’s free.

Year-round sunshine

While the best time to visit is between June and August, Nice can enjoy great weather any time of the year. Balmy Mediterranean temperatures provide a pleasantly mild climate and sunshine. Between the end of September and late March the temperatures are chillier, and the locals leave for warmer climates. If you’re wanting to book out a sweeping villa – this would be the time.

Finding the best camper deal

There are a couple of options to choose from with your Nice camper rental on Motorhome Republic.

Right on the Cote D’Azur, Avis Caraway is perhaps one of the most glamorous depots in the world. But you would recognise the red and white Avis logo anywhere, and they have a superb fleet of motorhomes and invaluable industry experience.

Big Sky is another major player in the market, with 80% of the fleet renewed every year. Whether it’s 2-berth or 6-berth, big sky have the motorhome option for you. 


Tips for camping in Nice

  • Campsites in France close by the end of October and don’t reopen until April at the earliest. Some close as early as August. Call ahead.

  • Beware of pickpockets and keep your luggage out of view in the camper.

  • Avoid July and August if you can. The majority of Europe takes their holidays during these months.

  • The French appreciate you speaking the local language. Many can speak English but they do not like to do so. Use any French you have.

  • French law requires that you always have personal ID about your person, so keep your passport on you.