Cannes? Monte Carlo? Nice? Monaco & Eze?

Old Jun 25th, 2018, 10:28 AM
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Cannes? Monte Carlo? Nice? Monaco & Eze?

Hi Fodor's Folks,

I arrive in Cannes on cruise (July) and have one day to do a shore excursion and need some input and feedback. I have the option of visiting Cannes, Monte Carlo, Nice, Monaco and Eze. How do I pick one? Is there anything that stands out more than the rest? There is an option to do Saint-Honorat, Antibes and Old Market, Golden Corniche & St. Raphael. Everything looks amazing and I can't choose one!

I appreciate any/all feedback!
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Old Jun 25th, 2018, 12:21 PM
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I don't know which one you should do, but I'd definitely vote against Monte Carlo.
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Old Jun 25th, 2018, 12:35 PM
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How many hours will you have exactly? Some years ago, spent 5 nights in Nice as base to explore both to the east and west. Don't understand why some people are against Monaco, it is not far east from Nice and set spectacularly just east past Eze, another showstopper. We have 14 hrs docked from Monaco; plan to rent a car, drive to Nice through Villefranche & St.-Jean-Cap-Ferrat (again), up to St. Paul-de-Vence (want to see the Matisse & Chagall musees and the Maeght Fondation there). Anyway, would recommend you go east to Antibes, Nice, (Villefranche just around the point) & Eze, and if possible Monaco. St. Tropez now not the hot-spot it was when we last visited, and Cannes was not amongst our fave last time. Villeneuve-Loubet lovely too if you dont venture that far east.
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Old Jun 25th, 2018, 01:00 PM
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Thank you or the feedback. Why did you not like Monte Carlo (casino) etc? Thank you for the feedback!
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Old Jun 25th, 2018, 03:05 PM
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Everyone here pans Monaco/Monte Carlo because it lacks old-world looks but could be interesting for a few hours in combo with other places - yes the famous casino and glitzy yachts in port but again lacks real charm as a city - Antibes is great and as aliced says St-Paul-du-Vence is an awesome hill town not far from Cannes. You could easily do Antibes on your own by train from Cannes and bus to St-Paul from there. For excursions I'd take the one that combines Antibes and corniche drive - very scenic roads those corniche roads.
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Old Jun 25th, 2018, 08:43 PM
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We will be arriving on a cruise ship to the port of Nice (villefranche) at 7:00 am leaving at 6:00 pm. There are many options on places to go, however, I do not want to just do a drive by for everything. I would rather see a few less places but actually see and visit something. One suggested tour is Nice, Eze & Monaco Discovery
This is through the ship which is not my first choice. All suggestions welcome
Thank you
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Old Jun 25th, 2018, 09:47 PM
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I believe the choice depends on your interests. For a first timer, the very packed option with Eze, Nice and Monaco may be best (for the OP). The second option is interesting, in that it involves a boat trip to St. Honorat and the natural coastline of the Golden Corniche between Antibes and St. Raphael. The former hits the beautiful vistas and charming old towns, plus a little historic glitz.

It is possible to hit Cannes, Antibes, Nice, Monaco and Villefrance-sur-Mer from the train as a self-guided option. You can go to St. Honorat by ferry or even take a small boat from Cannes to Antibes or the Old Port in Nice. (From Villefranche, you can take the train). The only parts that are difficult are to get to St. Paul de Vence and Eze -- local buses are required.
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Old Jun 26th, 2018, 03:15 AM
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You may want to get the book Rick Steves guide to Med. ports - it will cover this stop and probably other places you are also stopping. It would be helpful if you want to explore on your own - gives detailed instructions on getting from one point to another. Another option is to check out Tours by Locals - small group tours that you can customize to some extent - a bit more pleasant than the big cruise line tour.

I am a bit confused if you are docking at Villefrance or Nice - not the same but not far from each other. IMO there is plenty to do for one day in Nice. Old town, market, castle area, several museums (Chagall), the promenade, many cafes and shops - even a Russian Orthodox church. Nearby is Villa Euphrisi (wonderful gardens) and Villa Kerylos - both wonderful. Whatever you chose, have a lovely day on the Cote D'Azur!
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Old Jun 26th, 2018, 03:53 AM
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If you are fit and would prefer to walk rather than be herded in a cruise ship bus, there is a spectacular day trip walking option from Villefranche sur Mer that no one on the ship will tell you about. We did it once easily on a cruise ship visit, but have repeated it twice while staying in the area. And, if you do it, you might only see French speaking hikers (since no one else on the cruise ship will likely be doing it). These other hikers will gladly oblige your need to take your photo at any of the endless scenic spots,

First walk to charming Beaulieu-sur Mer, maybe 30 minutes from the ship. Then begin the trail to Saint Jean Cap sur Mer where the truly rich and famous live and hang out. The path takes you within a few feet of the late David Nivenís front door to his spectacular villa. Once in Cap Ferrat, there is a great bakery there, some smaller restaurants and an opportunity to eat something as you look at the yacht-filled harbor and the mountainous vistas of the Cote díAzur. Google trail maps Cap Ferrat. There is a short loop to the east if you are really ambitious, but we recommend only the west shore path. It takes you by a lighthouse and the breathtaking trail, maybe 90 minutes, will eventually give you the best views of your cruise ship and the harbor where it sits. The weather is often perfect in this area, and, if thatís what you get, you will tell everyone this is the best coastal hike in the world.

The bonus at the end of the trail is the nearby Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. There is a fee to see this massive villa that is open to the public. From its windows, you can see your cruise ship. Outside are 9 impressive gardens that alone are worth the trip. Walk back to Villefranche and walk its old streets.
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Old Jun 26th, 2018, 10:03 AM
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I would head straight to Nice, which has the interesting old town, the large open-air market at the Cours Saleya, the Promenade des Anglais (a don't miss for anyone), and much more.
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Old Jun 26th, 2018, 02:42 PM
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Those hikes are great and a great way to see the signature beauty of the Cote d'Azur that has been emasculated so much along the coast by modern seaside resorts. But if not I agree with Underhill - take train to Nice from Cannes and head for the seafront and Old Town that is so so neat and yes famous Promenade des Anglais lined by grand old hotels - but a pebble beach -Cannes has one of finest sandy beaches anywhere so maybe end your day relaxing there. No need for group tour as trains are easy to take on own - just buy return tickets for a few euros at station - avoid the TGV and express trains that run the route as they must be booked on a specific train in advance and could cost much more. Just hop the frequent local commuter trains on which you cannot even make seat reservations.
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Old Jun 27th, 2018, 04:03 PM
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Confused, thought OP (Zanyzak) said they were docking in Cannes! Yes, Tours by Locals is great, but man, the prices in Monaco & Italy are a fortune considering what we paid in Greece and Ephesus. When I checked Italy (which we are doing on our own) most tours were quoted for 6 persons, therefore you'd better sign up for the Roll Call for your cruise to see if you can make your group. You could check a car rental at your port of entry, as the mileage is not far even all the way to Monaco. We are doing Avis from Monaco, but our docked day is three hours longer. Nice is along the sea, Eze is this ancient fortification way up with fab views. If time is of the essence, you could get there, and look at the views from La Turbie (next door to Eze kind of) without going down to it. I wouldnt miss Nice or Eze if I had to pick two, and then you see along the water Villefranche & Beaulieu. We have decided not to take the trains as yes, they get to Nice easily but not so easily up to St.P-de-V and Eze, and forget buses.
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Old Jun 28th, 2018, 08:37 AM
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Thank you, that looks like it would be a fun day!
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Old Jun 28th, 2018, 08:41 AM
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Thank you all for your fabulous suggestions, you gave us some very good information. I really like these forums, I would not have considered some of the things mentioned if not for this site. Many Thanks!
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Old Jun 28th, 2018, 09:45 AM
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Another option - can take a train from Cannes to Grasse - a large hill city known as the perfume capital of France - visit the 'factories' and also a wonderful regional town that is not inundated by tourism. Could eaily be twinned with Antibes - another neat old regional town - short train ride from Cannes.
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Old Jun 28th, 2018, 10:44 AM
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IMO, there's a reason Grasse isn't inundated by tourists - it's totally underwhelming unless you're really into perfume. Of the choices presented, I"d be happy with any of them except Monaco and Monte Carlo, which hold zero interest for me. Nice would probably be the simplest, as there is lots to see there and it won't involve moving around much.
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Old Jun 29th, 2018, 08:52 AM
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Grasse has become a bit gritty in some areas, but if you park in the underground garage to visit the nearby Fragonard perfumery you would be fine. There are a number of interesting shops in the next block or two, as well as the fine folk museum down by the post office. The big draw, however, is the International Perfume Museum, just above the parking lot. You'll see old vats and equipment, as well as a wonderful display of perfume bottles from ancient Egypt to those made by the couturiers of Paris in the 50's.

Helpful hint: there are good restrooms off the parking lot below Fragonard.

Recommended reading: the novel "Perfume," part of which is set in Grasse.

I agree with StCirq about Monaco.
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Old Jun 29th, 2018, 12:10 PM
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No one ever on Fodors has said anything good about Monaco/Monte Carlo but if on a bus tour that stops there that would be great as a short look at yachts and casino and being able to say you were there - another not a country but Principality to be in. But yes one of the least alluring towns on Cote d'Azur - too much modern developments in too little space.
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Old May 2nd, 2019, 01:38 AM
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It depends on what you prefer. Nice has a little bit of everything, so that would be an obvious pick. But it's not a quaint town. If you prefer a quaint town kind of feel, Eze and Saint Jean Cap Ferrat have beautiful views and have small town ambiances. Eze has a breathtaking view of the sea from a high elevation, and Saint Jean Cap Ferrat has a ground level view of the sea. Compared to Cannes, Nice has more people but it's more spread out, so Nice actually feels less energetic than Cannes to me. Cannes reminded me of Rodeo Drive in LA: lots of expensive cars and ritzy shops. Nice is more everyman, but still has really beautiful views and a lot of places to check out.
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Old May 2nd, 2019, 09:58 AM
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With only one day I would be tempted to choose either Eze or the Villa et Jardins Ephrussi De Rothschild gardens in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat as mentioned above. But this assumes you either have been to Nice itself before or don't prefer a larger city visit, but IMO in terms of sites, these are two of my favorites in the area.

Another place to consider that isn't as far from Cannes is St Paul de Vence with a setting similar to Eze. If you hired a driver for the day or rented a car or even took taxis you could visit St Paul de Vence itself but also the The Maeght Foundation and the The Rosary Chapel by Matisse, You might be able to do it by bus but it would really depend on how long your day is....

https://www.villa-ephrussi.com/en/home

https://www.fondation-maeght.com/en/

The Rosary Chapel | VENCE TOURISME
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