Burcu Başar

From Menton to Nice

During many years, I feel slightly irritated whenever I hear a reference to Cote d`Azur. Cote d`Azur feels like such a distant place only shown in movies and which can only be visited by Hollywood stars. Years pass by and I at some point gather my courage and finally decide to visit Cote d`Azur. During my research, I happily find out that my earlier prejudice about Cote d`Azur is not fully founded when I discover many alternative destinations which are more budget friendly. I set my Cote d`Azur itinerary without including St. Tropez, Cannes and Monaco, which are the more famous and consequently the more expensive alternatives. My itinerary starts with Menton, which is located right on the border between France and Italy. I also make Menton my accommodation center as it offers considerably more reasonable accommodation options and then each day visit a different Cote d`Azur town. Cote d`Azur impresses me with its many beaches far from the mentality of “beach clubs” without any entrance fee. Along the coast line – you can just jump on a train with your towel around and hop off at any beach that you like. Among all those beach stops, Roquebrune-cap-Martin becomes my favorite with its very calm beach where people just mind their own business, swim and read their books. If you get hungry after or during your beach time, I highly recommend Les Deux Freres to the extent you can face some uphill hike (unless you do not have a car). The views and the atmosphere is definitely worth the effort. My next stop is Antibes Juan les Pins with its seaside Picasso museum. This town feels like the intellectual face of Cote d`Azur with its calm and stylish restaurants and cafes. I finally get to Nice only during the day of my night time train ride to Paris. Nice can feel like just another city but it will still leave a mark on you with its famous Promenade des Anglais and long beach side. The beach in Nice is considerably more crowded than my other beach stops. So I chose to just sit in a street café instead and enjoy some wine. There are also many nice restaurants along the street which takes you from the beach right to the train stations. My visit to one of the wine houses along the way makes me almost miss my train but at the same time guarantee a good sleep during my night ride.

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