5 good reasons to love Nice Côte d’Azur in winter

1 September 2021

Strolling in the sun on the Promenade des Anglais, enjoying an invigorating swim on the seashore or racing down the snowy slopes of the resorts of Nice Côte d’Azur are all activities to be enjoyed in winter on our territory.

The first winter residents had already adopted the area for its gentle way of life and its incomparable attractions and left their mark.

You thought you would prefer Nice Côte d’Azur in summer? We will share our 5 reasons to love it in winter with you!

1 – For its exceptional light

The sun is of course the guest of honour in winter on the territory of Nice Côte d’Azur.

instagram@elise_06

Every winter, when the days shorten, exceptional light envelops the metropolitan area from the first light of day. As the day progresses, the colours appear brighter, the blue is more intense and the vegetation seems greener.

But it is when the sun is gradually fading that a unique light radiates from the surrounding landscape. You can only be conquered by the beauty of this Côte d’Azur with its fiery colours that light up the cliffs to the east of the coastline or the snow-covered peaks of the mountains.

A few luminous moments suspended in time, where the magic operates with a palette of colours, each more intense than the last. 

From blue skies through pink tones, to bright purple and orange, almost red… the gradations of the sky are a real painting!  The artists were not mistaken and had chosen our destination as a place to live to sublimate this show! If you don’t have any paint-brushes, don’t forget your camera! Your most beautiful pictures are to be shared on our networks with the hashtag #ExploreNiceCotedAzur.

Our favourite points of view:

  • Boulevard Maeterlinck and the Boulevard Carnot’s viewpoint on the low corniche which offers a breathtaking view of the Baie des Anges and the port of Nice.
  • The Castle Hill to admire the Baie des Anges
  • The Cap-Ferrat lighthouse at the end of the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula
  • The Fort de la Revère on the Grande Corniche in Eze
  • The Col de Vence, at the level of the natural area open to the public

Not to be missed:

A morning visit to the Chapelle du Rosaire in Vence to admire the stained glass windows bathed in the winter sun which is reflected on the white ceramics – Very nice effect!

2 – The mildness of its climate

With more than 300 days of sunshine a year, the Côte d’Azur is an ideal destination in both summer and winter!

instagram@flo_bvr

With its mild and clement Mediterranean climate, the winter days are perfect for visiting the seaside and the mountains in ideal conditions.
It is not uncommon to see bathers along the creeks and beaches of the coast (the water is 13 degrees) or short-sleeved skiers hurtling down the ski slopes!

The mild climate is also ideal for preserving the lush vegetation.
Many species of plants and trees are native to other continents but have acclimatised perfectly to their environment.

One example is the emblematic palm trees that come from all over the world, especially from the Canary Islands. We also enjoy the smells and colours of the lemon, orange and other citrus trees that are the stars of the winter season. You can also admire the magnificent strelizia known as “birds of paradise” imported from South Africa, which brighten up the tree-lined gardens or the flamboyant mimosas.

We also recommend a visit to the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, which contains exceptional heritage species in its nine gardens.  

Other sites to visit:

The Exotic Garden of Eze
The parks and gardens of the city of Nice
The park of the Château des Terrasses in Cap d’Ail

3 – For a more exclusive immersion…

Nice Côte d’Azur has many assets, in summer as well as in winter! If summer rhymes with dolce vita and a festive atmosphere, coming to discover it in winter has many advantages!

instagram@valentin.donato

Far from the summer rush, we take the time to discover the territory which has regained a less frenetic rhythm, at the bend of its streets, its colours, its inhabitants and its heritage.

Coming to Nice Côte d’Azur in winter is an opportunity to take possession of the place, to become almost a privileged inhabitant of the destination. Stroll through the narrow streets of Old Nice, take a photo in front of the #ILOVENICE at the end of the Quai des Etats-Unis, discover the coastline along a footpath, swim in the deep blue sea, visit museums, go for a bike ride … live an exclusive experience!

Our advice to make the most of your stay is to take the French Riviera Pass, the city card of the area to visit, at your own pace, the many museums which are open all year round.

If you like an active holiday, the coastal paths and hiking trails are waiting for you! You can also rent a bike and discover the area in a more original way.

For nature lovers, the numerous forests that cover the area will offer you exceptional landscapes.

Winter is a perfect season to walk in one of the departmental nature parks to discover the vegetation of the coastline which has the particularity of remaining green all year round!

4 – The ski slopes are only a few km away as the crow flies!

Swimming in the morning and skiing in the afternoon or vice versa … no need to choose, everything is possible on the Nice Côte d’Azur territory!

Situated one and a half hours from the metropolitan coast, the ski resorts of Nice Côte d’Azur are a real invitation to a change of scenery and relaxation. With family or more technical ski areas, it is impossible not to take full advantage of the activities and the so particular atmosphere of the mountain villages.

It is quite possible to link the resorts from the seafront and go skiing for a day or even half a day! Staying in winter on the Nice Côte d’Azur territory is the assurance of being able to enjoy the sea and the mountains at every moment!

Our ideal sea and mountain day:

7:30 – admire the sunrise and take a dip in the deep blue sea.
10:00 – departure to the resort*
12:00 – lunch break in a restaurant in the resort
13:00 – start of the activity: downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, (the hardest part is choosing!)
17:00 – end of the ski session and return to the coast

@OTM NCA / J.Kelagopian

There are 5 resorts to discover on the Nice Côte d’Azur territory

Auron, the resort dedicated to downhill skiing par excellence, for the whole family. It has 46 ski slopes, numerous activities and the Famille Plus label! The resort is also accessible from the charming village of Saint-Etienne de Tinée.
www.auron.com

Isola 2000, the trendy resort, the favourite of young skiers and snowboarders. It is one of the most beautiful areas of the Southern Alps with its 45 ski slopes and many activities to try. The resort is situated 15 km from the beautiful village of Isola.
www.isola2000.com

La Colmiane, the dynamic, family-oriented resort that appeals to all generations. Its plus: you can try out the largest zip line in Europe!
www.colmiane.com

Roubion, the warm family resort par excellence.
www.roubion.com

Turini – Camp d’Argent, the perfect family resort for first-time skiers.
www.vesubian.com

5 – Do like the first winterers!

It is at the end of the 19th century with the arrival of the first winter residents on the French Riviera that tourism developed. English, Russian and Belgian aristocrats took their winter quarters on the French Riviera. Numerous creations were born there on a cultural, religious and even architectural level. Sea bathing, for example, is a British invention!

instagram@villaephrussi

It is impossible to travel through the Nice Côte d’Azur territory without being amazed or sometimes surprised by the buildings and monuments that surround us.

Villas, churches, hotels, the buildings of this period will not leave you indifferent even if sometimes some are the most exuberant such as the Russian church or the Negresco hotel in Nice, the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat (photo opposite) and the Greek Villa Kérylos in Beaulieu-sur-Mer or the Residence Eden in Cap d’Ail.

A stop at Beaulieu-sur-Mer and Cap d’Ail is a must! These two coastal towns, situated along the lower cornice, are testimony to the Belle Epoque past of the metropolitan area.

With the arrival of the railway, beautiful houses were built. Amongst others, you can admire the magnificent Rotunda, the Casino or the Palais des Anglais opposite the Beaulieu-sur-Mer train station. There is even an Anglican church dating from 1893 (listed as a historical monument since 2020).

In Cap d’Ail, the imposing Château des Terrasses, the former Hotel Eden, the Villa Les Camélias, now converted into a museum, and the many villas on the seafront bear witness to this golden age of the Belle Epoque.

So, what would be your favourite reason to love winter in Nice Côte d’Azur? We will leave you time to discover!


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Émilie et Laetitia

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