Autumn is a lovely time to visit the South of France.
When the weather is turning chilly and dull in the UK, you can find sunshine and blues skies just a two-hour flight away.
I would definitely recommend Nice as your base for a visit to the Cote d’Azur. It’s a vibrant, busy city with lots to see and do, good places to eat and excellent transport links. An added bonus is that the airport is close to the city, making transfers quick and low-cost.
Top of my list of things to do in Nice is walking along the Promenade des Anglais, enjoying the view across the Bay of Angels. I love browsing the colourful stalls in the daily fruit, flower and vegetable market.
You can easily pass a morning getting lost in the maze of narrow streets in the Old Town. And if you’re feeling energetic, the views from the castle ruins are spectacular. It’s a steep climb through the park to get there, though! Luckily there’s a cafe at the top to refresh weary walkers.
Just along the coast from Nice is the idyllic former fishing village of Villefranche-sur-Mer. If you’re fit, you can walk there from Nice harbour – it takes about 45 minutes. We walked to make the most of the views, then caught the bus back at the end of the day. Buses run frequently and are cheap – just one euro fifty per person per trip.
Villefranche-sur-Mer has a warren of narrow streets and a small sandy beach. Don’t miss the stunning chapel on the waterfront. Rescued and lavishly decorated by artist Jean Cocteau, the once-derelict La Chapelle St Pierre is simply stunning.
Make sure you take the time to explore this delightful little town, which is much quieter than Nice. Allow at least half a day for wandering the streets and browsing the quirky little shops.
Take the cliffside walk round to the harbour, climb the hill to the fort, and marvel at Rue Obscure, the well-preserved medieval covered street.