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France Riviera & Monaco

May 2023, 

4 Nights trip with a rental car

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The trip was in June 2023 which is just before the high season in France starts. The weather was mostly sunny and around 28 degrees.

We flew with AirBaltic from Tampere. We rented a car immediately from the airport. Airbaltic lands at terminal 2 and car rentals are located in terminal 1. You can take the tram which goes between terminals so walking is not needed

The car rental company was Enterprise. 

The first hotel's name was Servotel Nice ad it was recently renovated. The hotel is located near the highway and the airport, so it's a good choice if you are not interested to stay in central Nice. On the first day we arrived so late, so we just ate dinner at hotel and went to sleep

Our first destination for visiting was the famous city of Monaco. Monaco is a very small country in French Riviera. It took around 40 minutes to drive from our hotel.

Streets in Monaco are quite small so I would recommend parking a car to the parking garage and doing sightseeing by walking


Monaco Cathedral and Prince Palace are both in the old Monaco area.  We were lucky to visit Prince Palace just when the guard change was starting (11.55). The changing ceremony took around 15 minutes and there were a lot of tourists to watch it.

After the ceremony, we went to visit inside Palace. Tickets can be bought near the tourist information building. Palace gives a good insight into Monaco's history and the Palace decorations and atmosphere is worth to visit

If you are planning to eat in Monaco, I would recommend walking a little further from the main square. Prices get more decent.


Outside of Monaco's old town, you can visit the famous Monte Carlo Casino and see expensive sports cars parked in front of it. If you are planning to play at Casino remember to bring your passport with you.

Monaco offers good shopping opportunities to people who love to wear Brand clothes

You can see a lot of yachts parked in Monaco's harbors, owned by millionaires


On day 3, we woke up early and drove to Eze medieval city. Finding parking is almost impossible during the summer months. There are parking services where a shuttle bus takes you to Eze from the parking area and we used one of those also.

The Eze village requires a lot of walking uphill through narrow streets. Pack a lot of water and good shoes for your trip. There are a few hotels also if you are interested in staying in different kinds of atmospheres.

Top of Eze there is a Garden with beautiful views. You have to pay the entrance fee and I would recommend doing it at an automatic sales machine before entering the whole Eze village.


After visiting Eze, we headed to Nice City. The nice old town is better to explore by walking, so we parked our car in the parking garage. 

We walked around the old town and did some sightseeing, shopping and took a lot of photos. Finally, we ended up eating in Nice.

The Nice has so many restaurants and bars to choose from. In France, food was mostly very delicious and wines were high quality. 

After visiting Nice, we checked into a new hotel Garrigae Domaine de l'Esterel
The hotel was 1,5 hour drive from Nice.


On day 4, we drove to 2 hours from our hotel to Lay Gorge du Verdon. Lay Gorge du Verdon is the most beautiful and biggest valley in South France.  We took a scenic route and went to look up the valley. On the route, there are many fabulous viewpoints to take photos.

Roads are narrow and curvy. Traveling faster than Google Maps suggestion tells is not possible so better just take it nice and easy.

Valley ends up with a freshwater lake with turquoise watercolor. You can rent many different kinds of boats and Sup boards from the beach. With a boat, you can paddle upstream where water gets much colder because it's coming directly from upstream.

Cold water gave a good opportunity to swim and cool on a hot summer day.

Near the lake, there are a few small villages which offer variety types of restaurants.



France is known for wines and in the Riviera region there are a lot of winegrowing and wineries. Many wineries offer wine tasting and there is a chance to do wine shopping for souvenirs. We stopped at one small winery when driving back from The valley.

Riviera has a lot of beaches for people who are interested in swimming and relaxing on the beach. Some beaches are rock beaches but many are with soft sand. For example Cannes has a 20km long sand beach


The last day we spend in Cannes after checking out from the hotel. Cannes is known for its yearly film festival. Cannes is a nice city to walk to, especially the beach promenade. The beach road was quite jammed with traffic so in Cannes also we parked our car and walked around. 


Cannes has a lot of restaurants and shops available.  There are choices for everybody's budget.  We did a little bit of clothes shopping before heading back to Nice airport and flying back to Tampere.

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