While we had a few dreary days in Barcelona, that was not the case at all in Nice, France. Mother Nature must have known this was our first time visiting the French Riviera, and fortunately, she granted us with two full days of nothing but sunshine. Thank you, thank you, MN!
This place left us speechless. Never have I ever met a city full of such bright, vibrant colors. Every where we looked, there was so much color. It was as if a box of crayola crayons was dropped over the city, splattering color EVERYWHERE. And I couldn’t get enough!
The moment the plane landed over the sparkling, turquoise-colored water, we knew the next two days would be some of the best of the entire trip. And while I didn’t think my smile could become any larger — my face felt practically frozen at this point from grinning so much — I quickly realized I was wrong the instant we stepped foot into our Airbnb.
Talk about a room with a view.
We lost track of our many meals we shared together out on the terrace. I don’t think there was one where we didn’t eat outdoors. I mean, why be cooped up inside when you have a view like this!? Can you imagine living here??
What a dream.
Once we unpacked our things a bit, we wasted no time getting out to explore. I can’t even tell you how many oohs and ahhs there were between the two of us the moment we stepped outside.
We knew we’d found paradise.
Then there was Old Town, my absolute favorite part of Nice.
Just check out those vibrant colors. Stunning, right!?
And, of course, THE BEACH!
The water was the bluest I’ve ever seen the ocean to be. The way the waves were glistening from the sun’s rays, it really was quite mesmerizing.
While it was still a bit too cold to take a dip in, Derek and I felt we’d be during ourselves a disservice if we didn’t at least take some time to lay and just soak everything in.
The extra-fluffy clouds. The clear skies. The pebbled beach. It was all just so beautiful.
Oh, and the markets. How could I ever forget about Nice’s markets!?
While I’m a sucker for a good farmers market, this one was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Rows and rows of gorgeous flowers. Countless stands of fruits and veggies. And everything laid out and presented so beautifully. I hated to even touch anything, even though I wanted to sample EVERYTHING!
What blew my mind the most was the size of all the produce. I was in shock. Gigantic lemons. Huge, plump olives. Peppers the size of my hands, literally. We couldn’t believe it.
While I definitely don’t have any room left in my backpack to squeeze anything else in, I was so tempted to get rid of something so I could get a pair of these glittery shoes.
Luckily, they didn’t have my size.
Don’t even get me started on the gelato.
I read on so many blogs that if in Nice, you HAVE to go to Fennocchio’s for gelato. Some claimed this was some of the best they’d ever tasted. And with recommendations that strong, we knew we had to check out what the buzz was about.
Now, I know gelato is one of Italy’s claims to fame, but this stuff here was gooooood.
I won’t tell you how many times we went. That would be too embarrassing.
We had no idea Monaco was so close to Nice, so on one of the afternoons, we took the train twenty minutes to visit this city as well.
While it was much different than I originally expected — and didn’t possess the small-town charm as Nice — I was still glad we carved out time to explore this area.
On the way back to Nice, we made one more detour to a small seaside town called Villefranche-sur-Mer.
The charm was turned way up with this town, and just like that, I felt back in my element.
Narrow streets winding every which way. Colorful shutters and sidings. Delicious local cuisine. These things just make me the happiest.
Like I said, we used our terrace A LOT…
Both mornings we woke up in Nice, we went on long morning jogs. We were eager to run, as it was the perfect way to see and explore more of the city.
Not to mention we needed to, in order to work off all the carbs we devoured in Spain…
We also hiked up to Castle Hill, the highest point in Nice. It was funny how we stumbled upon the path, because apparently, this is one of the top-rated things to do while visiting Nice, as the park is one of the best lookouts of the entire city. While we didn’t know this tidbit of info before we made the climb, I could not agree more.
The views were absolutely breathtaking.
Once we made our descent, we meandered our way back to the markets. I’m telling you, we couldn’t get enough of this place.
I mean, just look at all that homemade soap.
Our Airbnb host told us we couldn’t leave Nice without trying socca, a classic street food in the South of France. We had never heard of this before, but ahhhhh so good!
Crispy. Chewy. Hot. And delicious.
It’s made on big smoking grills, and looks like one big, gigantic pancake. The street server chops it up, drizzles it with olive oil, sprinkles salt and pepper, and vuola…Socca!
While we were in Nice for less than 72 hours, this place certainly secured a special place in my heart. There are so many memories I will forever cling on to. I’ll never forget the vibrancy of this city, as well as the contagious energy it gave off. I can only hope we’ll have the chance to return to the South of France someday, as I know there is still so much more to explore of this magical area.
*To read more about our backpacking trip thus far, be sure to click below!