Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Travel: Just following the sun doctor’s orders in Nice, France

© A.ISSOCKNice, France.
Nice, France.

Scots physician John Brown’s belief that a change in climate could cure a variety of diseases including tuberculosis triggered a bit of a tourism boom for the Cote d’Azur back in the 1800s.

Dr Brown’s theory about climato-therapy (a change in climate) saw a wave of wealthy – and sick – Brits spending winters among the picturesque spots on the French Riviera. Even Queen Victoria regularly visited – often with her donkey.

Thanks to the natural beauty of the area the aristocracy of the day soon frequented the region whether they were sick or not, turning the sun-drenched coast into a must-visit destination.

And so, today’s tourism magnets including Nice, Cannes, St Tropez and Villefranche owe at least some of their popularity to the good Dr Brown and his prescription of a Riviera recuperation.

For me then, not long recovered from a bout of Covid-19, Nice seemed the perfect choice for a getaway. Dreaming of those blue skies and with plenty of walking in store, I was happy to follow Dr Brown’s orders.

© OTCN / LISA DEL SOL
Nice beachfront.

Nice’s added attractions include its easy-to-use tram service to and from the airport plus an excellent, low-cost rail network linking Antibes, Eze, Juan Les Pins and the neighbouring tax-haven principality of Monaco.

Nice attracts a staggering four million tourists each year. Take a stroll – or in our case a cycle – along the famous, four-mile-long Promenade Des Anglais and you soon see why this city is so popular. Stunning museums, striking architecture and a palette of pastel colours, and that azure Med lashing the beach, combine to make it very easy on the eye.

A highlight of our week-long trip was a visit to the pink-coloured Villa Ephrussi De Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, an easy 40-minute walk from the pretty fishing village of Villefranche.

Built by banking heiress, Beatrice de Rothschild, one of those wealthy early visitors to the area, it’s a beautiful, Renaissance-style residence-turned museum housing her art treasures and attracts more than 130,000 visitors a year. The nine themed gardens – including Japanese, Spanish and Florentine – are truly magnificent. Check out one of the best – and most valuable – collections of French porcelain.

The medieval mountaintop village of Eze is another must-visit. We hiked our way to the top via the Chemin de Nietsche, a mile-long trail of steps, rough pathway and steep inclines. It’s challenging and not for the faint-hearted but the views as you climb are spectacular.

Eze itself is charming with some of the most stylish restaurants you’ll find on the coast. But here they benefit from that sensational sea view. Tired but chuffed we’d got there, we got the bus back down! The rest of that day was spent in Monaco, exploring the city nation ruled by Prince Albert from his pink palace.

We walked for miles taking in everything from the world-famous casino at Monte Carlo to the tiny, cobbled streets full of shops stocked with all the superbrands but the only thing we bought was a brolly – thanks to an unexpected rain shower.

Every year Cannes’ famous film festival attracts Hollywood royalty who traipse endless metres of red carpet attending movie premiere after movie premiere.

We checked out the world-famous Carlton Hotel, which is undergoing a $300 million renovation which will see the introduction of a rooftop swimming pool. Work is expected to be completed by next year. The Cannes beach is peppered with endless chic restaurants where you can hire a sunbed and umbrella after lunch to snooze in the afternoon sunshine. Isn’t that what holidays are for?

I saw it all as part of my “prescribed” post-Covid rehab…I’m sure Dr Brown would have given a thumbs up!

P.S.

Check out the French Riviera Pass, a card costing from €26 for 24 hours, giving free access and/or discounts on a wide range of attractions in Nice and the rest of the Cote d’Azur. See en.frenchrivierapass.com.

Factfile: 

Peter Samson travelled by EasyJet from Edinburgh direct to Nice. Flights from Scotland also available with Ryanair and British Airways. He stayed in a self-catering apartment complete with terraces in the heart of Nice. Around £84 per night. Visit vrbo.com/en-gb/p8107597