Summer in Nice seems to be getting hotter and hotter, so here are five great ways to beat the afternoon heat in Nice…
Right off the seaside, the public gardens at the Massena Museum villa (right next door to the Hotel Negresco) offer ample leafy shade, with wafting floral aromas and zenitude. Here are some other gardens in Nice that you may not know about.
Or head for the Hills… like the Chateau “Castle Hill” in Old Nice, for example. You can take the free elevator up from the Promenade, and once on top you will find woodsy bliss with lots of shade, cool breezes, and incredible views.
For an even more foresty experience, just take bus #33 to Mont Boron (15 minutes) for an authentic hilltop forest with few people and plenty of peaceful little walking trails.
Right in the middle of town, the Jets d’eau on the Promenade du Paillon off Place Massena are the best, with cooling fountains that you can just stroll through, getting cooled, misted, spritzed, moistened or soaked… as you wish.
On your way down from the Chateau, enjoy the ultimate refreshing pause in the effusive cooling mists from the massive Chateau Hill waterfall… ahhh.
Or if you just want to get lightly misted, all the covered pergolas on the Promenade des Anglais provide not only shade and seats, but also give off a cooling mist on the hottest days.
Have a Ball at the Mall
The heat of the day is the perfect time to refuge in a little air-con, and the Nice Etoile Shopping Center is first choice because it also offers free wifi. Galeries Lafayette, Zara, H&M, Sephora (perfume) and FNAC (books/music/media/café and free wifi) all provide ample amusements for your shopping pleasure in climatized comfort. July and August are when the massive France-wide summer sales happen, and Sundays are the best day to browse without the crowds.
Feed Your Inner Artist
Another idea for climate controlled spaces are Nice’s fabulous selection of museums, where you can beat the heat while treating yourself to an afternoon of brain candy.
Or escape the heat of the day with an afternoon matinee at one of Nice’s several cinemas that show films in their original language.
This is the perfect time to discover the stunning grottos outside of Nice, where the temperature is low but the wow-factor is high. Unfortunately the magnificent grottos in the Monaco Exotic Gardens are closed for renovation for 2021, but the dramatic underground caverns at the Grotte de Saint-Cezaire near Grasse are still open (pictured).
Closer to Nice, take the underground Garibaldi Crypt tour to descend the 31 steps to discover what they found below Place Garibaldi! Or visit the Lazaret Caves near the Port, one of the most important prehistoric digs in Europe, where there are no stalagmites or stalactites, but there are fossils of some of our earliest cave dwelling ancestors. Tours are by small groups and go every 30 minutes, and are free.
And finally, if all else fails, there’s always Fenocchio!
Photo credits: Beach, Jets d’eau, and Fenocchio by Best of Nice Blog, the Grotto by the Grotto of St Cesaire, licensed under Creative Commons.
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