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Car Hire Nice - Top 4 Drives

Feb 7, 2008
Top Four Drives Nice

Eze-y Does It

The pretty medieval village of Eze can be reached within 11km of the city of Nice and offers a range of interesting cultural and historical attractions. The village has a dramatic location, perched high above the Mediterranean on a rocky hilltop. A walking tour of the village gives visitors the chance to absorb remarkable feats of engineering and architecture. First stop should be the town's 12th century castle which sits on a narrow craggy peak.

The castle was torn down during a turbulent era in the 17th century, but its attractive grounds survive to this day. Jardin Exotique is to be found in the grounds presently and offers visitors panoramic views of the coast from 429m high. The view doesn't come cheap however and a generous donation is expected.

Visitors are encouraged to sample the fragrant enterprise of the region at either Parfumerie Galimard or Parfumerie Fragonard perfumeries, both of which are situated in Eze village. The factories offer guided tours, with special discount rates available to groups.
Picturesque Peillon

Heading 20km outside of Nice, you'll reach the fortified medieval village of Peillon, which is regarded by many to be the most beautiful village on the Cote d'Azur. The hill's clinging grey and white structures offer fantastic opportunities for photographs and it's well worth bringing your camera along for the journey.

The village is pedestrian-only, meaning you'll have to park your hire car at the plaza at the base of the village and make your way to the centre under your own steam. The stroll allows you to take advantage of stunning views of the village's stepped terraces and narrow winding streets.

As Peillon has not been subject to the usual tacky commercialisation, it's possible to purchase an authentic memento of your trip from the village's only gift shop 'La Maiouneta'. The shop is situated close to the fountain and sells local produce, as well as paintings and ceramic creations by local artists.

Gorge-ous Loup Gorges

The spectacular Gorges Du Loup is well worth a journey. This area of fragile natural beauty can be accessed 40km from Nice via the D2210 road, which runs along the Châteauneuf-Pré Du Lac close to nearby Grasse.
Follow the D6 at the bottom of the valley at Pont-du-Loup, where, if you look upwards through the ultra narrow gorge, you'll see the town of Gourdon perched on the cliffs high above, as well as the shattered, bomb-scarred pillars of the railway viaduct which sweeps cleanly around the valley.Driving another 4km on this route, allows you to catch a glimpse of the Cascade de Courmes waterfall, spraying craggy moss-dappled boulders and leafy undergrowth in its path. The waterfall then makes a deafening 40m plunge, well worth inspecting in person. Parking places are limited so it's best to leave the car at the exit of the first tunnel.
Magic Mougins

The beautiful town of Mougins is just a 25-minute drive from Nice. The journey to Mougins also takes you through fragrant Grasse, regarded as the international perfume capital.

Mougins' pretty medieval charms have long attracted artists and dignitaries to the town. Spanish artist Pablo Picasso spent the last few years of his life in Mougins and visitors to Mougins will find many local exhibitions dedicated to the artist. . It's easy to while away a few hours browsing the village's studios and galleries. The Museum of Photography in Mougins is definitely worth a look. Here you'll find a fascinating permanent collection of Picasso portraits.

Mougins is renowned for its excellent cuisine and hungry day-trippers are guaranteed to find something to silence rumbling tummies; whether you opt for fine dining at the famous Michelin starred Moulin de Mougins restaurant or simple cheap local eats from a quaint atmospheric café or patisserie.
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