Nice Corniche Roads (Les Trois Corniches)
Forged by the Romans, the Grande Corniche is the highest and also the most dangerous for driving since some spots are too narrow for two cars to pass and fog often rolls in blocking visibility. On clear days, though, the views are the most spectacular and dizzying. The sea-level Basse Corniche runs alongside the train, with exits for towns, which is convenient for road-trippers. And sitting in altitude between Grande and Basse, the Moyenne offers wonderful coastal views without the vertigo.
Travelers may self-drive the Corniches or explore them as part of a larger bus and walking tour that includes the postcard-worthy medieval town Èze, and Monaco to see the palace and to try lady luck at the glamorous Monte Carlo casinos.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Suitable for solo travelers, couples, and families.
- Inexperienced or nervous drivers should opt for the Basse or Moyenne routes.
- In Monte Carlo casinos, children must be accompanied by an adult, travelers must present an ID card or passport, and a small entry fee may apply.
How to Get There
Nice Corniches are between the French Riviera towns of Nice and Menton and can only be explored in their entirety by driving them. On a map, the Grande Corniche is the D2564, the Moyenne is N7, and the Basse is N98. Bus #100 runs the Basse route, from Nice to Menton, and bus #112 runs part of the Moyenne, from Nice to Beausoleil.
When to Get There
With a mild Mediterranean climate, the French Riviera is a lovely place to visit any time of the year. Timing depends on the desired activities. Avoid the crowds, the traffic, and the heat of the summer by coming in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. The foggiest months on the Grande Corniche, which reaches up to 1,800 feet (550 meters), are during the winter, so it’s best to check the weather beforehand.
Make time to visit Menton, which lies just before the Italian border where the three Corniches end. Famous for its lemons (and its lemon festival held each February), formal gardens, and an impressive Jean Cocteau Museum, Menton is a pretty town, with mountains, tiers of ochre mansions, and a beach.
- Things to do in French Riviera
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- Nice Old Town (Vieux Nice) Tours & Tickets
- Promenade des Anglais Tours & Tickets
- Eze Tours & Tickets
- Cours Saleya Flower Market (Marché aux Fleurs Cours Saleya) Tours & Tickets
- Matisse Museum (Musée Matisse) Tours & Tickets
- Cimiez Monastery (Monastere de Cimiez) Tours & Tickets
- Castle Hill (Colline du Château) Tours & Tickets
- Nice Corniche Roads (Les Trois Corniches)