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Things to Do in Nice - page 2

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Castellane

Known by locals as the Gateway to Verdon Gorge, Castellane is home to four mountain passes and a popular that make it the ideal destination for hikers and wanderers looking to explore scenic trails and take in picturesque views.

The steep trek to Chapelle Notre Dame du Roc, which rises more than 900 meters above the Verdon, is one of Castellane’s most popular stops and one of the area’s most incredible overlooks. White water rafting on the roaring Verdon River tends to attract the more adventurous set and lovers of old-world architecture find the historic churches and ornate municipal buildings well worth the stop.

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Chateau Saint-Martin & Spa

Château Saint-Martin & Spa, a former 12th-century Knights Templar fortress on the French Riviera, is now a prestigious five-star guest property. This historic building sits amid acres of natural beauty and affords its guests some spectacular views across the Côte d’Azur.

The château itself blends perfectly with its environment, with red and green vines clinging to the walls for most of the year. The building was restored by the contemporary architect, Luc Svetchine, and decorated by the property’s owner, Maja Oetker. Aubusson and Gobelins tapestries, 18th century pendulums, plus Persian and Turkish carpets combine to make the château a fascinating place to simply wander around.

Château St. Martin offers some dramatic and varied views from all angles and the grounds’ perfectly-maintained gardens provide a sense of peace and tranquillity. With 46 classically designed rooms, incredible views, and a distinctly sophisticated and refined atmosphere, Château Saint-Martin is one of those truly unique places to spend the night.

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Cote d’Azur Observatory (Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur)

Designed by Gustave Eiffel of the Parisian tower fame together with Charles Garnier, the architect of Monte Carlo Casino, Côte d'Azur Observatory (Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur) opened in 1878 and is still a working astronomy laboratory. Resembling a Greek temple, fronted with Ionic columns but topped by a 92-ton dome covering what was once the largest telescope in the world, the observatory is built on a floating platform that originally allowed the telescope to be easily maneuvered into position; nowadays it is moved by hydraulics. It is regarded as one of the planet’s leading observatories, pioneering research into astrophysics and geosciences.

Sitting on the hill of Mont Gros behind Nice in a typically Provençal landscapes scattered with olive trees, a visit to the observatory offers unparalleled views over the glamorous Côte d’Azur and the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. It is open for two-hour guided visits only and English-language tours have to be arranged in advance. Occasionally stargazing sessions are held at night.

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National Sport Museum (Musée National du Sport)

The National Sport Museum (Musée National du Sport) was first opened in 1922 by the Minister of War, who at the time was also responsible for sports. The museum fell into disuse in the 1940s, but was reestablished in 1963 by the Secretary of State for Youth and Sports. The museum’s location changed a few times before finally being established in the Grand Stadium in Nice on June 27, 2014.

The museum covers sports from the 16th century all the way to today, and its collection contains more than 100,000 items, including sports equipment, paintings, sculptures, posters, drawings, philately, advertisements, books and magazines. There is also a collection dedicated to the history of the modern Olympics, from its beginnings in 1896 to the present.

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Villefranche Cruise Port (Port de la Santé)

Connected to a picturesque fishing village on France’s Mediterranean coast just west of Cap Ferrat, Villefranche cruise port—officially named Port de la Santé—serves as a gateway to the French Riviera. With its quaint harbor, pastel-painted buildings, and sloping streets, the medieval village of Villefranche-sur-Mer is a charming place to spend the day. The port also makes a strategic starting point for trips to glamorous Cote d’Azur resort towns, including Nice, Cannes, and Monaco, as well as the enchanting villages of Provence.

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Quai Lunel

Nice’s enchanting old port is a lovely place to wander and find the perfect little restaurant for an authentic meal with a romantic view of the Mediterranean Sea. Soak up the atmosphere of the yacht-filled port, then stroll over to the hilly green park, Colline du Château, or the adjacent Quartier Segurane, known for its antique shops and flea market.

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