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Villefranche/Monte Carlo


joyous

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It's been awhile since we were there. Have any of you gone on your own, and if so.....how, when in ports of Nice, Canne, Monte Carlo? Thanks , joyous

There is a train that is easily accessable from all of these ports. This area of the world is very easy to navigate on your own.

 

Host Dan

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We have enjoyed some wonderful days in Monte Carlo on our own.

 

I would recommend stopping by to see the Palace, the main Cathedral, the outdoor gardens which are very unique as they even have a fair amount of cactus (yes cactus) and if you have time the Ocean Museum (combination museum and aquarium). Those are all in proximity of one another. On the other side of town, say a twenty minute walk is the Grand Casino along with various hotels and shopping and cafes. It's a fun place just to people watch and you will see quite a few fancy cars.

 

As Host Dan said very easy to get between towns by train.

 

I would pass on Villefranche. You can easily spend a day in Monte Carlo. If you have more time see other nearby towns such as Nice.

 

Keith

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It's been awhile since we were there. Have any of you gone on your own, and if so.....how, when in ports of Nice, Canne, Monte Carlo? Thanks , joyous

 

There are some wonderful nearby options such as Eze and Grasse. My notes indicate why Eze is so wonderful.

 

The old village of Eze, along the coast between Nice and Monaco, hangs up in the mountains above the water and crowds. It's wonderful to visit. Great, great views! Totally charming! Have lunch or dinner there at one of the two great eating places and feel like you're sitting on the edge of paradise! At 1,407 feet above the Mediterranean, Eze offers commanding views of cliffs, sea, sprawling estates and off-shore islands. The village's narrow streets or more really paths among the buildings lead to the Jardin Exotique It is a maze of paths flanked by mammoth flowering plants and spiky cactuses. For about $3, you can walk up to the best view on the French Riviera. On a clear day, you can see Corsica! It does not get much better than Eze.

 

Driving along the coast to see and do these larger cities can be challenging, especially during the peak late spring through early fall seasons. Nice, Cannes, Monaco, etc. can and will be extremely crowded during their peak tourism periods. Lots and lots of people (both residents and visitors), too many cars, too few highways and limited land between the mountains and sea to hold all comfortably and easily. The movies have made these large cities seem attractive and appealing. Do not Cary Grant and Grace Kelly seem to be having fun there? So glamorous and exciting?! For movies, they make it seem so wonderful. If you are rich and in the “best, right” areas, it can seem and be wonderful. BUT, that congestion might be a turn-off. It depends on what are you expecting, seeking and willing to pay for to hang with the rich and avoid the mobs in these famed areas. Lots of great options in these areas.

 

And Provence is nearby and wonderful. BUT, on your own, that might be too much to tackle going that far away.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

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We have been to Monte Carlo and Eze is my favorite of all. We did this several years ago and have friends going this summer which is why I am quizzing all those who have been more recently than we have. I think their main concern will be getting from Villefranche (their port) to Nice and/or Monte Carlo-Monaco. I have been google-ing and found some bus schedules as well as train info. Thanks all of you for your suggestions and help.. I'd go to Eze again in a min!!!! joyous

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Lucky you, joyous!

 

We toured the French Riviera on our own a couple of years ago. Dan is correct in that the train is super easy to use through this area, and there are many charming villages to see (Terry is right on about Eze!)

 

I posted about our experience and suggestions (and a few pictures) on a thread a few months ago. Here it is. The thread is full of good information by various posters.

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I would suggest taking a bus to St. Paul de Vence, where you can have a superb lunch at the Colombe d'Or, admire the original masterpieces on their walls, and visit the grave of Marc Chagall in the Cemetry. Eze is a charming village, but the day a cruise ship is in is not the day to visit as it becomes far too crowded.

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When we stopped in Villefranche last year, we took the train to Cannes first, which was pretty easy. Cannes is a great town, easy to navigate, and lots to see (we happened to be there during the film festival, which made it even more fun). I loved all the little shops, boulangeries, and especially a wonderful chocolate store where we loaded up on gifts to bring home.

 

Getting back was a little harder. All of the signage and train brochures are in French and we had a lot of difficulty finding someone willing to help us. We ended up sitting on the train in Nice for about 45 min and finally got off to catch another train back (by the way, the train station bathrooms are HORRIBLE!). We made it back to Monte Carlo to see the casino and did some more shopping. Unfortunately we didn't have time to see much of Monaco. Overall it was a very interesting location though.

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Yes, the train offers a quick and easy way to bop around the Riviera. The bus system in Nice can easily get you to the Matisse and Chagall museums. Gallerie Maeght is also wonderful, but I'm not sure about public transportation. On certain days of the week, the Matisse Chapel in St. Paul de Vence is open to the public, check well in advance of your arrival. Cap d'Antibes is another charming town, with a good museum, in the area. Enjoy!

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  • 2 years later...
Does anyone know of a private tour in Monaco? We want to see Eze, Cannes, and Monte Carlo

 

Last year I used www.traveltourprestige.com for a full day touring Monaco (early before the crowds arrived), Monte Carlo, St. Paul de Vence, Nice (Old Town for lunch) and Eze in the afternoon. They came highly recommended on the "Ports of Call" section of Cruise Critic. They will tailor the day to your requirements, so, of course, you can include Cannes.

 

Trudi

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Joy,

When the Serenity docked in Villefranche in 2005 Nancy and I rented a car and drove to Cannes, Eze, St. Paul de Vence and briefly to Monte Carlo. It was an adventure, and not for everyone,

but it allowed me to take Nancy to my favorite Riviera town, Cannes, and to drive up into the hills above the coast as well. Last year when the Symphony docked in Monte Carlo we took the shuttle to town and walked around for a while, but frankly, I did not find it all that rewarding.

 

Of course, we love to ride the trains in Europe, so I am sure that a train ride, either east or west would be fine as well.

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If one has only one day in Monte Carlo, would a trip to Eze be your choice rather than touring Monte Carlo?

 

Thanks for any reply.

 

Don't mean to hijack joyous' thread, but think this is on subject.

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If one has only one day in Monte Carlo, would a trip to Eze be your choice rather than touring Monte Carlo?

 

Thanks for any reply.

 

Don't mean to hijack joyous' thread, but think this is on subject.

 

Everyone should keep in mind that Joy's thread is from almost 2 and 1/2 years ago.

 

My experience is that all of this comes down to what you prefer. Many like Eze or some prefer other nearby towns more, while others prefer Monte Carlo.

 

My recommendation is that you read about each area by doing simple Google searches. Much of this comes down to your own interests and what you would like to do for the day.

 

You can get to other towns easily by taxi, private car or train.

 

For ones first trip here I normally recommend Monte Carlo.

 

There is lots to see there but you need to take the time and check out each area. If you walk it without a plan you will miss most of the key areas.

 

Some of our favorites include:

 

From the Harbor you can walk to the western side of the area and either walk up steps are take an elevator to the next level where you will come to the Muss Oceanographie which is a museum and an aquarium where Jacques Cousteau was the director for over 30 years. I would spend an hour there.

 

As you walk from this area you will walk along Avenue Saint-Martin and you will walk by some beautiful cliff-side gardens. Around this area you will also see some very unique gardens including an area with cactuses. You will eventually come to the Monaco Cathedral and this is where Princess grace and Prince Ranier were married. This church also includes Princess Grace’s tomb along with some other tombs.

 

You will also find the Palais du Princes, which is the Prince’s Palace, and you can also view the changing of the guard. You can take a guided tour if you would like. From this area you will see beautiful views of the Harbor.

 

From here you can take about a thirty-minute walk over to the area where the Grand Casino is. If you want to go inside the Casino you will need your passport. The area outside the Casino is a very nice area to also people watch and to see some rather expensive automobiles. There is also some nice shopping and very nice hotels in this area.

 

If you like to walk from here you can walk about another fifteen minutes to an area where there is a beautiful beach and just spend a little time walking on an area right by the beach.

 

On our way back we usually stop into a wine store and pick up a couple of nice wines to bring back to the ship. Although dining is expensive in Monte Carlo we actually found the wine prices to be rather reasonable and the wine choices very nice.

 

On our way back to the ship we also walk up and down some nice areas where there are restaurants, cafes, and shops. You might want to get a nice pastry to enjoy either in town or back on the ship.

 

I would print out a map before you go and do some additional research but it is very easy to see this area in one day.

 

Keith

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If this is helping someone I'm glad but we've been there and so have our friends. This is an ancient thread. If you've helped someone else, GREAT. J

 

Joyous

 

This is actually in response to a new request from travin1 posted 2nd July, who wanted a recommendation of a tour company for Eze, Cannes and Monte Carlo.

 

Hope you enjoyed your time there.

 

Trudi

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