Nice alone symbolises the gentle way of life on the Riviera, between palm trees, blue skies and endless beaches. The beauty of the city makes it a destination in its own right. But it remains a metropolis, with its advantages and disadvantages. How about escaping for a few minutes or hours, away from the city noise and crowds?
Without having to travel miles to the Provençal hinterland, the city offers a lovely range of public parks and gardens whose vegetation benefits from the extraordinary generosity of the climate.
Far from the hustle and bustle of the beaches, enjoy the calm and natural coolness, near a waterfall or a body of water: a real luxury in summer. Here is our selection of 7 parks not to be missed in Nice.
The most educational: the Botanical Garden
On three hectares, discover 3500 species of plants from all over the world. The Nice Botanical Garden offers you a journey through the Mediterranean landscape, but not only. It also has a scientific mission, that of conserving samples of Mediterranean biodiversity and passing on this natural heritage to future generations.
It has been awarded the labels “Remarkable Garden”, “Conservatory of Specialised Plant Collections” and “Botanical Gardens of France”.
Access: east of the town, 78 Corniche Fleurie
The most family-friendly: the Phoenix Park
Built in 1990, Phoenix Park is at the end of the Promenade des Anglais, right next to the airport. It is the ideal place to wait for your flight. Labelled Famille Plus, it will delight the youngest with its children’s games, its zoo with 70 different species and its small farm with domesticated animals. In the Diamant Vert, the large greenhouse will allow you to wander through the atmosphere of 6 different tropical and subtropical climates.
Access: 405, Promenade des Anglais, free for children under 12
The most magical: the Parc de la colline du Château and its waterfall
A stone’s throw from the Promenade des Anglais, climb the 500 steps to the Parc de la colline du Château (or take the lift or the little train), at the foot of the ruins of the former castle of the county of Nice. It is one of the favourite parks of the people of Nice, with its shady paths that offer an oasis of coolness in summer and above all its waterfall. It was built on a former castle keep from the top of which the waters of the Vésubie fall.
As you walk through the 20 hectares, you will discover breathtaking panoramas of the Pre-Alps on one side, the Baie des Anges on the other, and the Vieux Nice below. At the bend in the paths, you will also come across some amazing archaeological excavations.
Access: Montée du château, on the heights of Vieux Nice
The most recent: the Promenade du Paillon
The Promenade du Paillon is like a boulevard where grass has replaced asphalt in the city centre! From the National Theatre of Nice to the sea, it marks the passage between the old Nice and the modern city. Water mirrors, a plateau of mists and lawns, animal sculptures, remarkable trees and shrubs punctuate the whole and redesign the city. The new landscaping won the Grand Prix du Jury des Victoires du Paysage in 2014.
The most romantic: Chambrun Park
The trophy for romanticism was awarded to Chambrun Park. It owes this to the temple of love that it houses. The Count of Chambrun wanted this jewel completed in 1890 for his beloved wife, who was also the heiress of the Baccarat crystal works. This small white marble bandstand, a replica of the Temple of the Sybil in Tivoli, stands next to an immense cedar of Lebanon. The place is sublime for a stroll for two far from the hustle and bustle.
Access : 14 avenue Chateaubriand
The biggest: the Mont Baron park
It is a former sheep hill on 57 hectares, south-east of Nice, transformed into a state forest in the 19th century, dominated by the Mont-Alban fort. Under the Aleppo pines, the carob trees and the wild olive trees, you discover the city of Nice on one side, up to the Esterel and Cannes. On the other side, you can see the Riviera, all the way to Italy. It is the ideal place to spend a day in the middle of nature. It includes 11 km of marked paths and picnic areas.
The most cultural: the Jardin des Arènes de Cimiez
It is one of the favourite sites of Nice families and the ideal place for a lunch break, on the lawns planted with hundred-year-old olive trees. The area is steeped in history and is a stone’s throw from the Matisse and Archaeology museums. It also gives access to the Cimiez monastery and its multicoloured rose garden. Take the opportunity to smell the air of antiquity in the arena at the entrance to the garden.
This garden is home to an amusement park (fee payable) on the theme of the Belle Époque (1930s) with merry-go-rounds, trailers and Guignol shows.
Access: 110 boulevard de Cimiez and 184 avenue des Arènes de Cimiez.
To add a touch of green and freshness to your stay in the land of the Azure and of softness, the city of Nice offers a wide choice of gardens open to the public. And to get around in peace and quiet and make the most of these suspended moments, think about reserving your chauffeur-driven car!
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