Top Things to Know Before you go to Nice

Top Things to Know Before you go to Nice

Are you planning a trip abroad and wondering what to do in Nice, France? As a frequent visitor and former resident, I’ve got plenty of ideas to share: from where to stay, what to eat, and the best beach clubs to visit… Keep reading for my 13 Nice France Tips!

 

  1. Jet lag in Nice but then go visit some of the smaller villages surrounding it. Antibes, Villefranches, and Menton are all nearby cities that are definitely worth the trip!
  2. You will be spending euros in Nice. Another great thing to note is that the prices in Nice are very reasonable, especially for such a tourist destination.
  3. Avoid coming to Nice in August. This is the vacation time for everyone in France so Airbnb’s and hotels are more expensive and it’s harder to get into restaurants and all of the sights.
  4. The beaches are rocky, not sandy. This makes it virtually impossible to get in and out of The Med without water shoes. (Check out my favorites!)
  5. Consider getting the French Riviera Pass if you plan on having an active vacation. If you’re into visiting museums and forts, at 50 euros per pass, it might be worth getting this instead of paying multiple entrance fees.
  6. No need to get a car. It is an extremely walkable city. But if you want to go up to Provence, you can rent one just for the day and definitely rent it from a dealer on the outskirts so you can avoid the one-way streets.
  7. Stay near Vieux Ville or the Old Town of Nice. This is where all the best restaurants and shops are. There are also many great spots for photographs. It’s also where Nice comes alive at night.
  8. Dinner happens after 8 pm. People tend to come off the beach around 5 or 6 pm, get changed and then head to the cocktail bars for an aperol spritz. At around 8 or 8:30 pm, they migrate to the restaurants.
  9. Try the traditional foods. A salad Niçoise is actually a relatively new thing in Nice, but definitely something to try. Another delicious dish is called “Socca” – and for all my gluten-free friends, this is something you can enjoy! It’s made from chickpea flour, water, olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt. It’s served in the middle of the day, typically, and you just add pepper to it. It’s a great snack to have at only 3 euros a dish! As far as drinks go, try the Provence Red, White, and Rose wines and an aperol spritz.
  10. What to pack for your trip: The city is quite casual in general. The one thing you want to make sure to bring are walking shoes and water shoes like I mentioned earlier.
  11. If you’re used to having Air Conditioning, you will need to look for accommodations that specifically list they have that. It’s not common to have it.
  12. The mediterranean is an amazing place to swim and cool off. It’s a bit cooler so it’s perfect to dip in and out of throughout the day.
  13. Get a bit of cash out, but in general, you can use your credit card for most things. They are widely accepted in this big city.

If you’ve been to Nice and you have any tips, make sure to leave them in the comments on my YouTube video. I’m Kim The Abundant Traveler, and I’ll see you on the next adventure.

 

Tour Du Mont Blanc ~ Day 3

Tour Du Mont Blanc ~ Day 3

This is part 3 of my series on the Tour du Mont Blanc. Keep reading to find out how to plan for this amazing hike!

Myself and three girlfriends of mine from the USA were going on an organized trip with Adventures for Solo Travelers based out of Atlanta. I’ve been on several trips with them: I’ve been to Machu Picchu, hiking in Nepal, and now hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB). Check out my blog and video about Day 1 and Day 2.

We’re doing the three-day Tour du Mont Blanc with Alpine Treks a company based in Champex.

The final day took us from Switzerland to Italy.

If you’re looking for a different kind of Italy, away from the tourist cities of Venice, Florence and Rome, you might want to give Courmayeur a try. In the heart of the Alps, just across the border of Switzerland, Courmayeur is a charming town of 3,000 people and is known for it’s incredible snow skiing. I lovespending time in Northern Italy with it’s cool alpine weather coupled with all the sass and delicious food & wine you would expect in Italy. You’ll only need a couple days in Courmayeur, and the best time to visit is June-September for hiking, and January-March for Skiing. Looking for a great hotel?  Try the Hotel Croux or Hotel Courmayeur. Both are charming hotels! Something to note:  Courmayeur is not fancy like Vail or Aspen; instead, you get an old worldc casual feel in the hotels and throughout the city.

Tour Du Mont Blanc ~ DAY 2

Tour Du Mont Blanc ~ DAY 2

 

This is part 2 of my series on the Tour du Mont Blanc. Keep reading to find out how to plan for this amazing hike!

Myself and three girlfriends of mine from the USA were going on an organized trip with Adventures for Solo Travelers based out of Atlanta. I’ve been on several trips with them: I’ve been to Machu Picchu, hiking in Nepal, and now hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB). Check out my blog and video about Day 1! Day 2 started out rainy, but luckily it didn’t last long and it turned out to be a beautiful day. We started in Martigny and were headed to Lake Champex. The hike started with an hour and half of straight up!

We’re doing the three-day Tour du Mont Blanc with Alpine Treks a company based in Champex. We had three guides with us so the 24 of us were divided into three groups:

  1. A fast group that basically jogged the entire way!
  2.  The middle group which I would have been
  3. The slower group (the fun group!)

I wanted to take lots of photos and do my vlogging so I chose to hang back with the best people in the slow group. We always had the best guide and we took the most time for lunch.

I was very tired after a full day of hiking yesterday. My thighs, calves, and even my toes were sore because we spent most of the day yesterday going down. After about an hour of hiking, we stopped for a break at this beautiful meadow. It was a great opportunity for a snack, to reapply sunscreen, and rest our feet before we headed back up the mountain. After another 45 minutes of hiking, it was time for our next stop at a little hut where there were bathrooms, fresh alpine water, and a great spot for us to have lunch.

 

Lunch and after

Each day the food’s been a little bit different. Today, we have some chicken, delicious breads, five different cheeses, two different kinds of tomatoes, and the best part, avocados! The second half of our hike most of this way is down and it says that we have two hours and 40 minutes of walking Champex du Lac.

 

Something interesting about hiking in the Alps

They don’t measure distance by kilometres or by miles on the trail. They actually calculate the distance by the amount of hours it is that you’re going to be walking! For example, one section might say that it is two hours and 40 minutes away.

Our amazing guide, Nick, from Alpine Treks, taught us so much on the trail. He even showed us how to trail run! The secret to it is small quick steps. The second half of the hike had a lot more people on the trail. There were both day hikers and hikers with largepacks (probably camping or staying in some of the refuges along the way.)

One of the Highlights of the Trip

I was blown away by the variety of terrain. It seemed to change every 15 minutes or so! There were waterfalls and creeks, meadows, and or course mountains and trees.

When we finally made it to Champex du Lac, it was time to celebrate with a glass of wine and a gorgeous view. We stayed at Hotel Splendide right on the lake! We went out to watch some football, had dinner reservations and got a great night’s rest for our final day of hiking.

Thanks so much for watching day two of the Tour du Mont Blanc! Make sure to check out my blog and video about day one if you missed it. I’ll see you on the next adventure!

 

Hiking Tour du Mont Blanc – Day 1

Hiking Tour du Mont Blanc – Day 1

The Tour de Month Blanc is one of the world’s most famous hikes as it circles one of Europe’s highest peaks and weaves through three different countries. Come with me as we start day 1 of this 3 day hiking journey.

This is a 3 part series as I hiked 3 days my adventure in France in the stunning mountain town of Chamonix.  I’ve heard about this iconic ski resort for decades, but never had the chance to visit. This week, I share my tips for visiting Chamonix and hiking the Tour Du Mont Blanc.

 

About Chamonix, France

Chamonix, actually named Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, is located 99km from Geneva in the heart of the Alps bordering Switzerland, Italy and France. At an elevation of 3396′ which seems low until you look up and see the tallest peak in Europe, Mont Blanc. This town is famous for winter skiing as well as summer hiking and rock climbing; everyone in town seems active, fit and ready to take on the world. The food is incredibly delicious with a hint of Swiss fondue influencing the delicious French cuisine.

 

How to Get There

The best way to get to Chamonix is by private car from Geneva. It’s fast, convenient and you can travel when you want.  However, if you are price conscious, you can also check out the FlixBus which offers limited travel times between Geneva and Chamonix.  Note:  Geneva is NOT the cheapest airport to fly into, you may want to consider Milan which has a bus that takes around 4hr to Chamonix.

 

Where to Stay in Chamonix

There are lots of great hotels in Chamonix, and I’d recommend staying in the heart of the city as close to the walking zone as possible.  You are expending so much energy during the day on the mountain, that you don’t want to walk too far at night to have dinner.  We stayed at the 4 star Hotel Morgane and it was fantastic.  Ample sized rooms, great breakfast, and very friendly staff.

 

What to Eat

Ok, this is France, on the border of Switzerland and Italy.  Honestly, you cannot go wrong!  My favorite meal was at Josephine.  We started with shared salads which gigantic and so yummy, and then we moved on to Fondue and whole branzino (Mediterranean Sea Bass).  Make sure to sit outside, but UNDER the awnings; weather in the mountains is so unpredictable, and you don’t want to get drenched by a summer squall.   We also enjoyed the high end restaurant Atmosphere, and make sure to book ahead and ask for a table on the river.

 

Where to Shop

Every shop is geared towards outdoor activities.  From Helly Hansen to North Face and Patagonia, you can find everything you need.  Although you can buy all the name brands, make sure to check out these independent sport shops.

Best Spa in Chamonix

A must do while in Chamonix is the QC Terme Spa.  What an incredible spa and an incredible value; the daily entrance fee was only 48euros, and it included outdoor and indoor pools, cold plunges and foot soaks along with a salt room, waterbed room, infrared sauna bed room and a crazy face exercise relaxing room.  Again, QC Terme Spa is a must when traveling to Chamonix.

 

The Tour Du Mont Blanc – Day 1

We were going on an organized trip with Adventures for Solo Travelers based out of Atlanta. There were 24 of us who signed up for the tour but we were divided into three groups: There was a fast group, a medium group, and a slow group. I joined the slow group so that I would have time to film and take pictures. The tour company we went with was called Alpine Tracks, and my guide was Mark. He’s one of the owners of Alpine Tracks and has been guiding for 15 years! I was in very good hands.

We started our three day tour in Le Tour which is a ski resort, and headed out on our hike from France to Switzerland. We ended up in the small town of Triente and then got a transfer over to Martinique. That’s day 1 of our three day trek. Make sure to stay tuned for days 2 and 3!

Paragliding in Chamonix

Paragliding in Chamonix

Paragliding has been on my bucket list for some time, but I never wanted to rush it. Last month, the location, conditions, and price all worked perfectly! Keep reading to hear about my experience with Fly Chamonix.

 

HOW TO GET TO CHAMONIX

The best way to get to Chamonix is by private car from Geneva. I like it because it’s fast, convenient and you can travel when you want.  However, if you are price conscious, you can also check out the FlixBus which offers limited travel times between Geneva and Chamonix. Another way to save money would be to fly into Milan instead of Geneva. From Milan, you can take a bus that takes around 4 hours to get to Chamonix. Geneva is a smaller airport and so it tends to be more expensive to fly into.

 

 

WHERE TO STAY

There are lots of great hotels in Chamonix, and I’d recommend staying in the heart of thecity as close to the walking zone as possible.  You are expending so much energy during the day on the mountain, that you don’t want to walk too far at night to have dinner.  We stayed at the 4 star Hotel Morgane and it was fantastic.  Ample sized rooms, great breakfast, and very friendly staff.

 

WHAT TO WEAR

  • Long pants
  • Close-toed shoes
  • Wind-breaker (I used this Patagonia Rain Jacket)
  • Sunglasses (Check out my favorites from Ray Ban)
  • GoPro (or you can use theirs and pay a little extra)
  • Bonine for motion sickness

 

 

MY REVIEW OF FLY CHAMONIX

Our guides from Fly Chamonix met us at Le Brevent Gondola meeting point. They were right on time and getting us excited for the adventure ahead. When we got to the top of the windsock, the guides started putting our gear on us including harnesses and helmets, and setting up the parachutes. The take-off was such a rush: the idea is you run as fast as you can while the parachute is filling with air. Pretty soon, you’re floating in the sky! I loved how my guide gave me the opportunity to “drive.” For more adventurous people, you have the chance to do acrobatics and have a big adrenaline rush!

All of my friends and I thoroughly enjoyed our experience with Fly Chamonix. A highlight was flying in front of the breath-taking backdrop of Mont Blanc. A bonus with going with Fly Chamonix is how they set you up with an ongoing video of the flight for  a reasonable fee. I love my GoPro footage!

Thanks Fly Chamonix for the best day  ever!

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