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Towns & Resorts

Montpellier
Is 320km (2h15mins drive) from Nice Airport and has its own major airport, but if you wanted to add it to your itinerary for your visit to the South of France it’s a worthy addition as one of the most beautiful and modern cities in the region.  Car hire for Montpellier can be picked up at Nice Airport or in Montpellier at teh train station, city centre locations or Montpellier Airport.

Nimes
273km (2h45mins drive) from Nice Airport and also has its own small airport.  It’s one of the major attractions in the South of France due to the presence of a full Roman amphitheatre and Parthenon, as well as the close by Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct.  The village of Uzes in close vicinity is also worth a visit particularly on Wednesday, market day.  Car hire for Nimes can be picked up at Nice Airport or in Nimes city centre, Nimes train station or at Nimes Airport.

Avignon
254km (2h20mins drive) from Nice airport is a focal point for many tourists in the South of France.  It sits proudly on the Rhone river surrounded by its ancient walls which contain the Palais des Papes, a secondary home of the Pope.  It is a fascinating city and is the gateway to the dramatic Luberon valley to its East which is another holiday in itself.  Car hire for Avignon can be picked up at Nice Airport or at several locations in Avignon city centre, Avignon TGV rail station or Avignon Airport.

Marseille
199km (2 hours) drive from Nice Airport and again having its own airport although not particularly well served by flights from Northern Europe as Nice is.  This is often described as a gritty City and has had a bad reputation in the past, but since cleaned up for the European Capital of Culture in 2013.  It’s still not a major tourist attraction but the major city on the South coast and smaller only to Lyon and Paris in France.  Car hire for Marseille can be picked up at Nice Airport or in Marseille at several city centre pick up points, Marseille train station and Marseille Airport.

Cassis
194km (1h50mins drive) from Nimes airport to the West is Cassis which is famous for its cliffs and nearby Calanques.  The Calanques are a hub for experienced hikers and those in their cars looking for picturesque views to the Mediterranean Sea.  Boat trips from the Cassis harbour to visit the Calanques at sea level is another good viewpoint of this area and will afford some amazing photos with white cliffs set against blue waters.  Car hire for Cassis should be picked up at Nice Airport as there are very few car rental options in Cassis town centre.

La Ciotat
183km (1h55mins drive) from Nice Airport is La Ciotat a small and rapidly growing port which is becoming an ever more popular destination.  Boutique hotels, restaurants and shops are popping up everywhere to accommodate visitors coming to relax in the lively port and the local beaches.  Car hire for LaCiotat is best picked up at Nice Airport as there are no major car hire companies in La Ciotat town centre.

Îles d’Hyères
162km (2h25mins drive including ferry crossing) from Nime Airport is the islands of d’Hyeres which are green gems in the opal sea.  They have been well preserved, the beaches are clean and the children will love to explore the dunes and wild flower fields.  The main islands, Porquerolles, Port-Cros and Levant have some accommodation but a day trip via the ferry might be enough to see the best bits.  You have to pick up car hire on the mainland as there are no rental cars available on the islands.

Toulon              
144km (1h30mins drive) from Nice Airport is the major city of Toulon which is a naval town with a large military harbour.  It is one of the largest cities on the South coast and has commercial importance for many industries.  The old town is a collective of narrow streets, small squares and many fountains and quite an interesting wander.  The morning market is also worthy of note, as is the Harbour which is one of the largest in Europe and houses the Museum of the French Navy, and a Museum of Asian Arts.  If you’re interested in a trip to Corsica you can go with three main ferry companies from Toulon to Ajaccio as a foot passenger or via car.  SNCM and La Meridionale run regular trips with Corsica Ferries running 3 per day.  Car hire for Toulon can be picked up at Nice Airport or in several locations in Toulon town centre, Toulon Airport or Toulon train station.

Ajaccio (Corsica)
Via Toulon or Marseille you can visit Ajaccio the largest town on Corsica.  If you take your car by ferry you can then visit the island, or if travelling as a passenger you can jump on a train and cover a lot of the island via its popular and scenic rail network.  Here you will find many unspoilt beaches and ancient hill villages with stunning coastal and mountain scenery.  Car hire for your ferry trip to Corsica can be picked up at Nice Airport or at Ajaccio Airport, there are no other locations in Ajaccio city centre for car rental so you are better renting your car in France and then taking the ferry to Corsica.

Hyères
144km (1h30mins drive) from Nice Airport is one of the oldest holiday resorts in Europe.  It is more of a Spring, Autumn and Winter destination due to its inland location, but nonetheless its walled medieval garrison town is worthy of a visit, and the modern town below it is an elegant place to visit for shopping and general browsing.  Car hire for Hyeres can be picked up at Nice Airport or in Hyeres town centre.

Saint-Tropez  
106km (1h30mins drive) from Nice Airport, Saint-Tropez has become a playground for the rich and famous, therefore having upped its appeal to some, and become a place to avoid for others.  In the height of summer, it is over-crowded and boisterous with all-night and day partying.  Hotels, resorts and bars are notoriously expensive and don’t expect a peaceful break.  Car hire for St Tropez can be picked up at Nice Airport or in Saint-Tropez town, however, Saint-Tropez has a limited number of vehicles and operators, with prices being high so you are better to hire at Nice Airport and then drive into Saint-Tropez.

Grimaud
118km   (1h25mins drive) from Nice Airport is a picturesque village with a view from the castle ruins being a fantastic reward for your climb up the village streets.  Car hire for Grimaud should be picked up at Nice Airport as there are very few options locally.

La Garde Freinet
108km (1h10mins drive) from Nice Airport the tranquil village of La Garde-Freinet is a contrast to many of the bustling coastal towns.  It is surrounded by forest and has medieval buildings.  Markets on Wednesdays and Sundays are highlights.  Car hire for La Garde Freinet is best picked up at Nice Airport as there are no major car hire firms in the town.

Sainte-Maxime
92km (1h5mins drive) drive from Nice Airport is a traditional Cote D’Azur resort typified by its Art Deco casino and yacht harbour.  It’s a neighbour to Saint-Tropez, and it’s a considerably less expensive option, with cleaner beaches and quieter night-life.  Water sports is the past time here with options from jet skis to pedaloes, kayaks to windsurfing.  Saint Maxime has very few car rental operators so its best to hire your vehicle from Nice Airport.

Frejus / Saint Raphael             
59km (40mins drive) from Nice Airport are the neighbouring towns of Frejus and St-Raphael, both Roman towns with scatterings of Roman ruins.  St-Raphael is the livelier of the towns and more family-friendly with easy access to beaches.  Car hire for Frejus or St Raphael can be picked up at Nice Airport or in Frejus town.

Cannes
27km (30mins drive) from Nice airport.  Before and probably after Saint-Tropez there is Cannes, the glamourous home to the rich and famous particularly during the Cannes Film Festival in May.  Cannes has some of the best beaches in the region and despite the number of visitors you can usually find some space to yourselves.  Cannes also has a couple of island just off its coast which are nice to visit.  Car hire for Cannes can be picked up at Nice Airport or in Cannes town centre, or at the Cannes Train Station.  Prices in Cannes are less competitive than at the airport.

Antibes
17km (25mins drive) from Nice airport, Antibes is a traditional and less busy resort than others on the Cote D’Azur.  The old town itself is pleasant to walk around, and then head to the daily market which is bustling in the mornings with locals buying groceries.  Another highlight is the Picasso Museum which has a small but good collection.  Car hire for Antibes can be picked up at Nice Airport or in Antibes town centre and at the railway station.

Nice     
7.3km (12mins mins drive) from the Airport is the Capital of the French Riviera and the fifth largest city in France.  It is the ultimate holiday resort like Barcelona its Spanish compatriot it boasts beachfront location with culture, shopping promenades and centres, restaurants of every denomination and budget, and even waterparks!  It would be a shame to spend all of your holiday in Nice as there is much more to see in the area, but it’s certainly worthy of a two or three night stay.  Car hire for Nice can be picked up at Nice Airport or in the central town, at Promenade des Anglais or at the central train station.

Monaco – Monte Carlo
30km (35mins mins drive) from Nice Airport is the famous city state of Monaco home to the rich and famous including Roger Moore and Shirley Bassey.  Following the recent film Grace of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman the principality has had a revival, fuelled by its colourful history.  Car hire for Monaco can be picked up at Nice Airport or in Monte Carlo.

Menton             
39km (36mins drive) from Nice Airport and on the Italian border, Mention is more Italian in nature than the other resorts along the France coast, and is also one of the warmest due to its privileged position shielded by mountains.  Menton has a Lemon-themed Fete in February which is often of interest to visitors.  Car hire for Menton is best picked up at Nice Airport as there are few reliable operators in Menton itself.

Genoa (Italy)
205km (2h20mins drive) from Nice Airport.  Being so close to the Italian border it would be a shame not to make a visit to Italy if you get the chance.  The nearest major city is Genoa.  Car hire for Genoa can be picked up at Nice Airport or in Genoa city centre, at Genoa train station or at Genoa Airport.

Hover over the markers on the map above to see the locations of each resort.

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