Looking for the best day tours from Nice throughout the French Riviera? I’ve got you covered with 12 great options!
Nice is one of my absolute favorite cities in France! The laidback vibes, the pretty buildings, the sea views and palm trees swaying make this a unique destination in France, with tons of things to see and do.
And as much as I love exploring the city of Nice, one of the best features of the city is how centrally located it is in the French Riviera and to Provence. It is SO close to dozens of towns, wineries, mountainous regions, lakes, and of course, the Mediterranean, which all offer so many opportunities for incredible experiences outside of Nice.
A Short Bit about the “French Riviera” and “Provence” regions
While there’s no official boundary, the French Riviera is the term used for the section of coastal France from around Toulon or Saint-Tropez, all the way east to the Italian border. It includes cities like Nice, Cannes, Antibes, and Grasse, and is also known as the “Cote d’Azur.”
Provence is the official term for the region in southern France, and encompasses a large area that includes the “French Riviera.” Provence includes cities such as Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, and Avignon, as well as the cities like Nice, Saint Tropez, Cannes, and others.
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My Top 3 Picks: Best Day Tours from Nice
12 Best Day Tours from Nice
There are literally dozens of places you can visit in the Provence/French Riviera region from Nice, and I’ve picked out my absolute favorite Nice day tours in the sections below. Let’s jump right in!
⭐ Ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars | ⌛Tour Time: 8 hours
On this very small group tour of the Provence countryside, you visit several unique, exciting, and adorable spots in the French countryside. You first stop is the glitzy and incredibly scale city of Cannes, the location of the Cannes film festival. Then in the village of Grasse, you’ll get to tour the famous Fragonard perfumery.
Then visit Gourdon, a medieval village famous for being perched on a hilltop, and then Saint-Paul-de-Vence, which is seriously one of the cutest villages in all of France!
You’ll get to experience a wide variety of French cities and towns, with a tour guide who is friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful, but also gives you some time to explore on your own.
⭐ Ratings: 4.89 out of 5 stars | ⌛Tour Time: 3 to 4 hours
This small group excursion to Monaco with a walking tour is a great way to experience Monaco. With your guide, you’ll ride the train from Nice to Monaco (it’s a really beautiful ride), without the hassle of navigating tickets and the train station yourself.
In Monaco, you’ll get an in-depth guided tour of some of the most interesting spots in the city, with a lot of behind the scenes information and local tidbits. Enjoy visiting the casino, the Grand Prix, the harbor, the port, the opera, different gardens, the cathedral, the palace, old town, and more during this half day activity from Nice.
Your guide is engaging, interesting, and knowledgeable about the city and you’ll come away having seen and learned a lot!
Monaco is one of the most popular day trips from Nice, as you can visit an entirely different country with very little effort!
⭐ Ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars | ⌛Tour Time: 7 hours
In this tour of French villages and Monaco, you get the best of both worlds: small, adorable villages to explore, plus time in the glitzy and glamorous big city of Monaco.
To start this day trip, you’ll visit the village of Eze, a charming hilltop village with stone buildings and streets, and incredible views that overlooks the sea.
Then you’ll head to La Turbie, another hilltop village. This village is unique in that it sits above Monaco, giving some truly amazing views over the city.
Finally, you’ll head down into Monaco, visiting sites such as the Prince’s Palace, Old Town, the Justice Palace, the cathedral, the Oceanographic Museum, the Grand Prix, and ending with a visit to the Monte Carlo Casino.
⭐ Ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars | ⌛Tour Time: 9 hours
This full day, action-packed, quick hit best of the Riviera tour introduces you to 6 different cities and villages in on the French Riviera.
Enjoy visiting spots in France likes Antibes, Cannes, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Villefranche, Eze, and Monaco. You’ll have about an hour in each of these spots (with a longer stop to see more sites in Monaco), plus a few stops between the cities for a photo-op at great views.
Of course, hitting 6 cities in one day means that each stop is more of an overview than long, lingering exploration of each village, but it’s perfect for anyone who wants to see and experience the variety that southern France has to offer.
This activity is a small group with maximum of 8 people, and a driver/guide who is funny, friendly, and knowledgeable about the region.
⭐ Ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars | ⌛Tour Time: 9 hours
This tour of the Gorge du Verdon takes you to a gorgeous spot in the Provence Alps. This is the biggest canyon in France, with a turquoise river running through it and a lovely waterfall nearby. While French people know and love the Gorge du Verdon, it’s much less known with international visitors, making it a bit of a hidden gem to visit.
On this tour, you’ll be driven up through the winding roads into the mountains of Provence, stopping at several panoramic spots near the Gorge du Verdon. Enjoy stops at two adorable villages in the area: Castellane, and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.
Then, head to Lac Sainte Croix, which is where the canyon river empties into. Here you can swim or rent a canoe or paddleboat and venture up into the canyon, before heading back to town.
⭐ Ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars | ⌛Tour Time: 8 to 12 hours
This train experience through the Alps is perfect for anyone wanting a unique experience, off the beaten path.
Meet your guide at the Nice train station, where together you’ll board the train and travel through scenic countryside, canyons, and viaducts, along the ancient “salt road” of France.
You’ll stop at two quaint, charming villages, Saorge and Tende, and a monastery. Throughout these villages, your fun and interesting guides will take you through town, showing you all the cool and interesting spots as you explore together.
The mountain views are incredible and the medieval villages make you feel like you’ve stepped back 500 years. Note that you will be walking quite a bit on this tour!
⭐ Ratings: 4.9 out of 5 stars | ⌛Tour Time: 5 hours
If you’ve ever had an idyllic daydream of biking through the rolling French countryside, popping into a vineyard to sample the wine, then this e-bike tour and wine tasting half day trip from Nice is perfect for you.
Ride through Nice and out to the countryside, enjoying the viewing of hills and the sea as you bike along. You’ll visit a nearby winery and learn about the process of growing the grapes and producing the wine. You’ll taste some of the wine produced at the estate and then enjoy a picnic lunch on the grounds.
This wine tour is small group (max 10 people) to ensure a good experience, and the electric bikes make biking through the countryside enjoyable and not too strenuous.
⭐ Ratings: 4.93 out of 5 stars | ⌛Tour Time: 8 hours
On this multi-stop day trip of Provincial wineries, you’ll travel in an air-conditioned van to visit 3 different and unique vineyards nearby Nice. You’ll tour the vineyards and cellar, learn about the whole process of wine production, then enjoy wine-tastings led by an expert sommelier.
You’ll get a long stop for lunch in a nearby quaint village in the middle of the day before continuing on your wine tour. The countryside and vineyards are all beautiful, with spectacular views.
⭐ Ratings: 4.94 out of 5 stars | ⌛Tour Time: 8 hours
This private Provence Wine Tasting tour is perfect either for anyone wanting a private, intimate experience, or if you have a somewhat larger group of people that want to go together.
On this excursion, you’ll tour and taste your way through three different vineyards, learn about winemaking and its history in France, and indulge in 15 different wines throughout the day.
The estates that you’ll visit are delightfully historic and beautiful, and have been making wines in the region for hundreds and hundreds of years. You’ll have plenty of time to take your time and savor the wine, the setting, and the experience.
⭐Ratings: 4.92 out of 5 stars | ⌛Tour Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
This one hour, private sunset cruise in a solar-powered boat, cruises along the coast of France, passing by several quaint villages and expansive villas. What’s more peaceful and romantic than watching the sunset while on the Mediterranean?
You’ll set sail from the Beaulieu-sur-Mer port, a little suburb that’s just outside of Nice. From there, it’s on to cruising along the sea. Since this is a private activity, it’s just you – no one else to disturb or disrupt you (including the boat – since it’s solar-powered, it’s very quiet).
Dangle your feet in the water and watch the French countryside pass by – Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in particular is a gorgeous place to see, but the entire coastline is charming and beautiful.
⭐Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars | ⌛Tour Time: 4 hours
For those of you that want more time on the water, this half day boat excursion, for just your own party is just the ticket. From Nice you’ll sail towards Cannes or Monaco, riding along the coast and admiring all the beautiful villas and the pretty coastline of France.
There’s time to jump off the back of the boat and swim or snorkel in the Mediterranean waters. Because it’s just your party, there’s a lot of flexibility about what you can do based on your personal preferences.
This boat excursion lasts about four hours and is good for a small group of people!
⭐ Ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars | ⌛Tour Time: 2 hours
This snorkeling tour near Villefranche is a great part-day tour outside of Nice.
On this tour, you’ll meet at the port in Nice, hop on a boat, and take a 20 minute cruise along the beautiful coast of France, over to a marine protected bay by Cap Jean Ferrat, near Villefranche.
Here, you’ll have the opportunity to snorkel in the Mediterranean waters (all snorkel gear is provided).
You’ll have about an hour to swim and snorkel, and then head back to Nice. With the boat cruise on both ends of the trip, you almost get a 2 for 1 deal on this tour!
Note that you do have to be 11 and be able to swim without a life jacket to go on this tour.
Other Practical Information for Visiting Nice
How Many Days Do You Need in Nice
I would plan for 2 days to sightsee in the city, and then another 1-3 days for daytime trips in the countryside around Nice. There’s so much to see in the area!
How Do You Get to Nice?
Nice has an international airport (NCE airport code) and is also very well-connected to the rest of France and Europe by train. It is very easy to arrive in Nice with either of these options.
Where Should I Stay in Nice?
I have a full post with an in-depth breakdown of where to stay in Nice for different types of travelers, and best hotels in each of these neighborhoods (including some of the best hotels in Nice with pools)
However, if you want just my top TOP recommendations, these are my favorite hotels in Nice:
($) Hotel de la Mer: Located right on Place Massena, this hotel has stylish, comfortable rooms and friendly staff, and is steps from several big attractions in Nice. 👉Book Hotel de la Mer here
($$) Mercure Nice Marché Aux Fleurs: Near the flower market in Old Town, and facing the sea, this hotel delivers on location, lovely rooms, and beautiful views.👉 Book the Mercure Nice here
($$$) Hotel Le Negresco: This is THE most famous hotel in Nice, and it absolutely delivers on the hype. It’s almost like staying in a museum, with the beautiful art, décor, architecture, and design throughout the main areas and the guest rooms in the Carré d’Or neighborhood.👉Book Hotel Le Negresco here
($ Vacation Home)View of the Port Apartment: This apartment is newly renovated in a historic building, with some touches of old world charm mixed with modern amenities. The real draw for this location, though, is the view – a stunning vista over the port from every window in the flat! 👉Book on VRBO here
($$ Vacation Home) Beautiful, Spacious Garden View Flat: This is really the French apartment of my dreams – it has parquet hardwood floors, a French style fireplace, gilded mirrors, decorative molding, full length windows, and a garden overlook in the Jean-Medecin neighborhood. 👉Book on VRBO here
Final Thoughts on Best Excursions from Nice
Nice is one of my favorite locations in France, not just because of its own charms, but because of how well it serves as a central hub for exploring the region. With so much to experience, I’m sure you’ll find the right excursion for you! Enjoy!