South France's seaside stunner
It's a demanding climb to Le Château, a ruined castle that perches on a cliff high above Nice proper, but the view is more than worth it. Seen from such heights, the Mediterranean is a shimmering riot of blue, its lacy, frothed edges lapping against the shore, while the rooftops below spread over the land to form an irregular earth-toned mosaic. Nice is one of France's largest cities, but it's easy to find quiet streets with a distinctly old-world feel. The fabulous flower markets and colorful plazas whet your appetite for the fantastic orgy of color you'll discover in the Chagall museum or etched in glossy detail across the onion domes of the Russian cathedral. This is a café city, best taken in during long strolls and leisurely meals of seafood and wine. Around most corners you'll discover a picturesque scene, but those glimmering azure waters are Nice's big show. Join the families pacing the promenade or the old men relaxing in the salty air after a game of boules. Lounge atop the pebbly beach, and indulge in some of France's best people-watching. Nice is the place to go if you are seeking beauty, romance, and a distinctly Mediterranean charm. Pack the camera, and prepare to be totally won over.