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One of the sunniest places in Europe: Nice, France

Posted by on October 27, 2018

It’s pronounced Nee-suh. Not nice as in nice things. So where is this place in France then? Well, it’s on the southern French coast also known as the French Riviera or Côte d’Azur where many Europeans especially Britons escape to. Celebrities flock there not just to get to their second French coastal home but also for the film festival at Cannes. It’s almost like Costa del Sol or the Mexican Riviera (Cancun), but with its own distinctive style.

yachts boats rich people ricos tienen tiene plata dinero botes barcos naves grandes caros voile vale mucho puerto seaport marina french francais france riviera

The marina port of Nice, France. Lots of boats and some of them belong to some VERY rich people. I remember seeing this huge yacht with this satellite at the top of it and someone said that it belonged to a billionaire. I guess he needed his TV and internet connection while sailing around the world. With great weather like it is in Nice, I could see why the rich people flock there.

harbor puerto nice france frankreich wasser sea water ocean mediterrean sea

You can see some big ships in port and some of them are actually passenger ships that go all the way to Corisca and back. A lot of tourists do it as a 1 or 2 day trip to check it out and then return back to the mainland.

war world ii 2 memorial dedication to soldiers guerre guerra krieg welt historie historia

This is called Monument aux Morts, a World War II monument in dedication to the 4000+ locals who came from Nice, who died fighting for France. It’s kind of a nice tribute with the memorial facing out to the sea.

mansion casa grande rica ricos plata dinero viel Geld beaucoup d'argent la maison Haus Grosses

While cruising on a boat, I saw this house on top of the hill and I could easily tell that some rich person (or even famous) lived there. And it might only be during the summertime or wintertime when it’s only occupied!

french riviera beach playa plage Strand vacation Urlaub summer holiday winter birds

You can easily see why Europeans flock here in order to get enough sun due to possibly a deficiency in Vitamin D. Parts of Northern Europe are sure cloudy a lot of the time! The road the goes along the beach from the airport to the city is called Promenade d’Anglais which is basically English Promenade in reference to all these Britons showing up and making it a vacation spot for them.

So what’s an adventurous person to do in a sun-lounging place like this? And no, I can’t go into vegetable mode in a sunny climate like that. Too many good things to do. One of my life goals was to go scuba diving in mainland France and that Nice, with its wide offerings of fun stuff for the tourists, would be able to accommodate that request. I have to admit that timing is everything when going scuba diving in Nice. In the Mediterranean, the water temperature can be quite cold if it’s not the summer time. I actually thought that it was going to be like Barcelona diving, not too cold, but the scuba diving shop that I was with did not use dry suits! So it was quite chilly even with thick wetsuits on.

bay nice france diving sailing french community

While diving in Nice, we always went to bay where I found out that it’s actually really deeper than it looks.

sea anemone underwater scuba diving trauchen plongee francais nice el buceo bucear buceando en france francia

It’s a sea anemone. Sun light doesn’t penetrates well here for some reason.

octopus pulpo buceo bajo de agua mar salteado

An octopus being stirred up and not willing to show itself to us divers.

coral flower underwater life plants eating plankton

Someone pointing at a coral flower.

Stonefish rockfish med sea diving riviera french france padi

Here’s a Stonefish, a little bigger sized one. I had to use Flash to get the color out of him.

nudibranch sea slugs underwater salt water rocks diving

Didn’t see these Nudibranch (sea slugs) until the second day of diving.

One recommendation when going down there especially if you are scuba diving is to know some French. I got a French-only speaking dive buddy a few times but I figured out that my French was better than his English. So word of caution when going to France.

But the biggest recommendation that I have to make when diving in France is that French law requires divers to meet with their physician and get a medical statement signed off by that doctor. So basically, you cannot just show up with your diving certification and diving insurance to go diving. Nope. They require you to get a doctor’s signature on a diving document allowing you to scuba dive. Basically, it’s a harmless little thing but it’s still a pain in the butt to do. Also, they have this other law that in order to dive down to 20-30 meters, you must have a dive computer. You cannot rely on your dive buddy. I’ve never heard or seen this rule anywhere else in the world that I’ve gone diving as it’s usually “You have certification? Then let’s go diving!” However, in France, we cannot say the same since it’s their country so their rules. So if you want to scuba dive then you have to follow their rules.