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Nice then driving east - need advice

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New York
posts: 31
reviews: 6
Nice then driving east - need advice

My husband and I would like to start our week in Nice and continue on east, hitting Cap-Ferrat, Monaco and making our way into Italy, visiting Cinque Terre. My question is, would anyone recommend driving versus the train? I'd like to have the freedom but don't have a lot of expertise driving in Europe.

Thanks all!

6 replies to this topic
Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
posts: 52,667
reviews: 11
1. Re: Nice then driving east - need advice

If you pick up a rental car in France and drop off in Italy, there will be a substantial one-way fee. Someone has to go to Italy and drive the car back to France.

In any case, I think that train would be better than car for this journey. The motorway is very busy and alternates between tunnel and viaduct. The parallel ordinary road goes through all the towns and is often very congested. The train has stations in every town along the coastline.

New York
posts: 31
reviews: 6
2. Re: Nice then driving east - need advice

I found a good rate through autoeurope.com but ill look into train schedules. Thanks

London, UK
posts: 5,309
reviews: 49
3. Re: Nice then driving east - need advice

Depends what you want to do, how fit you are and how much you like walking. Traffic east of Nice is nothing like as bad as it is on the western side and without a car you won't see much of Cap Ferrat without a good deal of walking. A car would also give you easy access to spectacular views from the Moyenne and Haute Corniche roads. Parking is easy in Monaco but can be almost impossible at at peak times in Villefranche, one place on the coast you shouldn't miss. No particular expertise is required for an American driver, other than tolerance of the person in the car behind who wants you to drive at twice the speed limit. A compromise would be to use a car for the area between Nice and Menton but the train for the Italian part of the trip.

Antibes, France
posts: 4,274
4. Re: Nice then driving east - need advice

As Bob says one advantage - possibly the only one - of a car around Nice is to experience the fabulous Corniche roads between Nice and Monaco. Otherwise 'Freedom' and a car are not generally compatible on the French Riviera. particularly where parking is concerned. And I agree - don't miss Villefranche - Monaco is maybe optional - but not Villefranche.


New York City, New...
posts: 1,592
reviews: 148
5. Re: Nice then driving east - need advice

Have you reserved an automatic and are you prepared to drive stick if they don't have it for you despite your reservations?

New York
posts: 31
reviews: 6
6. Re: Nice then driving east - need advice

I should say that we are planning for early October so hopefully there will be less trouble parking/traffic. We live in New York City and walk everywhere so that's not a problem for us. I'm interested in learning more about Villefranche and other small towns like Portofino. We will definitely consider dividing up between a car and a train. I know our trip sounds ambitious but I'd love to see as much as possible.

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