Europe’s playground for the rich and famous offers stunning views in Eze, high rollers in Monaco, and of course the one-of-a-kind Carnival parades and festivities in Nice. Soak in the Flower Parade while being showered with blossoms from the floats, then prepare to be mesmerized by the dazzling Carnival Parade of Lights, all set along gorgeous coastal views and with time to enjoy the top-notch beaches between parades. With less time figuring out how to get where you want to go in the "Cote d'Azur," you can spend more time rolling the dice with celebrities at the Monte Carlo casino and reveling in the carnival atmosphere alongside the beach in Nice.
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If you select the Fly-In option please plan to arrive at your accommodation by Thursday evening. Luggage storage will be available for those of you arriving before 14:00. You can check in at the reception desk. Detailed information regarding your trip, including directions from the airport(s) to the accommodation, will be emailed to you in the days leading up to your departure for the French Riviera. The rest of the students will be traveling by bus through the night and will be arriving Friday morning. You will meet with your tour leader at breakfast on Friday morning.
Friday we will wake up to Nice, the Cote d’Azur’s biggest city. Meet in the lobby at 10:00am following breakfast for a walking tour of Nice. Led by a local guide, this 1.5 hour tour will help you get acquainted with this incredible city. After the walking tour, there will be time to grab a quick lunch. After lunch, we will depart from the hostel for Monaco, the world’s second smallest sovereign state.
Monaco is well known as the premiere getaway for multi-millionaires, featuring the world famous Monte Carlo Casino, with its opulent decorations and extravagant cars surrounding the main entrance. Your trip leader will walk you to the casino and provide directions to the Prince’s Palace of Monaco (formerly the residence of Grace Kelly), the Monaco Cathedral, the Oceanarium, Japanese Gardens, and beach. All of these sites are reachable by foot or a short bus ride on the same high speed road as the Grand Prix of Monaco. We will leave Monaco that evening.
Friday night is free to enjoy an inexpensive meal and some drinks at the hostel bar happy hour, where beer is €1.50 from 18:00-22:00. Or head into the city center for a crepe or dinner at one of several recommended restaurants. We will all meet at the hostel at 21:15 to walk over to Wayne’s Bar to dance on tables while being serenaded by a live band. End your night at one of the nightclubs on or near the Promenade des Anglais, especially High Club, a Bus2alps favorite.
Saturday is yours to explore Nice and enjoy the Carnival festivities. The theme this year will be The Carnival “King of Energy.” The Flower Parade, a tradition which dates back to 1876, will begin at 14:30. Flower-covered floats will parade along the Promenade des Anglais between the Theatre de Verdure and the Hotel Negresco. Tickets for this event can be purchased at the temporary ticket offices found along the parade circuit or online. We highly suggest you purchase these tickets online prior to arriving in Nice The parade will last approximately 1.5 hours. After the parade, take a break from the day’s festivities to explore the beach, shops, and restaurants. For an incredible view of Nice, ascend to the top of Castle Hill, located near the beach.
Saturday night, stop by the hostel bar for some cheap drinks at happy hour or head into the city center for a crepe or dinner at one of several recommended restaurants. Later in the evening we will head out to the Parade of Lights, beginning at 21:00, around the Place Massena. After the parade, head to the clubs to keep the party going all night! High Club is always a good place to go on Saturday nights, or swing by Wayne’s Bar for some more table dancing.
Check out is at 10:00am. If your flight departs later in the day you will be able to store your luggage in the hostel. Sunday is a free day to visit any of the sites you missed over the weekend.
Transportation: Transportation between Nice and Monaco is all included. Transportation is by way of our private bus or public transportation if necessary. Optional transportation to Cannes is by way of a 10-minute local train ride.
Monte Carlo Casino: For entrance to the table room, you need to be wearing decent clothes (open-toed shoes, shorts, and hats are not allowed). You need to provide your passport for entrance.
Flower Parade: A dazzling display of parade floats made of flowers lasting for about 1.5 hours along the Promenade des Anglais.
Parade of Lights: A captivating display of illuminated parade floats that light up the heart of Nice.