Monaco is a world capital city of glamour, so what better way to visit than in the high style afforded by a private tour from Nice, the French Riviera city to rival all others on the Riviera?
Home to the glitterati, and synonymous with luxury, and the finer things, a half-day tour from Nice to Monaco will give you a glimpse into the world of wonder that is this jewel on the Mediterranean Coast.
Climb up into the mountains on the corniche road to the eagle’s nest village of Eze and sample the delights of the Fragonard Perfumery. From here see the panoramic views of the Principality as if you were, indeed, a bird on the wing.
Take flight down the mountain into Monaco and Monte-Carlo and see the sparkling facades of the Casino and the million-dollar yachts moored in the centuries-old Port Hercules.
Half-Day Tour from Nice to Monaco: From French Riviera to Monaco’s Glamour
Most tours can begin from your hotel lobby, where you will be picked up fifteen to twenty minutes before the advertised start time.
- The driver, or guide will meet you, usually with a board with your name on it, or they will text you.
- Make sure that you and your party are in the lobby in plenty of time, so you don’t miss out on tour-time, or inconvenience any other patrons.
- The tour operators do reserve the right to cancel in case of a no-show.
- In the summer months, from June to the end of September, it can be sweltering on the Riviera, so it is a good idea to bring a bottle or flask of water with you so you don’t become dehydrated.
- Whether your tour is in a car or minibus, all vehicles will be air-conditioned, with the possible exception of a convertible vehicle.
If you would like to eat in Monaco, then it is a good idea to book in advance as some restaurants sell out quickly in high season.
Travel in Comfort: Transport Options and Tips
For larger groups of up to 15 people, a tour via rail begins at the bakery next door to the railway station in Nice.
- The ticket price includes a local expert guide and the train ticket, but not the cost of a pain au chocolat from the bakery!
- The tour guide will take you around Casino Square and then on to Port Hercules and the covered Market Condamine, where you will have the opportunity to sample local specialties.
- After this, the guide will take you up the Rock to the Prince’s Palace in the Old Town, revealing secret spots that you won’t find in any guidebook.
The train ticket has an open return, so you can take the rest of the day at your own pace when the tour is over.
The Scenic Route: What You’ll Witness on the Way
- If your tour takes in the medieval village of Eze and the Fragonard Factory, then you are in for a real treat, as the views from this road are probably the most spectacular on the Riviera.
- Sure, there are other routes between the two centers, but for sheer grandeur, nothing else comes close.
- The corniche road began as a donkey track, the terrain so steep that most travel and trade in the area was by sea in days gone by, but at Eze, its strategic, panoramic lookout potential was in use since Roman times.
Another eco-friendly tour that is semi-independent is the Convertible Electric Car tour that takes you, in convoy, along the coastal road.
- You will need your driver’s license to take this trip and your passport, but it is perfect for anyone not tempted by the dizzying heights of the corniche road.
- Follow the lead driver through Villefranche-sur-Mer to Beaulieu-sur-Mer, past the legendary Cap Ferrat and Fort Mont Alban.
- On the way, you will see the old fishing ports, the beaches, and the villas nestled amongst the cliffs that have played host to Hollywood’s great and good.
- Child seats are available on request; however, the tour is not suitable for children aged under five or weighing below 33 lbs.
A deposit of €1500 must be pre-authorized on your credit card on the day!
First Stop: Monaco’s Must-Visit Landmarks
- The old town is where it all began, where Princess Grace married Prince Rainier, and where they were both laid to rest.
- There will be time on this tour to take a look at both the palace and the Cathedral.
- A step away from the Cathedral is the Oceanographic Institute, built on a clifftop overlooking the sea, and a must-visit for anyone interested in the maritime eco-system.
- Tickets to the Institute are not included in the tour price, so book online to avoid the queues and maximize your time.
A visit to the Casino follows as it is only open for visitors in the afternoon. Opposite the Casino is the Belle Epoch masterpiece, the Hotel de Paris, where you can take tea and watch the world go by.
Shopping and Snacking: Where to Pause in Monaco
Book a tour to the village of Eze, where you will find galleries and artisan craft shops, great for souvenir hunters and art enthusiasts.
- At the Fragonard Perfumery, you can take away the scent of the Riviera.
- All along this Provencal region, the soap and perfume industry has thrived for centuries.
- Down at sea level, or at least closer to it, there are terrific traditional and bargain eats in the covered Market Condamine.
The Monagasque locals eat here, so you know the food will be good, and the deals done will be sensible, too!
Picture-Perfect: The Best Spots to Capture Your Memories
Eze has been called the ‘Balcony of Monaco’, and when you alight from your vehicle, you will be able to see exactly why. It is the perfect spot for a classic Riviera panoramic shot.
- Next up has to be the façade of the Casino! You will regret not bringing your tuxedo, or cocktail dress, for that super-spy glamorous moment outside one of the most iconic of Monte-Carlo’s buildings.
- Get down to the waterside at Port Hercules, hop on the eco-friendly electric solar-powered water bus, and grab a selfie with a multi-million-dollar yacht.
- If none of these blow up your socials then we can’t help you!
For an extra special, sunset trip, try booking a Night Tour and experiencing Monaco in all its diamond-bright, lit-up extravaganza glitter.
Watching the sun go down over the Mediterranean from the Riviera Corniche is an image that will be remembered forever. Take photos if you must, but you won’t need to, as the colors and emotions will stay with you long after the streetlights have come on.
The tour operator can organize a dinner at a restaurant on the beach, too, to round off an exceptional evening.
Handy Tips: Making the Most of Your Half-Day Tour
- Stay hydrated! While you are out and about having fun, getting in and out of vehicles, and walking about in the sunshine you need to stay on top of your water intake so you don’t feel faint.
- Likewise, remember your sunscreen. The sun is strong on the Riviera, and when you are down at sea level there will be reflection and glare to contend with too.
- So don’t forget your sunglasses in that case either, or your sun hat.
- Oftentimes entry fees are only included if it is explicitly stated on the site when you are booking.
- Most trips that include a ride up the corniche to Eze include the price of entry to the Fragonard Perfume Factory, but other entry costs, i.e. to the Oceanographic Institute, will have to be paid for separately.
Wrapping Up: How to Conclude Your Monaco Visit
If you have an open return on your half-day tour, then it is a great idea to take advantage of the extra time and relax on Larvotto Beach where there are restaurants, water sports, and the forever age-old game of people-watching.
Mediterranean sunsets are always worth waiting for, so while you are waiting for the return train to Nice, enjoy the change of the day from up on the Rock, and see the sun go down and the lights come on.
Conclusion: Reflecting on Your Riviera Adventure
Hitting the road with a tour guide or strolling through the old town with an expert local guide will add so much value to a visit to Monaco, with insights that never feature in a guidebook.
Feel the stories, laugh at the anecdotes, and wonder at the passion your guides have for the area, so much so that they make a living from this passion for connecting and informing, for sharing their knowledge and delight.
If you are lucky enough to be on the Riviera and have a level of curiosity that needs to be satisfied, then book a half-day tour from Nice to Monaco and see this celebrated, incredible, and iconic place with your own eyes.
FAQ: Quick Answers to Your Monaco Tour Queries
Will I need to change money when I visit Monaco?
Monaco has adopted the Euro along with France and Italy, so there will be no need to change money when you are in the Principality.
Will I need to bring my passport to get into Monaco?
There isn’t a hard border between France and Monaco, however, you may need to have your passport if you are driving an electric vehicle as part of a tour.