The Paris – Nice cycle race will finish on the Promenade des Anglais.
One of the first cycling stage races of the year, the 8 day race from Paris to Nice, began in Paris last Sunday and is due to finish on Sunday 11th March. Crowds will be lining the route of the 110 kilometre final stage, which starts and finishes in the city of Nice. Along the route the cyclists will take in a number of climbs including the famous Col d’Eze. The last climb of the day will be the Col des Quatre Chemins. After ascending to the Col the cyclists will descend for 9 kilometres into Nice, finishing on the Promenade des Anglais overlooking the Mediterranean. The cyclists will be cheered on by enthusiasts at many stages of the route, particularly up the hills, finishing no doubt amongst crowds of cheering supporters as they cycle through the city and along the Promenade des Anglais.
The weather forecast for Nice on Sunday predicts some sunny spells and some possible heavy showers, which could cause difficult conditions for the cyclists. Temperatures will be pleasant, as a high of around 16°C is expected on Sunday. In fact this is the sort of temperature you can usually expect in Nice at this time of year. Frustratingly for the riders and all the spectators, the weather by Tuesday is expected to have settled down and a very sunny day is predicted!
Whilst for cycling fans the chance to see the end of the cycle race would make an ideal reason to visit Nice in March, for other people the spring months are also the perfect time to enjoy a short break in the city. In the summer temperatures can climb to levels which are uncomfortable for many, and the city and its beaches are also more crowded. When the city is cooler and a little quieter during the spring it is well worth heading for the Vieille Ville (Old Town) and wandering around the narrow streets. Here you’ll find an eclectic mix of shops selling such things as traditional Provencal herbs and spices as well as modern fashions. For all visitors to Nice a stroll down the Promenade des Anglais is a must and it’s also well worth spending an hour or so exploring the beautiful and fragrant flower market.
For days when the weather’s not so good and you need to take shelter, Nice is the perfect city as it is home to more museums than any other French city outside Paris, including the Chagall and Matisse art collections. The Musée National Marc Chagall is only small but it contains an impressive collection of works by this celebrated artist – not only paintings but also sculptures, mosaics, tapestries and stained glass. If you venture just outside the centre to the suburb of Cimiez, you will find the Musée Matisse in a beautiful 17th-century Genoese villa overlooking an olive grove. The collection here contains a variety of art works by Henri Matisse who lived and worked in and around the city for 37 years until his death in 1954.
Come rain or shine – and we hope it doesn’t rain for the cyclists and crowds of supporters on Sunday – Nice in the springtime has something to offer everyone.