Colline du Chateau

Colline du Chateau is more than a place to admire the views. Nestled atop Castle Hill in Nice France, this site is somewhere to connect with local history and with nature. Even though the castle hasn't been standing since long before the French Revolution, its memory remains. In a city known for its beaches, cafes, and hotels, it's refreshing to know there's a quiet place to experience the natural side of Nice. You'll want to bring your camera along with you, and some good shoes for your hike.

Castle Hill has been one of the most visited parks in Nice for centuries. After the medieval citadel was destroyed in 1760, this strategic location atop Castle Hill in Nice France was left bare. As the city was transforming into a place to enjoy holidays, it was becoming apparent that something needed to be done to save this land overlooking the Bay of Angels. Long before it was fashionable to preserve the environment, city leaders and naturalists transformed Colline du Chateau, making it a park and nature preserve. Many centuries have passed since then, and the site of Castle in Nice France is now one of the most interesting natural spaces in all of the south of France.

Today, visitors to Colline du Chateau are treated to some of the best views in all of Nice. To the west, you'll find the beaches along the Bay of Angles as well as the the neighboring communities of Beaulieu sur Mer and le Port Villefranche. Whether on a nature hike or a casual stroll, you'll have the chance to see some spectacular plantlife, including hardwood and pine trees, and some others rarely seen in the region. You'll want to pause and admire the beautiful stone waterfall, a feature that was added more than a century ago.

One of the nice things about Castle Hill in Nice France is that it's free to visit. You could easily work in a visit while you're out exploring the main promenade without worrying about reservations or buying a ticket. And if you're looking for an alternative to the beaches, a visit to the park is a nice change of pace. It's often quiet here, and you'll have plenty of space to stretch out and enjoy the park on your own terms. At sunset, the quiet setting is a wonderful place for a romantic stroll.

If you'd like to learn more about the castle in Nice France, you can place a visit to one of the local museums. The Musee et Site Archeologiques de Cimiez is filled with interesting exhibits explaining the earlier cultures who settled along the shores of the Mediterranean. Along with the Archaeology Museum in Nice, a visit to the Palais Massena will also help fill you in on the history of this unique community. Here, a grand home from the Belle Epoque—built more than a century after the castle was destroyed—features exhibits and art that tell the chronological story of Nice.

While many visitors expect to see a castle in every French city, they'll find something else in Nice. A beautiful park and some history museums will prove interesting additions to your seaside holidays.

Image: Dale Harvey (flickr)

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