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Riviera Pebbles Blog: Garden Festival tops new 2017 tourism activities

Posted on 18th Apr 2017 in Nice News


Smell the success of the new Cote d'Azur Garden Festival

The CŰte díAzur tourism board have launched a breath-taking array of activities for 2017.

Itís certainly working. The number of selfies snapped at the new #ilovenice sculpture overlooking the Promenade des Anglais is in the hundreds of thousands, with millions more in combined likes, views and shares.

So whatís new this year?

Most dare devil is the Ä99 speedboat rental outfit in Nice Port. Uniquely, you donít need a license for these low-power explorer boats. Just pack a bottle of rosť plus a mask and snorkel, then putter through the blue to Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Not far enough? This April sees the relaunch of direct ferry services from Nice to Sardinia. Itís overnight, allowing you do dine on pasta pomodoro and Prosecco before an 8am arrival on Italyís island of beaches. One-way rides start from Ä39.

There are cool new ways to see the Cote díAzur coastline too. Nice Car rents three-wheel cabriolets pre-programmed with art, culture or celebrity itineraries for Ä70 per half day. Happymoov are part-electric, part-peddle rickshaws that offer bespoke tours of the-sun kissed coast.

Most personable are the network of Nice Greeters. The concept, which started in New York in the 1990s, sees bilingual volunteers show you around their beloved home city. Tips are greatly appreciated.

But the granddaddy of event spectaculars is the Cote díAzur Garden Festival, which earlier this month kicked off its inaugural show through April 2017.

Like a sunny version of Londonís Chelsea Flower Show, the festival will see ten 200m2 pop-up gardens grace city centre parks in Nice, Cannes, Antibes, Menton and Grasse Ė all locations 20-minutes apart by train.

The gardens are all free to enter. Best of all, venues like Cannesí Villa Rothschild are rarely open to the public. Like most of the Cote díAzur gardens, it was created by 19th English century aristocrats who had little else to do but import wacky plant species to Europeís sunniest corner.

Thatís not all. A simultaneous fringe event, the OFF Garden Festival, will see exhibitions and open houses at 60 other public gardens along the French and Italian Rivieras. Some 400,000 extra visitors are expected on the coast during April. That bodes well for new activities in 2018.


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