Mediterranean Cruise Highlights in Nice and Monaco

An aerial view of Monaco overlooking the harbor with boats and yachts.
An aerial view of Monaco overlooking the harbor with boats and yachts.

When you visit the south of France on a Mediterranean cruise, you'll have ample opportunities to explore the sun-soaked beaches, provincial towns, historic cities, and the city-state of Monaco. And if you're on an excursion from Cannes, you'll have the opportunity to visit several highlights in one unforgettable day. The following is a selection of the very best attractions.

The Village of Eze

Take an excursion to Eze, located just outside Nice, France, which is thought to have been populated as early as 2000 BCE. An incredible 1,400 feet above sea level, this village — known as the "eagle's nest" — is a popular spot for visitors who want to experience gorgeous views of the sea, explore twelfth-century buildings, visit the popular botanical gardens full of cacti, or check out Fragonard, Eze's famous perfumery.

Old Town Monaco

When you hear the name Monaco, your first thoughts probably turn to glitz, glamour, and the famous casino of the same name. Although this city-state is famous for its opulent living, it actually has an incredible history that is waiting to be discovered by those who choose to dig a little deeper.

The Cathedral of Monaco (Saint Nicholas Cathedral) represents the history of religion in the country. In modern times, this cathedral is famous for being the final resting place for Prince Rainier and his wife, the actress Grace Kelly. On an excursion to Monaco, you can climb the 30 steps that lead to the cathedral and see it for yourself, while marveling at the marble Episcopal Throne and brilliantly colored imagery that have inspired so many.

Additional historic sites in Monaco include the Prince's Palace, a twelfth-century Genoese fortress which is still occasionally used by the Prince of Monaco to this very day, and the Oceanographic Museum, which was once directed by Jacques Cousteau.

Monaco Exotic Gardens

In addition to historical sites, Monaco offers several opportunities for experiencing the natural side of the Mediterranean. One of the more famous attractions you can see on an excursion is the Monaco Exotic Gardens.

The gardens of Monaco have been a highlight of the country since their opening in 1933. These gardens features succulents such as cacti that were brought to Monaco from dry climates around the world including the southwestern United States, Eastern Arabia, and South Africa. This popular attraction also boasts several panoramic views of Monaco and the Mediterranean, and even features an underground cathedral that's located in a cave system.

Interested in a trip to Monaco? Booking a Mediterranean cruise vacation is the perfect way to explore the south of France.