Perched on the balmy Mediterranean coast, Nice may seem like the ideal spot for a sun holiday. And it is! But, for those in the know, Nice is also one of the best places to go in France for sporting events and activities.
Being on the coast means watersports enthusiasts have easy access to the sea and all the sporting activities that come with that. Equipment for canoeing, kitesurfing, windsurfing and scuba diving is readily available from local rental companies. In addition, Nice’s waterfront, the 7 kilometre Promenade des Anglais, is a prime location for rollerblading and cycling.
Going up in the world
Nice is on the periphery of the French Alps, so it makes an ideal base for exploring the region’s hiking and climbing opportunities. During winter, you can add skiing and snowboarding to the mix. There are at least 11 major ski resorts within two hours of the city, all with good public transport connections. In fact, one of the best known resorts, Isola 2000,
is just over an hour’s drive from Nice. Auron and Valberg
/Beuil are two other major ski resorts easily accessible from the Riviera hotspot.
A sporting city
Nice is full of leisure centres and sporting facilities. You’ll find a venue to try out just about any kind of indoor and outdoor activity, from martial arts to tennis. One of the biggest public sporting facilities is C.S.L. Les Combes
with no fewer than 17 tennis courts, both indoor and open-air. The swimming pool here is open between June and September. For tennis, fitness training, and weightlifting, C.S.L. Caucade
is your best option. There are five tennis courts here, a fully-equipped gym and a good restaurant. For water activities, Compte de Falicon is the place to go. With a huge pool that becomes an outdoor facility during the summer months, this centre is ideal for families with children. Field events, football, and basketball are the main activities at the Parc des Sports Charles Ehrmann stadium
on route de Grenoble. Bon-Voyage at Pont Rene Coty is unique in that it combines musical activities with sport. With three sports halls, it’s one of the biggest leisure complexes in the area. It’s also a venue for occasional big-name musicl events.
As you might imagine from the number of tennis courts in Nice, racquet sports are popular in the south of France, and the Cote d’Azur Tennis Open
is a highlight of the region’s tennis calendar. Nice also plays host to the fourth stage of the Tour de France. The Promenade des Anglais is an ideal vantage spot to see the riders as they speed past.
The Francophone games
are an event that takes place in a French-speaking country every four years, with Nice playing host in 2013. The games are a combination of sport and culture, and the opportunity to host them is considered a major coup for the region. For spectators and players, pétanque is one of France’s most popular - and relaxing - games. The Virorello Challenge
, held in June, is probably the most important event in the pétanque calendar. Over the years the Nice Ironman Triathlon
, also in June, has grown to become the world’s biggest triathlon championship. The feat combines swimming, cycling and running, attracting competitors from 50 countries and flooding the city with visitors. All in all, if you’d like to combine a great holiday destination with your favourite sports, then Nice could be your ideal Med destination.