If the climb takes it out of you, look for the two hilltop cafés selling drinks and refreshments.
Nice’s Colline du Château is a beautiful park on a hill 92 metres above Nice. It is named for a 12th century castle that Louis XIV unceremoniously levelled in 1706, and which was never rebuilt: today, the site is popular for its stunning views over the city.
The park’s highlights include Tour Bellanda, an intriguing old residence whose terrace is decorated with mosaics and built on the foundations of the old castle. Its Greek motifs make reference to Nice’s history - this is where the old town was first established by the Phocaean Greeks around 350 BC. The tower’s terrace offers an excellent viewing platform.
The hill also comprises a cemetery, which is split into three sections (Protestant, Catholic and Jewish), and at its summit is the artificial waterfall Cascade Dijon, constructed in the 19th century on the site of the old castle keep. There is even a playground to entertain children who haven’t been worn out by the climb.
The main attraction, though, is the view. The wide vista over the Baie des Anges and Nice’s sunny rooftops is truly spectacular, offering superb photo opportunities.
It’s well worth the climb - equivalent to around 15 floors - which has many points to stop and admire the panorama along the way before reaching the summit. If you don’t fancy the trek, however, there is a free lift (the Ascenseur du Château) whose arched brick entrance can be found beneath Tour Bellanda.
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