French Riviera Travel Blog II – Budget Travel

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After busy and hectic Monaco, we were on the hunt for a campsite, so ended up in Sospel – a little town very close to the Italian border. The campsite (11.60 EURO a night, this is their website, they have more photos we found very clean, quiet and difficult to locate at 9pm in the dark.


A viaduct on the way, while trying to find the campsite

Walking around in town after we put up the tent – looking for a bar to have a glass of wine. It was Sunday night, so everything was shut, everything but a small pub filled with local teenagers. The whole atmosphere was pure entertainment – we got a bit drunk on 3 EURO wine socialising with locals, then walked in the completely empty town during night. I thought to myself… what a wonderful world! We found a spot that feels like an awesome, peaceful hiding place, the middle of nowhere where it’s just us and the town people. It was simple and authentic – exactly what we needed after the flashiness of Monaco and Nice.


Greg on the town centre fountain after our local friends had to go home

He woke us up the next morning (with no hangover whatsoever - must have had expensive quality fine the night before... Not exactly!)

He woke us up the next morning (with no hangover whatsoever – must have had expensive quality fine the night before… Not exactly!)

The fresh mountain air woke us up very early (and the dog barking) so headed back to town to grab croissant and Pain au chocolate (sounds very French… too French for Greg, he had a bacon toastie, but ssshhh!).


Leaving Sospel

Leaving Sospel

Heading to Menton

Heading towards Menton

Leaving behind the mountains and complete silence, Menton very much felt like the Riviera again. Magnificent, luxurious buildings along the beach, just like in Nice. Didn’t feel ready for the crowd yet, so we drove right through to reach Roquebrune Chateau, which is between Menton and Monaco. I still felt personally offended because of the day before: we climbed up to Èze just before heading to Monaco. Èze, the tiny hilltop dream village with astonishing views from its gardens. But to our luck, that turned out to be a grey and rainy day, which hurt SO MUCH. So Roquebrune was going to be my restitution. I had to be very grateful indeed, as we got closer and closer to the Castle, the sunlight got warmer and brighter.


IMG_0657Looks too good to be true right? I’d expect some complains coming now such as “because of  the nice weather the whole castle was packed with people and couldn’t even enjoy the view properly” or other similar whining… But nope, I did not complain, as the castle was completely empty. I think we might have run into another couple wandering around – but other than that it was us. Spending hours taking photographs, talking, admiring the view and Monaco from the far distance, exploring every inch of the castle. That is what I call awesome quality time.


Greg takes the ‘exploring the castle’ mission VERY seriously 🙂





Sospel, Rooquebrune, Menton

Clouds, wind and our appetites drove us back  Menton in the end, so had lunch (menu) at a very average restaurant. I went for steak and chips while Greg chose mussels and chips. Both fresh and tasty,  no wow factor though. But it was cheap lunch menu so we were happy with decent enough food.



And Greg was incredibly hungry – therefore grumpy, so honestly… I was happy to find ANYTHING to eat. I managed to capture his pure suffering facial expression once the food has arrived… He was about to die and collapse if he couldn’t have put food into his mouth in 2 seconds. Thankfully it happened within those 2 seconds.

Sospel, Rooquebrune, Menton1Off to the beach to relax a bit, then took a nice walk along the shore. The same sea, only a couple miles to East, but the colour of the water was so different than in Nice!




IMG_1499Back to the car just on time, as a thunderstorm arrived. It was quite exciting to drive on the motorway along the coast, passing by Monaco, Nice, then heading north to Gorges du Verdon. Leaving behind the Riviera feeling and driving deeper and higher into the mountains.

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