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One of Europe’s most spectacular road-trips is the journey from Genoa to the cosmopolitan French city of Nice in the heart of the Côte d’Azur. Covering some 200 kilometres, the views along this unique stretch of road are absolutely magnificent with dozens of key tourist attractions to be enjoyed along the way.

It’s a route that boasts a succession of inspiring seascapes and a leisurely drive along this crescent-shaped coastline (known affectionately as the Italian Riviera) is worth enjoying with an affordable car hire at any time of the year, even in the low season.

There’s so much to see and do en route, particularly in the many picturesque seaside towns and villages dotted along the coast where rows of traditional fishermen’s dwellings nestle quaintly alongside waterfront restaurants, allowing visitors to savour the catch of the day al fresco on warm summer days.

Hiring a car for your trip couldn’t be quicker and easier, whichever type of vehicle you choose according to your budget. Auto Europe was founded in 1954 and today remains one of the world’s leading and most competitive car rental comparison portals with a fine reputation for great rates and the best service stretching back seventy years.

Auto Europe’s powerful booking engine is lightning fast and after a few seconds you’ll find a good selection of categories and suppliers available. But bear in mind that you’ll be crossing the border from Italy to France, so it’s important to mention any such travel plans at the time of booking to avoid any problems with the local supplier when you arrive to pick up your vehicle.

Arguably the most important commercial port in Italy, Genoa offers a wealth of must-see sights and historic landmarks, chief amongst them the Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace), once the residence of the Kings of Savoy. Another of Genoa’s most beautiful buildings is the Palazzo Bianco which houses the city’s main collection of paintings, including works by Rubens, van Dyck and Lippi, amongst many others.

from genoa to nice by car

Pic by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

Heading west out of Genoa through the heart of the spectacular Liguria region affords striking views of both the Mediterranean Sea and the Ligurian Alps in the distance. After an hour’s drive you’ll arrive at the charming seaside town of Varigotti, a place popular for its stunning seafront lined by refined restaurants serving authentic Italian specialities.

Known for its fine beaches, historic sites and rich culinary heritage, the historic town of Imperia is another hidden gem set in a prime coastal location on the Ligurian Riviera di Ponente, just 60 kilometres south-west of Varigotti.

Continuing west takes you to Sanremo, one of northern Italy’s most stylish beach destinations and a place known for its gardens and other floral attractions, most notably the excellent Flower Museum which opened in 2017.

Crossing the French border takes you into the glorious Côte d’Azur where a world of equally upmarket travel experiences await, such as the chance to visit Monte Carlo, home to Europe’s most famous casino.

A short drive down the coast lies Nice, one of the largest resorts in the whole of the Mediterranean region. This buzzing, cosmopolitan beach town has long-been popular for its temperate climate (even during the winter) and verdant subtropical vegetation.

Nice has much to occupy the visitor and its list of top tourist attractions includes the 4-kilometre-long Promenade des Anglais, while art lovers shouldn’t miss the art museums dedicated to Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall.

Have a great trip!

Andrea Semonella

Hey! I'm Andrea and I am a little bit obsessed with exploring the world and meeting people on the road. I'm in love with my city, and I'm happy to share with you all the best place and most incredible secrets of Genoa, Italy.

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