Where better to get out on the water in a boat than on the French Riviera? Whether learning to sail, chartering a superyacht for a week or exploring the Riviera coastline in a day boat, Nice is a fantastic place to start your boating journey.
Sailing: You can learn to sail a catamaran or Optimist dinghy with the ASPTT Nice Voile sailing school, which takes all ages and skill levels. The instructors are French, with varied levels of English ability- but they are more than used to teaching clueless foreigners how to sail, and it’s a great way to improve your French! (Although this can lead to some confusion, the French word for the jib sail is ‘foc’, so no, the instructor probably isn’t swearing at you.) The school is located between the port and La Reserve Beach, you’ll need swimmers, sunscreen and water- children must bring hats and it’s advised for adults too- just make sure you don’t lose them over the side if it’s windy. A waterproof camera is a great idea too. Everything else is supplied, and you’ll receive a certificate for any courses completed.
Rowing: The Club Nautique de Nice teaches rowing, and is in the same complex as the ASPTT Nice Voile Sailing School. You’ll find it between the port and La Reserve beach, accessed by a staircase.
Yacht Charter: For those with a healthy bank balance, a yacht charter on the French Riviera is one of life’s great experiences. Prices vary immensely- starting at around 4000 a week for a bareboat (without skipper), ranging right up to a million euro a week!
If you do choose to charter a yacht for a week, lucky you- for this is wonderful cruising ground. From the port at Nice, you can either head to starboard and cruise along the French Riviera to Saint Tropez, or turn to port, taking in glittering Monaco and crossing into Italy along the Ligurian coastline, past the famous Cinque Terre and gloriously pretty Portofino.
Look at our boat trips and boat charter guides further information on planning and booking a yacht charter on the Riviera.
Day boat rental: There are plenty of wonderful day boat charter experiences in Nice. You can hire out a small dinghy or speedboat to explore this sensational coastline, or hire out a ‘party boat’ for group events catering to up to 100 guests for parties, weddings, corporate events etc.
Dolphin & Whale Watching Excursions: Acti Loisirs operates 4 hour trips out of nearby Villefranche, and many of the deep sea fishing operators along the coast also offer whale and dolphin watching trips.
Deep Sea Fishing: While you may find local operators offering game fishing trips in Nice port, they don’t have websites so you’ll just need to wander around the port and see if you can spot a sign for ‘Peche au Gros’. Otherwise, the port of Beaulieu sur Mer between Nice and Monaco has several luxury sportsfishing yachts available for game fishing day charters.