The French Riviera is a wonderful destination and it is one that you can enjoy best in Spring and Autumn… unless you love crowds and then it’s perfect in the High Season (July and August). Expect it to be more pricey, but a lot of fun of course!
We love the French Riviera for the beaches and the sun, but also for the many artists that have made this wonderful part of France their home, and the museums where you can enjoy their work.
The first world-famous artist to move in the area was Cezanne at the end of 1800: he was followed by others, such as Picasso, Chagall, Matisse, Munch. They all fell in love with the light and colours of the beautiful landscapes. Thus the Riviera became the place for artistic inspiration, and at the same time for a high-class lifestyle, with the rich British upper class making it also their summer residence.
In Nice Matisse, the French artist, lived from 1918 until his death in 1954, in a high part of town, Cimiez, where he loved to walk around for inspiration.
The Museum dedicated to him is located in a Genoese Villa and you will find paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings, paper cut-outs and illustrated books, as well as objects and documents, for an immersive experience in his work and life. The entrance is free for visitors with special needs, and you’ll find more information in their website.
Less than 2 km away, always in Cimiez you’ll find the Chagall Museum. The Russian-French artist also spent a part of his life in the French Riviera, and the permanent collection is the biggest public collection of works by Marc Chagall: over 400 paintings, gouaches, drawings, wash drawings and pastels.
The museum is accessible for visitors in wheelchairs and they also have audioguides and videoguides in ESL (and LSF – French Sign Language).
Not to be missed in Nice is of course the famous Promenade des Anglais, perfect for rolling in a wheelchair the whole way. Before you leave Nice, you may want to get a good view from high up! The Castle Hill is accessible via a lift and is perfectly adapted for wheelchairs (included an accessible toilet along the way). More information in the Nice Tourism website .
If you want to continue the tour in the nearby villages, you should definitively stop in Cagnes to see the museum dedicated to Auguste Renoir then continue further down along the coast to visit the Ferdinand Leger museum in Biot. Both museums are accessible for people in wheelchairs and you can book an adapted tour at the Renoir Museum or a thematic tour to the fishermen’s village and other nice sights, through the tourist office (brochure available).
Moving around Nice is rather uncomplicated, as the pavements are smooth and in good conditions, especially in the newer part of town, and the world-famous Promenade des Anglais is perfectly accessible (all 7 km of it!).
Some attractions though are located on hilly areas and therefore you have to consider the best way to move around. Some public transport is adapted but if you want to explore various villages, maybe it is worth renting a car.
The Nice airport is well equipped and also has an Ambulift. More information in their wesbite and photos of various accessible features.