Parc du VinaigrierParc du Vinaigrier
©Parc du Vinaigrier

Parc du Vinaigrier

On the Côte d’Azur, in the south of France the city of Nice is renowned for its lively shopping streets, its museums and cultural life, and its seafront. But the tourist city of Nice is also located at the gateway to sumptuous natural areas, in a green setting that conquers the hills and mountains of the Alpes-Maritimes. Between the city and nature, at the gateway to the hinterland, the Parc du Vinaigrier is an invitation to discovery and stroll. If you stay a few days in Nice or on the Côte d’Azur, come and discover this incredible area in the heart of the French Riviera.

A protected natural area

The Mont Vinaigrier overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and the Baie des Anges at an altitude of 370 metres. A limestone plateau and slopes with varying degrees of steepness make up a varied landscape. Large Aleppo pines and holm oaks have taken possession of the plateau, creating a landscape that is both wild and typically Mediterranean. On the more gently sloping parts, men have patiently built cultivable terraces, called “restanques” in the south of France. Olive trees were grown on these terraces, the oil from which was an essential source of income. These witnesses of a thousand-year-old agricultural tradition are meticulously maintained. A small forest of flowering ash trees flourishes on the steeper slopes.

Many animals have taken up residence in this Garden of Eden: small mammals, sedentary or migratory birds have settled here or come to seek refuge during their long journeys between Africa and Europe.

In some parts of the park you will also find pleasant shade and coolness in the summer, especially in the morning or late afternoon.

Between nature and heritage

In ancient times, a Ligurian community occupied this strategic site. The panoramic view of the coastline and its altitude provided protection for the people who settled there. They lived from agriculture and pastoralism. During your walk in the Vinaigrier park, you can observe the remains of a cyclopean wall which testifies to a fortified habitat.

The house of nature, open from Wednesday to Sunday, welcomes visitors. You will also find various explanatory panels along the thematic paths. A viewpoint indicator and an observation area have been installed.

Awareness-raising workshops and events are also organised. For example, during the International Bat Night in August, visitors can observe and “listen” to this unloved and little-known animal, which is nevertheless fascinating in many ways, free of charge.

Practical information

The Parc du Vinaigrier is open every day of the week, the opening hours vary according to the season:

  • April to October: 7.30am to 8pm
  • From November to March: from 8am to 6pm

The opening hours and days are given as an indication. They may vary according to weather conditions or other reasons.

On the edge of the city of Nice, the Parc du Vinaigrier is easily accessible

  • Access by car: from Nice, the Parc du Vinaigrier can be reached by car by taking the Grande Corniche and then the M2564 metropolitan road, also known as Boulevard de l’Observatoire. A sign will indicate on the right the access to the parking and to the entrance of the park.
  • Access by public transport: You can also reach the park by bus, by taking the bus line 84 and getting off at the “Sainte-Anne” stop.