The old port of Nice – the port Lympia
This is one of the most popular ports in Europe and it is only quite natural with its central and beautiful location by the Mediterranean.
Here are spectacular views of colorful fishing boats (pointus) drifting in and out of the old port, while the harbor quay hosts a busy commercial life and ferry transports, to Corsica in particular.
When you reach the port Lympia, where the local fisherman’s small boats “pointus” mix with luxury yachts, you are just a 5 minute walk away from the famous seafront Promenade des Anglais and the many other sights of Nice.
Party at the harbor
Every year in September, thousands of visitors flock to the city’s ports party, offering lots of tastings of the local specialties as well as concerts and entertainment performed on the quay and on the water.
The port also receives hundreds of daily passengers who take the ferry to Corsica. Just like all year round, you can go on countless boat trips and experience the French Riviera from the Mediterranean.
The port area is located in the southeastern part of the city just around the corner at the Hotel Suisse and the Bellanda Tower.
It is the perfect place to sit back and relax and have a drink or a meal in one of the bars or restaurants in the area, while absorbing the vibes of the Mediterranean and the maritime atmosphere.
History of port Lympia
The port was built in the mid-17th century at the instigation of the Sardinian king. It was then a very swampy area and berths were needed to attract trade from the sea route. The first part of the harbor and was ready in 1751.
The development of the port gained particular momentum after Nice passed to the French kingdom in 1860 and the expansion was to extend over almost 150 years to the port we know today.
The creation of the port of Nice offered new economic growth for the city. New trade agreements were concluded, especially with the Italian peninsula. In 1860, the port, which specialized in food, generated a significant traffic of 37,000 tons of goods, especially grain and wine. In 1910 this number was multiplied by ten.
Passenger transport has also been a very successful source of income with regular connections to Corsica from 1860 until today.
The harbor today, for sailors and visitors
The Port is one of the most important hubs in Nice and in fact of the entire French Riviera, standing out as one of the most important ports for boats sailing across the Mediterranean.
Port Lympia contains all the facilities that a modern sailor can expect from a port of this caliber.
The ferry routes from the port
Ferries depart from the port of Nice for Corsica and Sardinia, respectively, with up to 14 weekly departures.
To Corsica there are landings in the ports of Ajaccio, Bastia, L’Ile Rousse and Calvi and in Sardinia there is a landing in the port of Golfo Aranci.
The crossing to Corsica takes approx. 5 to 8.5 hours depending on the choice of port of arrival and 17.5 hours to Sardinia. Ticket prices range from approx. 65 euros for a return ticket per person and if you want to bring your car, the price level is from approx. 165 euros depending on the individual departures and choice of port of arrival.
In the harbor area itself is the Lympia barracks, which is the oldest building in the harbor and today functions as a cultural exhibition space with 230 m² available over several floors.
Originally when the barracks was built back in 1750, it was used as a warehouse and workshop with its large wide vaults, but in 1802 it was turned into a prison for a longer period. In 1826, the “Clock Pavilion” was built. Today, the entire barracks has been beautifully restored and easily recognizable with the beautiful clock on the yellow facade of the main building and with the barracks building on the right.
Just a few minutes walk from the port is the Promenade des Anglais and thus a pearl of the many interesting sights that Nice has to offer. Look forward to the old town, Place Masséna, the Jardin Albert 1er, the Matisse and Chagall Museum and many more. You can see all the experiences together below.
By Tommy Sverre / 2021