Villefranche-sur-Mer Travel Summary

One of France’s most beautiful harbour towns with a sweeping bay reputed as one of the five most beautiful bays in the world.  With a wonderful natural setting nestled between Cap of Nice and Cap Ferrat.  The charming Old Town of Villefranche with its cobblestone passages cascades down the hillside to the sea.

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The Villefranche-sur-Mer Travel Summary is segmented into 2 key travel themes to immerse you into everything Villefranche-sur-Mer:

  1. An introduction and brief history to this wonderful town;
  2. What to See;

Hope you enjoy it!  Carpe Diem!

1. An introduction and brief history to this wonderful town:

One of France’s most beautiful harbour towns with a sweeping bay reputed as one of the five most beautiful bays in the world.  With a wonderful natural setting nestled between Cap of Nice and Cap Ferrat.  The charming Old Town of Villefranche with its cobblestone passages cascades down the hillside to the sea.  Villefranche is still an active fishing village were Fishermen skim up to the docks here in weathered-blue barques.

The Old Town, VilleFranche

The wonderful Quai Courbet sweeps around the beautiful harbour with a fantastic panorama of fishing boats and mega-yachts on one side and inviting sea food restaurants on the other side.  From there you can explore the wonderful old town with its beautiful ancient orange and red pastel coloured houses lining the steep cobbled streets that climb the hill through the town.

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Villefranche also has superb beaches which sweep along the bay.   Compared to other beaches surrounding Nice on the French Riviera, Villefranche beaches are relatively quiet even in the summer months. The Plage des Marinières is the most popular Villefranche beach and is located at the north end of the bay. The Plage de la Darse beach, is made up of sand and some pebbles and is located behind the main jetty of the harbour of La Darse. These South France beaches are popular with families and snorkelers.

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Strolling the streets of the Old Town is one of the greatest pleasures of Villefranche. The pastel-coloured houses bordering the fishing port and sweeping bay begged to be photographed.  A strong recommendation is to walk from Nice to Villefranche-Sur-Mer which offers absolutely stunning views across the Mediterranean.  You can also peep into some rather extravagant villas which you can only dream of owning.

2. What to See:

The Citadel:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • Overlooking one of the world’s most beautiful bays, the 16th-century listed historic citadel offers exceptional views over VilleFranche
  • Built in 1557 the Citadel houses an art gallery, and three museums
  • Musée Goetz-Boumeester displays works by some of the great artists who the couple knew: Picasso, Picabia, Miro and Hartung.
  • Musée Volti display the work of local sculpture Antoniucci Volti (1915-1989)
  • In the summer there is also an open-air cinema

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Saint-Pierre des Pecheurs Chapel:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • Dating back from the 16th century, the chapel houses some wonderful frescoes of Saint Peter, painted by Jean Cocteau in 1957
  • The frescoes depict five main images, two scenes of Mediterranean life and three dedicated to the life of Saint Peter

 

The Old Town & Rue Obscure:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • Strolling the streets of the Old Town is one of the greatest pleasures of Villefranche.
  • The pastel-coloured houses bordering the fishing port and sweeping bay begged to be photographed
  • Running parallel to the waterfront, the extraordinary 14th-century Rue Obscure (“Dark Street”) is entirely covered by vaulted arcades
  • It sheltered the people of Villefranche during the second world war

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Plage des Marinières:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick

  • Plage des Marinières is the beautiful sandy beach that has sweeping views of the VilleFranche Old Town
  • The path adjacent to the beach also makes for a great walk with fantastic views

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3. Photo Gallery

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