Villefranche sur Mer, South of France

Villefranche sur Mer is only thirty minutes from Nice International Airport making it an easily accessible location from anywhere.

This is a comprehensive guide which will be invaluable for your stay.


The Old Town: Harbour and Port

Dating from 1295, Villefranche-sur-Mer is rich in history and beauty.   The village and area has a special atmosphere with all the warmth and charm of a fishing village from a bygone age.

Old Town Harbour and port

The Old city, (dating from the 13th century) is well worth exploring with its narrow and picturesque streets with the facades of houses decorated in the 'trompe l'oeil' style.

Taking a stroll around the harbour and waterfront of Villefranche-sur-Mer rewards the effort with some suberb views and a journey through history.  

Villefranche is is a deep water harbour which served as a base for the US Sixth Fleet for a time.

Tourist Office

Take a tour of the old town - it's well worth it!
Click here for information.


Villefranche has its own lovely beach and the bay is beautiful for swimming. There are restaurants along the promenade serving wonderful food. My guests at Christmas last year took their roast dinner down and ate it on the beach as the weather can be lovely and famously warm and sunny on New Years day.



There are many lovely restaurants in Villefranche from the high sophistication of the famous Mere Germaine to simple pizza establishments. The manager can fill you in on where to go when you arrive. Click here for recommendations.


See this page on Facebook to read more about the new private beach, cafe and bar in Villefranche sur Mer.




Chapel Saint-Pierre

The ornamentation of the Chapel Saint-Pierre which is opposite the Welcome Hotel was created by Jean Cocteau. It was a project conceived over more than ten years and finally realised in 1957.


Saturday and Sunday

Saturday sees the farmers market at the top of the village in the main gardens of the town.

Every Sunday there is an antiques market in the Place Pollonais.

The Citadel

Built in 1557 on the site of a smaller fort on the orders of Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy, by his architect, Provana de Leyni.
Click here for more information

Today, it houses the Town hall, a congress centre, some museums, and an open air theatre.

The Museums

Open everyday except Tuesday & Sunday morning, from 10 until 12am & 2 until 5pm (in winter) or 3pm till 8pm (in summer).

Geotz Boumeester Museum
Figurative & Abstract Art

Volti Museum
Sculpture & Modern Art

villefranche museum

Close By

Villa Rothschild

Is another wonderful Villa on Cap Ferrat built in the classic Belle Epoque style. Also famous for the wonderful gardens. Take the bus or you can walk there in about 40 minutes.  Click here for more information

​Villa Kerylos

Is a wonderful replica of a Greek Villa built on the island of Delos at the height of Greek civilization about 2,300 years ago. It is beautiful and well worth a visit. You can take the bus or the train (one stop to Beaulieu) or walk via the sea promenade which will take about a 30 minutes.  Click here for more information.

The Little Train

Guided tours around Villefranche, Beaulieu & Cap Ferrat.
Mr Simon:
Tel:(33) 93 09 40 60
(On request: groups, weddings, seminar parties)

The Institute de Francais

Is a world famous French Language School that uses the full-immersion method of learning. Students stay in our apartments on a regular basis.

The Institute de Francais Website

The Welcome Hotel

One of the main reasons that Villefranche keeps it's character and charm is due to the lack of big hotels. The local hotels are small and family run. The main hotel which was made famous by Jean Cocteau is the Welcome so please read more by going to the following link:  Click here.



There is so much to do in this city that is only ten minutes away. The town has been and continues to be renewed and made more beautiful with modern trams reinstated to reduce pollution and traffic congestion. The central Place Massena is a vibrant beautiful place to sit and have a coffee.

This is a city by the sea with it's famous Promenade des Anglais and old town. Enjoy the daily flower market and discover more great and reasonably priced restaurants. There is also the superb summer jazz festival and carnival every year. The marvellous Chagal Museum and the Matisse museum are a must.



Monaco is only half an hour from Villefranche by car or ten minutes on the train.  Visit the famous Oceanographic museum which was made famous by Jacques Cousteau. Visit the Old Town, Palace and Cathedral and don't forget the Hotel de Paris and the Casino. The Monaco Grand Prix takes place in May every year.

Click to see information for Monaco and don't miss the oceanographic museum - it's a must!


Eze Village

This is a lovely medieval village perched on top of a steep rugged cliff with wonderful views in both directions along the coast. It is only a short distance from Villefranche.
Eze Village Website



Another major benefit of this area is the proximity to the Italian border only 30 kms away.  It is a quick and easy drive to Ventimiglia or a 40 minute train journey.  Friday sees the well known market in Vengimiglia where you can enjoy hunting for bargains or enjoying wonderful Italian food.  San Remo is also worth a visit.