Set in a stunning harbour on the Côte d'Azur, Villefranche-sur-Mer is impressive for its panoramas, charming for its character and fascinating for its heritage.
With brightly coloured houses nestling between wooded hills and a turquoise sea, steep narrow streets and majestic buildings, this seaside resort is visually spectacular. Its two ports are surrounded by four charming beaches where you can devote as much time as you like to relaxing between visits to the town's monuments.
Once you arrive, you will undoubtedly notice the impressive Saint-Elme fortress. Built in the 16th century by the Duke of Savoy, it has beautiful gardens with views of the harbour, as well as several museums that are free to visit. Higher up in the hills there is another building from this era, Mont Alban fort, whose strategic position gives it a magnificent panoramic view of the coastline stretching all the way from Antibes to Italy. Heading back down to the port, you will notice a small building with an original façade, Saint-Pierre des Pêcheurs Chapel, which was built in the 16th century but brilliantly redecorated in full by Jean Cocteau.
Next, explore the old town with its maze of flower-adorned side streets on the hillside, or take a stroll around Darse de Villefranche-sur-Mer, the town's charming marina. For dining out, you can choose from the many restaurants along the Port de la Santé, slightly to the north. Marinière beach, located inside the harbour, and Darse beach, which is smaller and quieter, are great places for sunbathing. Visitors looking for action will love the water sports here, like sailing, rowing, scuba diving and snorkelling, which are very popular due to the beauty and depth of the sea bed.
Villefranche-sur-Mer is next to Nice and therefore easy to access by road via the three magnificent coastal roads running between Nice and Menton. The train is another option: the town's station is on the TER PACA network. Coming by plane, you can land at Nice Airport, which is about 8 miles away. However you arrive, discovering Villefranche is like the joy of finding a pearl in an oyster. This jewel of the Côte d'Azur awaits you!