A charming and tranquil alternative to busier destinations on the French Riviera, Villefranche-sur-Mer is a quaint fishing village in the Cote d’Azur, nestled in between Monaco and Nice. It has a vast bay and lies in the shadow of small mountains, with beaches stretching kilometres in length along the coast. It is a popular cruise boat location and a fashionable destination for celebrities, the perfect place for a quiet getaway with a population of only 5,400 people.
Villefranche-sur-Mer is the idyllic place to relax, with numerous bars and cafes offering stunning views over the bay, where visitors can try French cuisine, enjoy the Mediterranean lifestyle and soak up the local atmosphere. The Old Town centre is full of historic buildings dating back to the 12th century, beautifully decorated by flowers and old balconies, found in-between charming narrow streets. Visitors can explore Volti Museum to learn more about the local culture, soak up the natural beauty by walking the smooth stone beaches or rent a boat and travel to impressive cliffs and hidden coves. There are small shops scattered about the town selling souvenirs and trinkets, in addition to the food and antique markets, which sell locally produced goods.
From the nearby city of Nice, visitors can reach Villefranche-sur-Mer by taking a local bus that regularly leaves from the port, or take the train from Nice-Ville station. It is easier to navigate Villefranche by public transport, as the driving routes down to the old town are busy and narrow. Once inside the town, visitors can travel by foot around the small centre.
Civilisations have used the land now occupied by Villefranche for many centuries since Celtic Tribes settled in the area and farmed in the surrounding hills. The Greeks and Romans also came here, as the location was a useful base on the Mediterranean coast. In recent history, wealthy expats visited the village during their winter holidays and is now the most popular port for cruise ships in the country.