Villefranche sur Mer, France
The clue is in the name. Staying here, you will enjoy what is arguably the finest ocean view in the south of France. Wherever you are at Bayview – lounging on the sun terrace, enjoying an afternoon snooze in your room, or watching TV in the vast...
Destination Guide: Villefranche sur Mer
About Villefranche sur Mer
Home to the wealthy and beautifully unspoilt, Villefranche Sur Mer is an attractive seaside town with classic ‘old France’ ambience. Located on the Côte d'Azur just 5km from Nice and 13km from Monaco, Villefranche hems a beautiful bay overlooking St Jean Cap Ferrat. From all angles, the views are just exquisite.
The Old Town is a mish-mash of quaint, narrow streets, while the harbour is alive with fishing trade (and, of course, fabulous yachts). Also worth a visit are the town’s fortified Port and Citadel, complete with summertime open-air theatre set in beautiful gardens.
And then there are the beaches. As well as the gorgeous private coves many of the villas here claim, the town has a coarse sand beach for all, which is favoured over the stony beaches found in nearby Nice.
For exploring beyond, getting on a bicycle is a great way to explore the coast towards Nice or St Jean Cap Ferrat. But really, time is best spent just wandering about, taking it all in. Stopping for a coffee mid-morning, or a cocktail by the ocean at sundown. Or chartering a yacht, for a bayside view of this effortlessly chic little town.
Best places to eat and drink in Villefranche sur Mer
There are plenty of delightful eateries in Villefranche sur Mer, from little bistros hidden down the Old Town’s narrow streets, to upmarket restaurants lining the port.
Open since 1938, La Mere Germaine is a well-known seafood restaurant on the sea wall – they even run a tender out to the moored yachts to ferry guests in for a spot of fresh sea bass. Another option with a superb ocean view is stylish Beluga where you can eat al fresco on the sun terrace and enjoy live music in the lounge bar.
Alternatively, try Lounge Beach for a truly magnificent view and good food (although not gourmet). This is the only beach club in Villefranche, so you can stay here all day if you wish.
Here, you can expect seafood that is as fresh as seafood can be – and plenty of other Mediterranean dishes besides. For an alternative to restaurant dessert, buy an ice cream from Abacaxi and wonder along the harbour wall with it.
Best time to visit Villefranche sur Mer
June to September is when temperatures soar into the late twenties, but springtime here is lovely too, when the sun is out, and it’s around 20°C by May. Early autumn is a good time to go too, when temperatures can be as high as 20°C and it’s generally a little quieter.
The sea temperature is around 14°C in April, reaching up to 25°C in August.
What we love about Villefranche sur Mer
We love the contrast of the bustling narrow streets of the Old Town, with the ocean calm and people-watching opportunities of the harbour, ice cream in hand.
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