To see – To do
VILLEFRANCHE SUR MER
Villefranche-sur-Mer, renowned Côte d’Azur town, from the moment of yourarrival, be it by corniche road, by sea or by train, offers an awe inspiring panorama.
The radiant town of Villefranche, with its port and 16th century cathedral, at the foot of a vast rocky amphitheatre and with the majestic sweep of its shoreline, has retained many traces of its origins that,
with the constant variety of its colours, have made it the town of painters and artists.
A maritime town in a privileged location, it has become one of the principal tourist ports of the Côte d’Azur, stopover point for many cruise ships, but remains a picturesque and ever-changing fishing port, shelter to a flotilla of small pleasurecraft and « pointus ». The charm of Villefranche is also due to the mildness of its climate, the environmental aspect that gives rise to the exuberance and spectacular display of its remarkable vegetation.
Lastly, Villefranche-sur-Mer is fortunate to benefit from a varied gastronomy combining local cuisine and fresh fish from the Mediterranean.
SAINT JEAN CAP FERRAT
Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, « peninsula ofdreams », is ideally situated between
Nice and Monaco and offers its visitors the charm of a protected site and the enchantment of discovery along three tourist footpaths totalling 14 km. A circuit along the shoreline permits exploration in a setting of stunning natural scenery where luxurious villas and magnificent gardens crown this Eden like precious jewels.
The villa-museum Ephrussi de Rothschild is the most beautiful example – a veritable palace, constructed by Baroness Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild – it is sufficient reason on its own for an excursion.
Also to visit:
• The marina, where restaurants and a variety of shops can be found, is at the heart of the village and can accommodate more than 500 boats
• The Shell Museum and its exceptional collection of 6000 shells
• The Saint Hospice Chapel built in the 17th century, the Belgian Cemetery and 11.4 m monument of the Virgin
• The diving club, nautical centre and « SOS Grand Bleu » association offer seatrips and nautical activities.
BEAULIEU SUR MER
Beaulieu-sur-Mer has retained its unique architectural heritage, witness to the famous names and crowned heads that stayed there during the Belle Époque. Its beaches, fringed by a great variety of exotic plants, indicate the mildness of its climate. A park planted with more than 100 century-old olive trees allows the visitor to find beauty and tranquillity at a only few paces from the sea.
Beaulieu-sur-Mer offers all the advantages of the upmarket Côte d’Azur with its luxury shops, casino, quality hotels and restaurants which attract an international clientele. Beaulieu-sur-Mer, town of culture, has two large festivals, « Les Nuits Guitares » (Guitar Nights) and « Les Violons de Légende » (Legendary Violins).
As a sporting, maritime resort, Beaulieusur- Mer, has a wide range of nautical activities and has a superb tennis club, the clay courts of which have been trodden by the current great champions. Two marinas grace the foreshore, the picturesque « Baie des Fourmis » and the main port which accommodates more than
800 boats, one of the most visited on the Côte d’Azur.
As you wander the narrow streets and small squares, discover the history and also the legends of the village of Eze, of France and the House of Savoy. The Baroque church of Notre Dame de l’Assomption
(Our Lady of the Assumption) is remarkable for its numerous « trompe l’oeil » paintings. In the old seigneurial houses, artists find inspiration and artisans create hand-crafts from olive wood, leather and silk. Eze is an ideal place for shopping. It is also – from Provençal auberge to Michelin star restaurant, heir to the great tables of France a gastronomic destination.
Eze-Bord-de-Mer, with its maritime pineshaded beach, conceals numerous footpaths which wind between Belle Époque villas, bougainvillea and wisteria. One of these, which links the sea shore to the village, carries the name of Friedrich Nietzsche in memory of the celebrated philosopher who, while there, thought out
and completed « Thus Spoke Zarathoustra ». The Grande Corniche is an open area of Mediterranean maquis between sea and mountains : from its heights the view takes in a 360° panorama including, in winter, the snow-covered Mercantour, Corsica, Italy and Saint-Tropez.
Balcony onto the sea…
La Turbie, at the highest point of the « Grande Corniche », on the ancient Via Julia Augusta, is a true balcony suspended above Monaco. Its territory and rugged terrain (highly appreciated by hill-walkers) offers breathtaking and vertiginous viewpoints which have inspired poets and writers.
This promontory position has conferred on La Turbie a strategic role since the dawn of time and shaped its unique history. The Romans chose the site to erect the monumental Trophy to the glory of Emperor Augustus, the counts of Provence transformed it into a fortress and the first Côte d’Azur winter visitors made of it one of their preferred destinations. If history and the passing centuries have undoubtedly transformed the village, it has retained its defensive character.
Thanks to the richness and uniqueness of a remarkably well-preserved heritage, La Turbie offers numerous visitor itineraries, which can also be discovered with your Smartphone or on MP4 players available at the Tourist Information Centre.
The local cuisine offered in the town’s restaurants will add considerably to the enjoyment of your visit.
LA PRINCIPAUTE DE MONACO
In Monaco, visitors can see picturesque traces of a heroic past stretching back over more than seven centuries because of the tenacity of the Grimaldi dynasty.