Villefranche-sur-Mer: Cobbled Streets & Soupe de Poisson

Villefranche is one of the deepest natural harbours in the Mediterranean and considered to be amongst the most beautiful in the world. From the town's fort of Mont Alban you can see the Italian coast. The captivating old town cascades down the hillside and drops to a café-lined shore and a 1km beach. Anchor in the well-protected bay and enjoy a relaxing afternoon.

Despite its beauty and appeal, Villefranche and its neighbour Beaulieu-sur-Mer remain relatively unspoiled and are often overlooked by visitors to the Cote d’Azur. More fool them, because these beautiful twin towns are the stuff of postcards. The bay offers plenty of water sports, from sport fishing to diving, but if you prefer to watch the action, take a sunbed on beach at Plage de Mariniéres. On the quayside, destination restaurants include La Mére Germaine which reputedly serves the best soupe de poisson on the Riviera. Conveniently located between Monaco and Nice, moorings offer excellent security for large superyachts. The surrounding hills are ideal for biking and hiking, and from the top of Mont Leuze, the views back over the bay are spectacular.

When to go

April – end of October

High Season




Walk through the bastions of the citadel of St Elme


Follow the footpath to Cap Ferrat lighthouse. If a 14km hike is too much, it’s divided in three parts for those after a short walk.


In February the fishermen celebrate carnival with Bataille des Fleurs, decorating their traditional pointus boats and throw flowers – enjoy the parade, music and costumes