This Picture Says it all. Villefranche is Awesome!
Language and Currency
What is Villefranche Like?
What is the Weather Like?
Where Does the Ship Dock?
Where is the Shopping?
What is There to Buy?
What is There To Do?
Is There Anything of a “Don’t Miss Quality?
Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?
A passport is required, but no visa is required for stays less than 90 days.
The official language of France is French, but some English is spoken in many tourist areas. However, very few people in Villefranche speak English. The official currency of France is the euro. Dollars are rarely accepted, other than at some souvenir shops and other high profile tourist locations. Even there, euros may be demanded. The best way to obtain euros is by using your ATM card at one of the plentiful ATM machines. Credit Cards (Amex, VISA, MasterCard) are widely accepted, but Traveler's Checks are rarely tendered.
Villefranche is a wonderfully French village offering its visitors a unique opportunity to experience everything French. Unless you have not seen Monte Carlo, Eze, Nice and Cannes, (and want to experience them) you will not want to wander any further than this quaint fishing village. Villefranche resides on a steep hillside that surrounds the beautiful bay that Villefranche resides upon. While walking can be steep at times, the walkways that penetrate Villefranche's parks, old section and village are simply breathtaking.
Villefranche's Historic District
I discovered Villefranche quite by accident after receiving bad instructions on how to get to the train station from a driver/guide. I had promised to meet a group of people in Cannes for lunch and by the time I found the train station, I wanted nothing more than to remain in Villefranche to explore its quaint streets and parks more thoroughly. .
Villefranche enjoys perfect Mediterranean weather with warm temperatures during the day and temperate nights. Expect summer highs to range in the 70s and 80s.
The Millennium Anchored Outside Villefranche, France
Ships too large to enter Nice's port facility anchor at the mouth of the bay Villefranche resides within and tender into Villefranche's tender wharf adjacent to the downtown area.
There is limited shopping in Villefranche's downtown area. If shopping is on your agenda, take the train into Monaco to the south, or Nice or Cannes to the north. However, throughout the historic district you will find many shops offering items of interest to toursits.
There are limited shops in Villefranche, but everything imaginable can be found in the cities mentioned above. You can find bathing suits, beach items, souvenirs and other collectible items in the historic section.
Typical Beachfront Restaurant in Villefranche
If you are looking for the perfect place to relax on the beach, have a wonderful lunch in a beachfront French cafe, enjoy a bottle of French wine and simply enjoy a perfect French day, this is the spot!
The Beach at Villefranche
The beach at Villefranche is much nicer than the beaches in Nice and offers soft fine sand on most of it.
Villefranche Sidewalk Cafes
Once you exit the tender port, simply turn right and follow the ocean into the bay to find the beach.
The Villefranche Train Station (Right Above the Beach)
The train station is right above the beach area and is accessed via the rock stairway that leads up the hill. Train service southbound to Monaco and northbound to Nice and Cannes is frequent and reasonably priced making this an excellent option to explore these cities. Note that there are several other stops that the train makes going in both directions.
The Beach at Beaulieu-sur-Mer
Beaulieu-sur-Mer (the next train station to the south of Villefranche) is also a quaint village that is even more sophisticated and well worth the effort to get there. One can walk along the beach in Villefranche and then follow the stairway across the isthmus to Beaulieu-Sur-Mar's wonderful village, parks and beaches. .
The Citadelle (Fort Sainte Elme)
Of primary interest is Fort Sainte Elme. This fortress dating back to the 14th century now houses the city buildings and some wonderful gardens. You can take the "train" a motorized multi car affair to explore Villefranche's different areas, but to really experience its beauty, plan on doing some hiking.
Just One of Villefranche's Many Parks
Villefranche offers numerous parks that meander their way throughout the village. Simply walking through the parks allows one to experience the local population doing what they do the best, simply enjoying life.
The Entrance to the Historic District From the Harbor's Edge
Finally, don't miss the historic district in Villefranche. You can enter it by walking up the stairs (pictured above) just a few steps to the right when you have exited the tender wharf. Once you go up the stairs you will run into the many streets and alleyways that make up the historic district.
Just one of the Quaint Walkways in the Historic District
You will find small shops, restaurants, bars and other small businesses in the historic district by walking its many streets.
One of the Quaint Restaurants in the Historic District
I would give the overall experience of Villefranche-sur-Mer and neighboring Beaulieu-sur-Mer a "don't miss it" rating.
You can't go wrong here.
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