Côte d'Azur, France

A Serene Escape to Villefranche-sur-Mer and a Surprise Trip to Monte Carlo

On my recent journey to the South of France, I opted for the quaint and picturesque Villefranche-sur-Mer over the more bustling cities of Nice and Cannes. Nestled along the French Riviera, this charming village offered the perfect blend of relaxation and understated elegance. The slow pace of life and the stunning coastal views made it an ideal retreat.

Villefranche-sur-Mer itself is a haven for those looking to unwind. With its narrow, winding streets and pastel-colored buildings, the village exudes a timeless charm. There may not be a plethora of activities, but that’s precisely its appeal. It’s a place where you can simply sit back and savor the beauty of your surroundings.

Exploring Cap Ferrat and Passing by Èze

While Nice and Cannes are just a short distance away, I decided to explore the more laid-back Cap Ferrat. Known for its luxurious villas and pristine beaches, Cap Ferrat offers a peaceful retreat from the crowded cityscapes. Walking along the coastal paths, I was treated to breathtaking views of the Mediterranean, with the scent of pine trees and the sound of waves creating a perfect backdrop for relaxation. 

On our way, we passed by Èze, a medieval village perched on a hilltop. Though we didn’t stop, the sight of Èze was captivating. Its stone houses and narrow streets seemed to cling to the hillside, offering what I imagine would be spectacular views of the coastline.

An Unplanned Visit to Monte Carlo

One of the most unexpected highlights of our trip was a spontaneous visit to Monte Carlo. One of my traveling companions had never been to Monte Carlo and was eager to see the famed Casino. A quick UBER ride later, we found ourselves in the heart of Monaco. The grandeur of the Casino de Monte-Carlo was impressive, even though we didn’t indulge in any gambling.

Local Delights at Le Snack

Since our trip to Monte Carlo wasn’t planned, we hadn’t budgeted for the upscale food and shopping the city is known for. Instead, I sought out a place where locals dine and stumbled upon Le Snack. Despite its unassuming name, Le Snack offered a variety of quality, inexpensive dishes. The long line of French-speaking patrons was a testament to its popularity. The food was delicious and affordable, making it a delightful find.

Navigating Transportation

A practical note for fellow travelers: Monte Carlo doesn’t have Uber, so we had to take a taxi back to Villefranche-sur-Mer. This was a small inconvenience, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re planning a similar trip.

Architectural Highlights in Villefranche-sur-Mere

Back in Villefranche-sur-Mer, I took the opportunity to explore some of the village’s architectural gems. The Chapelle St. Pierre, with its striking murals by Jean Cocteau, and the Église St. Michel, a beautiful example of baroque architecture, are must-sees for architecture enthusiasts. These historical sites added a touch of cultural depth to our relaxing stay.

Villefranche-sur-Mer offered a perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of more popular destinations. Its serene environment, combined with the proximity to charming villages like Cap Ferrat and the unexpected adventure to Monte Carlo, made for a memorable trip. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, scenic beauty, or a bit of cultural exploration, the South of France has something special to offer.

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All photos by the author
Disclosure: I have no material connection to the products, brands or services mentioned in this blog or received compensation for writing this blog.



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