The town is a deep-water port, which has been used by pleasure yachts and naval vessels for centuries – the ancient Greeks and Romans used it as a stopping-off point in their voyages west. Nearby are the two most famous resorts on the Riviera – Nice and Cannes.
The surrounding area is known as one of the most beautiful resort locations in the world. There is an abundance of palm trees, blue sea and beautiful beaches; sparkling cities and villages are set against backdrops of high green mountains.
Villefranche’s cruise port is well situated for passengers eager to see the best of the French Riviera.
Picturesque little Villefranche sur Mer, whose historic medieval buildings cluster along the coast, is fascinating in itself but it’s also ideally located for visits to Nice, Monaco, Cannes and the French Riviera. The glamorous Côte d’Azur generally is an extraordinary playground, with every kind of amusement. There are excellent museums, historic places dating from the pre-Christian era to the present day, hills, mountains, lakes and rivers, gorges and alpine skiing trails.
• The Citadel
• Antibes and Cap d’Antibes
• Villefranche sur Mer: Take a guided walking tour of the town centre
• Nice: The largest metropolis on the coastline
• Cannes: The playground of the rich and famous
• Juan les Pins: Neat harbour, beaches and pine forests in the hills
• St Jean Cap Ferrat: An exclusive and expensive resort consisting of great private mansions and seaside estates
Convention and Visitors Bureau
Jardin François Binon, 06230 Villefranche sur Mer, France
Tel: +33 (0) 4930 17368.
Good buys for cruise ship passengers include olive oil, perfume from Grasse, and pastis, the aniseed-flavoured aperitif perennially popular in the south of France. Local handicrafts and textiles are another option, as are jewellery, local wines, cheeses and other foodstuffs. There is a Saturday Provençal food market and a second-hand and antiques market every Sunday.
Regional specialities include seafood, local cheeses, farcis (stuffed vegetables), Niçoise salad, ratatouille and the spectacular regional speciality, bouillabaisse fish stew. Typical local cuisine incorporates plenty of garlic, olives, tomatoes and tasty vegetables like courgettes and peppers.
When to go:
A Mediterranean climate exists in the Riviera. The summer months (Jul-Sep) are the warmest.
3km (1.8 miles).