The Côte d’Azur is probably one of those areas where you’ll find beauty everywhere. Not without reason it is one of the most popular vacation regions in France. But it’s also worth taking a look at the smaller towns such as Villefranche-sur-mer near Nice.
If you are easily annoyed by Nice, you can spend a relaxing day trip here. Personally, I don’t like Nice that much either. Somehow it’s too much of a big city, too noisy and the beaches within the city aren’t that good either. But Villefranche-sur-Mer is different.
Villefranche-sur-mer: From Nice by train
So when I’m staying in Nice on duty, first thing I do when I have the time is to leave the city. Almost a stone’s throw away, Villefranche-sur-mer is like a small paradise. If you’re traveling by car, you’ll get around easy anyway, but the Côte d’Azur is even better for train travel. From the steam locomotive for tourists (that’s still on my to-do list, because it’s a real experience) to the regular regional express, you’ll find many options to travel by train. The TER (a regional express train) covers all the towns on the Côte d’Azur, including picturesque views of the mountains and the sea: get on, get off, enjoy.
Only about a five minutes ride from the Riquier train station and ten minutes from Nice’s main train station, you can reach Villefranche sur Mer. There are actually no bigger sights in Villefranche-sur-mer – and I find it perfect just for that reason.
Villefranche-sur-mer at the Côte d’Azur
A sleepy mountain village with winding old town streets, a few cafés and a small bay with the clearest sea water, so turquoise blue it hurts your eyes.
And these colors – house facades in the most beautiful shades, in addition blue sky, the sea, the palm trees… What more do you need?
By chance, I then bursted into the middle of a beginning village festival. Which added up to the laid-back french vibe all around.
In the end, I didn’t want to leave – and would have preferred to continue in the other direction.
Boat trip to Villefranche-sur-mer and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat from Nice
If you don’t feel like taking the train and have less time, you can visit Villefranche-sur-mer from the water. From Nice, there is a one-hour boat ride where you can enjoy the beautiful view of the bays of Villefranche-sur-mer and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat!
Villefranche-sur-Meris about 5-10 minutes by TER from Nice.
Nice Riquier – Villefranche-sur-Mer 1,20€ (one way)
For more information such as prices, timetable and the entire route, visit the SNCF website
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