Villefranche Cruise Port
Port of Villefranche: An Overview
Port FacilitiesOoh la la! Villefranche is a charming village with lots of great cafes and a handful of fun shops.
Don't MissSightseeing: The Chapelle St-Pierre (Pl. Pollanais, Tuesday - Sunday from 10 a.m. - noon and 4 - 8:30 p.m.), a 14th-century Romanesque chapel, is decorated with images painted by artist Jean Cocteau. Wander along Quai Courbet, town's atmospheric fishing port. The Citadelle, also known as Fort Sainte Elme, was built in the 16th century. Today it houses city hall, public gardens and a couple of art museums. Particularly worth visiting is its Musee Volti (open Wednesday - Monday, 10 a.m. - noon and 3 - 5 p.m.; Sundays only from 10 a.m. - noon) which showcases the work of local-born sculptor Antoniucci Volti; he's known for voluptuous bronze sculptures of women.
Beaching it: Plage de Villefranche-sur-Mer is located northwest of old town -- about a ten minute walk.
Take a boat trip: Advance reservations are highly recommended; one option is Vedette la Sirene - Affretement Maritime Villefranchois (ph: 04 93 76 65 65, fax: 04 93 76 97 87).
Go snorkeling: Contact Aqua Pro Dive International (ph: 04 93 01 71 04, fax: 04 93 01 72 90)
Take a city tour: Book your tour in advance with the Villefranche tourist office (ph: 04 93 01 73 68), and a guide will be waiting for you at the cruise terminal. Two different walking tours are available: a two-hour trip through the old city, and an 1 1/2-hour stroll toward the Darse Royal Harbour along the ramparts of the Citadel on the seafront.
Visit the soap factory: At La Savonnerie de Villefranche, you can watch and learn (and smell!) as soap is made -- and, of course, stop in the gift shop to grab a few souvenirs. Admission is free.Comfortable with renting a car and exploring some nearby towns (and countries) like Nice, Cannes and Monaco? A car rental service is available at the cruise terminal. Another option is Hertz in nearby Beaulieu-sur-mer (ph: 04 93 01 62 30); they'll also provide drop-off and pick-up service at the port terminal.
If you're not comfortable with driving, contract with taxi drivers and/or car services for tours of the surrounding area -- St. Jean Cap-Ferrat, Monaco, Nice, Cannes -- via local drivers. The GIE service (ph: 06 10 18 49 39) is a group of several local excursion companies at the cruise terminal. You can book in advance or once you arrive.
The Cote d'Azur has an excellent train system as well -- and the station is a five-minute walk from the port, providing convenient service to major and minor destinations.
If exploring the villages beyond Villefranche-sur-mer, check out Saint Jean-Cap Ferrat, one of the region's most chi-chi villages. You can explore the diminutive village on foot, including the Plage de Passable on its western shore, the Lighthouse (you can climb its 154 steps for a gorgeous view of the Cote d'Azur) or hang out at the cafe-lined port on the eastern edge. Don't miss touring the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild (open daily, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; guided tours are available and begin at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.); the circa 1912 belle epoque style villa, built for Baroness Rothschild, evokes the Renaissance-era mansions of Tuscany. There's also a gorgeous garden.
Getting AroundVillefranche is very walkable and compact.
Where You're DockedCruise ships anchor in the harbor and tender passengers to a small terminal in the heart of Villefranche-sur-Mer.
Good to KnowThe village is very hilly -- wear comfortable shoes.
Currency & Best Way to Get MoneyThe euro. There are ATM machines and exchange bureaus in town.
LanguageFrench, though English is generally understood.
ShoppingProvencal wine. Original artwork by unknown artists who pepper the port with their easels. Tableclothes and linens in Provencal florals.
Villefranche: Freedom of the SeasCruiserHockeyWalk around this amazing place. Eat a pizza. Go see the beach. No excusion needed here. ... Read more
We booked a private driver for the dAy to visit Nice, Villa Ephrussi and St Paul de Vence. Wonderful day with plenty of time for crepes when we returned to lovely VSM ... Read more
Just took the Tourist bus. 25 euros each for 30 mins. round the city. Did have earphone commentary which didn't work for one. We did enjoy seeing the surrounding area and lovely and sunny day. ... Read more
Villefranche: Celebrity ReflectionMTA ScotlandLovely town walked to Cap Ferrat ... Read more
Beautiful port! We really enjoyed walking adorable Villefranche, with its nooks and crannies and shops. The taxi line was long and there were not many taxi's available, so my husband pulled up Uber, and sure enough, they have it there! Hired an ... Read more
Villefranche: Celebrity ReflectionChaiTea4meIt is a beautiful location, but you have to take a taxi or bus to get to Nice. We enjoyed the Chagall Museum. ... Read more
Villefranche: Freedom of the Seasjustcruising001Monaco and Eze was beautiful. I'm not a perfume person so this was lost on me. ... Read more
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