Famed for its international celebrity draw, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat is an exclusive neighborhood on the French Riviera and has a concentration of some of the most expensive real estate in the world. It doesn’t take long visiting here to see why the rich and famous would choose this beautiful locale for their vacation homes. And besides being just a beautiful town on the French Riviera, it also has the benefit of being a sizeable peninsula where waterfront property is abundant and houses can be spread out onto proper estates instead of squeezed on top of one another. It’s a great summer destination in the South of France, whether you’re in it for a luxury villa rental or just a day trip to look and admire! Check out your Saint Jean Cap Ferrat Visitor Guide here and get ready to go!
Saint Jean Cap Ferrat Visitor Guide
When To Go
As with most of the French Riviera, the summer is the best time to go to enjoy the beaches and perfect sunny weather. It also makes a good destination for the shoulder season of spring or fall because there are plenty of paths and walkways to enjoy when the summer heat isn’t burning down on you!
How To Get There
From Nice, take the train to Villefranche-Sur-Mer or Beaulieu-Sur-Mer, which are the two towns that flank the peninsula. The entire peninsula itself is called Cap Ferrat, while the town and center of commerce for the peninsula is called Saint Jean Cap Ferrat. They’re basically one in the same but the distinction is important to understand in terms of where you may be staying and where the attractions are. Outside of the St Jean Cap Ferrat town center it’s basically all residential and would take you awhile to walk anywhere else. From Villefrance or Beaulieu you can catch a bus into town, it costs €1.50 and if you’re unsure where to get off just ask the bus driver to drop you in the St Jean Cap Ferrat town center. From Beaulieu you can also take the walking path over to town, which I did and I really enjoyed the views!
What To See
-The top attraction to see in town is the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, which is a beautiful old mansion in the belle époque architectural style. And the dancing fountain show in the garden is pretty great! The villa is a bus ride away from downtown but is on the way as you’re arriving so you could stop here on the bus ride into town.
-Like all French Riviera towns there is a port, and while most of the bigger yachts are anchored out in the bay, you can still enjoy a walk around the port to admire the boats that are docked!
-Hit up the beach! The Plage de Passable is on the opposite side of the peninsula from the town and is quite rocky so I recommend a moped to get there and a beach mat to lay on. The Paloma Beach is closer to town and is known for celebrity sightings. The views here are fantastic, and if you choose to lay out for some sun, you’ll probably need to rent a chair in the private section since it’s a small and mostly private beach.
What To Do
-One of the walkways to enjoy on Cap Ferrat is the short one from town that goes around La Point de St Hospice on the Sentier du Bord de Mer, past the Paloma Beach. It’s not too long and the views are totally awesome!
-If you want a fuller, more active day, take the 7 mile walkway all the way around Cap Ferrat, starting from the Capitaine Cook in downtown. This Chemin de la Carrièrs offers awesome ocean and cliffside views, and you may be able to sneak a peek of the millionaires’ villas, though they keep them quite private with tall walls and shrubs.
-On Wednesday evenings, check out the evening summer market at the Theatre de la Mer!
-Check out the shops, restaurants, galleries, boat rental shops, and ice cream shops along the waterfront at the port. And move up a street to the M25, where the stone-laid road lined with flower boxes offers more shops and restaurants to discover.
Where To Stay
If you want to stay in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat instead of just visiting from Villefranche, Beaulieu, or somewhere else along the Riviera, I would recommend the Hotel and Spa La Villa Cap Ferrat. The have views of the bay, a nice pool, and beautiful comfortable rooms.
Where To Eat
For some nice dining options overlooking the port, try Le Sloop or La Goëlette. Join the crowds trying to beat the heat in the shade with an ice cream at the gelato shop, Vanille Chocolat. And at the end of the day, pick an alfresco bar at the Place Georges Clemenceau for a drink after enjoying the beach and walkways all day.
Need To Know
Cap Ferrat is a safe part of the French Riviera, where English is widely spoken. You’ll need Euros to spend, though there is an ATM in town. Expect to do a decent amount of walking here, especially if you’re trying to cover it in a daytrip.
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