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How to get to Villefranche

Villefranche-sur-mer is situated on the coast immediately East of Nice. It is a beautiful little town with sights that date back to the middle ages. With a deep water natural harbour Villefranche has played an integral part in the history of this part of the Coast, playing a significant role, as a trading post, even before Nice was established.

The Vieille ville, or old town, is now a wealth of winding streets, beautiful villas, boutique shops, bars, restaurants and cafes. It is possible to spend an entire holiday in this picturesque little town and not run out of things to see and do. It is also incredible easy to get to and is accessible from most international countries.

Nice airport seen from VillefrancheBasse Corniche winds through VillefrancheDeep blue waters of Rade de Villefranche

Getting to Villefranche by air

Villefranche is served by Nice Cote d'Azur airport that is approximately 15 kilometres away. Nice is the second busiest airport in France after Paris and is host to many international airlines and internationla routes. There are some cheap flights airlines as well as many national carriers directly connecting Nice to almost all of Europe as well as direct flights to the United States, Canada The Middle East and Northern Africa. The airport website, of which you will find a link in our RG directory under Nice, is a comprehensive site with lots information regarding routes, timetables and carriers. It is in multiple languages and is easily navigable.

Getting to Villefranche by Rail

Rail travel in Europe is of a very high standard with networks that have crisscrossed its mass for hundreds of years. You will often find that you will have to make connections through main arterial routes such as Paris or Milan. In France the high speed train, the TGV, runs routes throughout France including to the Riviera. At the moment that train will take you to Marseille as there is no high speed line directly to Nice as yet but there are slower connecting trains that are scheduled into your travel. The French Riviera is connected to all of Europe and the UK via rail. Look in the RG directory for useful websites that can help you plan your train journey from point to point.

Sparkling Med waters, Villefranche'Ain't no mountain high enough', VillefrancheSome bring their own transport

Getting to Villefranche by Road

The motorway network across France is an excellent network of roads. It is well sign posted, easy to navigate and very well maintained and serviced. It is not, however, free. The 'Peage' sections of the motorways are clearly marked before you get onto the roads. The tolls are designed really so that long distance travellers pay for the service of clear routes and motorway facilities. If you are hopping on and off locally then you won't always have to pay.

Using the autoroute your journey from Paris to Nice will cost approximately €67.10 depending on the type of vehicle you are driving. There are alternative routes that you can use that are not tolled that will take you onto the bypass roads that skirt most of France's cities. On average, however, the Peages prove to be more cost efficient, saving up to a full tank of petrol, and certainly more time efficient, saving anything up to twice the length of time it would take on the Peage. They are, needless to say, not as scenic, so choose your route according to what you are looking for.

Look in the RG directory under 'About France - Transport' for good websites where you can plan your journey, print an itinery and calculate all the costs.

Crystal clear waters and a safe guarded beachRoad to VillefrancheThe beach is really good for families and couples

Getting to Villefranche by Sea

The main ferry ports into France are in the North and West coasts of the country for obvious reasons as much of the rest of the coastline is landlocked. The main ports are located at Le Harve, Calais, Boulogne, Cherbourg, Saint Malo, Dieppe, Roscoff and Caen. From these main routes the South of France and Villefranche is accessed by rail and road links.

There are Ferry routes in the Mediterranean that operate from the southern ports of Nice, Marseille and Toulon to Sardinia and Corsica aswell as many small local ferries that run along the coast providing sea access between all the big towns on the French Riviera. The French Riviera is a very popular cruise route also, in particular Villefranche, due to its natural deep water bay, so there are still plenty of options for touring this coastline by sea.

How to get around Villefranche

Once you have made your way to Villefranche, most likely by way of Nice, then getting around the Cote d'Azur is pretty simple. The coastline has a great public transport system with trains, buses, taxis and local ferries if you decide not to hire a car. They are constantly upgrading the facilities too with standardised fares, for simplicity, a new tram in Nice, new promenades and, new this year, night buses.

Nice airport seen from Villefranche

Villefranche by Taxi

There are always Taxi's available outside the arrival halls of Nice Cote D'azur airport. Nice Taxi's are rather infamous for their expense but, as with most countries, the airport runs always incur that extra expense.

Villefranche is close to Nice and 15km from Nice Cote D'Azur airport but you can expect your journey to cost between €40 and €50 depending on the time of day, it's more expensive at night, and where your summer rental is located.

Tip: Check fares online

Nice airport website have good information regarding fares from the airport to a multiple of destinations.

Looking over St Jean-Cap Ferrat from Villefranche

Villefranche by Train

The train runs right along the seafront and stops in Villefranche, giving easy and immediate access to the beach and all the amenities. They run regularly throughout the day in both directions and tickets can be bought at Nice ville train station or from ticket machines in the station.

The train station is right in the village and the beaches are within walking distance. It also means that you have access to the entire French Riviera and direct access to Italy. Don't forget the mountains either, take a trip up into the hinterlands for something different.

Tip: Look for price offers online

The web address is available in RG Directory. There are discount ticket promotions and see who travels for free.

Pick up free timetables

The SNCF website can be a bit hard to use, especially if you don't have French as there are no English translations. However, you can easily pick up pocket sized timetables from the tourist offices, the train stations or the information desks at the airport. This is the handiest thing to do and then you can book your tickets online if you want to but there is no real need unless you are travelling long distance.

Villefranche by Bus

Buses run from the airport into Nice Ville and Nice train station. The main bus terminus in Nice Ville is the Gare Routiere Semiacs on Boulevard Jean Jaures and from there you can catch the bus to Villefranche.

It is the number 100 or 112 bus on the Gare Routiere-Cap d'Ail route. You can buy your tickets at the Caisse/Parking Bus at arrivals in Terminal 1. Or purchase tickets from Tabacs, kiosks or on the bus. This year sees the introduction of nightbuses too.
Tip: Use the airport website

It really is the easiest place to find out all the myriad of bus routes, times and prices.

Villefranche by car

Driving on the Cote d'Azur is one of the most pleasurable places to drive. Roads and places are easy to find, everything is very well signposted and the sea is a great navaigational tool.

There are so many interesting and famous places to visit that a car gives you great freedom to explore. The traffic can be heavy in the summer along the coast roads but hire a convertible and think of it as a sightseeing opportunity or travel outside peak times to beat the traffic, it's worth it.
Basse Corniche winds through Villefranche
Tip: Always navigate by place names

Rather than road numbers. Have an idea of the names of the places you'll be passing through, it makes it very easy.

From Nice to Villefranche

Follow signs from the airport for the 'Promenade des Anglais'. Follow this seafront route all the way along Nice's 7km of beaches, into Nice Port, onto Quai Lunel and around onto Quai Cassini. Look for signpostings that say 'Basse Corniche', (straight at the traffic lights) onto Boulevard Carnot also the N98. This becomes Boulevard Princess Grace de Monaco and leads you directly into Villefranche. Look in the RG directory under 'About France' for links to maps and directions.

Aerial view of Villefranche bay and beach

Villefranche by air

The nearest airport to Villefranche is Nice. There are other options if you are flying by private plane with the small airport at CannesMandelieu a popular choice with smaller aircraft.

There is also the option of helicpoter trips with several operators running out of Nice and Cannes airports. Villefranche however doesn't have a public helipad so it's not an established route. Some rental villas do have their own helipads so chartered heli flights are possible.
Tip: Take a flight for fun

You can book sightseeing trips also. Look in RG directory under 'Nice'-'Transport' for Helicopter airlines.

The superb beach in the Rade De Villefranche

Villefranche by Sea

Although not a big ferry port it is still possible to get to Villefranche by sea. It is a natural deep water harbour so it can facilitate larger cruise liners with ease and is a popular stop on the Mediterranean cruises.

There are visitor berths available in the Port of Darse for boats of up to 40m in length and there are also boat trips and excursions available that will get you out onto the water for another perspective entirely. Look in the RG directory for contacts.
Tip: Get your license

There is a license requirement in France to pilot boats over a certain length but also short courses to allow you to get one.

Renting holiday Accommodation in Villefranche

If you have decided that Villefranche is the holiday destination for you and want to rent a holiday property then simply use the search facility below or click on 'Browse Rentals' in the main menu to see all the holiday apartments and vacation properties that Riviera Rental Guide has to offer. To learn more about Villefranche then continue onto the next section.


Some top holiday rentals in Villefranche-sur-Mer

Villa Citadelle Villefranche

French Riviera » ... » Villefranche-sur-Mer 200 sq.m. Villa 0922
»Holiday rental villa
»Price per night:$404.48
»Per person (x8):$50.56
Sea View, Beachfront
This charming 4 bedroom house is the perfect home from home for your holiday in Villefranche-Sur-Mer. Ideally located with everything on your doorstep, 500m from the town beach, the old town port and all the romantic quayside restaurants.

Villefranche Bayside Apartment

French Riviera » ... » Villefranche-sur-Mer 100 sq.m. Apartment 0940
»Holiday rental apartment
»Price per night:$204.19
»Per person (x6):$34.03
Waterfront, Sea View
This 2-bedroom waterfront property can sleep up to 6 guests and is in the heart of Villefranche. Great for families, this property comes with a terrace and has stunning views over the bay and is only seconds from the beach and restaurants of the town.

Villa Soleil

French Riviera » ... » Villefranche-sur-Mer 125 sq.m. Villa 1053
»Holiday rental villa
»Price per night:$300.22
»Per person (x6):$50.04
Swimming Pool, Sea View
This 3-bedroom property is situated above the breathtaking bay of Villefranche and has amazing views of the sea, village and hillsides. There is a private terrace for alfresco dining and access to a shared pool with sea views.


Find your holiday rental in Villefranche-sur-Mer

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