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Villefranche Sea View in Villefranche-sur-Mer, The Corniches, French Riviera
The Corniches
A peaceful, modern, ground floor two...
Villefranche Marina in Villefranche-sur-Mer, The Corniches, French Riviera
The Corniches
A spectacular two-bedroom panoramic sea...
Sea View Apartment in Villefranche-sur-Mer in Villefranche-sur-Mer, The Corniches, French Riviera
The Corniches
A breathtaking view sea view, serene...
Azur Vista Terrace Apartment in Villefranche-sur-Mer, The Corniches, French Riviera
The Corniches
This contemporary one-bedroom apartment...
Bella Vista Sea View Studio in Villefranche-sur-Mer, The Corniches, French Riviera
The Corniches
This lovely studio apartment boasts...
Villefranche Old Town Sea View Studio in Villefranche-sur-Mer, The Corniches, French Riviera
The Corniches
A great third-floor studio located on a...
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Why visit villefranche

Villefranche-sur-Mer, before it became such a popular vacation spot, was an important little place on this long coastline. A mere dot of a village, amongst a string a towns and villages, its saving grace was the wide, sheltered calm waters that enclose it. Today the Rade de Villefranche offers still blue waters fringed with long sweeping beaches wonderful for long lazy sunny holidays but, in other era's, the deep deep waters were a sanctuary during turbulent wars and difficult trading environments. Now its covered streets, walled Citadel and leafy squares create the back drop to beachlife, no longer called to protect frightened villagers.

Protecting walls of the Citadel, VillefrancheThe superb beach in the Rade De VillefrancheBouganvillea cascades outside this holiday rental


Villefranche lies to the East of Nice standing with its 'pied sur la mer', its feet in the sea. As a port it dates back to the 14th Century and has always played a big role in the history of this little town.

It has hosted trading ships for generations as well as, in later years, American and Russian military vessels but now, nothing more odious than cruise ships frequent its glittering waters.

The road leading into the village is the winding sea front road called the Basse Corniche. A lovely scenic route built in the 18th Century. At that time anyone of note had a summer palace or villa here when the whole region was at the height of fashion for the worlds aristocracy and numerous Royal families.

Famous visitors and residents include King Charles V, Queen Elizabeth I, Picasso, Volti, Miro and Jean Cocteau. You can still see evidence of the same, particularly in the tiny Chapel St Pierre at the foot of the town, a 14th century Roman style chapel decorated by Jean Cocteau. The Chapel provides cool respite from the hot sun and exhibits original works of art.

Calm water make Villefranche bay a fantastic marine environment
Old Port
Basse Corniche winds through Villefranche
Basse Corniche
Blue Water in Villefranche
Deep Waters
Citadel Villefranche

Founding father

The port was founded by Charles II D'Anjou and was the main trading port for Savoy and Sardinia. Its importance is still reflected by the level of fortification that was required for such a small and pretty town. The Citadelle de St-Elmo rises up out of the rocks and casts a protective eye over the Vieille Ville, daunting in its day but now simply majestic surrounded by manicured gardens and home to four museums, the town hall, a conference centre and Villefranche's yearly St Patricks day celebrations. The museums show pieces from famous visitors and residents to the town.

Magical and unspoilt

So with a famous port, famous visitors and an imposing Citadel we should not forget about the town itself. It is one of the prettiest, most unspoilt medieval towns along this coast. Despite its popularity with tourists, it has managed to retain a wonderful, ancient and magical quality.

Full of Italian style architecture in traditional sun-washed colours it is packed with winding streets, passageways, stone steps, leafy sun dappled squares, archways, flowers and fanciful trompe-l'oeil style paintings.

Rue Obscure is a covered in street that was built in the 13th Century to protect the villagers from bombardment. Now, in more peaceful times, it has left this amazing, original network of cool, dimly lit arched ceilings and hidden doorways. It captures the very air of another era and whisks you back to another time. It's not to be missed.

Chapel St Pierre, VillefrancheRue Obscure, Villefranche
ChapelOld Streets
Villefranche homesSilhouette on Rue Obscure, Villefranche
ColoursRue Obscure
If that doesn't thrill you then the main square in the Old Town may be more up your street. It's lovely and open, sheltered by the shade of the Plane trees, overlooked by apartments and full of cafes and restaurants, perfect for watching the world go by and enjoying a little aperitif.

Most importantly it is also home to the best ice cream shop this side of the Italian border and is worth booking your trip for this reason alone.

Medieval charm

The beach, although pebbled and sandy in places, is one of the best between Nice and Italy with a lovely atmosphere and beautiful clean sea to swim in. The Rade de Villfranche is a huge natural, protected harbour which means it is a great sheltered spot for swimming, snorkelling and diving.

The town is pretty, the shops are interesting,there are plenty of restaurants, street markets, museums, cutural interest and it has retained its original medieval charm, yet is still close enough to Nice to be at the centre of things if you want a wild night out. In older times it was an important gateway to the region and today it has lost none of that significance.

Renting Holiday accommodation in Villefranche

So if this has helped you to decide and you would like to choose Villefranche as your holiday option and you are ready to search for vacation rentals available in Villefranche then please use the search facility below. You can also search by clicking on 'Browse Rentals' in the main menu to see everything that is available through Riviera Rental Guide.


Some top holiday rentals in Villefranche-sur-Mer

Villefranche Old Town Terrace Apartment

French Riviera » ... » Villefranche-sur-Mer 55 sq.m. Apartment 1073
»Holiday rental apartment
»Price per night:$130.02
»Per person (x3):$43.34
Sea View, City Centre
This is a one-bedroom property in the heart of the Old Town of picturesque Villefranche-sur-Mer. Only moments from the beach, waterfront restaurants and conveniences, this Provençal apartment also has a large terrace with wonderful panoramic views.

Villefranche Old Town Romantic Studio

French Riviera » ... » Villefranche-sur-Mer 46 sq.m. Apartment 0975
»Holiday rental apartment
»Price per night:$134.14
»Per person (x4):$33.54
City Centre, Sea View
“Villefranche is a very pretty village that we thoroughly enjoyed and it made a great base to also visit other surrounding villages of the area.” - travel
A sunny apartment nestled in the beautiful old town of Villefranche-sur-Mer. The private terrace offers an amazing view of the sea and beautiful boats in the bay while the beach, restaurants and boutiques are all just a two minute walk from your doorstep.

Villefranche Bay View 3-Bed Apartment

French Riviera » ... » Villefranche-sur-Mer 91 sq.m. Apartment 1202
»Holiday rental apartment
»Price per night:$212.65
»Per person (x6):$35.44
Sea View, Swimming Pool
This fantastic, spacious 3-bed apartment for 6 guests is set in a gated complex in the beautiful town of Villefranche-sur-Mer and has a communal swimming pool and a wonderful private terrace overlooking the sea, Bay of Villefranche and Cap Ferrat.


Find your holiday rental in Villefranche-sur-Mer

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