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Villefranche-sur-Mer

Villefranche-sur-Mer is without doubt one of the most picturesque towns on the Côte d’Azur. Whether you approach Villefranche by land or sea, it resembles the most stunning oil painting, embracing all the vibrant paint-box colours that one could imagine. But this is not a still-life; Villefranche is very much alive. The constant variety of its mélange of colours has made Villefranche very much the town of painters and artists, rather like Saint-Tropez.

Provencal shutters in the town of VIllefranche in southern France

From the moment of your arrival, by sea, train or road, Villefranche offers an awe-inspiring panorama of the French Riviera coastline, and its climate is temperate all year round. The surrounding gardens and vegetation are lush and abundant, peppered with wild mauve and yellow blossoms, which is a contrast to the rocks further towards Eze and Monaco. Le Jardin de Narwick, and Le Jardin de la Roseraie, located on the lower level of the citadel in Villefranche, are not to be missed – the roses are truly sensational.

The seafront at Villefranche-sur-Mer on France's Cote d'Azur

Villefranche-sur-Mer is a dazzling town, with its port and 16th century citadel, and the 18th Century Baroque-style church of St Michel, at the foot of a vast amphitheatre and with the majestic sweep of its shoreline, has retained many traces of its historical origins.

As a maritime town, in a very priviledged location, and with its close proximity to Nice and Monaco, Villefranche has become one of the principal superyacht anchorages of the Côte d’Azur, not just with luxury charter yachts but also with the many cruise ships who have it as a key stop off point on their itinerary. However, at heart, Villefranche is still essentially a fishing port, with its flotilla of small boats which leave the port early every morning, and the ambiance in the town is very much that of a small seafaring village. Fishing is sculpted into Villefranche’s culture. Needless to say, it is not surprising that fish is one of the prominent choices on many of the local restaurant menus.

Cruiseship at Villefranche-Sur-Mer, France

The markets in Villefranche are bursting with local produce, which is where many of the restaurant chefs go to find ‘the best of the best’. So much easier than having to travel to one of the wholesale markets the other side of Nice. The principal local produce markets in Villefranche are to be found in Square Octroi (8h00 to 13h00 Wednesdays & Saturdays), or Square Charles II d’Anjou (Fish Market from 7h30 to noon on a Friday). Arrive early as the best is scooped up very quickly by those in the know!

Seafront restaurants at Villefranche-sur-Mer

The restaurant choice in Villefranche is mesmerising, and if you love good fish and shellfish, it is quite difficult to choose the wrong place! Les Garçons (18 rue de Poilu) have a carte which features excellent sole and monkfish, Le Mayssa Beach (9 place Wilson) is a superb choice for those who really want to be close to the sea whilst dining (almost feet in the water), and the legendary La Mère Germaine (9 quai Courbet) offers one of the best Plâteau de Fruits de Mer on this stretch of the coast. Villefranche-sur-Mer is a place you simply must visit on your French Riviera yacht charter.

To discuss yacht charters in Villefranche-sur-Mer and on the French Riviera (Cote d’Azur), please contact a charter broker at Bespoke Yacht Charter:

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