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Nice to Monaco
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It all began as a fishing port (like so many French Riviera resorts) and now Villefranche-sur-Mer is one of the region's most elegant and sought-after resorts. For pleasure-seekers, nothing beats a day at Villefranche's splendid bay, studded with yachts and bordered by a wide, sandy beach. The shallow drop-off makes the Villefranche's Marinieres beach an ideal family beach.
Villefranche-sur-Mer is a major stop for cruises (250,000 passengers yearly) which means that the tiny old town can be quite busy on summer mornings. In addition to its charming but touristy medieval centre, Villefranche is known for its markets. The Saturday morning market (8am to 1pm) is a good place to pick up local produce and crafts and second-hand dealers organize a day-long Sunday market to sell various odds & ends.
What to See & Do
Strolling the streets of the Old Town is one of the greatest pleasures of Villefranche. The pastel-colored houses bordering the fishing port beg to be photographed and you'll have gorgeous views of Villefranche's bay. Notice the unusual arcaded rue Obscure and the busy rue du Poilu.
A day at the Villefranche beach is just the thing to chase away winter blues. The water is sparkling clean and the gravelly sand is easy on the feet.
Where to Eat
The seafood-themed restaurants along the harbor are good but pricey. Try Carpaccio near the beach, or the sprawling La Mere Germaine closer to the Old Town. Next door, Orsin Blue is another good choice. For cheaper and more casual dining, try one of the pizza, snack or mussels eateries on rue de Poilu.
Where to Stay
Getting to Villefranche-sur-Mer
See the Villefranche-sur-Mer municipal site for more information.
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