An Overview of Villefranche Sur Mer
With a bay so stunning it’s regularly voted one of the most beautiful views in the world, the little town of Villefranche is something very special indeed. Part of the famed French Riviera “golden triangle” along with Beaulieu Sur Mer and St Jean Cap Ferrat, Villefranche is truly gorgeous. The little town started out as a free port with special tax privileges to entice local people to live on the coast and protect the land from marauding pirates. These days pirates are few and far between, but you can still find a few tax exiles here and there, including The Rolling Stones who wrote and recorded their album ‘Exile on Main Street’ in Villefranche. Made popular by Queen Victoria who visited with her entourage while staying in Nice, Villefranche has played host to a whole variety of visitors over the years. Former residents include Royalty, distinguished writers and artists, film stars and musicians and even the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet who used it as a Mediterranean base for years. But despite its popularity, Villefranche is still remarkably unspoilt and has managed to keep a unique sense of small town charm on the busy French Riviera. One visit to Villefranche and we promise you’ll be hooked on this idyllic little seaside resort.
From its glorious Mediterranean climate to its ideal location between Nice and Monaco, Villefranche is the quintessential location on the French Riviera. The town centre is divided between the upper portion on the main road to Monaco and the 2 ports down on the seafront. There are lots of chic boutiques and stores to browse and dozens of restaurants and bistros for leisurely lunches or a cheeky aperitif The terraced streets that lead down to the beach are full of brightly-coloured terracotta and ochre houses, a little souvenir of the town’s past as an Italian protectorate. Stroll around the old town and discover shady passageways built into the rocks and pretty little stone fountains in tiny squares surrounded by olive trees, Villefranche couldn’t be any more picturesque if it tried! The Port de la Santé is full of bars and cafés open late into the evening where you can linger over your after dinner coffee and people watch from the terrace.
There’s no shortage of things to see and do in town with a 16th-century Citadel housing 4 museums, an open-air theatre and gardens in the very heart of Villefranche. There are 2 churches to visit, both of which are historic monuments and one of which was decorated by Jean Cocteau himself when he lived in Villefranche. The port of La Darse might not have quite as many restaurants and bars as the Port de la Santé, but it is home to an 18th-century lighthouse and rope factory which are well worth a look today.The two ports are connected by a quick and easy walk around the headland, it’s a nice little after dinner stroll to work up an appetite for dessert or ice cream down on the place Amélie Polonais The beautiful bay is one of the deepest in the Mediterranean, perfect for sailing and watersports enthusiasts to try out the latest crazes. And the golden beach which curves around the bay of Villefranche is popular both day and night during the hot summer months.
Villefranche is practically perfect in every way, but the rest of the French Riviera is pretty darn fabulous too. Pop down the road to Cannes, Antibes or Monaco for a day in the big city or a wild night out with friends. Escape to Italy for a delicious lunch in the hills or reserve a table at Anjuna Beach in nearby Eze Sur Mer for an evening to remember. In winter, head up to the nearby mountains and make the most of living less than 2 hours away from the region’s best ski resorts. Skiing, swimming, sailing, there are so many options that you’ll never have a dull moment once you make the move to the South of France.
Living in Villefranche Sur Mer
Cocteau once said “‘When I see Villefranche, I see my youth again.” and the lucky residents of this little town do seem to lead a charmed life. As a Villefranchois, you’ll be able to enjoy all the advantages that come with living in one of the most beautiful seaside resorts in the world. Make like the locals and visit the market every weekend for your shopping, take part in any or all of the traditional festivals held throughout the year and find your favourite spot for lunch in the port on one of the many sunny terraces.
Sports fans will love the town’s tennis courts, scuba diving centre, football and fitness stadiums which will definitely keep you busy all year round. And living so close to the ocean makes it incredibly easy to get out onto the water with a yacht or motorboat charter. Sail around the harbour and spot some of Villefranche’s friendliest inhabitants, the dolphins and whales who live in this part of the Mediterranean and spend their days playing in the azure blue waters. The bay is incredibly sheltered, and of course, Villefranche also has that wonderful French Riviera climate, so most people spend as much time outdoors as possible in this part of the world
For a slice of Provençal culture, discover the town’s museums dedicated to art and history and explore the 16th-century fortress which has a breathtaking view of St Jean Cap Ferrat from its lovely flower garden. Catch a play or a show in the town’s outdoor amphitheatre or see the latest Hollywood blockbuster in the cosy modern cinema. Villefranche organises concerts and music events all year long, so you’ll have no excuse not to go out and enjoy some of the French Riviera’s best live music whenever you’re in town. And the spectacular fireworks displays over the bay in the summer months will have you oohing and aahing as you watch the sky light up from the comfort of your terrace.
When it comes to nightlife in Villefranche, the port is the place to be. Head down to the Port de Santé for dinner with friends and family in your favourite restaurant and then stop off for drinks in one of the many chic bars on the waterfront, car and yacht valet guaranteed naturally. If you fancy trying your luck at the gaming tables, the recently renovated and extremely glamorous casino in neighbouring Beaulieu Sur Mer is just a short walk away. Spend an evening trying to beat the house before heading home to fabulous Villefranche.
Whether you decide to purchase a house in the heart of the old village, or you prefer to be up in the hills overlooking the port, life in Villefranche will be everything you expect plus that little bit more. Isn’t it about time you treated yourself to the lifestyle you deserve in the South of France?
Villefranche might be one of the smallest towns on the French Riviera, but it’s also one of the busiest. Throw yourself into village life and enjoy a whole range of traditional festivals, concerts, markets and much more throughout the year. Here are some of the more popular events you won’t want to miss out on:
- Combat Navale Fleuri ~ February
- Printemps des Poêtes ~ March
- Printemps des Chorales ~ March
- Citadell’arte ~ Mai
- La Nuit des Musées ~ Mai
- Youth Festival ~ May
- Fete de la Musique ~ June
- Lifeboat lights festival ~ July
- Musical Moments Festival~ July
- Village Ball ~ August
- Fête de la Saint-Grat~ September
- Beaujolais Nouveau Celebrations~ November
- Christmas Market~ December
Villefranche Properties For Sale
Who wouldn’t want to live in beautiful Villefranche? The big question is not if you should move here, but rather when should you move here? And with several of the world’s most sought-after villas built in and around the town, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding the right Villefranche property for sale. To find your dream house in what may well be the prettiest town in France, browse our fantastic selection of luxury properties below. We’ve got everything from villas to penthouse apartments for sale in Villefranche. Take your pick and then contact our real estate agency for more information.
Set in a quiet, residential area, this villa in the heights of Villefranche would make a perfect holiday home for leisurely vacations. Built in a traditional Provençal style and recently renovated, the villa has 5 ensuite bedrooms with plenty of room for the whole family. The living/dining area is light and airy and opens onto a very pretty terrace. In the large gardens, you’ll find an outdoor swimming pool, barbeque area and summer dining room, pretty much everything you need for fabulous holidays in the French Riviera.
This beautiful apartment in one of Villefranche’s most prestigious residences is a fantastic investment. Decorated in a modern, neutral style, the living/dining area opens out onto a terrace with stunning views over neighbouring St Jean Cap Ferrat. There are 3 ensuite bedrooms plus a studio with an independent entrance and private terrace, ideal for when the kids get older and want a bit more privacy. The apartment has air con throughout which will be a real bonus when the summer heat kicks in. And the residence offers on-site security plus a live-in concierge, so you know your property will be well looked after when you’re out of town.
If you plan to spend your days relaxing in the French Riviera sunshine, this gorgeous 4-bedroom villa in one of the most sought-after areas of Villefranche is an incredible choice. Set amongst shady palm trees, the area around the villa is quiet and peaceful. The living space is bright and spacious with a large covered terrace for dinner parties or cocktails. There is a beautiful swimming pool in the garden plus a barbeque area, and you’ll love the stunning views over the bay right down to the Cap d’Antibes.
This contemporary 8-bedroom property under construction in Villefranche will be ideal if you love to entertain. Wow your guests with gorgeous panoramic sea-views from all 5 floors including the rooftop terrace. There are 2 master bedrooms on the 4th floor with a private terrace and a your very own jacuzzi with the best views in town. The other bedrooms are spread out over the 3rd floor plus there are staff quarters on the 1st floor. Downstairs, you’ll find 2 kitchens which will make hosting dinner parties a breeze, plus a lovely dining room which opens out onto the terrace. For an evening they’ll never forget, invite your friends over and spend the evening on the roof terrace. The pool house and lounge area are perfect for cocktails while nobody will be able to resist taking a dip in the stunning heated pool. There ain’t no party like a Villefranche party!
Those are just a small collection of our luxury Villefranche property for sale. You can find the whole portfolio above or get in touch with our Villefranche real estate specialists to get notified whenever a new property comes on the market.
Investing in Villefranche Real Estate
When it comes to investing in luxury real estate, location is key. Which is why buying a property in beautiful Villefranche is such a great idea. Whether you’re looking to make your home in the French Riviera or you’re planning on purchasing as an investment, you can’t go wrong with this little seaside town. Here are just some of the reasons why:
The ideal location between the Mediterranean and the mountains
The small-town vibe- there are less than 8000 full-time residents in Villefranche
The fabulous sheltered beach in the bay of Villefranche
The incredible climate- hot summers and warm winters are the perfect combinations
The proximity to Nice, St Jean Cap Ferrat and Monaco, all just minutes away from Villefranche
The great selection of restaurants and bistros all over the town
The charm and authenticity of the village with its 12th-century streets and buildings
The easy access from any major city, thanks to the Nice Cote d’Azur International Airport just down the road
- The glorious ski resorts of the Southern Alps are located just a couple of hours away, so ski season can last all winter long
How to buy a House in Villefranche
If this is your first time buying property in France, we'll help you understand the purchase process.
This is set up to protect both buyer and seller and usually only takes a couple of months from start to finish. From putting in an offer to collecting the keys to your new home we’ll be with you every step of the way, so the only thing that you’ll need to do is find your perfect property from our fantastic selection.
To help you understand how it works, we've visualised the purchase process in France on the following infographic.
Arrange a Viewing
If beautiful Villefranche has caught your eye, we’d be delighted to help you purchase the perfect home. Contact our team for more information about the area and to organise viewings of any of our luxury Villefranche properties today. Your new life in France starts here.