Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat: A Slice of Quiet on the French Riviera

IMG_3031.JPG

After much research on where to go for a “taste” of the Côte d’Azur—while wanting to avoid the crowds—we resolved that Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat was what we were looking for. After all, it is apparently a place for millionaires and European aristocracy, according to one source. Sounded good to us!

As we made our way to the village along a corniche road, passing Nice and Villefranche-sur-Mer, we caught glimpses of sparkling blue sea with yachts scattered about and private gardens nestled in the hillside. Something told us that this was a place we could get use to. There was an old-world elegance from the days of Grace Kelly and Cary Grant, and not much had changed.

IMG_3068.JPG

Upon arrival, we started out on the Promenade Maurice Rouvier, in the village of Beaulieu-sur-Mer, and made our way to the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild for our first stop. (More about Villa Ephrussi next time.)

IMG_2931

From the villa, we proceeded on to Paloma Beach, with its stunning view of the cliffs of Beaulieu-sur-Mer and Eze. After a dip in the Mediterranean, we continued on the beautiful walkway that goes around the peninsula. We stuck to the Plage de la Paloma loop trail, which takes about 45 minutes. If you have time, the entire walk around Saint-Jean-Cap Ferrat takes about two hours on the Tour du Cap trail. There is also a walk called the Promenade de Saint-Hospice, which starts around the port and takes you past Paloma Beach, circling back to the port in about an hour and a half.

IMG_3070

In the month of September, the Côte d’Azur was really quite peaceful. But now, after a wonderful day getting a taste of the Côte, it’s time to make our journey back to our rental in Bonnieux.

À bientôt!

Banon: The Prettiest of Them All?

IMG_4758

At the top of Banon, located in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department, there is the prettiest group of houses all bedecked with flowers, whose colors change depending on the season. This is absolutely one of the most photogenic spots if you are looking for charm. Additionally, as you continue to walk up on the far left side of the village, there are more charming little homes with more colorful flowers on the road leading out of the village.

I like to walk up to the top the fun way. Right across from the parking lot is a steep set of narrow, broken steps that just beckon exploration. Where do they go? These are the kind of steps that make you wonder if you are really suppose to be on them. But the curiosity makes you continue on. At the top, you come out to the most charming group of houses.

IMG_4794.JPG

Banon has a rustic charm that reminds me of Bourgogne. There is no doubt, though, that you are in Provence with the gorgeous fields of wheat and lavender below.

IMG_4834

Banon is known for its AOC goat cheese matured in brown chestnut leaves. And the village has a few shops and cafés along with a charming little épicerie, where the charismatic “Uncle Henry” is still singing away carefree as ever, living the simple life.

I leave you with more of Banon.

À bientôt!