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

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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!

The Riviera in Two Days

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I have avoided the Riviera when visiting Provence, figuring that it would be too busy, too ritzy for my taste. Well, after finally deciding to give it a try—after all it is the Riviera—all I can say is “I get it!!!”

I now see why it is so popular. It is gorgeous! The stunning mountains, the blue sea, the colorful flowers, the Italian-style villas dotting the hillsides are all like something out of a painting.

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Instead of planning too much on our two-day adventure, I wanted just to get a taste of the Côte d’Azur and perhaps save some for another time. I also wanted to avoid the crowds. But I have to say, everything seemed calm in the month of September, while the weather was still balmy.

Our first stop along the way from the Luberon was Gourdon in the Alpes-Maritimes department of Provence. This village has been on my list for some time based on this picture.

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From Gourdon, we headed to Tourrettes-sur-Loup, where we had a reservation at an amazing bed and breakfast for the night, which I will write more about later. The village itself was the most charming of medieval villages with gorgeous views, and I must go back.

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The following day, we drove to Beaulieu-sur-Mer. We parked our car and walked the Promenade Maurice Rouvier to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat to explore the peninsula.

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Once arriving in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, we first made our way to the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, a beautiful rose-colored villa with nine gardens overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

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From there we continued along the coastal path and stopped at Paloma Beach for a dip in the Mediterranean. The water was so warm and calm, and the stunning mountains made it surreal. We continued along the path, taking in more stunning scenery.

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As we made our way back to our car in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, we stopped for a drink along the coastal path and then started on our almost three-hour ride back to the Luberon. Needless to say, I must return to spend more time in the Côte d’Azur. Though I can’t give up my Vaucluse region of Provence entirely.

À bientôt!