Villefranche Cruise Port
Villefranche-sur-Mer sparkles on the French Riviera with the Alps in the background and nearby the famous resorts of Nice and Cannes. The deepest natural harbor in the Mediterranean, the port was used by Greeks and Romans in their travels and still hosts visiting naval fleets. The gorgeous scenery of this Cote d'Azur town has featured in many movies, from Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief, the James Bond film, Never Say Never Again, The Jewel of the Nile and The Bourne Identity.
The dazzling landscape features the 16th-century Citadel and historic medieval buildings right along the coast. This quaint fishing town is a wonderful location from which to experience the unique lifestyle on the Riviera, visiting Nice, Monaco and Cannes.
How to Get to Villefranche
The way in to town is steep but worth the effort. Walking from the harbor takes you into the narrow curved streets and alleys of the historic old town in only ten minutes. Leave the port and turn right towards the bay to escape to the beach for an afternoon of sun tanning! The train station is located above the beach, accessible by stairway and offers regular train services to Monaco, Nice and Cannes, and picturesque village Beaulieu-sur-Mer is only a stop away.
Exclusive seaside mansions adorn Saint Jean-Cap Ferrat, including the villa built for Baroness Rosthschild, and a lighthouse you can climb for panoramic views. Rent a car or taxi to explore the area, with local companies offering pick-up at the Cruise Terminal, or take the motorized multi-car 'train' to different areas of Villefranche.
One Day in Villefranche
Enjoy the shops and cafes on Rue du Poilu and Place Amélie Pollonnais, to sample local flavors like the aperitif, pastis (aniseed), olive oil, local cheese, Niçoise salad and wine. Try the Provençal food market on Saturday and antiques market on Sunday and look for local handicrafts, linen textiles and jewelery.
Highlights of the old town are the Citadel (Le Citadelle), a fortress built in the 1500s which houses the Town Hall; museums including Musee Volti, showing the voluptuous bronze work of local sculptor, Antoniucci Volti, and lovely gardens. The coastal footpath around the citadel goes to 14th-century Port de la Darse, the Royal Port and construction of the lighthouse, rope factory and dry dock.
Next visit the Italian Baroque-style St Michael Church, (Eglise St Michel); covered Dark Street (Rue Obscure) and Romanesque St Peter Chapel (Chapelle St Pierre), the interior decorated by French artist and film-maker Jean Cocteau. Wander along the fishing port, Quai Courbet, and through the many parks to enjoy life in Villefranche with the locals. Plage de Villefranche-sur-Mer beach is a ten minute walk northwest of the old town where you can go snorkeling.
Arrive from your cruise ship by tender from the harbor to the small terminal of Villefranches-sur-Mer's tender wharf, next to the heart of downtown. Cruise ships stopping here include Liberty of the Seas, Grand Holiday, Ocean Pearl, Silhouette, Golden Iris, Disney Magic, Solstice and Brilliance of the Seas.
The port of Villefranche, officially named “Port de la Santé” is linked to the fishing history of Villefranche, and while an important port of the Côte d'Azur for cruise ships, it still shelters a flotilla of smaller craft.
Tours & Tickets
For cruise passengers arriving in Cannes with only a single day to see the French Riviera, this privately guided, fully narrated shore excursion to Monaco and ... Read more
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)
If you are a cruise passenger arriving in the port of Cannes and are looking for a tour to discover the glamorous city of Cannes and the beautiful town of ... Read more
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)
When your cruise ship docks in Cannes and you have only a few hours to see this beautiful city, you need a privately guided, fully narrated shore excursion to ... Read more
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)
Do you need to get from the Nice airport to the Monaco cruise port? For a hassle-free cruise transfer, arrange a private driver to pick you up at the Nice ... Read more
Duration: 60 minutes (approx.)