Connected to a picturesque fishing village on France’s Mediterranean coast just west of Cap Ferrat, Villefranche cruise port—officially named Port de la Santé—serves as a gateway to the French Riviera. With its quaint harbor, pastel-painted buildings, and sloping streets, the medieval village of Villefranche-sur-Mer is a charming place to spend the day. The port also makes a strategic starting point for trips to glamorous Cote d’Azur resort towns, including Nice, Cannes, and Monaco, as well as the enchanting villages of Provence.
Travelers disembarking at Villefranche cruise port are spoiled for choice when it comes to half-day and full-day shore excursion options. The port is within easy reach of Nice’s old town (3 miles or 5 kilometers away), Monte Carlo in Monaco (9 miles or 15 kilometers away), attraction-packed Antibes (22 miles or 35 kilometers away), chic Cannes (25 miles or 40 kilometers away), and celebrity favorite St. Tropez (80 miles or 128 kilometers away). Also nearby are smaller, more laid-back villages such as Eze (5 miles or 8 kilometers away), St Paul de Vence (16 miles or 26 kilometers away), and Valbonne (23 miles or 38 kilometers away). Some shore excursions include food and wine tastings, private yacht cruises, sports-car driving experiences, and the opportunity to cross the border to tour the Italian Riviera.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Most Villefranche shore excursions include pickup and drop-off at the Villefranche cruise port.
- Most shore excursions last for between four and eight hours.
- Opt for a private tour to ensure you get to see all the sights you want.
How to Get to Nice from Villefranche Cruise Port
Regional TER trains connect Villefranche to Nice. The walk from the port to Villefranche train station should take under 10 minutes, while the train journey to Nice takes just eight. TER trains also connect Villefranche to Monaco, with the journey taking around 20 minutes. The 100 bus runs from Nice to Menton, making stops at Villefranche, Eze, and Monaco along the way. The bus departs every 15 to 20 minutes during the day. If you are taking the bus, be sure to allow plenty of time to get back to Villefranche port, as during the busy summer months buses often fill up, meaning you may not be able to board the first one that comes along.
Villefranche is a tender port. Large cruise ships anchor in the harbor and transport passengers to a small terminal in the heart of town via smaller vessels, known as tenders.