Sitting next door to Nice, just beyond Mt Boron, Villefranche-sur-Mer is a charming resort. With a beautiful harbour set in a sheltered bay with a fascinating old town, Villefranche boasts a great beach and a flea market to die for every Sunday.
The bay mentioned above is known as the Rade de Villefranche which acts a deep water anchorage. Consequently it takes the huge cruise liners which visit Nice and are unable to anchor in the shallow Bassin Lympia.
Meanwhile, the inner harbour, or Darse, is for pleasure craft and fishing boats. For nature lovers whale and dolphin spotting trips operate from the nearby Gare Maritime.
For history buffs there is the fascinating rue Obscure, a 13th century covered street, 130m/142yds long, below the old houses and very similar to the covered street in Dolceacqua. (see image below) Constructed as an open street it was soon covered over by houses as the town grew in size. At the entrance is an artwork by Jean Cocteau.
Market: Brocante/Flea Market every Sunday.
Don’t miss: the Chapelle St-Pierre decorated with frescoes by Jean Cocteau or the 16th century Citadelle towering above the town.