Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Monaco day-trip advice: Villefranche, St. Paul de Vence, Eze

Monaco day-trip advice: Villefranche, St. Paul de Vence, Eze

Old Apr 1st, 2024, 07:03 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 60
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Monaco day-trip advice: Villefranche, St. Paul de Vence, Eze

We'll be in Monaco from 8am to 10pm on a Sunday, April 21, 2024, with Regent Splendour Cruise. I am seriously considering cancelling my scheduled ship excursion and visit nearby village or villages independently. Which of these towns (Villefranche, St. Paul de Vence, Eze) would you recommend for a couple who simply want to spend four or five hours strolling, shopping, dining in a beautiful town that is easy enough to reach? We do not have mobility limitations and we would not mind taking a taxi, if it is necessary and if it is a safe enough option. Our top priority is a beautiful French town, we have never visited France. Thanks in advance, for any advice.
FLNan is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2024, 09:24 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 16,490
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Eze is a steep walk up & back and it is quite small. Not suited for strolling. St Paul is very small also, but no steep hills & strolling is fine. More difficult to get to. Villefranche has steep hills too & small.

I would choose either Nice or Menton. Antibes - but that is farther away.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2024, 09:31 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 60
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by StuDudley

I would choose either Nice or Menton. Antibes - but that is farther away.

Stu Dudley
I will look into the distance and beauty of those two options. Thank you for the help.
FLNan is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2024, 01:32 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,169
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You could get to Nice easily by train from Monaco, but when we were in Monaco port 6 years ago, no taxis were available until 11:00 a.m.!!!! Ended up with rental car, we love Villefranche and going out to Cap Ferrat, which I suggest you do. Nice is very busy, but old Nice is worth a stroll and you can get to the Chagall or Matisse museums there (check days/times open though) Eze is hilltop but not difficult, and so much closer to Monaco, easy walk if dropped off at entrance. St. Paul de Vence quite a bit out of the way, and found the village not nearly as enchanting as we'd hoped, however, lunch at Colombe D'Or made the day worthwhile.
aliced is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2024, 01:36 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 18,126
Received 22 Likes on 4 Posts
We love Antibes! Villefranche is nice except when cruise ships moor there as cruisers fill up the town fast.
St- Paul de Vence isn’t a “ real town” anymore, filled with art galleries. Nice place to stop for lunch.
I have never been to Eze nor want to go there, fear of heights!
We love Nice and stayed there for two weeks last time we went there. Have a Nicoise lunch.

Last edited by HappyTrvlr; Apr 1st, 2024 at 01:39 PM.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2024, 05:10 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 60
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by aliced
You could get to Nice easily by train from Monaco, but when we were in Monaco port 6 years ago, no taxis were available until 11:00 a.m.!!!! Ended up with rental car, we love Villefranche and going out to Cap Ferrat, which I suggest you do.

Nice is very busy, but old Nice is worth a stroll and you can get to the Chagall or Matisse museums there (check days/times open though)

Eze is hilltop but not difficult, and so much closer to Monaco, easy walk if dropped off at entrance.

St. Paul de Vence quite a bit out of the way, and found the village not nearly as enchanting as we'd hoped, however, lunch at Colombe D'Or made the day worthwhile.
These are great destination options, thank you for so much information. I'm glad you mentioned that St. Paul de Vence is not as enchanting as the other options, that helps me eliminate that option.
FLNan is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2024, 05:49 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 60
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr
We love Antibes!
Villefranche is nice except when cruise ships moor there as cruisers fill up the town fast.
St- Paul de Vence isn’t a “ real town” anymore, filled with art galleries. Nice place to stop for lunch.
I have never been to Eze nor want to go there, fear of heights!
We love Nice and stayed there for two weeks last time we went there. Have a Nicoise lunch.
Thank you for all that advice. I never considered Antibes as an option until mentioned here by you and StuDudley. I had St. Paul de Vence as my ship excursion, I'm glad you and Aliced told me a bit more about it. It is nice to know how Villefranche can fill up.
FLNan is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2024, 06:17 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 18,126
Received 22 Likes on 4 Posts
If you weren’t on a ship you would see so and experience so much more of Europe,
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2024, 09:05 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 16,490
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by FLNan
These are great destination options, thank you for so much information. I'm glad you mentioned that St. Paul de Vence is not as enchanting as the other options, that helps me eliminate that option.
I wouldn't say that. We've spent about 22 weeks along the Cote, and we'll be back there for 3 1/2 weeks this June. St Paul is quite enchanting. Just don't go there mid day when everyone else is there. Tourrettes sur Loup in the same region is also enchanting. So are about a dozen or more other "cute little villages" within 45 mins of Nice. But St Paul is just a 1 to 1 1/2 hr visit. So it won't occupy much time. Nice or Menton are your best bets. If you can get there quickly, Antibes is also enchanting.

See attached

Stu Dudley
Attached Files
StuDudley is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2024, 10:38 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
With a five hour time frame, there's no reason why you can't hit two or three spots that will give you the French village experience of your dreams. Eze-Villefranche-Beaulieu, for example. SImply stunning. If you go to Villefranche, don't miss the rue obscure.

In the opposite direction, you could go to the twisty hill village of Roquebrune Cap Martin, visit la Ferme des Citrons, and wind up in Menton, a lovely town that was the home of Jean Cocteau. Many lovely options throughout Menton including a fort by the sea, a medieval old town, and houses painted the colors of oranges and lemons..

Just have the car service of your choice whisk you about, and of course you could take a train back to Monaco if you desire. These are all fairly short distances.

Last edited by shelemm; Apr 1st, 2024 at 10:41 PM.
shelemm is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2024, 11:11 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 23,041
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Ephrussi de Rothschild manor and garden is worth a visit, and the Villa Kérylos is close by (within walking distance).




Michael is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2024, 05:18 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 60
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr
If you weren’t on a ship you would see so and experience so much more of Europe,
You are absolutely right. I hate being limited by cruises but my husband insists this is how we travel. Regent is a nicer cruise line but I'd rather fly in and enjoy time in each country.
FLNan is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2024, 06:46 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Michael
The Ephrussi de Rothschild manor and garden is worth a visit, and the Villa Kérylos is close by (within walking distance).

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca...7698269330371/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca...7698269330371/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca...7698269330371/
Totally agree that these places are wonderful to visit, and even more importantly, have a unique style that is specifically Cote d'Azur. This is a micro-region within Provence that can be appreciated without knowing anything at all, but is even more stunning with a bit of knowledge.
shelemm is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2024, 08:50 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 60
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by StuDudley
I wouldn't say that. We've spent about 22 weeks along the Cote, and we'll be back there for 3 1/2 weeks this June. St Paul is quite enchanting. Just don't go there mid day when everyone else is there.

Tourrettes sur Loup in the same region is also enchanting. So are about a dozen or more other "cute little villages" within 45 mins of Nice.
But St Paul is just a 1 to 1 1/2 hr visit. So it won't occupy much time.
Nice or Menton are your best bets.
If you can get there quickly, Antibes is also enchanting.

See attached

Stu Dudley
Thank you so much, StuDudley. If you had to select one, would you say that Antibes is the most beautiful?
FLNan is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2024, 08:52 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 60
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
[QUOTE=Michael;17549800]The Ephrussi de Rothschild manor and garden is worth a visit, and the Villa Kérylos is close by (within walking distance).


That is beautiful, thank you Michael!
FLNan is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2024, 08:53 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 60
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by shelemm
Totally agree that these places are wonderful to visit, and even more importantly, have a unique style that is specifically Cote d'Azur. This is a micro-region within Provence that can be appreciated without knowing anything at all, but is even more stunning with a bit of knowledge.
Those photos are spectacular! Thank you, Shelemm.
FLNan is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2024, 09:10 AM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 60
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by shelemm
With a five hour time frame, there's no reason why you can't hit two or three spots that will give you the French village experience of your dreams. Eze-Villefranche-Beaulieu, for example. SImply stunning. If you go to Villefranche, don't miss the rue obscure.

In the opposite direction, you could go to the twisty hill village of Roquebrune Cap Martin, visit la Ferme des Citrons, and wind up in Menton, a lovely town that was the home of Jean Cocteau. Many lovely options throughout Menton including a fort by the sea, a medieval old town, and houses painted the colors of oranges and lemons..

Just have the car service of your choice whisk you about, and of course you could take a train back to Monaco if you desire. These are all fairly short distances.
I might select villages closer to Monte Carlo now and hire a car so I can see more than one small village. I do want to see a bit of Monte Carlo while we are in port, just not that much time there. Thanks for helping me, Shelemm. Do you have a favorite beautiful French village?

FLNan is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2024, 10:12 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 607
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What a wonderful trip!
I would definitely get a driver and do a loop of Eze, Villefranche and St-Jean Cap Ferrat. We stayed in Villefranche and loved it and we had a lovely dinner on the water there and a lovely lunch in St. Jean. I liked Nice but I don't think it is as small and charming as it sounds like you are looking for.

I looked on the Cruises in Port Schedule, and you are very lucky there are no ships in Villefranche the day you are there and only one other small boat in Monte Carlo with you. However, there are 5300 passengers arriving in Cannes and 10,000 arriving in Marseille that day. I would stay more in your area, I think Nice could be over run with some of the excursions from those ports. Enjoy!
coral22 is online now  
Old Apr 2nd, 2024, 11:54 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 7,315
Received 6 Likes on 1 Post
We’ve been to all the towns mentioned above many times.
My heart goes to Eze….just love that town. I could easily spend
hours wandering the walkways, shopping, taking photos, having lunch (make sure you reserve though) at a place with a gorgeous view.
St. Paul de Vence is a close second, quite similar.
Last time in the region (Oct, 2019) my lady friends and I booked a driver for the day through
Friends-in-France.com (recommended by a Fodorite)
We chose the route ahead of time and she took great care of us all day.

Here’s Eze


Charming walkways of Eze
TPAYT is online now  
Old Apr 2nd, 2024, 12:14 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 7,315
Received 6 Likes on 1 Post
https://www.friend-in-france.com/

This is the web site
TPAYT is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -