One Day Villefranche or Nice

Apr 14th, 2006, 10:04 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 520
One Day Villefranche or Nice

We are taking a Venice-Barcelona cruise this summer on Oceania. We will have one day in Monte Carlo, and have visted here before and have taken an excursion (drive) to Nice and Eze. This time, we are going to be a little more adventurous and head out on our own. From info on Fodor's we have obtained the train schedules from Monte Carlo to Villefranche and Nice. Having not spent significant time in either city, we are trying to decide which city would be the best option for us for the day. We are very active & fit individuals, like exploring through cities on foot, window shopping, visiting architectural sites, etc. We also would be interested in the beach at Villefranche. We do have 15 hours stop in Monte Carlo the day we are there and plan to get off at Cap d'Ail on the return train(per another recommendation on Fodor's) to do the 2 mile scenic walk back to Monte Carlo. So what would be your recommendation(s) on the two towns--which town and what to see???
hugglynn is offline  
Apr 14th, 2006, 10:14 AM
  #2  
Neopolitan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
There really isn't much to "do" in Villefranche -- that's its charm. If you wanted to spend the day on the beach that would work. I think judging from what you've said otherwise, Nice is your destination. Go to the old town, visit the markets, window shop, have a great lunch at a cafe, do a museum if you want, or just walk and explore. Great idea for the return walk from Cap d'Ail.
 
Apr 14th, 2006, 11:39 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,916
If you're art lovers, don't miss the Chagall and Matisse museums in Nice. From central Nice it's uphill to the Chagall Museum and even further uphill to the Matisse Museum. Even though you like to walk, a one-day city bus pass might serve you better to go to those museums. The Orthodox cathedral is said to the finest of its kind outside of Russia.
TimS is offline  
Apr 14th, 2006, 11:49 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,916
One more idea: Walk to the top of Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill) for sweeping views over Nice.
TimS is offline  
Apr 14th, 2006, 11:56 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,742
I would suggest going to Nice. It's a lively, bustling place and capital of the Cote D'Azur. I love it there! The Cours Saleya market in the old section of the city by the waterfront might be a good place to start. Then you could check out the famous old, art decor hotels along the Boulevard des Anglais. The "Chateau" (which is really a hill) offers a nice vista of the city below. Definitely take a bus up in the hills to the Cimiez district. (You can take a bus up from the Place Massena). In addition to the Matisse Museum, there are a couple Roman ruins (theater, etc) adjacent that are worth exploring.

If you want to venture even further afield, you can take a bus from the Place Massena up the mountain to the hilltop charming town of La Turbie (means "the trophy). It's an approx. 40 minute ride up in bus or taxi. There is a famous, huge monument (the trophy) built by Julius Caesar's legions in commemoration of his victory over the Gauls and surrounding tribes (Ligurians, etc). It is very imposing and served as the border marker or dividing point between Gaul (France) and Italy during Roman times. You can also see some marvelous views of Monte Carlo, Monaco, the palace, and even the coastline of Italy.
Huitres is offline  
Apr 14th, 2006, 12:11 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,156
Nice is a city, Villefranche is a nice little town. Lots of good suggestions for what to do in Nice. Here's a suggestion for Villefranche: walk east to Cap Ferrat and visit the Villa Ephrussi-Rothschild, an over-the-top Belle Epoque house with a wonderful garden. It's located on the peninsula with a view to the Med on either side. Here's a link: http://www.villa-ephrussi.com/www.cu...ussi/index.htm. You can walk all around Cap Ferrat, peeking over the walls and through the gates at the expensive estates. And also to St. Jean, a small village on the Cap.
Mimar is offline  
Apr 14th, 2006, 07:06 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,660
Mimar,

How long is the walk from Villa Ephrussi-Rothschild ti Villefranche?

Thanks,
Dina
dina4 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2006, 07:39 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,237
We stayed in Villefranche and went into Nice one day. We enjoyed the market in Nice, but that was it. I second the idea of the Villa Ephrussi-Rothschild. Also, if you can do it, visit the other house nearby whose name (Kyros??) I have forgotten that is a replica of an ancient Greek villa. We loved it because it was so different from anything we had ever seen.
julies is offline  
Apr 21st, 2006, 04:27 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,156
dina4. sorry to be so slow in replying. (We've had out-of-town visitors.) I looked on www.mappy.com. It said 3.5 kilometers or 2.4 miles from Villefranche to the Villa Ephrussi. The other villa julies mentioned is the Villa Kerylos in Beaulieu just east of Cap Ferrat. It sounds interesting too. If you had a day and liked to walk, you could probably go to both of them.

We actually visited the Villa Ephrussi by taking a bus from Nice. The bus passed the Villa Kerylos first before it continued onto the Cap. So you could do both of these by bus from Nice.
Mimar is offline  
Apr 21st, 2006, 11:24 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,456
In 2004, starting from Beaulieu-S.M. station, I visited both the Greek villa Kerylos and the villa Ephrussi. It was 5 minutes walk to the Greek villa and then 15 minutes more to the Rothschild one, half of it is a very nice flat walk along the coast then becomes a bit uphill. I bought a combination ticket at the Greek villa for both visits. They both belongs to a sort of National assciation of French cultural heritage.

Last year, after visiting Sunday morning broccante market at Villefrance-s.m., I walked up to Villa Ephrussi. That took about 20 minutes leisurely but a pleasant walk.

Both times, I took a light salad lunch with a glass of Rothschild red (of course) at their Rotonde cafe, fortunately at a table by the window. Great view of the bay of Villefranche s.m.from there! Considering the location and set-up, it was not very expensive. Maybe 20Euro or less including coffee. That was a very pleasant and peaceful. I will do that again. Those were end of October and end of November, not a very busy season. I could imagine things could be different in other, busier, times.

In case you are interested the followings were my albums from those visits.

http://s23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...%20Nov%202005/
Villefranche-sur-Mer

http://s23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...u%20Nov%20200/
There are two photos of the cafe Rotonde of Villa Rothschild.

http://s23.photobucket.com/albums/b3...%20Nov%202005/
Taken at Eze-village. You can see on some photos le Cap Ferrat

kappa is offline  
Apr 21st, 2006, 11:56 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,933
The Villa Ephrussi is on bus line #81. Here is the route map between Saint Jean Cap Ferrat and Villefranche. The Villa Eprussi bus stop is "PASSABLE" on the map.

http://www.lignedazur.com/ftp/FR_pla...0corniches.pdf

The guide books I looked up said you can get there by bus, but none said EXACTLY which bus stop to use.

This area is "Secteur CAP et CORNICHE", the #81 schedule is at

http://www.lignedazur.com/horaires_l...d=538&gpl_id=0

select #81

After you get off at PASSABLE, it is another 1/8-1/4miles up the hill to the entrance of the Villa. The Villa garden has various steps up and down.

greg is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 04:29 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 326
I was in VF 2 weeks ago. I walked to Beaulieu and St Jean Cap Ferrat. I preferred bus over train because the bus comes very often and for 1.30 euro you can go any where. (day pass is 4 euro) I would suggest you catch the bus #100, direction Nice, from Monte Carlo. There are many things to do in Nice as suggested by other fodorites. Depending on the period of your 15 hours, you might want to catch the train back from Nice because the last bus from there is 8pm. You can stop in VF for a few hours before you head to Nice. If the weather is nice, get off the stop right after it leaves Beaulieu and walk toward VF. I enjoyed that section of walk looking down toward the harbor. You can hop back on the bus from the main street in VF. Get off at the bus depot and work your way toward the sea. Enjoy.
georgiegirl is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 06:10 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 162
georgiegirl, you had mentioned in an earlier post that you were thinking of staying at Hotel Patricia (I was researching a a couple of hotels in Villefranche a few days ago and saw your comment). I hope you don't mind if I ask if you ended up staying there? And if you did, what did you think? Thanks
Maddy is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 06:56 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,177

Maddy,

I have stayed at Hotel Patricia and would not stay again....it was very bare-bones, but the worst of it was the commuter train that operated near enough to the hotel to be really disturbing.....
Traviata is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 07:33 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 162
Traviata thanks for your feedback - it confirms my suspicions of the Trip Advisor reviews I read on that place. Just on location alone, I wouldn't pof them sounded phony to me.
Maddy is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 07:36 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,177
Maddy,

You're welcome....I don't like to say negative things about a place...what works for one person doesn't always work for another, but, we were really disappointed with this hotel....
Traviata is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 07:39 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 162
oops hit enter by accident. I meant to say that the location alone would have been a drawback, but the numerous glowing reviews of a budget property - most in similar writing style in a short time - seemed phony.
Maddy is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 07:33 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 326
Maddy, some people like that hotel. It stays full but it is not my kind. The train did not bother me. The owner was very nice. It was clean but too small for me and I traveled alone. I don't like the location. I arrived very late at night by train from Avignon so I took the taxi from Nice. I would not have found it on my own from VF train station. I stayed 2 nights because by the time I found another hotel, it was too late to check out. I moved to hotel La Flore and was happy there.
georgiegirl is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 07:47 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 326
BTW, when I get my desktop computer back from the shop, I will post some comments from my trip. It is hard to type on this notebook.
georgiegirl is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2006, 06:59 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 162
Hi georgiegirl. Hope you had a nice trip and I'm looking forward to reading your comments. We’re leaving in a few weeks and will be in Villefranche for 3 nights. There’s not really all that much here on Fodors about the less expensive hotels in Villefranche, so it will be great to get some feedback on 2 hotels.

On the Patricia, I didn’t mean to imply that the place automatically was awful because (my opinion – can’t prove it of course) that some of the reviews were planted. I mean it could still be a nice simple place and the owners add posts to get the place more attention – if so, it obviously worked if the place was full early in the season. Reading the reviews and a post on the Villefranche forum just left me curious for some trustworthy feedback.
Maddy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:29 PM.