2 Best Sights in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, The French Riviera

Villa Kerylos

Fodor's choice
Room, Villa Kerylos, The French Riviera, France
(c) Photogolfer | Dreamstime.com

One manifestation of Beaulieu's Belle Époque excess is the eye-popping Villa Kerylos, a 1902 mansion built in the style of classical Greece (to be exact, of the villas that existed on the island of Delos in the 2nd century BC). It was the dream house of amateur archaeologist Théodore Reinach, who hailed from a wealthy German family, helped the French in their excavations at Delphi, and became an authority on ancient Greek music. He commissioned an Italian architect from Nice, Emmanuel Pontremoli, to surround him with Grecian delights: cool Carrara marble, rare fruitwoods, and a dining salon where guests reclined to eat à la grecque. It's one of the most unusual houses in the south of France.

Promenade Maurice-Rouvier

Today Beaulieu is usually spoken of in the past tense and has taken on a rather stuffy character. Its small beach, however, attracts families with children, and on the Promenade Maurice-Rouvier, a paved pedestrian path that begins not far from the Villa Kerylos, you can stroll the waterfront, past grand villas and their tropical gardens, all the way to St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. The 30-minute walk winds along the Baie des Fourmis (Bay of Ants)—whose name alludes to the black rocks that appear to be "crawling" up from the sea—and has great views of the sparkling Mediterranean and surrounding mountains.