We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Nice stop (Villefranche) on large cruise ship in late July.

Salem, Illinois
Level Contributor
122 posts
27 reviews
Save Topic
Nice stop (Villefranche) on large cruise ship in late July.

We are taking a Cruise in late July and wanted some ideas of things to do while in Nice/Villefranche. Our ship is a bigger one so I'm guessing it's stopping in the bigger port. We love the beach and would love to go to a great beach but want to see the town also. Should we try and catch a taxi on our own and hire a driver for the day?

Vence, France
Level Contributor
6,820 posts
146 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Nice stop (Villefranche) on large cruise ship in late July.

No, the ship will anchor in the Rade de Villefranche and you will have to disembark by boat. The Cote d'Azur is not a good place for great beaches. Visit Nice instead.

Edited: 18 February 2014, 18:14
Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
5,226 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Nice stop (Villefranche) on large cruise ship in late July.

Villefranche' beach is what I would describe as coarse sand , and for a soft beach, you could head to Cannes or Antibes. Those destinations would be a little under an hour away, and I'm not sure that's what I would do. I'd really hate for you to miss Nice, Eze or Cap Ferrat. Research these destinations and come back if you want the "how to's" for doing this on your own. Nice's beach is the region's natural stones and with shoes and a chair, you might want to give it a try. However, you could enjoy the uniqueness of this setting as part of a day trip to Nice without all of the paraphernalia that is "a day at the beach."

Antibes, France
Level Contributor
8,919 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Nice stop (Villefranche) on large cruise ship in late July.

Villefranche is probably the best beach in the area - if small it makes up for it in fabulous scenery. Sand is not a great feature of the area -the mountains tumble straight into the sea ,the water is very deep and sand is very slow to form. What you see is trucked in from elsewhere for the most part.

On the plus side the tide never goes out.

Ed

Vence, France
Level Contributor
6,820 posts
146 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Nice stop (Villefranche) on large cruise ship in late July.

Your ship will anchor approx. half a mile from the beach in Villefranche. On approaching take a binocular, head to the bow of the ship and see if there is still any space for you at this beach. Then make up your mind if you really want to. We're talking end July. On a quiet day mid-week it will look like this:

lexpress.fr/pictures/336/172395_une-plage-de…

Or check out Cannes:

…wikimedia.org/wikipedia/…Cannes_Plage.JPG

Edited: 18 February 2014, 20:04
Salem, Illinois
Level Contributor
122 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Nice stop (Villefranche) on large cruise ship in late July.

Thanks so much for the information. The beaches do not look appealing. I hate to miss the beauty of Nice/Villefranche' and the surrounding area. We are not much on big bus tours and would like a more private tour of the area but don't think we could do it on our own. any suggestions?

Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
5,226 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Nice stop (Villefranche) on large cruise ship in late July.

Public transportation in the Côte D'Azur is excellent, and you really can do it on your own. Nice is a short train ride fron the VF station that sits above the beach and harbor where you will land. The same goes for Monte Carlo and to get to Eze, you can take a very enjoyable 20 - 30 minute walk to Beaulieu sur Mer and board the 83 bus to the village. You will avoid the crush of traveling with your fellow cruise passengers who will stand in line to board this same bus at the Eze train station. I'm a traveler and I understand how intimidating journeys like this can sound from home, but we can give you details and landmarks that will make you more comfortable. With a guide, you are on their schedule, and we can help you kick back and enjoy your own pace. It really is easy. Let us know where you want to go, and we'll get you to and from the bus stops and train stations.

Ed, I found your post very interesting. A couple of days ago, I was looking at a satellite image of the region and it showed the ocean topography. The drop off is quite dramatic in the Rivière, and you could see it become less steep as you moved west. Seeing that and your discussion makes the character of the beaches in the Côte d'Azur make sense, and why they are so different from, say, the southeastern coast in the US.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
5,550 posts
341 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Nice stop (Villefranche) on large cruise ship in late July.

Tplus is a very new and very negative poster, and also contradictory.

While the beaches of cote d'azure are not like the Caribbean or Australia, they are much better than many places on this planet -- the water is clean and not too cold, the tide is not harsh, the sunshine is great and the atmosphere wonderful.

Villefranche is a charming and pretty little town and the beach is convenient and free.

Nice is also wonderful, although there- the beaches are rockier and you may want to pay for a loungechair.

How many hours do you have?

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
12,764 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Nice stop (Villefranche) on large cruise ship in late July.

Doby is exactly right about tplus. And the photos he posted give a very skewed view.

Both are public beaches taken on very busy days....likey at the middle of the day.

You can go and rent a sun lounger at a place like nearby Beaulieu sur Mer and have a lovely day on the beach.

azuralive.com/2009/06/beaulieusurmer-the-bea…

Antibes, France
Level Contributor
8,919 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Nice stop (Villefranche) on large cruise ship in late July.

If you get up early -unlike most tourists - you will have a clean beach with great water to yourself. Maybe one or two locals walking an (illegal) dog.

Ed

Vence, France
Level Contributor
6,820 posts
146 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Nice stop (Villefranche) on large cruise ship in late July.

Hey, don't take my word for it, I'm just living here for 15 years and visiting the Cote for 24 years now. There will shure be better insights from New York or Vancouver. That's why I recommended to bring out the binocular so you can check for yourself.

And indeed I cannot comment how a beach does look like at 6 am. But without one single exception, I found the beach in Villefranche on a sunny day in summer to look like that. And worse. When you check out this aerial view:

http://goo.gl/maps/aDSv7

you might want to ask yourself what these parkings all along the beach and east of the beach are for. Then you imagine on average 3 people in each car. And guys will arrive by foot too. And then take in account, that the beach is not very profound. Now really, what would you expect?

Renting a private sun lounger is certainly an alternative (there aren't any in Villefranche), but in late July you often have to reserve in advance. But there are sun loungers already on the ship, aren't they?

Edited: 19 February 2014, 11:29