Sightseeing – VILLEFRANCHE-SUR-MER (Painter’s Trail)

I have recently visited Villefranche-sur-Mer for the first time in about 3 years, and I was amazed by how beautiful it is.  As I walked from the train station toward the old town, it is one of those places that make you say ‘Wow!’.


Villefranche-sur-Mer is one of the more picturesque towns on the French Riviera, showcasing it’s charm with a traditional village atmosphere mixed with maritime and historical points of interest including Port de la Darse and the Citadelle Saint-Elme.

Citadelle Saint Elme, Villefranche sur Mer

Citadelle Saint Elme, Villefranche sur Mer

It is also one of the busiest towns in the high season. The deep water harbour is favoured by cruise ships that disembark passengers for organised tours, it is a ‘must-see’ destination on many coach itineraries, there is a renown French Language school located here, and residents come from nearby Nice, Monaco and Italy to enjoy the beach and change of pace.

It is easy to see why artists flocked to Villefranche-sur-Mer with it’s combination of paintbox-hue houses and terrace restaurants lining the seafront, the rugged Corniche hillsides, a lovely Old Town (vieille ville) dotted with churches and flower boxes cascading from balconies, and a view that stretches from the Cap of Nice across the bay to the peninsula of Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat.

quai Admiral Courbet, Villefranche sur Mer

quai Admiral Courbet, Villefranche sur Mer

In my previous ‘avant-France’ life, I was a coach of Special Olympics and also a travel consultant for many years so you could say I have an affinity for ensuring all travellers – regardless of mobility – have access to information regarding sightseeing, attractions and other travel advice that will present them with the best travel experience they can possibly have.  And now I am a mother, navigating the travel highway with a child/children (and multiple suitcases, car seats, baby strollers) also factors consideration to travel planning.

One of my interests is art, and I do appreciate that access to art galleries or tours in France can be a struggle when traveling with children, or if you have reduced mobility.

So, I have updated a painter’s trail for this region with the addition of a few extras and more information regarding accessibility to each location.

Trail Note: Locations are marked 1-9 and are suitable for able-bodied tourists able to manage walking up some flights of stairs; locations 1-3 and numbers 6-9 only are accessible to families with children in baby buggies/strollers, persons with reduced mobility, or wheelchair-bound tourists and are located on paved surfaces.

I hope you enjoy my Villefranche-sur-Mer Painter’s Trail.  Please click on the link below to open the Word document:


I would love some feedback on this itinerary I have compiled (I am trying to source a map to plot the locations but it is proving difficult to scale the town and source a blank map, so I may have to create my own map – watch this space!)