Beaulieu-sur-Mer: A Hidden Hideaway in French Riviera
Beaulieu means “Beautiful place” in French. It escaped the commercial over-growth in the French Riviera. It is one of the smallest villages in the area. The lovely seafront gardens and groves pairs with its laid-back ambiance. The focus of the tours is the Greek villa. The sandy beaches and seaside walk is also one of the best tourists-magnets. Let’s take a closer look at Beaulieu-sur-Mer: A hidden hideaway in French Riviera.
Where it’s located
It belongs to the Alpes-Maritimes département in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. Beaulieu-sur-Mer is a seaside village between Villefranche-sur-Mer and Ezé in Côte d’Azur or French Riviera. It is on the north-eastern end of the Cap Ferrat. It is 10 kilometers away from Nice. For most of the year, it has mild and warm Mediterranean temperatures. The climate makes it one of the most delightful places to visit. It covers about less than a square kilometer (about 95 hectares). Tall grey slabs of rocky foothills surround it.
An Old Charm
It retains its architectural heritage from the belle epoque. Curvy turquoise balustrades and ceramic friezes decorate its grand villas. Many royalties and personalities visited this place of still and quiet glamor. Queen Victoria fell in love with it. Lord Salisbury, Prime Minister to Queen Victoria made it his home. A Belgian king bought a large piece of woodland hills over-looking a bay. Gustave Eiffel, builder of the famous tower who has his name made it his winter retreat. He even designed many iconic buildings in the town. Walking around will transport one back to its illustrious past with the traces of its historic and luxurious structures.
A Green Haven
Flowers with bright colors and graceful palms line the seafront gardens. Magnolia trees, parasol pines, and cypresses grow abundantly. The three main streets are sprawling with citrus trees bearing ripe fruits. There is also a grassy park with a century-old olive grove. The rich greenery perfumes the air, creating a calm aura for all to enjoy. Two gardens stand out from the rest. Le Jardin de l’Olivaie- Square Calmette has olive trees that shows the trees close connection to the life of Beaulieu-sur-Mer. It is the site of Beaulieu’s Guitar Nights festival. Square Verdun faces Plage de Fourmis near the Casino. It boasts many exotic species of plants and many kinds of palm trees.
Enjoy the Beaulieu view
The two beaches: The seafront has two separate beaches. Plage Fourmis, the smaller of the two, is on the south of the center. It gives a scenic view of the east coast of Cap Ferrat. The small port here has the same name, Port de Fourmis. Only small family boats and yachts docks here. The other and the larger one is Plage Petite Afrique. This has a natural harbor and the most sheltered between the two. Locals also tell a story that the first banana tree in Europe is first planted here. Relax on the sandy beaches and soak up on the sun. Or go swim on its clear sea. Many resorts offer water or jet skiing, wind-surfing, and boat rides.
The shady seaside Promenade Maurice Rouvier leads directly to Saint-Jean-Cap Ferrat. Beside it is the Marina- Le Port de Plaisance. It has a very good reputation on an international scale. It offers pleasure-boating, with shops, restaurants, and bars.
Museé du Patrimoine Berlugan André Cane: The museum has an interesting collection of vintage photos. It also houses Roman coins and ceramics, and a prehistoric skeleton that testifies to ancient dwellers of the town.
Some amenities to enjoy
La Table de la Reservé: It serves the finest market-fresh dishes. Their menu includes mini pizzas, gnocchi, fish stews, and roast chicken. It also has an open-plan kitchen and a classy but affordable bistro. They serve a famous dessert îles flottantes.
Marcello: Across the port, one can have a taste of an award-winning Lambrusco. They also serve other fresh Italian appetizers.
Le Berlugan a la Plage: Relish the seaside view while having a classic Provencal dish in this upscale restaurant. It offers valet parking and boat service for yacht owners.
Divine Farines: One can find a wide variety of bread with organic flour or gluten-free goods. French baguette is, of course, ever present. Their pastries include chocolate or croissant buns, and muffins good for gourmet picnics. They also sell salads, sandwiches, and bagels. The best they can offer is their matcha green tea brioche and turmeric bread.
It serves as the main activity place as the main square of Beaulieu. The first mayor of the town bears its name. It is a multi-function meeting area with olive trees and festive lamps. At its center is an old-fashioned, grey-green colored, iron-wrought stall. It comes very much alive in summer. Live bands play here, with weekly balls, and fireworks. There is also a daily morning produce market that offers fresh goods, fruits, and vegetables. On Saturdays, the market has goods for a more slicker group of customers with handcrafted jewelry, leather handbags, silky tunics, and other ornate wares. They even sell genuine lavender soaps.
Casino and Cinéma de Beaulieu
High-rollers join the betting action while enjoying the concerts. The casino has slot machines and traditional table games. The Baccara is the restaurant inside overlooking the Plage des Fourmis. This outdoor terrace restaurant offers a southern Italian menu for lunch on a fixed price. The cinema is next to the casino has a high-end theater. It features a great international selection of films in their original edition.
Les Salons de La Rotonde LeNotré
It is a perfect model of Belle Epoque structure. The former Bristol Hotel used it as its dining hall. It belongs to the list of Historic Monument. The meeting of the sea and the mountain gives an amazing view. Enjoy rich gastronomy with delicate menus and exceptional desserts. it can accommodate 20 to 250 guests seated and 400 people cocktail. It has a ground floor area of 400 sq. meter. There is also a terrace overlooking the sea.
The Greek Villa Kerylos
Mosaics, marble, frescoes, and a collection of treasures from the 6th and 10th century decorate the interior of ancient Greek villas. It is a faithful reproduction of the original structure. It transports visitors back to the ancient way of life of the Athenians. Theodore Reinach built this copy of the ancient noble dwelling. He is an archeologist and a lover of everything Greek. Its location is in the rocky tip of the bay of Plage des Fourmis. Behind it are the cliffs of Eze. Facing the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is the villa’s garden overlooking the sea. It got its name from Greek kerylos, a bird of good omen in the mythologies. It is now a museum open to the public.
How to get there
Via Air: Nice is the logical way since it has the airport. Beaulieu-sur-Mer is 6 kilometers west of Nice.
Via Train: It is on the TER line 4 that runs from Nice to Menton.
This wondrous Mediterranean resort village fuses antiquity and modernity. Everyone can find something to cherish from this French Riviera’s hidden hideaway of Beaulieu-sur-Mer.
Click this link to see the Tourism Offices information.
Please visit Beaulieu-sur-Mer’s Official Tourism Portal.