Doorways Ltd - vacations and travel

La Fontaine

Villefranche sur Mer
,  Cap Ferrat
,  St-Tropez and Monaco, France, Europe

from $2,682* per property 15 Days Year-round
Boutique accommodations 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom
Operator: Doorways Ltd Comfortably sleeps 3
  • Villefranche-sur-mer, france
  • Rest & Rejuvenation trips
The location of this apartment is truly a gem! Located right on the waterfront in an historic 13th-18th century building, the apartment has a private balcony with spectacular views of the bay, the beach, and the Corniche cliffs and Cap Ferrat in the distance. In the morning, you are greeted by sparkling light and the sights and sounds of the village awakening. In the evening, lights dance on the water and the gentle sounds of the surf create a romantic ambience.

The street entrance to the building is on an intimate village square with a lion fountain and bench at the end of one of the pedestrian streets of the old town. The front of the apartment — the balcony, living and dining area, kitchen and bathroom — overlooks the waterfront, with a panoramic view of the bay and beach and Cap Ferrat in the distance. The back of the apartment — the bedroom — looks out onto the little square and is therefore nice and quiet.

The building, once an olive mill, has a long and fascinating history that dates back 700 years. One of the gates of this formerly fortified town was once at the corner of this very building. The gate is gone now, and in its place is a little walking lane to the beach. Additional levels were added to the building over time, all constructed with thick stone walls. The majority of the building is over 300 years old. Close to conveniences — restaurants, shops, boulangeries, grocery stores, the train station, bus stop, and beach — it is nestled in a very quiet and private spot in the village.

Quintessentially French and charming, the square is a favorite place in town, where neighbors gather for their morning chats and to enjoy the fresh spring water from the lion fountain. Folks open shuttered windows to exchange greetings. It's just a short walk along a pleasant lane to the beach and nearby shops and restaurants.

The apartment is decorated with artwork of one of Villefranche’s finest painters and include wonderful village scenes. The floor is made of tiles that form a ruglike pattern known as “Spanish Tapis.” The open plan living/dining room and kitchen are expanded by two sets of French doors, one on each end of the room, opening onto the balcony.

The living room seats six comfortably, with a sofa bed to sleep an extra guest and a comfortable reading chair and ottoman. The lighting is on dimmer switches so you can create the perfect mood. Set up your laptop in the small built-in office with DSL and phone line, but wireless internet access allows you to work wherever you like. The dining table seats four and has two cushioned armchairs; additional chairs and cushions from the balcony can be added. The kitchen is small but well equipped with a gas stove, oven and dishwasher. The apartment is furnished with satellite TV, DVD player and stereo.

The bedroom is air-conditioned and has a high quality queen-sized bed with beautiful linens, bedside tables with halogen reading lights and a large closet. The lovely French window has an ornate grill and beautiful wooden shutters that open onto the charming square with the lion fountain. The bathroom has a nice tub with shower, large mirrored vanity with plenty of storage, large marble countertop and a toilet-with-a view overlooking the sea, beach, and pedestrian scene along the quai. The washer/dryer is also located in the bathroom.

On the balcony, a dining table and comfortable chairs with cushions invite you to linger over your morning coffee or a glass of wine at sunset. There's no need for a car. You can walk to the beach or to dozens of cafés where you can linger over lunch. Rent a car for a day or two, if you like; or better yet, take the train, with a birds' eye view of the coast as you travel to St-Tropez and Monaco or across the border into Italy. Stop wherever you like for a coffee or an ice cream and explore one lovely town after another. But be sure to allow time to get to know the rhythms of village life in your French hometown.

Locations visited/nearby

Villefranche sur Mer , Cap Ferrat , St-Tropez and Monaco, France, Europe

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Special information

  • This is a custom departure, meaning this accommodation is offered on dates that you arrange privately with the provider. Additionally, you need to form your own private group for this accommodation. The itinerary and price here is just a sample. Contact the provider for detailed pricing, minimum group size, and scheduling information. For most providers, the larger the group you are traveling with, the lower the per-person cost will be.
  • May accommodate certain types of disabilities. Contact the operator for more information.


Day 1: Saturday

Bienvenue! Welcome to your French home! Unpack, unwind, and get settled. Explore your local village to find the tourist office, grocery shops, restaurants, and the nearest café.

Day 2: Sunday

Cap Ferrat: Walk (or drive) the 10-kilometer D26 around the exclusive residential district of this exclusive limestone peninsula. No other piece of earth is more populated with the rich and famous. Visit Villa Rothchild to see its gardens and art collection.  See Villa Kerylos.  Take lunch in a restaurant along the beach to see the view and the people. Climb the lighthouse for a bird's-eye view.

Day 3: Monday

Monaco & Menton: Monaco is the world’s oldest independent monarchy. Visit the Palais du Casino and try your luck.  If you have time, you can also visit Menton, near the Italian border. Rue Saint Michel in the old town is a charming pedestrian-only shopping street. Visit the Place aux Herbes market. In addition, there is a colorful harbor, a casino, and the Jardin des Colombières, beautiful gardens located on a hill above town.

Day 4: Tuesday

Nice: Stroll along the waterfront on the Promenade des Anglais. Stop for a snack of socca, a crêpe that is a local specialty, or stop for lunch at one of the cafés on the beach for a salad Niçoise. Visit the Musée International d’Art Naïf. Be sure to stop at the Hôtel Negresco for a café on the terrace (the French version of tea at Harrods). Explore Nice’s old quarter where there is a flower market every day on the Cours Saleya except on Mondays when there is an antique market instead.  Every morning except Monday is a fish market on Place St François. Visit the area known as Cimiez, home to a Roman amphitheatre, a famous Jazz festival in July, and the Musée Archéologique, the Musée Chagall and the Musée Matisse.

Day 5: Wednesday

Èze Village, La Turbie & Rocquebrunne:
Èze Village, the medieval town, is perched on the hillside, with cobblestone streets overlooking the sea. Èze Bord de la Mer, the modern town, is on the water’s edge. Take the bus to Èze Village and walk down to Èze Bord de la Mer. Or, if you are driving, stop at Èze Village and continue to La Turbie to see the Trophée des Alps, a rock formation that is the highest point along the Grande Corniche. Continue on to Roquebrune, which is divided into two districts, the new town (on the water) and a medieval village on the hillside dating back to Charlemagne. Park on the upper main square and wander its narrow, cobbled streets.

Day 6: Thursday

Antibes & Grasse: Visit Antibes in the morning to see the Musée Picasso. There is an artisans market on Thursdays and Fridays, a daily (except Mondays in summer) Provençal market with foods from the region, and clothing markets every Tuesday through Saturday. Drive along the Cap d’Antibes or stroll along the port. Continue towards Grasse, stopping for lunch in Mougins, rumored to have some of the best restaurants on the Riviera. Visit the parfumerie of Grasse, perfume capital of France. The best known factories are Fragonard and Molinard.

Day 7: Friday

Ventimiglia: Take the train along the coast into Italy for the Friday morning market in Ventimiglia, where the French go to buy Italian goods at excellent prices. Stay in Italy or return to spend the afternoon on the beach in Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Day 8: Saturday

Villefranche: Shop at the morning market in the Jardin Binon. Visit the Volti museum in the old citadel and stroll along the Port de la Darse, Villefranche’s marina. Buy handmade soap at the Savonnerie.

Day 9: Sunday

Whew! Take a day of well-earned rest.  Or hire a boat for a day on the sea poking into little harbors that you could not otherwise visit.

Day 10: Monday

Biot, St-Paul-de-Vence and Vence: Get an early start to see the beautiful pottery of Biot, then head to the most famous hill town along the Riviera, St-Paul-de-Vence. Visit the Fondation Maeght, the Riviera’s best gallery of modern art and sculpture (closed 12:30-2:30 for lunch). Splurge for lunch at La Colombe d’Or, where famous artists once traded their works for a night’s lodging. End the day in Vence to see Chapelle du Rosaire, the chapel designed by Henri Matisse (open 2-5:30).

Day 11: Tuesday

Cannes: This chic, sophisticated resort is the site of the famous International Film Festival. Walk along the Promenade de la Croisette and find a waterfront restaurant for lunch. If you want to bask on the beach, try Plage de la Croisette, between Vieux Port and Port Canto. Take a ferry to Ile Ste-Marguerite, where the “Man in the Iron Mask” was held prisoner.

Day 12: Wednesday

St-Tropez: Shop its designer boutiques, stroll along its picturesque harbor to see the yachts and sailboats. Have a drink at the chic Café de Paris, for some of the Riviera’s best people watching.

Day 13: Thursday

The loop de Loup is a gorgeous drive in the canyon of the Loup River. If you like rock climbing, this is for you!  Avoid a rainy day, start near Vence and finish near Grasse following the D2210, D3 and the D2085. Stop along the way, if you like at the charming towns of Tourrettes sur Loup and Gourdon.

Day 14: Friday

Spend the day relaxing, packing, and doing your last-minute shopping.

Day 15: Saturday

Reflect on all you've done and seen and save the rest for next time. A bientôt!


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