Cap Ferrat is the second most expensive real estate in the world. It’s always been an exclusive piece of the Riviera thanks to its geography and beauty and has attracted everyone from Winston Churchill and Coco Chanel to Elizabeth Taylor. While there is a rich history, (which you can read about in many novels) it is now a quiet, favoured destination for avoiding the limelight.
Walks with a View
The Garden of Eze can be reached via the Nietschke trail (named after the famous philosopher). It is a 2 hour walk from Eze sur Mer to the top of the mountain. If you would prefer to save your legs, catch an uber or bus to the top, walk through the pretty historic town up to the Jardin Exotique d'Èze at the top with glorious views all the way to Cap Ferrat.
A walk through the jasmine scented gardens at Chateau Eza followed by glass of champagne is highly recommended. In Eze, there are also perfume making workshops at Galimard and perfume factory tours at Fragonard.
The Maurice Rouvier trail begins in front of the town hall and offers a panorama of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat bay, the marina, on the hills to the right lie the picturesque villages of La Turbie and Eze, and below lies Cap d'Ail. The last headland on the horizon is in Italy. The Place David Niven was named in memory of the great actor who loved Cap Ferrat up until his death. The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild can be reached by taking the small path to the left.
This shady path leads to the Fourmis bay, with the Greek Kerylos Villa on the right. After the final bend lies the beach at Beaulieu-sur-Mer and Les Fourmis harbour; on the left is the 5-star Royal-Riviera hotel, a jewel in the crown of the French Riviera.
There are beautiful villas that have been donated to the public as museums. Get there early before the masses and have the place to yourself.
Where to Stay
Although this is an expensive part of the world, if you are on a budget, there are many 3 star hotels and airbnbs.
If a superyacht is out of the question, yachts and speedboats can be chartered at the Cap Ferrat, Beaulieu Sur Mer and Villefranche marinas and small luxury cruises stopping at multiple ports along the riviera can be taken through Seven Seas and Sea Dream.
Get in the mood and find trip planning inspiration with these books and series:
The Riviera Set by Mary S Lovell
Provence and the Cote d’Azur by Janelle McCullough
Chanel's Riviera: Life, Love and the Struggle for Survival on the Cote d'Azur by Anne de Courcey
Riviera series streaming on SBS