During our June 2015 trip to the French Riviera, we took a day trip to Villefranche-sur-Mer. Villefranche is just a few stops away from the main train station in Nice, so it was very quick and easy to get there. Once exiting the train, you can immediately see the local beach, and a short walk brings you to the town. Walking into town, pastel colored buildings hug the road on the right, and the water is to the left. Small restaurants and cafes abound, with boats tied up along the waterfront.
From a higher vantage point, one can see how Villefranche climbs up the cliffs.
Climbing up into the town, the streets become narrow and there are many paths and stairs as you climb up. Like the other towns we visited, old world style charm abounds with pastel shutters, hanging laundry, and surprises around every corner.
We walked the town for quite a while, taking in the sights and exploring. The inside of the local church was quite spectacular:
Far above the city, one can walk to a fort that overlooks the entire coastline. While the view is spectacular, I suggest driving to this. I did the walk, and the route is not clear, and quite strenuous. From this vantage point, you could see all the way back to Nice, which is really just one town over. The fort was closed, unfortunately:
We also walked around the corner to the local marina. A wide variety of boats were present, from small fishing boats on up to luxury yachts.
We enjoyed our time in Villefranche, and it seemed like a good alternative place to stay should we return to the area.