When you think French Riviera, tourist hot-spots such as Monaco, Nice and Cannes typically spring to mind. With their picturesque beaches, luxurious restaurants, sunset boat charters and irresistible Mediterranean charm, it’s no wonder why. However, there’s more to the French Riviera than generally meets the eye.
Beaulieu-sur-Mer is a tiny seaside village nestled between Nice and Monaco. Despite being just a stone’s throw from these popular destinations, Beaulieu-sur-Mer tends to fly under the radar.
Beaulieu-sur-Mer skips the glitz and glamour of its neighbouring towns. Its refreshingly laidback and tranquil atmosphere make it an ideal stop for those seeking an authentic local experience. If you’re treating yourself to a tour of the French Riviera, make sure Beaulieu-sur-Mer is on your itinerary. Here’s our guide to exploring this hidden gem.
How to get to Beaulieu-sur-Mer
Beaulieu-sur-Mer is easily accessible from several hubs along the Riviera, it simply depends on where you’re travelling from. It’s quite a central location that is well-served by public transport. Your options include a train from Nice or Monaco, or a bus from Eze. If you have your own car, you can drive there straight. If you’re coming from Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat or Villefranche-sur-Mer, Beaulieu-sur-Mer is within walking distance. Stroll along the coast and take in the breathtaking views along the way.
What to do in Beaulieu-sur-Mer
Beaulieu-sur-Mer may be small in size, but it’s bursting with sights and activities. From its quiet beaches and lush seafront gardens, to its charming Provencal market and historic museums, there truly is something for everyone in this secret paradise.
Visit the museums
An original replica of an ancient Greek house, Villa Kerylos is a taste of Athens in the Mediterranean. This stunning white villa was once the residence of Gustave Eiffel, the man behind the construction of the Eiffel Tower.
Villa Kerylos was built by the French archaeologist Theodore Reinach during the 20th century, sitting proudly atop the sea and offering a glorious, unspoiled view of the nearby Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
Inside the museum you will find some of Reinach’s personal collections. Its early Athenian influence is instantly recognisable, with traditional artefacts, art, furniture, and mosaics embellishing its interior.
Musée Du Patrimoine Berlugan Andre Cane
While Villa Kerylos gives us a glimpse of Ancient Greek culture, the Musée Du Patrimoine Berlugan Andre Cane is considered the village’s own history museum.
It houses some fascinating vintage Belle Époque postcards, as well as rare memorabilia of its former resident, the flamboyant James Gordon Bennett Jr who penned the Paris Herald. It is also home to priceless photos of Lord Salisbury, American dancer Isadora Duncan, and Russian composer Igor Stravinsky.
Stroll along the waterfronts and beaches in Beaulieu-sur-Mer
Bask in the understated natural beauty of Beaulieu-sur-Mer’s waterfront and beaches. As you stroll, you’ll be struck by the picture-perfect harbour and its luxurious boats and yachts which bob against the awesome backdrop of the cliffs.
If you’re a keen swimmer, Beaulieu-sur-Mer also has few small beaches that are great for a revitalising dip. Their soft, white sand makes them ideal sunbathing spots if swimming isn’t your thing. Our top picks include La Plage Des Fourmis located on the town of Baie Des Fourmis, and La Petite Afrique on the east of Rade de Beaulieu.
Behind the La Plage Des Fourmis lies the Waterfront Parc Beaulieu, an idyllic family area where the adults can relax and the kids can play in their natural surroundings.
If you’re a nature-lover, the Jardin de L’Olivaie is an opulent garden blooming with Mediterranean flora and olive trees.
Try Beaulieu-sur-Mer’s local cuisine
No trip is complete without indulging in local and traditional delicacies. Beaulieu-sur-Mer is no exception. From fine-dining restaurants to charming cafes, there’s no shortage of incredible food in this bon-vivant’s paradise.
For the best portside cafes, Marcello is not to be missed. Located in Port Plaisance with a stunning view of the yachts from across the sea, Marcello serves up fresher-than-fresh Italian appetizers that will make your mouth water.
For an upscale, outdoor fine-dining experience, the classic Provencal restaurant Le Berlugan à la Plage is nonpareil. While their tempting menu leans on the expensive side, you’ll find it’s worth every penny once you lay eyes on its spectacular views.
(Le Berlugan a la Plage)
For a lazy, casual lunch with great people-watching, head to the much-loved Le Traiteur des Halles on Boulevard Marinori located in the main square.
Marvel at the markets
Watch Beaulieu-sur-Mer come alive with its vibrant food markets and squares. Fresh, local delicacies are sold daily at Boulevard Marinori, including ripe, luscious tomatoes and rich Italian olive oil.
If you’re here on a Saturday, set your alarm early to catch the Provencal market where you’ll find everything from home-made blankets to regional cheeses and traditional chickpea pancakes.
Rent a boat Beaulieu-sur-Mer to Monaco and cruise along the coast
There is no better way to explore the jewels of the French Riviera than by boat. From the unspoiled views to the fresh sea air, unravel Beaulieu-sur-Mer’s hidden wonders in luxury on your own private boat.
Located in Port de Beaulieu, Rent a Boat by Hour offers professional boat tours and private boat charters along the French Riviera – from Nice, Villefranche, St Jean Cap Ferrat, Monaco, and back to Beaulieu-sur-Mer.
With Rent a Boat by Hours, you can also hire a boat and be the captain for the day as we have license and no license boats available for hire from Beaulieu-sur-Mer. Sail through the crystal clear waves of the French Riviera and experience your surroundings like never before. Why not do some snorkeling along the way, or explore some secret coves and untouched bays?
A private boat tour will be sure to make your trip to the French Riviera even more memorable.
We hope to see you very soon here at Beaulieu-sur-Mer! It’s time to explore this unknown beauty in the heart of the French Riviera. Carpe diem!
Rent a boat by the hour today. Contact us here.