That’s one of these days when you start your annual vacations, you kind of wish you were flying away from home to an exotic destination, but end up spending an amazing day in your hometown or nearby.
Jerome and I were invited to spend the day on my mom and step dad’s boat. Their port is located in the Bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer, a small town most tourists come and visit during summertime. Not that there is much to actually see, but there really is all about the atmosphere, the sunny bay and quiet waters, the colorful old houses (so French Riviera!), the pink and golden sunsets, and the great restaurants just by the Mediterranean sea.
Villefranche’s access is fairly easy from the town of Nice. Count about a 20 minutes drive (on a day with no traffic jam), or even easier and faster : take the 6 minutes train from Nice central station, and reach the main beach of Villefranche in one minute by taking the stairs down from the station. It costs less than 2 euros, it’s totally effortless, and you’ll be able to enjoy amazing views of the Coast during the short journey. If you get the chance to be in the area during Spring, and if you feel in the mood for a bit of sport (fast walking), going from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer on foot will give you the most delightful experience for the eyes (and the lungs, as it’s about an hour 45 minutes walk from Nice’s Promenade des Anglais to the port of Villefranche).
So we spent the day on the boat, swimming, snorkling, watching a yoga-paddle class nearby, and just having fun. What I like in the bay of Villefranche is the quietness of the waters, there’s no wave at all, the sea is as clear and flat as a lake, and it makes the swimming and relaxing in the water really possible. Also, it gives you time to enjoy the surrounding landscapes, between nature and luxury houses, old fashion wooden boats and modern multiple stories private cruise ships, off-the-cliff hotels and private access to own rocky beaches just a few stair steps down over-sized villas.
When the sun started to come down, we “hit the road” towards Monaco, by sea. The Principality is always so nice, even from afar. “The Rock”, as we call it, always looks so clean and neat and chic, it’s also great to watch it from a seashore point of view. This week, there’s an international festival of fireworks (competing with the Worldwide famous Fireworks Festival of Cannes, located on the Baie des Anges, opposite direction, about 30 minutes West from Nice). We passed by the peek of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, the bay of Beaulieu, and finally arrived in Monaco just when the sun set. Ten minutes later the fireworks started for an amazing show. Lots of crazy-sized boats were, like us (smaller boat), watching the show from the sea, and it was just the perfect location, right in front of the dancing lights, away from the crowds on land. Then we had a peaceful 45 minutes ride back to Villefranche, walked again on solid land, and called it a day!
Before you leavethis page, did you know my first cookbook got published? It’s called Cookbook #1: A French Girl’s Cooking Adventures in Her Kitchen, and it’s available online, you’re just a click away, RIGHT HERE!
Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi. © 2015, All Rights Reserved.