View of Villefranch Bay
The Local Area
Saint Jean Cap Ferrat
our village

Plan walks around the scenic peninsula, Cap Ferrat, enjoying views of magnificent estates and the Mediterranean sea hitting the cliffs below.

Discover the lovely coves and beaches along three pleasant walking trails. Stop in a local cafe in the village of St. Jean to people watch and drink in the ambience of the pleasure port and its impressive yachts.

The Foundation Ephrussi de Rothschild estate is a nearby site just down the street not to be missed for its richly appointed mansion and internationally-themed series of gardens.

Concerts are sometimes held in the lavish villa or its grounds, and the tourist office down the street can provide information on this as well as other special events in the area during your visit.

The closest beach is mere steps away, behind the Villa Espalmador, down a wide stone stairway.

A lovely beach with both free public and paying sections is Plage de Passable, a short drive a bit further down the peninsula. Enjoy dinner while watching the sun set over the sea. Paloma is another pretty cove with seaside dining.

Also within walking distance are the Baie des Fourmis beach in Beaulieu and the long beach front of Villefranche. Other nice beaches, both pebble and coarse sand, are a short ride away.

Dinner at La Plage
Rothschild Home


In the opposite direction, enjoy the unique Villa Kerylos, built in ancient Greek style on its promontory jutting into the bay of Beaulieu, after strolling through the Baie des Fourmis seaside park, marina and beach.

The microclimate of this part of the Riviera, sheltered by the Alpine foothills, allows for many semi-tropical plants to thrive. Continue your walk past the downtown area to the larger pleasure port, another beach and the lovely Petite Afrique neighbourhood with many period homes.

You may want to check with the tourism office adjacent to the train station for any special events, expositions or concerts scheduled during your stay at the Villa Kerylos, the old stone church, the town square or other Beaulieu venues.

Enjoy the genteel old world ambience of Beaulieu with many examples of Belle Époque architecture, two beaches, two marinas, and lovely parks and plantings.

Browse the Saturday morning food and sundries market, window shop and do your shopping in numerous speciality shops and the daily morning produce market on the square.

Near the train station there is also a modern supermarket with both convenient underground parking and home delivery service.

If you like to cook, you will enjoy using your market purchases to prepare Riviera and Provence-inspired meals and picnics in the well-appointed kitchen of the villa.

Beaulieu beach

Villefranche Beach

In yet another direction, take a leisurely stroll past stunning seafront properties. One of those extravagant estates is well known as the Rolling Stones' abode for a time,"Nellcote."

Walk down the stairs where this road ends, and you will be on the long sandy beach front of Villefranche, lined with cafes, restaurants and snack bars.

Then, you reach the ancient village with its Citadel fortifications, pedestrian-only paths and stairs that meander and climb among medieval buildings with views of the sea and port below.

Visit the mariners' chapel decorated by Jean Cocteau in tribute to the local fishermen. Take a boat ride to Monaco and along the way, enjoy the beauty of the coast and picturesque towns from a unique perspective.

Browse the Sunday antiques and collectibles market; enjoy the cafes, restaurants and many tempting shops while people-watching and taking in the friendly ambience of this seaside village.

At the top of the town, near the main thoroughfare to Nice, check at the local tourist office for any special events of interest that may be scheduled during your stay.


Eze Village

The photo at right depicts the charming medieval fortified Village of Eze perched on a high bluff above the sea.

The Cap Ferrat peninsula is shown beyond, with a ship in the next bay. Beaulieu lies in between Eze and the Cap, hidden in this photo. St. Jean is on the Cap. Le Cottage Dominic is on the far side of the Cap, near its base, looking towards Villefranche which is on the far side of the deep bay where the ship is anchored.

Eze seems impregnable from the sea, but from the hills behind, it is now very easily accessible! It is a short drive, with dedicated parking, to explore this pedestrian-only village with it's many vantage points to take in the beauty of the nearby Mediterranean region.

This is a an artist's and photographer's dream., with pictorial beauty and charm throughout. 

Browse the art and craft galleries, apparel and home furnishings shops. Wander through the beautiful 'other worldly' exotic garden with a large collection of weird, but, 'earthly', cacti and succulents. Explore the meandering alleys of the village to enjoy the lovely plantings and restored stone structures.

The athletic can hike the Nietzsche Path from Eze Village down to its sister, Eze Bord de Mer, on the beach below. And the most fit can hike back up to enjoy refreshments offered by facilities ranging from simple snack stands to renowned restaurants, tucked into or jutting out from the cliffs. Or skip the hike and go straight to lunch or dinner!

Cote d'Azur - Eze Village
Eze Village

Monaco and Monte Carlo
Monaco GP

The draws of Monaco and Monte Carlo are numerous...

To name a few, the Monaco Grand Prix; world class tennis, theatre and concerts; the period beauty and discreet atmosphere of the Casino; "James Bond movie set" yachts and hotels; designer label shopping, and the glamour and romance of the monarchy and the rich and famous you could encounter.

From le Cottage Dominic, you can experience it all within a 30 minute ride on the 100 Bus..

Monaco yachts
The Casino

The Surrounding Hill Country

The hill country above the coast from Nice to Menton offers a pleasant contrast to the livelier ambience of the seafront towns. Many spots in the "arriere pays" or back country make for a day trip.

Climb to the Moyenne Corniche road, and continuing past Eze, visit La Turbie, Peille, Peillon, and above Menton, the highest vIllage at 2600 feet, Sainte Agnes.

There are buses from Nice or Menton to reach some of these villages and many more. There are also three narrow gauge trains from Nice that offer day outings in different directions north of the Riviera coast into the back country and on up into the pre-Alps.

For a change of pace, friendly village atmosphere, as well as gorgeous mountain, river, and gorge scenery, the Arriere Pays is well worth a day trip or two.

Only a two hour drive away, one can enjoy snow skiing and other winter sports at Isola 2000. The village of Auron also offers winter sports. Sometimes in the Spring it is even possible to snow ski in the mountains and swim in the Mediterranean Sea on the same day.

Hill Country
La Turbie

Nearby Italy
Italy market

The location of Le Cottage Dominic, to the east of Nice, makes a day trip to the adjacent Italian coast very possible. Drive or take the train and in under an hour you are in another country, in the border town of Ventimiglia, for authentic cappuccino, pasta and pizza, and Italian specialities at the covered food market most any day. Fridays there is a popular, extensive open air market with clothing and accessories, household goods, hardware, and more, often at better euro prices than on the French Riviera.

The next town going east is Bordighera, with some Art Nouveau architecture, a historical reputation as a sunny and lively resort for the British, and at least one French Impressionist, Monet, who painted a view of it. The open air weekly market is reportedly more upscale. And wouldn't it be fun to rent bicycles and take a long ride along the beach, stopping for refreshments now and then?! It runs some 35 kilometres, so maybe lunch too?

San Remo is also within reach for a day trip by car. It is a bigger town with a reputation as the Italian Riviera's most atmospheric resort, with its grand Art Nouveau architecture. There's something for everyone in its three main parts of town, the shopping district, the old town and the Belle Époque resort area. And, San Remo, too, has a weekly outdoor market with some good quality offerings.

Two Rivieras for the price of one? Si, and Oui!

Italian Market 2

Nearby France - From Cannes to Monaco

Schedule a stay sometime in late January to early March to take in not one but two colorful annual events! This is the general time frame for the Carnival in Nice with its floral Mardi Gras floats and the Bataille des Fleurs.

Carnival season runs a few weeks and varies with the church calendar. In 2016, although Mardi Gras is February 9th, the Nice Carnival is February 12th through 28th. Easter is March 27th.

Nice is a great little city at any time of year.

Rent a bike to ride along the Promenade des Anglais.

Wander the quaint and colorful Old Town and its Marche aux Fleurs, among other open air markets.

Enjoy some local specialties or a great ice cream at an outdoor cafe.

Do some shopping in the pedestrian only part of the downtown, or along the main shopping streets, and peruse its museums, for which it is well known.

Nice Flower Festival

Lemon Festival

In nearby Menton, take in the amazing Lemon Festival with its fanciful structures built of citrus fruit.

Menton restaurants, shops and snack stands join in the celebration of lemons, for which the area is justly famous due to its micro climate.

And, conveniently, the festival coincides with Carnival season. Combined, it makes for a great mid winter break.

The month of May brings the Cannes Film Festival, an easy day trip westward for film buffs and the star struck.

Only a 50 minute train ride from the nearby Beaulieu-sur-Mer train station, you can rub elbows with the rich and famous, and take in the sparkly atmosphere, the glitz and glamour of this world famous event.

Cannes is a lovely town in its own right, and well worth visiting at any time of the year. Enjoy the long sandy beach, survey boats in the Old Port, or climb up to the old part of town, Le Suquet, for good views.

There is plenty of trendy shopping downtown, and the sumptuous covered Forville market, flower and flea markets provide local color. The pedestrian-only shopping area is lined with cafes and restaurants.

Two islands, les Isles de Lerins, just off the coast are reached by ferry in 15 minutes and offer a heaven-sent tranquillity, having been the sites of two religious orders founded in the Dark Ages. Take water and snacks, enjoy the boat ride and a walk or a quiet beach front picnic.

Cannes Film Festival
View fireworks in the Rade (bay) of Villefranche from our upstairs sea view deck on Bastille Day, July 14th, or in Nice along the Promenade des Anglais. Cannes has an International Fireworks Festival later in the summer, too.

For music lovers, in June, all over France there is a day-long Fete de la Musique with free concerts.

in the nearby area during the summer there are jazz festivals, classical music and opera concerts in a variety of venues ranging from parks to old churches and ancient ruins. In fact, music abounds year-round.

Music Festivals
There are websites dedicated to local events  and attractions with much more specific information. Hopefully, this overview will encourage you to check further into specific events that would interest you during a stay at our cottage