A seaside village located between Nice and Monaco, Beaulieu-sur-Mer has been a popular holiday destination since the 19th century. Back then it was a glamorous escape for the glitterati of society, visited by Russian nobles and European princes. Many of the hotels and villas from this period remain, and some have been converted into restaurants or tourist attractions. Pressed between the cliffs and the Mediterranean waters, Beaulieu-sur-Mer continues to offer a welcoming, laid-back atmosphere.
The most famous of the villas is Villa Kerylos, an early 20th century building inspired by the style of ancient Greece. Most of the grand hotels have cafes and restaurants, making them easy to discover for those who are only spending the day in town. While the beaches are relatively small, they’re exceptionally clean, and it’s easy to spend a whole day beneath a sun lounger. Beaulieu-sur-Mer continues to be a resort-style village that is geared towards visitors. The marina is one of the best in the French Riviera, and there are always a few luxury yachts swaying gently along the coast.
The Beaulieu-sur-Mer train station is three stops from Nice and the journey only takes 10 minutes. Nice Airport is a little further away, but the journey by road should be less than 45 minutes. Much of the town can be seen on foot, although some of the villas are hidden in the hills above the coast.
Back in the 19th century, the town was known as “Petite Afrique”, a recognition of the artistic grandeur that pervaded through Beaulieu-sur-Mer when it welcomed emperors on their holidays.