Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, France

Cap Ferrat Map, Cote d'Azur, France

Saint Jean Cap Ferrat map, things to do, getting there.

Visiting Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, Côte d’Azur

Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is the only town on the lush and tranquil peninsula of Cap Ferrat, though the entire area is often takes the full name, perhaps because that’s almost all there is. Cap Ferrat rests quietly in the sunshine on the Cote d’Azur, blessed with a brilliant climate thanks to the balance between the Southern Alps mountain range immediately to the the north and the Mediterranean Sea more-or-less elsewhere else.
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is located west-east between the small towns of Villefranche-sur-Mer and Beaulieu-sur-Mer and within easy reach of Nice and Monaco (about 10kms distance), though part of the calm of the area is due to the lack of rail station on the convenient Mediterranean coastal route, so getting there means either a bus ride, vehicle rental or train ride to Villefranche/Beaulieu-sur-Mer and a bit of a walk.

Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat things to do

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, Cap Ferrat, Cote d'Azur, France.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, Cap Ferrat.

Cap Ferrat’s biggest tourist attraction aside from beaches is the magnificent Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, also known as Musée Ile-de-France.
This Italian-style villa, located at the start of the peninsula, offers visitors an ornately furnished interior, a large collection of art works and a clutch of seven fine gardens in differing styles including traditional French, Spanish, Florentine and Japanese.


Passable beach, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France

Passable beach, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, arguably the second best beach on Cap Ferrat due to gravelly sand. Paloma beach sand is finer.

Cap Ferrat encompasses four attractive, calm, shady and sandy beaches: Paloma, Passable, Plage des Fosses and Cros de Pin beside the port. They are not huge, nor dominated by promenades, hotels or restaurants (other than Cro dei Pin beside the port). Thus the beaches are quite natural and old-fashioned, a delightful alternative to the packed and busy alternatives along the rest of the French Riviera.

Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat coastal walks

Large Cap-Ferrat Map of walks

Cap Ferrat map showing two excellent coastal walks, W1 and W2. PE marks our suggested parking and eating spot. E is Cap Ferrat’s biggest attraction, Villa Ephrussi.

W1 is the approximate start of a lovely, very flat 1.8 km/45minutes walk around Presqu’Ile (St Hospice Peninsula). From the port walk along Ave Jean Mermoz (beside the sea) until you come to Jardin de la Paix where the Sentier du Littoral starts. Or start from Plage Paloma.

W2 is the approximate start of the longer walk around the Cap, 4.8 kms taking about 2 hours. From the port walk west up the rise and curve left on Ave Claude Vignon. That shortly becomes Chemin de la Carriére, which is the beginning of the long walk. Or start from Plage Passable. Longer Cap Ferrat walk photos.

Cap Ferrat coastal walk, Côte d'Azur, France

Cap Ferrat coastal walk lighthouse, i.e. the tip of the peninsula.

Alternatively walk 1.3 kms in 20 minutes to Beaulieu-sur-Mer from Saint-Jean port. Head north on Ave Denis Semeria which joins the coastal path of Promenade Maurice Rouvie.
Another option is to turn left when the promenade reaches the main road/rail line and walk to Villefranche-sur-Mer and its rail station in 15 minutes.

The main beaches are Fossé, Fossettes, Paloma Beach on the little St Hospice Peninsula to the east and Passable Beach on the west side near Pointe Passable. To reach Passable there is pay parking available beside Le Lido or it’s an easy walk from St Jean.

Presqu’ile walk, starting or finishing at Paloma Plage, Cap Ferrat.

Presqu'ile walk, Cap Ferrat, Cote d'Azur, France

 The trail is well made and flat tho’ narrower on the inhabited east side. The west side is about double the width.

View from Presqu'ile coastal walk, Cap Ferrat, Cote d'Azur, France

The view looking east from the walk.

Sentiers di Littoral are hiking trails, with approximate starting points marked.

W2: The main trail is from Saint Jean up to the lighthouse (Le Phare) on the tip of the peninsula and then returning down the other side. Depending on speed the round trip will take an hour to and hour and a half, and of course it’s possible to walk either coast first but take into account the sun’s heat and location.
The path is flat, easy and well-surfaced. We walked up the rather dull east side in mid-morning when the sun was not too hot then down the shady and spectacular west side at midday, arriving at Passable Beach for an inexpensive lunch. This is arguably the best way to do it as the view down to Villefranche-sur-Mer and the hills behind is magnificent. Trail Pictures.

W1: The very pleasant, very flat hour’s walk around the St Hospice peninsula (labelled as Presqu’Ile or follow signs to Chapelle St. Hospice) to pretty Paloma Beach with its upmarket facilities.

Or head north on the Maurice Rouvier path linking Saint-Jean to Beaulieu-sur-Mer.

Plage des Fossettes view from the start of Presqu'ile walk, Cap-Ferrat, France

Plage des Fossettes, Presqu’ile, Cap Ferrat.

Getting to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat restaurants view, France

Car: Tourists would be well advised to get to Cap Ferrat reasonably early (in peak season), maybe before 11am if you wish to park your car. Best parking is underground beside the port at PE on the map and under the terrace pictured above. Elsewhere is likely to be difficult and may result in a fine or tow away.

Bus: Alternatively the #15 bus (revised timetable 9/19) from Nice/Villefranche/Beaulieu-sur-Mer runs a regular service (1 euro!) to Port de St-Jean. Get off the bus when you see the port and restaurants. The cluster of decent open-air restaurants (not necessarily expensive!) on the terrace above the parking lot offer views over the port to Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Cap d’Ail and Eze.
To take bus #15 from central Nice, walk through the Paillon park or Tram 1 to Place Garibaldi/Promenade des Arts. The bus stop is behind Monoprix, next to Promenade des Arts.

St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat port restaurant, Cote d'Azur, France

Excellent mural beside one of the restaurants, about 50m south of the #81 bus stop.