Beaulieu-sur-Mer Travel Guide
Beaulieu-sur-Mer means “beautiful place on the sea” in French. An accurate description for this not-so-hidden-hideaway with a Belle Époque touch and lovely seafront gardens.
Many royals and personalities visited this place of understated glamour. Queen Victoria fell in love with it. Lord Salisbury, Prime Minister to Queen Victoria made it his home. A Belgian king bought a large piece of woodland hills over-looking a bay. Gustave Eiffel, the builder of the famous Eiffel tower, made it his winter retreat. He even designed many iconic buildings in the town.
Walking around will transport you back to its illustrious past as you admire its historic and luxurious structures. Flowers with bright colors perfume the air and graceful palms line the seafront gardens. Magnolia trees, parasol pines, and cypresses grow abundantly. The three main streets are sprawling with citrus trees bearing ripe fruits.
Let’s take a closer look at Beaulieu-sur-Mer — a perfect hideaway in the French Riviera:
Where it’s Located
It covers less than a square kilometer (about 95 hectares). Tall grey slabs of rocky cliff tower over it.
Beaulieu-sur-Mer’s Main Sights
It’s small, but has enough to keep you busy for a few hours, plus beach time.
Beaches and the Promenade
The seafront has two separate beaches. Plage Fourmis , the smaller of the two, is on the south of the center. It gives a scenic view of the east coast of Cap Ferrat. The small port here has the same name, Port de Fourmis. Only small family boats and yachts docks here.
The other and the larger one is Plage Petite Afrique . This has a natural harbor and the most sheltered between the two. Locals also tell a story that the first banana tree in Europe is first planted here. Relax on the sandy beaches and soak up on the sun or go swim on its clear sea. Many resorts offer water or jet skiing, wind-surfing, and boat rides.
The shady seaside Promenade Maurice Rouvier leads directly to Saint-Jean-Cap Ferrat . Beside it is the Marina- Le Port de Plaisance. It has a very good reputation on an international scale. It offers pleasure-boating, with shops, restaurants, and bars.
The Squares & Gardens
In a town where the rich greenery perfumes the air, creating a calm aura for all to enjoy, two gardens stand out from the rest. Le Jardin de l’Olivaie in Square Calmette has centuries-old olive trees. It is the site of Beaulieu’s Guitar Nights festival. Square Verdun faces Plage de Fourmis (the beach near the Casino) and boasts many exotic species of plants and palm trees.
The town square, Place Marinoni , comes very much alive in summer. Live bands play here, with weekly balls, and fireworks. There is also a daily morning produce market that offers fresh foods, fruits, and vegetables. On Saturdays, the market has goods for a different group of customers with handcrafted jewelry, handmade lavender soaps, leather handbags, silky tunics, and other ornate wares.
Casino and Cinéma de Beaulieu
High-rollers join the betting action while enjoying the concerts. The casino has slot machines and traditional table games. There is a restaurant inside overlooking the beach (Plage des Fourmis). This outdoor terrace restaurant offers a southern Italian menu for lunch at a fixed price. The cinema is next to the casino has a high-end theater. It features a great international selection of films in their original edition.
Villa Kerylos (Museum)
Mosaics, marble, frescoes, and a collection of treasures from the 6th and 10th century decorate the interior of this ancient Greek villa . It transports visitors back to the ancient way of life of the Athenians. It got its name from Greek kerylos, a bird of good omen in the mythologies. It is now a museum open to the public.
Getting to Beaulieu-sur-Mer
By air: Nice is the logical way since it has the airport. Beaulieu-sur-Mer is 6 kilometers west of Nice.
By train: It is on the TER line 4 that runs from Nice to Menton.
Video Tour of Beaulieu-sur-Mer
This wondrous Mediterranean resort village fuses antiquity and modernity. Everyone can find something to cherish from this French Riviera hidden hideaway of Beaulieu-sur-Mer.