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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 10 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

This delightful pink pastiche of an Italianate villa was built in 1912 by the flamboyant art collector Baroness Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild, to house her fabulous collection of 18th-century art and furniture. Set on the highest point of high-net-worth playground Cap Ferrat, it’s a gilded, fondant fantasy for fans of kitsch design and architecture, and a fun stop on a tour of the Cote d’Azur.

The villa’s gardens, terraced out of the rock, are equally remarkable, divided into little worlds of their own: exotic, English, Florentine Spanish, Provencal, Japanese, and French, with a musical fountain that plays every 20 minutes.

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Price from: £13
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The nearest train station is Beaulieu-sur-Mer, but it is a 20-minute walk from there. Alternatively, take the local 81 or 100 bus, or a taxi. If you’re driving, there’s free car parking onsite.

A 1.5-hour audio guide tour comes with the ticket, or can be downloaded from the website onto your phone before you go. There’s an activity book for kids aged 7-12.

Be sure to have drinks or light snacks in the tearoom (the Baroness’s former dining room), which has beautiful views over the bay of Villefranche.

When to do it

The villa is open to visitors all year round, seven days a week.

April, May or June are the best months to go, when the gardens are in bloom. In early May, the villa hosts a rose and plant festival, while in late September there’s a cactus festival.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Hotel Royal Riviera

Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Cote d'Azur, France[0.6 miles]

The grande dame of the Cote d’Azur, this classic, updated luxury hotel has a sublime seaside location. It comes with pool, lush gardens, and one of the very few private beaches on the exclusive Cap Ferrat.

Official star rating:

Welcome Hotel

Villefranche-sur-Mer, Cote d'Azur, France[1.5 miles]

An inn for over two centuries, this iconic and historic yet charming seaside hotel in laid-back Villefranche-sur-Mer is modern, unpretentious and run by lovely people.

Official star rating:

Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat

Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Cote d'Azur, France[2.2 miles]

This iconic hotel is the A-list choice along the Cote d’Azur, in a gorgeous seaside setting between Nice and Monaco.

Official star rating:

Hotel La Perouse

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France[3.9 miles]

Peaceful hotel next to Old Nice with to-die-for views over the ‘Bay of Angels’. The Cours Saleya market and Old Town are a few minutes’ walk away. Great for a first visit to the French Riviera.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

French Riviera

Cote d'Azur, France

Money, glamour and bombshell looks: this beach-trimmed stretch of French coast offers decadent hotels, lounging in beach clubs, fine restaurants and world-class art.

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Cote d'Azur, France

The buzzing, art-filled, foodie capital of the French Riviera, with a charming, Italian-influenced historic centre. The ideal base for a first-time visit to the Cote d’Azur, and home to the world-renowned Nice Carnival.

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Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Lascaris Palace

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France[4.1 miles]

An opulent Baroque palace from the 17th century, containing lavish interiors, 17th and 18th-century decorative and fine arts collections, and a collection of 500 musical instruments.

Best for ages: 18+ | £9

View looking down from above to the busy market of Cours Saleya in the centre of Nice City

Cours Saleya Food and Flower Market

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France[4.3 miles]

Nice’s food and flower market, held along the pedestrianised Cours Saleya esplanade, is packed with all the vibrant, sensuous colours, flavours and scents of the south: lavender, marzipan, sugared almonds, spices, herbal teas, takeaway socca and pissaladiere snacks. Held Tuesday to Sunday, around 6.30am to 1.30pm.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

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Matisse Museum

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France[4.9 miles]

A beautiful 17th-century Genoese mansion that now houses a museum dedicated to the art of Nice’s longtime resident, Henri Matisse.

Best for ages: 18+ | £8

Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

Large white villa built on a pinnacle stretching out into the sea

Villa Kerylos

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France[0.8 miles]

Built in 1908 in an ancient-Greek-style, this villa in a ravishing seaside garden setting features replica 2nd-century AD interiors typical of the island of Delos. The project of two scholars obsessed with the period.

Best for ages: 18+ | £8

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White sand beach with blue waters at Villefranche-sur-Mer

Marinieres Beach

Villefranche-sur-Mer , Cote d'Azur, France[1.3 miles]

Tucked between chi-chi St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and Nice, the charming Medieval village of Villefranche-sur-Mer is the relaxed, boho antidote to the moneybags Riviera. A kilometre of coarse, gently shelving golden sand and crystalline waters, it’s all free and open to the public.

Best for ages: Any | Free

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View of a pretty curve of beach with a beach club, surrounded by cliffs with trees and villas

Paloma Beach

Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Cote d'Azur, France[1.7 miles]

Sheltered from the wind, this shingle beach in a beautiful, wooded cove is a laid-back favourite of both locals and celebrities. Views across to the Alps are sublime. It’s part public, but best to splurge on a lounger at the delightful Paloma Beach Club – a local institution with an excellent restaurant.

Best for ages: Any | Free

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Walk around Cap Ferrat

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France[2.4 miles]

A 4.8km circular coastal walk around the glittering coast of the Riviera’s most exclusive ‘cap’ – a favourite of jet-setting billionaires.

Best for ages: 8+ | Free | 2-3 hours

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