Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is a small town on the Riviera coast and is renowned for its many second homes, coastal walks, beaches and impressive panoramic views. Monaco Tribune takes you there.
Our tour begins at the entrance to the Maurice Rouvier promenade. Starting from the Baie des Fourmis at Beaulieu, it is one of the access routes to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. It takes about 20 minutes to cover the 1.3 km trail.
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Welcome to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat itself. The end of the trail brings us to the town’s harbour. Its history was founded on fishing-related activities. Today, the harbour is home to the Virgile Allari wharf, where you can find shops and restaurants at the water’s edge. Many water sports activities are on offer in the summer.
Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat is sparsely populated, with good reason. The territory that comprises municipality is mainly occupied by hundreds of villas, almost 500 in fact, most of which are very luxurious. These properties make it one of the main residential spots on the French Riviera.
We leave the “town centre”, heading for Pointe Saint-Hospice. Our first stop is at the Jardin de la Paix, while we refuel. Located by the water, the garden provides a superb view of Cap Ferrat and access to Les Fossettes beach.
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat has three walking trails. The Maurice Rouvier promenade, the Cap-Ferrat circuit and the one we are on, the Pointe Saint-Hospice. We have 1.8 km ahead, on a 40 minute walk accompanied by the sound of the waves.
After a slight detour from our path, we find ourselves at the Saint-Hospice chapel. Listed as a Historic Monument since 1929, the chapel was completely renovated in 2022. Next to it stands the 11m40 tall bronze Virgin, built in 1903. Beneath the chapel is the local cemetery. It overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and offers very nice panoramas, in almost perfect peace.
Back to the trail. The view is… quite nice.
And here is the pick of the beaches at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. ‘Plage de la Paloma’ is very popular. It owes its success to the discreet location, green setting and view of the Beaulieu and Eze cliffs. It marks the end of the Pointe Saint-Hospice trail.
It also includes the Paloma Beach, a private beach built in 1948. Matisse, Elton John, Tom Cruise, Churchill, they’ve all been here. You should budget 50 euros for a day’s beach bed rental.
Tired of walking? Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat offers free visits to its Musée des Coquillages (shellfish museum). 7,000 shellfish are on display, including more than 400 world records. It is the biggest Mediterranean collection to be seen to date. Head for the Quai Lindbergh. Open from Monday to Friday from 9 to 12 am and from 2 to 7 pm.
The town centre is the starting point for the last trail, the ‘tour de Cap-Ferrat’ (Cap-Ferrat circuit, see photo). This longer trail runs along the entire coastline of the peninsula. The town’s iconic lighthouse stands on Malalongue point.
And our afternoon out ends here! We’ll be heading back via Beaulieu, the nearest train station to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.