Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat – Côte d’Azur – French Riviera

For obvious reasons Mag is only with us in spirit on this walk. We miss him like crazy.

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“No matter what happens, travel gives you a story to tell.” –Jewish Proverb

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Saint-Jean Cap-Ferrat is a 613 acre peninsula. To better appreciate the beauty of Cap-Ferrat and its surroundings we’ll take the approximately 14 km/8.7mile coastal path around it.

We are driving from Villefranche-sur-Mer (M6098) but which ever way we would come from (M6098, M125 or D125) we’ll end up taking M25/Av. Denis Séméria to park somewhere on the Peninsula.

We are parking our car in the open parking area at the Port de Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat on the corner of Le Port de Plaisance. Make sure you get a parking ticket before you leave (weirdly enough we have to estimate the time we will spend here) and display it in the front windshield. We guesstimated 5 hours.

View from the port

We start our walk to the left, towards the water’s edge, passing restaurants and small shops on the way. At the end we keep left and in about 50 feet we cut through another parking area to the right, through a small playground next to a dolphin statue. We could take a dip here at the Plage Cros du Pin (beach) but instead we will climb up the stairs on the left crossing through the little town: Passable. We follow Av. (Avenue) Denis Séméria after crossing the road uphill a bit, through the little path between the houses staying straight. After passing by a nursery on the right, we’ll have to cross the road towards the portable restroom. Another path downward (Chemin de Passable) takes us to the Plage de Passable. (The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is really close to here. Just another amazing thing to see later.)

The tolerable beach

From here we can either follow the water to the left or walk through the restaurant’s boardwalk to get to a big apartment building on Chemin de Lido. Walk by the monstrosity (compared to other buildings around here) then take the steps downward to the right. Chemin des Douaniers is the coastal path around the Peninsula.

The Celebrity Edge docked in the Mediterranean Sea

Stopping for a sec to take a few pics. From here we can see Mont Boron across and Villefranche-sur-Mer to the right, tucked away in the bay. Cruise ships come and go pretty much every day, docking in the morning and leaving in the evening. Hundreds of smaller ships also anchored in the bay, some bigger yachts even have removable slides to enjoy their own “piece” of sea water 😳.

Villefranche-sur-Mer

The waters are mesmerizing azures and aquamarines.

Pirates (friendly ones nowadays) have been also spotted in these waters even today and used this site as their base until the 11th century (Wiki).

We’re not going to find any sandy beaches around here but the rocks give us the perfect platform to jump into the cooling Mediterranean. The blues of the water the whites of the rocks and the greenery also provides an amazing capture….some would say dramatic.

We can spot Nice from here….looking beyond the cruise ship and Mont Boron….just above the small sail ship to the left ⬇️.

Here is a better pic of Nice from December 2018

I took this Pano at Latitude 43.6841 and Longitude 7.3233 after taking the stone steps down to the tiny cove, keeping to the right and climbing out on the rocks (Don’t do it!).

Here you can see the steps leading down to the cove….

Pic was taken December 2018

The houses on the cliffs above are understated and scream: “Don’t look at me! I am so plain!”….NOT. They all have their own pools and some of them even have heliports. Cap-Ferrat has one of the most expensive real estate in the world.

I find it interesting that even though it’s the middle of summer there are not as many flowering trees and bushes as I was expecting. We have been here in the winter and it had been more colorful then. Also the air is visibly clearer in the winter months (see some of the pics). Could be that temperatures from September through May are more favorable along with rainfall. The cacti love the summer month though. They get pretty big and their flowers are a bright yellow.

Fruit of the Passion Flower, Bougainvillea, Cactus, Acacia

Here you can see the path. I do not recommend to wear flip-flops. There is no fence etc. towards the water, just about a 10 inch wide cement border, if even that. At certain spots the drop can be more than 50 feet through bushes and cacti onto the rocky cliffs.

Several hidden serpentine paths lead down to elevated jumping spots or hideaway pebble beaches. Some are stone but some are just narrow paths through the terrain with roots, stones and dirt.

Small pebble beach location Lat.43.6816-Long.7.3251
Cliff beach with the Corsica ferry in the distance

From the path you can see the steps in the rocks “paving” the way to the elevated jumping spots but it’s not always easy to find where they began. We might have to look for them. This one below is an easy one but will need some biceps to pull ourselves out from the water. See the floating dude?

The lighthouse is located on the east coast of the peninsula and was built in 1862 by the decision of Napoleon III. We yet to climb up to it and explore – maybe next time around.

There is a cooling water fountain at the “base” of the lighthouse still on the trail. Lifesaving…. Lili looks like a homeless doggie, in need of a little break. Don’t feel bad for her though! She had a jumping fest on the beach. We also take turns carrying her when the terrain gets rough.

We are about halfway around.

After our little break we are heading downhill a bit, on a much needed stone trail.

Seems like this plant is taller than the lighthouse

We have reached the southern tip with a full view of the Mediterranean Sea. No beaches here just wave crushed rock surfaces. Most jumping spots are through steps down to cemented small areas. Not all of them have steps to come out of the water though, most of them are private with removable ladders.

There aren’t any vegetation here so brace yourselves walking on the sun for about 15 minutes. Amazing, unobstructed view of the Mediterranean though. With laser sharp eyes we could see Corsica from this spot.

Somewhere around here the trail’s name changes to Chemin de la Carrière for some reason.

I didn’t take a picture of it but at the tip of the Peninsula is one of the most famous hotels in the world, the Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat. The pool is visible from the trail with its umbrellas, cabanas and an elevator for convenience.

Docking station or jumping spot?

We are in the last stretch and as you can see the rest of our little troops are way ahead of us ⬆️. They either cannot wait to have some beer or ice cream….or wanna catch those clouds swallowing the mountain tops.

This is one of my favorite panorama pics from this trip with the giant stone graffiti fish in the middle. In the background from the left are the cliffs of Cap-Ferrat, in the middle is Plage des Fosses in the Bay of Lilong and then Cap-Ferrat stretching into the sea again.

Fish close up

Just took this pic from google maps to show you Lilong bay from above.

Before turning right onto Av. Claude Vignon, I have the opportunity to feast my eyes on some beautiful flowers climbing on fences.

Yucca?, Oleander, Purple and Pink Allanda?

While turning left to Passage des Fossès (cut through), the bay is visible and gives a great opportunity to snap a photo.

Well deserved break on a whale’s tail on Av. Jean Mermoz.

Keeping to the left and following the water, we’ll round back to our car.

As you see we didn’t reach our goal of 8.7 miles because we ended up cutting our walk short not going around the protruding east side.

I guess we’ll do that as well as the light house and some other interesting, beautiful, must see spots around here.

We will be back….

Published by magzilla44

Magzilla our pit bull has rescued us in 2017 on a rainy day in May. It was a rough start because we didn’t know anything about him after him walking up on our property. But he has showed us what an amazing person he is and things became happily ever after pretty quick. He is very social, both with people and other pets. He loves his cat sisters and brothers and off course hiking!

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