I have been back in full swing with work and home life for just about a month now. And while, I love my little life, boy would I give anything to still be honeymooning around France. And today I’m specifically day dreaming about the Côte D’Azur and the small peninsula of St Jean Cap Ferrat that we stayed on. This post is part three of five of my Honeymoon travel diary (see parts one and two here). I’m going to be discussing all things Cap Ferrat and the many reasons you’ll fall in love with this location instantly like we did.
Before I get into the top things to do in St Jean Cap Ferrat let me provide a little more background. Our lovely travel agent, whom I have gushed so much about, (Sarah Halpern from Smartflyer) recommended this lesser known region in the South of France as our destination. It’s on the Eastern most tip of the French coast and is very close to Monaco and the Italian border. During our boat ride (more to come on this below) we could at one point see Italy, Monaco, the Swiss Alpes and of course France. It’s quite a sight!
Saint Jean Cap Ferrat is also less touristy and definitely less populated than some of the other more well-known areas such as Nice, Cannes, and Saint Tropez. But before I go too far I should warn that it still comes with the South of France price tag (i.e. expensive). It’s the home to many millionaires and yacht lovers coming for a holiday and the prices often reflect that. Save this trip for a honeymoon, anniversary, or big celebratory vacation!
Now on to what we discovered as the best of St. Jean Cap Ferrat.
Go to Paloma Beach–
the beaches in France are nothing like the Jersey beaches I am used to but, Paloma beach is the closest you’ll get in this area. You pay 20 euro for a bed for the day. With music in the background, full service food and bar menus from your beachside seats, and a jumping pier into the Mediterranean you’ll learn to love the rocks under your feet. Take a beach break to walk the cliff ledge along the shore to scout out villa mansions and get some fantastic seaside views.
Have a drink outside at Chevre D’Or –
It’s hard to even put into words the beautiful view that comes with visiting Chevre D’Or. Its built at the top of a cliff in the neighboring town from Cap Ferrat. You’ll look down on the peninsula as you sip. I highly advise staying for the sunset. Chevre D’Or is also a Michelin starred restaurant so if you want to splurge, the experience and the food are divine! One note is that driving up to this restaurant is quite a scary feat. I’d advise a taxi who is well versed in the roads rather than yourself, especially if you plan to have some wine on your visit 🙂
Rent a boat from Dark Pelican for the day–
With the advisement of our agent we decided to rent a boat with a skipper for the day (they also offer ½ days). This was our favorite day of the trip. Our skipper helped us devise a travel route with sun bathing and a lunch stop. After the route was settled we set sail. We passed some of the bigger cities like Nice and Cannes (and spotting Yachts bigger than small crusie ships). After cruising for a while we stopped by the small island of Sainte Marguerite to catch some rays. This must have been a popular area because they even had wine and pizza boats out on the waters for all the day trippers.
We then made a stop at a Miami-esque seafood restaurant for music, lunch, and of course wine. We cruised down to Monte Carlo in the afternoon. The boat ride gave the opportunity to see the sites, relax, and even get a little local knowledge from our guide. Did I mention you can bring your own booze for the ride? Get more information here: http://www.darkpelican.com/en/rental-booking/larger-than-8m/
Eat Lunch or Dinner and spend the afternoon at the shops on the Marina –
The little strip of shops and restaurants that are nestled on the marina in downtown St. Jean Cap Ferrat are the only signs of tourism in the town that we observed. I typically try to steer clear of those types of restaurants. But, we had such a great time sitting outside at night looking out at the sea that it was hard to say no! The South of France cuisine is focused around seafood. But, it also has an Italian influence as it is so close to the border.
We loved La Etoile du Porte restaurant. It featured fresh seafood pastas, octopus and olive salads, and shrimp the size of lobsters! The shops are also fun to pop in and out of and if you can find a true local purveyor you can find some gems of souvenirs. We wandered into a local artist’s studio and found a painting that captured the essence of this town that we loved so much. It even featured our hotel in the background! Its a memento that we can look at every day and remember our honeymoon!
Stay at La Voile D’Or–
As I mentioned earlier the Côte D’Azur most likely won’t be a bargain budget type of trip. But, you can find more budget friendly options that still obtain the touches of elegance that the area upholds. We stayed at La Voile D’Or, a hotel that has been around for fifty years. It had simple, classic rooms but the balconies overlooking the marina were all that mattered. It also helped that they had two pools, a beautiful bar, a delicious (if not a little too pricey) restaurant, and its own “beach”. The perks were that breakfast is included AND its proximity to the marina. Paloma Beach was also all within steps. No cab fares needed.
if St. Jean Cap Ferrat isn’t on your travel bucket list, it should be. While we want to continue to travel to places we have not yet conquered this is definitely on the “Return To” list!
…all for the love of the dish