Saint Jean Cap Ferrat is one of the worlds most in demand locations. You truly feel like you’ve entered a different world when you come to what was once a sleepy fishing village. Cap Ferrat (Cap meaning Cape in English) is an unspoiled place located between Nice and Monaco.
The peninsula is strewn with elegant houses such as the delightful Villa Ephrussi, home to a remarkable collection of works of art. Masked by the foliage of these houses, views of the shore can be admired from the coastal path and the lighthouse in the south, and from the streets of St-Jean and St-Hospice Point in the east.
Its tranquility and warm climate make it a favorite holiday destination among the European aristocracy and the rich and famous. Saint Jean Cap Ferrat is the perfect seaside village for a luxurious getaway.
First Settle Down
The Lombards were the first settlers in the late 6th century. In the 8th century, the Saracens occupied the land and used Saint Jean Cap Ferrat as a military base until the 11th century.
Dukes of Savoy
In 1388 the territory of Saint Jean Cap Ferrat was given by the Dukes of Savoy. During the 18th century, the history of Saint Jean Cap Ferrat changed when the area – officially part of Sardinia – was occupied by the French. He returned to the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1814 after the abdication of Napoleon.
In 1860, the County of Nice was finally ceded by treaty in France and the peninsula became a magnet for kings and wealthy visitors, a new era in the history of Saint Jean Cap Ferrat.
The fishing village of Saint- Jean was established in 1904 as an independent municipality from the rest of the peninsula, separated from the nearby Villefranche -sur -Mer.
In the early 20th century, King Leopold II of Belgium had a property on the Cap Ferrat and built several houses and an artificial lake. His main residence was a villa called “Les Cèdres,” which was owned by Marnier Lapostolle ( the founder of Grand Marnier ) since 1924 and is now part of a botanical garden called “Les Cèdres.”
In 1905, Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild chose Cap Ferrat to build a Tuscan style palace, now known as the Museum of Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild.
Today Saint- Jean Cap -Ferrat has some of the most expensive properties in the world and continues to attract the elite. Current famous residents include Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in Villa Maryland and theater composer Andrew Webber.
Some of the villas in the village have hosted numerous celebrities, heads of state and aristocrats, such as King Leopold II of Belgium, Baroness de Rothschild, Charlie Chaplin, Rainier III, Jean Cocteau and Elizabeth Taylor.
Les Azuriales Opera Festival
This prestigious opera takes place each year in August. Spectators can see the best in the world perform their recitals and soloists’ concerts. It attracts international audiences every year.
Saint Jean-Cap-Ferrat Hike
A well maintained hiking path along the rocky seaside is one of the most scenic activities you can experience. The path goes all the way around the small peninsula and main peninsula of St. Jean-Cap-Ferrat. Along the way you’ll disocver some of the most secluded beaches.
Cours Saleya Produce Market
This market has different offerings each day of the week. It’s a cultural experience in itself and you’ll find some of the best deals on traditional flowers and fruits. There is no shortage of food and antiques each day.
Ephrussi de Rothschild
This villa is situated in an ideal location on a hill that gives panoramic views of the sparkling sea. Be sure to check out the spectacular collection of porcelain, furniture and paintings inside, which date back to the 18th century. In addition, there are beautiful tapestries of the Flemish and Beauvais throughout. As if the inside wasn’t perfect enough, the outside features incredible gardens and fountains overlooking the sea.
Cro de Pei Pin
The largest beach located north of the main port area. The sand seems to stretch forever and the turquoise water meets the blue sky each day. Eventually the beach leads to rocky nature ideal for those who enjoy a challenging climb.
When researchers from all over the world find sea shells in different waters they donate them to the Seashell Museum in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat. The number of unique shells that have never been seen on shore will amaze you.