The first villas were built along the seafront at the junction of the Cap Ferrat peninsula with the neighbouring commune of Beaulieu-sur-Mer (nowadays the Promenade Maurice Rouvier). One of the oldest villas is the Lo-Scolletto (now the Fleur du Cap), where Charlie Chaplin and David Niven, who later became its owner, stayed.
#1. Cedres Villa (la villa "Les Cèdres")
King Leopold II of Belgium began acquiring land here in 1889. A few years later, he owned an area of over 50 hectares on the western slope of the peninsula. The king first bought a small villa with its own harbour near Passable (today's Iberia villa). But his most splendid purchase was of course the Les Cèdres Villa.
It was enlarged at the owner's request and Leopold II entertained eminent guests there: the Grand Duke Peter Nikolayevich of Russia, Lord Salisbury and Prince Charles, heir to the Swedish and Norwegian crowns. King Leopold II had a villa built on these lands for his beloved Baroness de Vaughan (today Radiana villa). He also owes the appearance of three other villas, named Boma, Matadi and Banana, after the three settlements along the Congo River.
#2. Maryland Mansion
Next to La Vigie is another luxurious Maryland Mansion House. Above its beautiful patio courtyard is a terrace built on red marble columns. The building was commissioned in 1904 by the Englishman Arthur Wilson, a personal friend of King Edward VII. He invited English society living on the Côte d'Azur to his sumptuous receptions.
#3. Baia dei Fiori Mansion
The American artist Ralph Curtis built a large Italian-style mansion with a green-glazed tile roof in 1902 and named it after his daughter, 'Silvia'. In the 1950s, Pasha Ibrahim Hussein bought the mansion and named it Baia dei Fiori.
#4. Saint Jean Castle (Château Saint-Jean)
The splendid Saint Jean Castle is a neo-Gothic Venetian building with a one-hectare park and a private port with a marina that was built in 1899 by the German banker Carlo Wedekind.
The original name of the building was 'Chateau Wedekind'. In 1909, the Caste was bought by the Hungarian princess Wilma Lvov de Parlagi and named 'Château Saint-Jean'. A curious detail for that era: the bathroom has a sort of pool, 1.60 metres deep and 3 metres wide, which replaces the bathtub.
#5. Fiorentina Mansion, one of the most beautiful on the Côte d'Azur
A little further away, on the St Hospice Cape, a large mansion called La Fiorentina with a park of 22 hectares was built in 1917 for the Countess of Beauchamp. She later sold the house to Sir Edmund Davies, a tycoon who owned diamond mines in South Africa.
Much of the hiking trail that runs along the perimeter of the peninsula was created by his efforts. Under subsequent owners the house has changed, and the park has been reduced to three hectares. But the house still ranks among the most beautiful mansions on the Côte d'Azur.
#6. Primavera Mansion
In the 1880s the Primavera mansion appeared on a small promontory between Le Fos and Le Fosset beaches. The mansion was commissioned by Ernest Cunard, founder of the Cunard Line company, which offered ocean liner cruises to Australia, New Zealand and India.
Between the two world wars it was taken over by Herring Phillips of Philips of the Netherlands. President Giscard d'Estaing visited in 1974.
#7. Bruyère Villa
The Le Bruyere, built in 1908, was purchased after the First World War by Queen Victoria's son, the Duke of Connaught, and remained in his possession until 1942.
#8. Mauresque Villa
The English writer Somerset Maugham purchased La Moresk Villa in 1928, where he lived for many years until his death in 1965. In the four-hectare park, Maugham planted many fruit trees, including Europe's first avocados. The writer's fame peaked between the two world wars, and he often hosted distinguished guests, including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Winston Churchill.
#9. Tattooed Santo Sospir Villa
Jean Cocteau, a man of many talents, was a regular visitor to the Côte d'Azur, and memorials to his stay can be found in many French cities. In 1950, when the poet had finished filming The Terrible Children, his girlfriend Francine Weisweiler invited him to spend a few days at her villa on the Cap Ferrat peninsula.
Fascinated by the beauty and magical atmosphere of the place, Jean Cocteau stayed at the villa for several months and then came here regularly. It was during his first visit that the artist began, in his own words, to 'tattoo' the villa's bare white walls. He said: 'The Santo Sospir villa is like a woman. It was not necessary to dress her walls, it was necessary to paint on her skin: my frescoes are linear, with few colours and resemble tattoos. 'Santo Sospir is a tattooed villa.'
#10. Villa la Vigie
In 1898, the Lyon industrialist Emile Crozet Fourneron had a round-shaped Mansion House, 'La Vigie', built on the site of the former flour mills. This magnificent mansion, overlooking the town, offers spectacular panoramic views: from the Cape of Antibes to the shores of Italy.
#11. Beatrice Ephrussi Rothschild Villa
The Baroness Beatrice Ephrussi Villa, born a Rothschild, is a museum of the manners and tastes of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat during the Belle Epoque. The elegant pink palace, surrounded by a suite of seven themed gardens, is a kind of architectural whimsy where the canons of Italian palazzo and European Art Deco are intertwined.
All the rooms on the ground floor, like pearl necklaces, are strung together in a passageway and at the same time lead also to an inner, glass-domed patio with columns of pink marble. These private boiserie rooms now represent the rich private collection of the Baroness, a passionate connoisseur and collector of High Renaissance Italian art and 16th- and 17th-century French furniture, as well as valuable pieces from the French Academy of Fine Arts.
In the 'Salle Louis XVI' one can see personal items belonging to the French Bourbon royal dynasty. There are 18th-century paintings on the walls, including a canvas by Tiepolo. A sumptuous carpet from the Royal Chapel of the Palace of Versailles covers the floor.
The main decoration of 'Louis XV Hall' is a unique carved table which belonged to Philip of Orleans Regent, the wall decor is made by tapestries and paintings of French school of XVII century, including 'Columbine' by F. Boucher.
In the Beatrice Apartment, everything has been preserved as it was when she was a lady of the house
It is a room full of light, furnished in the style of Marie Antoinette, whose belongings can be found in the tiny dressing room next door. The 'Porcelain Hall' showcases a sumptuous collection of service porcelain.
The gardens surrounding the villa are particularly noteworthy: the French, Provençal, Spanish, Florentine, Japanese, exotic and rose gardens. They are open all year round and there is always room for the unexpected expression of the changing seasons.
How do I get to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat Castles?
The tranquil peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is almost equidistant from the bustle of Mediterranean Nice and the sumptuous artistry of Monaco, yet it manages to remain, as the locals say, the last jewel of the Côte d'Azur.
Spice up your Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat excursion with a scenic catamaran cruise from Monaco or Nice! Book a catamaran cruise from Monaco to visit the 11 famous villas and mansions of Cap Ferrat.
An exhilarating sea voyage of 1, 2 or more days with Signature Sailing Charter is a balanced and well organised crewed yacht cruise. A full range of services to organise your holiday on the Côte d'Azur, in particular Monaco, Nice or Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat with visits to the best sights, palaces and castles.
Book a scenic сatamaran cruise to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
Signature Sailing Charter offers boat trips to Cap Ferrat, not only from Monaco, but also from Nice and Cannes. You can book a boat trip to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat online on website:
- It could be a 1-day itinerary to the resort town;
- A 2-day itinerary for a weekend or at a time of your choice with an overnight stay on a catamaran;
- You can also choose an itinerary of 3 or more days for a boat trip to the Côte d'Azur with a visit to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat for 1 day.
Signature Sailing Charter offer a full range of services to organise your holiday on the Côte d'Azur!
Book it now and travel later! Your sea cruise will be in complete comfort, accompanied by a crew of three: a captain, a chef and a stewardess.
Signature Concept for 8 guests with comfortable cabins;
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Take advantage of our hot offer:
A boat trip to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat for 1, 2 or more days with a discount of 5 to 10%. Find out more at the link.
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We wish you a fabulous holiday!