Welcome back to another instalment of your South of France surveyor’s guide to some of the hidden gems of this wonderful region of the world. So far, we’ve taken you on a whistle-stop tour of the medieval town of Sartène and the fishing port of Villefranche-Sur-Mer, and now it’s the turn of St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.


Located between the famous and exciting locations of Nice and Monaco, you’ll find the “last gem of the Côte d’Azur” the peaceful and quiet peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

The area has thankfully been protected by strict architectural regulations which mean it hasn’t been overdeveloped like much of the French Rivera. Fewer luxury apartments and more traditional constructions can only be a good thing – depending on your tastes of course – and has resulted in a region which has successfully maintained its aesthetic.

The architectural aesthetic isn’t the only piece of this peaceful peninsula which is protected though, as it’s part of the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals as well. This sanctuary is jointly managed by France, Monaco, and Italy and makes Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat a fantastic place from which to spot some of our sea-bound cousins, such as whales and dolphins.

You can ride a funicular down to the luxurious Club Dauphin and swim in its 30s era infinity edged swimming pool. The pool and its terrace are perched just above the Mediterranean and offers arguably the best views of the sea and the wildlife found therein.


No visit to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat would be complete without a visit to The Ephrussi de Rothschild Villa and Gardens.

Constructed by Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild in the early 1900s, the villa has three separate gardens – Japanese, Exotic, and French – connected by labyrinthine paths which take in ponds, flower beds, sculptures, and waterfalls, as well as lavish fountains designed by the Baroness herself. The house itself is a visual treat as well with everything from the ornate marble reception hall to the lavish apartments of Madame Ephrussi herself.

Less prominent, but equally worth your time to visit is the Villa Santo Sospir. Once owned by socialite Francine Weisweiller, the estate was regularly visited by the legendary writer, filmmaker, and artist Jean Cocteau who spent 13 years decorated the villa with many murals, mosaics, and frescos. This, in turn, drew the attention of another famous artist – Pablo Picasso – who also contributed to the decorations.

It’s well worth getting the guided tour around the Villa Santo Sospir, as the spoken word guide is almost as intriguing as the estate itself.

If you fancy venturing out a short way, you can find the medieval seaside village of Eze less than 20 minutes from Cap Ferrat. The narrow and well-preserved streets climb the steep cliff to the ruins of a 12th-century castle and the Jardin Exotique d’Eze, a lush botanical garden on the Place du Général de Gaulle.

Final Thoughts

Augmenting these wonderful sights are the usual French Riviera staples of great food and wine with which to round off a great day’s travelling and sightseeing.

If our guide has got you hungry for your own adventure on the Riviera, then a great place to start looking for property is by contacting a professional and experienced South of France surveyor such as Charles Mackintosh.

Please get in touch today for more information and insights.