Having a difficult time convincing your teens to accompany you to Villefranche-sur-Mer for the holidays? It’s hard to fathom that your teams wouldn’t jump at the chance to vacation on the French Riviera, but teens tire of following their parents around to expensive boutiques, historic sites, long opulent meals at restaurants, and famous museums. So, we have designed a custom tailored itinerary just for teens which takes advantage of this most divine part of the Cote d’Azur which is brimming with activities which are fun, safe, and can be accomplished without adult supervision!
DAY ONE: Fun in the sun in Villefranche
When it comes to seaside fun, you really need not venture far from your own front door at Villa Hippocampo. Villefranche beaches offer the sea lover crystal clear azur water, clean beaches, beach clubs with chaise lounges and snacks, and a myriad of water-based sports to indulge in. Scour the harbour side and grab yourself some fins and a snorkel and spend your first day basking in the crystal clear waters of the Villefranche bay. Hard core divers can join one of the many SCUBA centres for a half-day trip, and anyone with extra energy to burn should join the kayaking aficionados who make this their regular haunt.
For a relaxing lunch option, why not skip the usual seated affair, and grab some friends and a full picnic basket. Eat on the beach or rent a boat and take your picnic to your destination of choice. There are several boat companies on the harbour which rent out small vessels called yaks which are an absolute blast to navigate on your own. The protected waters of the bay make it ever so easy to beach hop.
Spend your afternoon on terra firma, and take a hike out of town. The coastal walks out of Villefranche are certainly popular with easy hikers, so we suggest you take it up a notch and work up some real sweat. Head uphill on Rue de Victorie until you reach the staircase of the Campo Quadro. Go up the narrow 600-something staircase until you reach the middle cornice (Moyenne Corniche). The views from here, are spectacular to say the least and a fab reward for all that hard work. Turn left and continue walking, admiring the incredible skyline of Nice on your right hand side. Continue climbing up to the Mont Alban Castle ruins and, after exploring what remains of this incredible fortress, you can start heading downhill towards the coast. One of the most splendid things about his walk is that you’ll be immersed in dense forest while admiring the most impressive coastal views of the whole Riviera. In just a wee while you’ll be back on the Villefranche-sur-Mer harbour side, having experiences a whole different side of the Cote d’Azur.
If you’re visiting in summer, pack some nibblies and drinks and set up camp in front of the huge open-air cinema inside the Villefranche Citadelle. English language films are shown amidst the ancient backdrop, and watching a movie here is one of the most unforgettable experiences you’ll ever have.
DAY TWO: Segway Tour of Nice
Want to have a fun-filled tour of nearby Nice? Then hop on a train or board a bus from Villefranche on day two of your vacation and join the guys at Segway Mobilboard for an extremely unique tour of one of the coasts’ most famous stretches. Segways, the self-balancing vehicles which seem to have taken the world by storm, are not only sensationally fun but also extremely easy to operate.
Take the two-hour orientation tour, and glide your way through Nice’s most special landmarks; the Old Town, markets and Promenade along the water will be interesting we know…but it’ll be the Segway that will get full marks for fun-factor here!
If you haven’t had enough adrenalin pumping fun, then we strongly urge you to book a paragliding jump off the Cheiron Mountain just an hour inland from Nice. The accommodating concierge at Villa Hippocampo will be more than happy to organize this once-in-a-lifetime experience for you and we can humbly assure that by the time you go home, you’ll think the French Riviera is anything but dull!
DAY THREE: Shop till you drop in Ventimiglia
As far as clothing, leather and knick-knack markets on the French Riviera are concerned, nothing even remotely comes close to the one in Ventimiglia. Granted…that’s actually in Italy, but in this day in age, what with open borders and all, that’s just being pedantic!
Hop on a train and cross into Italy on your last day on the coast and come visit the now famous Ventimiglia Friday market. From the most delectable foodie treats, to some of the most gorgeous leather bags, sandals, shoes and vintage clothing; the Ventimiglia market is a bona fide tourist attraction this side of the Atlantic. Don’t let the hoards of cute little old French ladies with empty shopping carts fool you! The markets here are packed with some seriously funky stuff.
For a relaxing lunch, grab a mozzarella and prosciutto focaccia from the market and head to the Ventimiglia beach, where you can enjoy some quite spectacular views of the other side of Cap Ferrat.
Take a mid-afternoon train back to Villefranche and take a dip in the luxurious infinity pool, followed by sunbathing on the chaise lounges overlooking the coastline which you have been exploring for the past three days. Still think that a vacation on the French Riviera is boring for teens? Think again!