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935km (581 miles) S of Paris; 6km (4 miles) E of Nice

Just east of Nice, the coastal Lower Corniche sweeps inland to reveal Villefranche, its medieval Old Town tumbling downhill into the shimmering sea. Paired with a dazzling sheltered bay set against picturesque Cap Ferrat beyond, it’s little wonder than countless artists made this beachy getaway their home—or that it’s served as the cinematic backdrop for numerous movies including “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”. Hit British TV soap opera “Riviera,” which follows various art, crime, and seduction scandals across the South of France, filmed its second series here through 2018. 

All in all, Villefranche is tailor-made for a romantic wander. Coastal trails run from the marina and beach of Plage Darse to the sandy town beach underneath the train station. Serious strollers may now walk all the way to Nice (with a short hop up to the lower corniche road halfway along), thanks to a newly inaugurated coastal trail.