Cap Ferrat

The village of St. Jean Cap Ferrat

The Cap Ferrat peninsula is a playground for the rich, with exclusive villas, luxury gardens, and fabulous yachts in the St. Jean marina.

King Léopold II of Belgium started the trend in the 19th century when he built the villa, Les Cèdres, on the west side of the cape overlooking Villefranche. Today, the 35-acre park is open to the public and a 7-acre lake on his estate has been turned into the Parc Zoologique, complete with chimps' tea parties. In 1906 he built the Villa Mauresque for his personal priest; 20 years later it was bought by Somerset Maugham. Cap Ferrat became very prestigious in 1938 when the Duke and Duchess of Windsor rented a villa here. Post war residents have included David Niven and Edith Piaf. High hedges and gates protect these exotic villas, but one of the finest, Musée Ephrussi de Rothschild, is open to the public.

View of Cap Ferrat from Villa Rothschild

Scenic walking trail around Cap Ferrat

Cap Ferrat lighthouse

A pretty shoreside walk leads around the Pointe St. Hospice, east of the port at St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, a former fishing village with old houses overlooking the harbor. There is a superb view from the little garden around the 1837 lighthouse at the end of the cape.

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