Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is a hidden gem in the exclusive area of Saint Jean Cap Ferrat. It overlooks the azure waters of the Mediterranean and is a must-visit landmark on the French Riviera.
You can also visit the enchanting hilltop village of Eze along the way to Villa Ephrussi.
By doing this, you could combine the hustle and bustle of the city with an enchanting hillside village and a decadent French villa. A great way to see different places on the French Riviera in a day.
Do you need to arrange travel insurance, car hire or accommodation? Please check out my resources page to help you plan your trip.
How to reach Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild
The property and gardens are located 10 kilometres from Nice and Monaco.
By Train: The nearest station is Beaulieu-Sur-Mer, after which a taxi would be the easiest option.
By Car: A car park is available at the property, and road access is by the lower cliff road.
If arriving from Eze, a taxi would be advisable as the route is difficult by public transport.
Opening hours of Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild
The good news is that the gardens are open 365 days a year throughout the changing seasons.
Open daily from 10 a.m to 6 p.m, apart from the long summer months of July and August when they shut at 7 p.m.
In the winter months of November through to January, it opens for the shorter hours of 2 p.m. until 6 p.m., and the tea rooms are open from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday to Friday and from 11 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. on weekends and bank holidays.
The last admission is 30 minutes before closing time.
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild History
Constructed between 1905 and 1912 for Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild following her divorce in 1904 from Baron Maurice Ephrussi.
It took seven years to complete due to Beatrice’s ever-changing demands on how she wanted it to look.
Maurice Ephrussi, 15 years her senior, gambled away his wealth and passed an illness on to the Baroness.
These health complications resulted in her being unable to conceive a child, and in 1904, a year before the villa’s construction, they divorced.
When her father, of the Rothschild banking dynasty, died in 1905, he left her his fortune, which enabled her to start constructing the Renaissance-style villa.
Beatrice created a private zoo within the gardens containing exotic animals from around the world. She used the villa until she died in the 1930s, after which it was bequeathed to the Institute of France as a fine art museum.
Villa Ephrussi in the 21st Century
Today the villa emits a happy and carefree vibe with its pink and white facade, ponds, fountains and well-kept gardens.
Its pathways meander around the rocky landscape it is built upon and allow 360-degree views of the coastline.
Inspired by Beatrice’s travels, nine different gardens give the garden colour and interest. There is a diverse range of planting from flowers to cacti and palm trees to grasses.
Dancing Fountains and Gardens
A highlight of the visit is to see the magical water fountains in the French garden come alive.
Every twenty minutes, they dance to the sound of classical music, and the backdrop of the pastel-pink villa almost makes you want to twirl your way around the gardens.
It is such a pretty and photogenic place to visit that you won’t want to leave. If you head to the classical temple at the top of the French garden, it makes an enchanting point to view the Villa Ephrussi.
Lunch at the Villa Ephrussi
Before you look around the villa, you can enjoy lunch and refreshments in Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild’s original dining room.
The delicious food and the unrestricted view of the Bay of Villefranche are fabulous.
If you are lucky enough to get an inside window seat, you will be the envy of all and in the summer months, enjoy refreshments on the terrace underneath the orange trees.
Take a look inside the Villa Ephrussi
Inside the villa, you can admire the artwork, including furniture, tapestries, and porcelain, that the Baroness had collected over her lifetime.
Wander through her private quarters and imagine what it would have been like to live there.
Head to the upstairs balcony, look out over the gardens and water features and take away memories of your visit to the beautiful Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild.
Please Pin for Future Travel to France
Are you looking for further French travel inspiration? Please check out the following posts:
- Discover The French Riviera in 3-Nights: The Best Travel Guide
- 9 Most Beautiful French Beaches and Coastal Towns to Visit in France
- 8 Sensational French Wine Regions To Visit For Wine Tasting in France
- 16 Most Beautiful Towns and Villages in the South of France
- 10 Fun Things to do in Beaune, France – The Wine Capital of Burgundy
- 12 Great Reasons To Visit Chamonix in Summer