Beaulieu-sur-Mer Baie des Fourmis by Patrice Semeria (Public Domain)
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Last Updated: 1 August 2023

Beaulieu-sur-Mer is a Mediterranean resort between Nice and Monaco, overlooking the beautiful Baie des Fourmis. With its shady palm tree-lined roads, lush Mediterranean vegetation, crescent-shaped beaches, marina and luxurious villas, Beaulieu is truly a charming destination.

Watch our short video on the French Riviera, an aerial journey from Toulon to Menton via Saint-Tropez, Cannes, Nice and Monaco ⤵



Situation of Beaulieu-sur-Mer

Today part of Nice’s suburbs, Beaulieu-sur-Mer is a commune in the département of Alpes Maritimes between Villefranche-sur-Mer and Èze-sur-Mer.

The Lower Corniche road (Corniche Inférieure) linking Nice to Menton by the coast passes through Beaulieu.

Beaulieu situation map

There are approximately 3,700 inhabitants in Beaulieu called “Berlugans”. Beaulieu is known for its luxurious villas nestled amongst lush Mediterranean vegetation and sheltered by a ring of craggy hills.

Beaulieu 5 by Patrice Semeria (Public Domain)
The seafront by Patrice Semeria (Public Domain)

Beaulieu literally means “Beautiful Place“, and the town is not the only one in France to bear the same name: more than 11 communes in the country bear the name “Beaulieu“, and ten others have their name starting with “Beaulieu”:

  • Beaulieu-en-Argonne (Meuse),
  • Beaulieu-les-Fontaines (Oise),
  • Beaulieu-lès-Loches (Indre-et-Loire),
  • Beaulieu-sous-la-Roche (Vendée),
  • Beaulieu-sous-Parthenay (Deux-Sèvres),
  • Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne (Corrèze),
  • Beaulieu-sur-Layon (Maine-et-Loire),
  • Beaulieu-sur-Loire (Loiret),
  • Beaulieu-sur-Oudon (Mayenne), and
  • Beaulieu-sur-Sonnette (Charente).


Beaulieu-sur-Mer: a bit of History

Beaulieu-sur-Mer © Gibert Bochenek - licence [CC BY 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons
Beaulieu-sur-Mer © Gibert Bochenek – licence [CC BY 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Excavations undergone in the village revealed that the Romans inhabited the site of Beaulieu.

Beaulieu shared the same history as the neighbouring town of Villefranche-sur-Mer, as it was part of the same commune until 1891. From the time Beaulieu was linked to Nice and Menton via the newly paved Corniche Inférieure and the railway, many celebrities and royalties visited the sea resort in winter.

Along with Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and Villefranche-sur-Mer, Beaulieu-sur-Mer is part of the “Golden Triangle”, a zone with France’s highest real estate prices after Paris.



Beaulieu 3 by Patrice Semeria (Public Domain)
The seafront by Patrice Semeria (Public Domain)

Some of the finest villas and hotels on the French Riviera were built in Beaulieu, notably the Kérylos Villa, the former Bristol Hotel, or the May Villa. There is no old town centre in Beaulieu but wonderful seaside location with views across to the peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.


The Kérylos Villa

Kerylos Villa © christophe recoura - licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons
Kerylos Villa © christophe recoura – licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Architect Emmanuel Pontremoli built the Kérylos Villa for French archaeologist Théodore Reinach (1860-1928) on a low rocky peninsula jutting into the sea. Reinach was passionate about Ancient Greece and wished to design a luxurious villa in Greek style reminiscent of Athenian mansions.

‘Kerylos’ means kingfisher in Greek, and the bird was considered of good omen.

The interior decoration and furnishing were chosen with great care to recreate the atmosphere of an Ancient Greece home.

Upon Reinach’s death in 1928, the villa was donated to the Institute of France he was a member of. His children and grandchildren lived there until 1967, when it was opened to the public as a museum.

>> Get your ticket to the Kérylos Villa <<


Kerylos Villa © christophe recoura - licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons
Kerylos Villa © christophe recoura – licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

The former Bristol Hotel

Rotonde of Beaulieu by Tangopaso (Public Domain)
Rotonde of Beaulieu by Tangopaso (Public Domain)

The former Bristol Hotel was built in 1898 between the railway station and the seashore. For many years it was one of the largest luxurious hotels, with 300 rooms and 150 staff members. The elaborate rotunda was inaugurated in 1904 with Corinthian columns capped by a cupula. It served as a dining room for the hotel’s guests.


English-French Vocabulary

Beaulieu by Patrice Semeria (Public Domain)
The church by Patrice Semeria (Public Domain)


(f) for féminin, (m) for masculin, (adj) for adjective and (v) for verbs

  • bay = baie (f)
  • beach = plage (f)
  • cape = cap (m)
  • Greek = Grec (m) / Grecque (f)
  • French Riviera = Côte d’Azur (f)
  • harbour = port (m)
  • hill = colline (f)
  • marina = port de plaisance (m)
  • Maritime Alps = Alpes Maritimes (f,p)
  • Mediterranean Sea = Mer Méditerranée (f)
  • mountain = montagne (f)
  • peninsula = péninsule (f)
  • port = port (m)
  • Roman = Romain (m) / Romaine (f)
  • villa = villa (f)

Featured image: Patrice Semeria (Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Gems of Paris by French Moments
About the author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of Discovery Courses and books about France.

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