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Villefranche River Cruises

About Villefranche

Villefranche is actually a name which many destinations in France share but when it comes to river cruises, the name refers to Villefranche-sur-Saone, which is, as you may have perhaps guessed, a port of call on a number of French river cruises which explore the beautiful and historic Saone River. As a settlement, it dates back to 1212, when it was founded by Guichard IV the Count of Beaujeu and became the capital of the Beaujolais region which is of course today synonymous with one of the country’s most famous wine exports. This pedigree ensures Villefranche enjoys a strong role in the wine trade and it remains one of the town’s strongest economies today.

Exploring Villefranche

The Municipal Paul Dini Museum is a popular tourist attraction in this picturesque riverside town, offering a wealth of exhibitions in a contemporary setting. It’s a great way to get a flavour of what life was like in the region as though it houses a number of rotating artwork exhibitions, a permanent display involves a panorama of the Rhone-Alps region which is not only artistically impressive but also informative. There’s also a factory and granary which offer a practical look at how industry was for the town and indeed the region in days gone by. Another popular museum in the town is Maisons du Patrimoine, which is a beautiful building in itself and home to a variety of artistic and cultural exhibits.

For lovers of all things natural and serene, Sapins Lake is certainly worth closer inspection, being home to some truly beautiful scenery. As well as being a popular spot for a variety of water sports activities, the lake also houses a large landscaped pool section, which is the perfect place to soak up the rays and then cool off if you’re visiting the town in the summer. Boats are available for hire and there’s also a crazy gold course, should you wish to practice your putting skills.

Local landmarks include the Church of Notre Dame des Marais, which has an attractive façade and a Romanesque tower which dates back to the 13th century, and the Pelican Niche; and eye-catching jewel-encrusted gothic sculpture which is mounted on a building close to the town’s post office.

Villefranche tips

Owing to its location in the Beaujolais region, Villefranche is a great place to sample French wine and it’s possible to try some for yourself either in any of the local cafes or restaurants or perhaps by booking a tour to a nearby wine estate. If you’re fortunate enough to be visiting Villefranche on the first Sunday of the month, you can get in the Paul-Dini Museum for free. 

Villefranche Itineraries

Avignon

Nice to Lisbon with Three Rivers Discovery

1 sailing date May 2021
20 Nights From Villefranche, France, France to Portugal , Lisbon, Portugal
Emerald Waterways logo CALL
Viviers

Lisbon to Nice with Three Rivers Discovery

2 sailing dates June 2021 to July 2021
20 Nights From Lisbon, Portugal, Portugal to France , Villefranche, France
Emerald Waterways logo CALL
Lyon

Three Rivers Discovery with Lisbon

1 sailing date May 2021
17 Nights From Villefranche, France, France to Portugal , Lisbon, Portugal
Emerald Waterways logo CALL
Arles

Lisbon with Three Rivers Discovery- Lisbon To Nice

2 sailing dates June 2021 to July 2021
17 Nights From Lisbon, Portugal, Portugal to France , Villefranche, France
Emerald Waterways logo CALL
Paris

Paris with Sensations of Lyon &Provence from paris

7 sailing dates April 2021 to October 2021
12 Nights From Paris, France to Villefranche, France
Emerald Waterways logo FROM £2639pp
Lyon

South of France with Monte Carlo

4 sailing dates May 2021 to August 2021
13 Nights From Lyon, France to Villefranche, France
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £4629pp
Viviers

Idyllic Rhône with Monte Carlo

1 sailing date September 2021
10 Nights From Monte Carlo, to France , Lyon
Scenic River Cruises logo FROM £3999pp
Villefranche

Grand Tour Of Corsica From Nice

24 sailing dates May 2021 to October 2021
8 Nights From Villefranche, France, France to Villefranche, France
CroisiEurope logo CALL
Lyon

Three Rivers Discovery Nice To Porto

7 sailing dates May 2021 to September 2022
14 Nights From Villefranche, France, France to Portugal , Porto
Emerald Waterways logo FROM £4299pp
Salamanca

Three Rivers Discovery Porto To Nice

5 sailing dates June 2021 to July 2022
14 Nights From Porto, Portugal to France , Villefranche, France
Emerald Waterways logo FROM £4789pp
Lyon

Colours Of Provence With Cote D’Azur And Geneva

1 sailing date July 2021
12 Nights From Monte Carlo, to Geneva, Switzerland
APT Cruising logo CALL
Paris

French Escapade

5 sailing dates April 2021 to October 2021
13 Nights From Villefranche, France, France to Paris
Tauck logo CALL
Lyon

Sensations of Lyon and Provence & Nice

6 sailing dates May 2021 to September 2021
10 Nights From Lyon, France to Villefranche, France
Emerald Waterways logo FROM £2949pp
Lyon

Sensations of Lyon & Provence with Nice

4 sailing dates May 2021 to October 2021
10 Nights From Villefranche, France, France to , Arrive UK
Emerald Waterways logo FROM £2749pp

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