Villa Kérylos visitor guide

Photo of Villa Kérylos

Visit Villa Kérylos, France

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Villa Kérylos is an impressive villa on a peninsula in the town of Beaulieu-sur-Mer on the French riviera. The house is named after the Greek word Kérylos, which means "swallow of the sea" and is a reference to the flying fish that used to be seen in the water here.

Explore Villa Kérylos

Villa Kérylos is a most unusual idea: at the beginning of the 20th century (from 1902-1908) the architect Emmanuel Pontremoli designed a villa for his client, Théodore Reinach, that was a recreation of a Greek villa.

Both Mr Reinach and Mr Pontremoli were enthusiasts of Ancient Greece and their goal was to combine the main elements of a Greek villa of the 2nd century BC as found on the island of Delos with the furnishings and comforts of a belle epoque villa, the more common architectural style in France at the beginning of the 20th century.

The project started by selecting a very impressive location, on a headland on the French riviera in the town of Beaulieu-sur-Mer with views across the Mediterranean and across to Cap Ferrat. It was thought that the site was similar to the coast that would be found in Greece. The views from the villa are a significant part of the appeal of the project.

Main salon in Villa Kerylos

Although the outside of Villa Kérylos appears rather basic (and modern in design), no expense was spared on the interior which includes various features based on marble, alabaster and exotic woods, all work carried out to a very high quality.

Among the most obviously Greek elements in Villa Kerylos is the arcade room, with its marble columns around the edges. It is the surfaces of the rooms that is the most impressive, with almost all surfaces having received great attention to detail, from the mosaics on the floor and the frescoes on the walls, to the carefully painted wood beams of the ceilings. Numerous statues, vases and other decorative elements also help to recreate the epoque of the Ancient Greeks.

Although the combination of early 20th century furniture with Greek architecture does not always seem ideal, the furniture is based on items of real furniture from Ancient times as found in Pompeii and the project works very well.

Among the unusual features, the dining room has beds rather than chairs so that meals could be enjoyed while lying down, and the desks are designed to be used while standing up instead of sitting down! The salons dedicated to art and music are also among the highlights of a visit, and the bathrooms are also quite extraordinary and luxurious.


Visiting Villa Kerylos

The Ville Kerylos is open all year except January 1, May 1, November 1, November 11 and December 25. It opens at 10.00 each day and closes between 17.00 and 19.00 depending on season (the later time is from June to September).

Admission was rather expensive (about 12 euros) but although a visit to Ville Kerylos only takes about an hour, it is so unusual and well designed, especially the mosaics and the views, that we recommend you visit the villa when you are in the area. If you are also visiting Villa Ephrussi a reduced price ticket is available to visit both villas.

We visited in June and Villa Kérylos was very quiet, so I don't think you need be concerned about crowds spoiling your visit. The main photo that we have used above requires that you pass a closed gate with a 'no entry' sign and walk out along the edge of the port. The gate was unlocked when we visited so we could get passed it...

Ceiling in Villa Kérylos

Attractions nearby

The principal attractions nearby are the charming resort of Beaulieu-sur-Mer and the Cap Ferrat peninsula. Note that on Cap Ferrat you can also visit the Villa Ephrussi, surrounded by garden and very different in style to Villa Kerylos, and also well worth visiting.

Explore elsewhere in the Cote d'Azur. You can find more travel ideas in the Alpes-Maritimes guide and the Provence guide.

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Visit near Villa Kérylos with France This Way reviews



One of the more low-key riviera resorts, Beaulieu-sur-Mer is a pleasant place to take a promenade and to visit Villa Kérylos, a recreation of a 2nd century Greek villa

Beaulieu-sur-Mer guide
Villa Ephrussi

Villa Ephrussi

Villa Ephrussi is an beautiful villa with views across the Riviera, impressive architecture and extensive gardens

Villa Ephrussi guide


The small harbour town of Villefranche-sur-Mer is in one of the loveliest positions on the Cote d'Azur

Villefranche-sur-Mer guide
Cap Ferrat

Cap Ferrat

Cap Ferrat has a pretty port, a lovely coast walk and the Ville Ephrussi among its highlights

Cap Ferrat guide
The Jardin Exotique d'Eze

The Jardin Exotique d'Eze

The Exotic Garden of Eze is a beautiful garden overlooking the Cote d'Azur

The Jardin Exotique d'Eze guide


Eze is one of our favourite villages in the whole of France, with exceptional coast views and a lovely traditional (pedestrianised) village

Eze guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Alpes-Maritimes

The French version of this page is at Villa Kérylos (Francais)