The Côte D’Azur was a special place for Rudolf Nureyev, the world’s greatest ballet dancer who made France his home in the 1960s after he defected from the Soviet Union. He spent long summers here, swimming from private beaches near Monaco and Nice.
When he first came to Monte Carlo shortly after his famous defection in Paris he looked up towards the mountains and announced he would buy a villa in this extraordinary place. He did and this villa was La Bayadère, which soon became his retreat in southern France. He created his own dance studio, where he often danced with Margot Fonteyn, hosted wondrous parties and revelled in the wild gardens and beautiful surroundings.
The spirit of Nureyev lives on in La Bayadère. Named after the incredible ballet that Nureyev staged so close to his death in the late twentieth century, this villa has been passionately renovated by its new owners who rescued the home after it was left derelict. Original parquet flooring from Nureyev’s bedroom and study has been used in the apartment whilst the dance studio has been fully restored with its original sprung flooring and ballet barres, alongside modern gym equipment. The swirling design of the balustrade in the main house mimics Nureyev’s dance steps, whilst on the garden lawn, you can picture him dancing across the grass with the stunning backdrop of mountain views behind him.
Yet La Bayadère isn’t only a special piece of history, it is also a stunning holiday home in its own right. With natural light flooding into the upper floor of the main house, the living room offers a wonderful space to relax whilst the elegant Bulthaup kitchen and dining area is the perfect place to come together for feasts with fine wine and great food. Six contemporary bedrooms, five of which feature modern and luxurious bathrooms, makes this home perfect for family or friends wanting to relax in this magnificent setting.
Outside you can hear the birdsong alongside the flowing sound of the heated infinity swimming pool as you lounge on the decked terrace admiring the incredible views or gazing at the setting sun. The gardens that Nureyev so loved have been stunningly designed by internationally renowned Diarmuid Gavin who has created a truly special place, a haven just as it was when the ballet dancer was alive.
Wander into the nearby medieval village, La Turbie, where you can dine in excellent local restaurants and explore the historic delights of this pretty place. Head into the old town and discover idyllic flower-filled lanes filled with stone houses and little fountains. Drive down to the lovely beaches at Cap-d'Ail or explore the fascinating principality of Monaco with its characterful old town, fantastic Provençal market and glamourous casinos of Monte-Carlo, just a fifteen-minute drive away.
On the edge of a national park, there are some amazing walks across the region as well as tennis, rock-climbing and watersports nearby plus beautiful golf courses with glorious views. Explore further afield and drive to the wonderful beaches of the Cap-Ferrat peninsular, enjoy city life in Nice and you’re also not far from the glitz of Cannes. Inland there is a wealth of delightful villages to explore such as Èze and St Paul de Vence or head even further to swim in the waterfalls or rock pools at the Gorges du Loup.
There’s no doubt that during your time at La Bayadère you will soon discover why one of the greatest contemporary dancers ever loved this special place so much.
In the incredible Côte d'Azur in southern France, La Bayadère is set in the hills on the edge of a pretty medieval village, only a 15-minute drive from Monaco.
You can walk to the picturesque village of La Turbie (1km) where you will find popular local restaurants including the Michelin starred Hostellerie Jerome and charming food shops. It’s a stunning hilltop village full of history including the remains of the impressive Roman Trophee d'Auguste and its small museum.
In the old quarter, explore the narrow flower-filled lanes, passing stone buildings, pretty fountains and lovely churches. Enjoy magnificent views down towards Monaco, the Mediterranean and Italy.
There are some beautiful walks leading straight from the village such as towards Tête de Chien with an amazing viewpoint of Monaco and then down to Cap-d'Ail. The GR51 Côte d'Azur walking route also passes through the village. You’ll also find tennis courts nearby as well as the stunning Monte Carlo Golf Club with its incredible views just 5km north of the villa. Rock-climbing happens to be a popular pastime around La Turbie as well.
For a day at the beach, head down to Cap d’Ail (10km) where you will find Plage Marquet, easily accessed with shallow and clear waters as well as some watersports in the summer such as kayaks and catamarans. There are also some other stunning beaches reached via numerous steps, little paths and rocks. Further along the coast towards Nice, other beautiful seaside spots to visit include Eze-sur-Mer and Beaulieu.
It’s just a 15-minute drive down to Monaco, an incredible principality with four districts including the old town where you can stroll a warren of picturesque lanes and discover beautiful buildings such as St Nicholas Cathedral and Place du Palais. Visit Monte-Carlo and the famous Place du Casino to experience Monte Carlo’s high-life or head to the Codamine district and visit the atmospheric daily market where you can pick up some Provençal delights. Keen shoppers will also love the designer names on show in many of the boutiques found across Monaco.
Just under half an hour away is the charming city of Nice (18km) where you can explore the city’s art galleries and museums, visit the flower markets on Cours Saleya and admire the shops, restaurants and beach. Close to Nice, the peninsular of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is incredibly beautiful and has some amazing walking paths to follow with breathtaking views. The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is also a stunning villa and museum definitely worthy of a visit during your time here.
You are also only half an hour from the Italian border too, the pretty seaside town of Menton (15km) is just about on the French side or head further east to Sanremo (42km), Italy’s answer to Monte Carlo.
In the other direction, highlights of the French Riviera also include the glitz and glamour of Cannes (50km), the beautiful old town in Antibes (40km) as well as idyllic inland villages such as Èze (6km), St Paul de Vence (35km) and even Grasse (62km). Gourdon (58km) is another special place where you can swim from the rocks in the spectacular Gorges du Loup or discover the wonderful waterfalls nearby.
At Excellence Luxury Villas we pride ourselves on going that little bit further for our guests. From private chefs to babysitters we can help you arrange those little extras that make it a truly memorable holiday. Simply fill in the
concierge request form or contact Excellence Luxury Villas Concierge Team who will be happy to help. We can typically help you arrange any of the following:
- Maid service/extra cleaning
- Private chef/cook/catering
- Welcome hamper/pre-stocked fridge
- Local day-trips or tours
- Airport pick-up/drop-off
- Babysitting / childcare services
Extras included at this property:
- 4 hrs maid service per day
- Welcome basket
Extras available at this property (payable locally):
- Additional maid service / house-keeping which can include laundry, table-setting, washing-up etc.
- Chef service (full-time or for special occasion)
- Fridge-stocking/shopping service
Please note that all extras are subject to availability and must be requested in advance of the holiday (prices on request). Due to some rural/remote locations, not all services will be available at all properties. However, we will always do our best to fulfil your requests!