Walk up to the village
It is a steep walk but well worth the effort... the lovely walled village of St Paul de Vence is packed with numerous cafés, boutiques and art galleries, and there is a superb view of the surrounding countryside from atop the walls.
Why not book in for a massage or a pampering day at the small Spa & Beauty Salon in St-Paul, 'Le Mas de Pierre', or in one of the larger thalassotherapy centres along the Cote d'Azur.
Wander round Vence
This medieval hilltop village is popular with visitors due to its largely intact city walls. It is also famous for its spring water, which can be collected from numerous fountains in the town. The cathedral was built in the 4th century on the site of a Roman temple, and a mosaic by Marc Chagall in 1911 is a notable later addition. Modern and contemporary art is on display in the Fondation Emile Hugues housed in the former chateau.
A market is held every morning in Vence's place du Grand Jardin, the perfect opportunity to buy fresh locally produced ingredients, and on a Wednesday second hand book and antique dealers also gather to trade. Or head for the old town of Nice where the daily flower market in the charming Cours Saleya square is a fragrant sight to behold.
The Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence was designed by renowned artist Henri Matisse and was completed in 1951. Its fairly simple forms and white walls allow the beautiful stained glass windows to take centre stage and vivid yellow, green and blue light streams across the interior. Three large tile murals adorn the walls and the priests' vestments were also designed by Matisse.
This museum dedicated to the work of Pierre-Auguste Renoir is just 4km away in Cagnes-sur-Mer. Once his family home, it had many famous visitors including fellow artists Rodin, Matisse and Modigliani. Extensively renovated in 2013 there are now additional spaces open to visitors and an extended collection of works on display, both sculptures and paintings.
‘Fondation Maeght’ Modern Art Museum
Set on the hill just above the village of St-Paul, the museum and its grounds house many interesting paintings, sculptures, mobiles, and mosaics including works by artists such as Bonnard, Braque, Kandinsky, and Chagall.
Go horse riding
...at the stables virtually opposite the house!
Grasse's perfume houses
A chance to visit the historic premises of the famous Parfumeries of Grasse should not be missed - see how perfume is produced and have a go at being a 'nose'!
are available in Vence.
Keep the children entertained
Have a fun family day out down on the coast near Antibes, where you can choose from the Espace Marineland marine park, the Aquasplash water park, the Far West theme park and also a mini-golf course.
Parc Zoologique de Fréjus
This zoological park stretches over a vast 20 hectares, which can be visited either by foot or in the car. It boasts over 110 different species of mammals, reptiles and birds, and is a fantastically entertaining and educational day out for all the family.
One of the most luxurious and prestigious destinations on the Côte d'Azur, Cannes is easily accessible at only 30 minutes drive from St Paul, and offers a wide variety of activities for everyone. It is best known for its fashionable designer boutiques and being home to the famous annual Film Festival, which brings an influx of stars and celebrities every May. However, venture deeper into Cannes' older quarters to discover an area teeming with character, a labyrinth of winding cobbled passageways and tiny streets leading down to the Old Port, whilst enjoying the beautiful Mediterranean climate, dominated by sea, sand and sun.
Relax on the white sandy beach of Juan-les-Pins or explore the the little streets of the Vieux Ville (old town). Here you will discover the impressive cathedral and the Picasso museum, housed in the Chateau Grimaldi.
Venture to Nice
A 30 minute drive will take you the capital of the French Riviera, the city of Nice, a veritable goldmine for lovers of culture, art, retail and cuisine. As well as offering a wealth of culinary delights at the many restaurants and cafés that line the sun-soaked streets, Nice is a feast for the senses with its daily markets offering an abundance of flowers, local produce and Provençal crafts. In addition, the city is a must-visit for cultural enthusiasts, with over 20 museums and galleries, and was home and inspiration to the world famous modernist artist Henri Matisse for over 30 years.
Approximately 45 minutes drive will take you to the principallity of Monaco, famous for its casinos and the Grand Prix motor racing circuit.
Water sports and activities
including jetskiing, parasailing and banana boats/rubber rings are at Cagnes-sur-Mer or Villeneuve-Loubet.
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