Exploring St Paul de Vence

Just ten minutes drive from Vence is the equally gorgeous but far more touristy St Paul de Vence. Tourists flock here and crowds are so not my thing but I have to say, despite all this the ancient charm of St Paul de Vence is not lost in any way. This is a gem, surely it must be one of the most beautiful villages in France.

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We found a parking spot on the main road just down from the Fondation Maeght and walked a short way to the village. At first glimpse, sitting on its rocky outcrop you know this place is going to be special.

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We entered via the original stone gateway through the 16th century ramparts. The main street runs from one end to the other, is narrow and cobbled and has a couple of side streets to explore. We just wandered.

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There are so many attractive medieval houses and lovely facades and some have statues tucked into nooks in the walls.

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There are loads of art galleries, cafes, art and craft shops and so much to take in. Son found an ice-cream shop pretty much straightaway – lavender flavour went down very well with me.

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There are elegant fountains in the middle of the village and vine covered stone walls. Even the ground is gorgeous as the cobblestones are laid into the shape of flowers.

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We strolled right to the far end and found the belvedere. Magnificent views over the hills to the sea beyond.

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We went into the quiet little cemetery and found the grave of Chagall covered with coins and pebbles.

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Back up through the main street, we stopped off at a little cafe, sipped drinks sitting in the sunshine and just soaked up the wonderful atmosphere of this special place.

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34 thoughts on “Exploring St Paul de Vence

  1. St Paul de Vence is as gorgeous as you’d expect Joy! Wonderful photos and not too many tourists from the look of your photos or was everyone else having a siesta?! The lavender ice cream sounds delicious and that macaron tower..!! I love the soft honey coloured stone of these provencal villages and the hilltop setting well you can’t go past that or those wonderful views! Sitting in a cafe watching the world go by – simply perfect! Merci and wishing you a lovely week! 🙂

    • It was fairly busy and there were several coaches around Rosemary but somehow we managed to get pictures without people in them!! Not sure at all how that happened. It was such a beautiful village, we’d been before years ago but I was just as overwhelmed this time! Hope your week is going well too.

      • Well you did very well!! Provence remains on my wishlist – have been to the coast but not the inland. All these beautiful villages – breathtaking and such a lovely pace of life too! Yes much better week catching up on lots of things and enjoying some sunshine! 🙂

  2. It’s just about fall here in Vancouver, and the view today is grey, grey, grey. All the more reason to love your sharing summer sunshine! Loved every bit of it. The hilltop town silhouette reminds me a lot of my husbands’ family and their northern Italian towns, but France! And the macarons! Thank you for the morning cheer…

    • It’s so gorgeous Lara, looking back at the pictures brings back some lovely memories of wandering around those gorgeous streets. We are enjoying some unexpected sunshine here – an Indian summer which is more than welcome!

    • It is such an incredibly popular village but so beautiful that you can deal with the crowds and it’s absolutely worth all of that. Those pavements – a simple idea but so lovely, we just make do with the concrete slabs!!

  3. Great photos! I was just there about a year ago with my family and it was one of our favorite excursions from our Med. cruise. Great for all ages (as long as you can handle walking on those cobbled streets!)

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