Just a short 15-minute drive from Cagnes sur Mer, in the Alpes-Maritimes, lies the fortified village of Saint-Paul de Vence, which dates back to the Middle Ages. It’s one of my favorite places to visit in the South of France. Exploring Saint-Paul de Vence should be on everyone’s itinerary when in the South of France.
Cars aren’t allowed inside the walls, but there are plenty of places to park outside. Try you hand at a game of Boules in the main square as you walk towards the historical center. You’ll find cafés and restaurants around the square as well.
Enter the Porte de Vence to explore the walled village, there’s a canon just before you reach the entry. Stroll along the rue Grande, the main street, which runs from one end of the village to the other. The village has charming medieval stone homes draped with bougainvillea vines, cobblestone alleys, and plenty of shops and art galleries to explore.
Fontaine de Saint Paul
Check out the Fontaine de Saint Paul built in 1615, right on rue Grande.
Visit two amazing churches
Walk up the stairs to the right of the fountain to the Place d’Eglise to see a 12th century tower, town hall and two churches.
Eglise Collégiate Saint Paul: beautiful church built in the 14th century and renovated in the 18th century.
La Chapelle Folon: built in the 17th century and featuring the work of Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon.
Walk the Ramparts
For the most amazing views, look for the vue (view) signs. You can walk along the ramparts around the village and see amazing views of the valley below, all the way to the Mediterranean.
Look for these signs to walk along the ramparts
Take a stroll through the Cimetière de Saint Paul de Vence, Chagall is buried there.
There are plenty of shops, art galleries, and boutiques to spend an entire day shopping. Obviously, I’m partial to food stores. You’ll find a fabulous Fromagerie (cheese shop), olive oil shop, spice shops and a wine shop too.
Speaking of food, La Colombe D’Or is a must for foodies. It’s a boutique hotel and restaurant, where artists such as Picasso and Matisse would stay for free in exchange for paintings. Needless to say, the artwork collection is breathtaking! Open for brunch, lunch and dinner, be sure to make reservations.
My favorite restaurant in Saint Paul is closed. But I must share the most amazing house-made Pâté I ate there, and they served a huge slice of it…
Art lovers will want to visit the Foundation Maeght art museum, founded in 1964 by Marguerite and Aime Maeght. It’s located at 623 Chemin des Gardettes in Saint-Paul de Vence. Hours: Monday-Sunday 10 am-5:30 pm.
If you find yourself on the French Riviera, make sure to explore beautiful Saint-Paul de Vence. Read Dining in Saint-Paul de Vence for more informations on this gorgeous town.
Have you been? Leave me a comment or email me! Keep traveling my friends,