Saint Paul de Vence in Provence, 12 k west of nice and 26 k from Cannes, can be seen from afar. It’s the sort of village that is so well known that you imagine it will be chock-a-block with tourists and craft shops. But in fact, it’s really lovely and well worth a visit. The views are quite stunning and the ramparts ordered by François I and built from 1537 to 1547 are still intact. More recently, it was a favourite haunt of Matisse and Modigliani; Chagall lived there for 20 years and is buried in the cemetary. There is a also a well-organised parking system.
10 thoughts on “Monday’s Travel Photos – Saint Paul de Vence”
Oh I wanted to go there when I was in the south of France a few months ago but we ran out of time. Looks adorable! I will definitely go next time.
It may be more crowded in summer but we were there last year during the last long weekend in May. You’ll love it! It’s much less touristy than Baux de Provence, for example.
This is one of Dad’s absolute favourites! We’d heard that the region can be packed in summer, which is why we stayed up north. Can’t wait to get back soon and explore!
Yes, spring and autumn are no doubt the best time. There are just so many places to visit in France, not to mention the rest of Europe …
I was lucky enough to visit early morning in June and didn’t experience any crowds although by the time we returned to our coach there were several others just arriving. Such a beautiful place. A real highlight and photographers paradise. Loved it.
Yes, early morning is definitely the best time to visit most places!
Gorgeous photos Fraussie. 🙂
Thank you Carina!
Agree, St Paul de Vence is a lovely place. We’ve visited several times over the years and usually combine it with a visit to the Maeght Gallery up on the hill. The Gallery itself is so interesting architecturally and the garden with all its modern art sculptures. Then of course its own collection is wonderful and they sometimes have good visiting exhibitions. There are quite a few parking spaces along the hill or up in the gallery’s own parking area. From there you can walk down into the village and enjoy wandering the ramparts and the wonderful little maze of streets, boutiques and galleries and little squares.
For lunch we like to go to the Colombe d’Or restaurant and if the weather is good, sit out in the famous courtyard (though the dining room is splendid with the collection of amazing works by the greats of the twentieth century who paid for their accommodation and/or meals by giving a painting or scupture). It’s a good idea to book in advance but not always necessary. Though if you don’t want to worry about finding a place to park in late spring or summer (can be a problem if arriving at lunch time), just book valet parking and they do it for you. The swimming pool area (resident guests only) is also beautiful, the water is a mysterious deep green and there is great sculpture. The history of the Colombe d’Or makes it even more interesting: all the famous artists who’ve dined or stayed there, and the writers, dancers and other stars who’ve loved it: Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and their crowd, Isadora Duncan, Yves Montand and Simone Signoret, Dirk Bogarde and many many others.
A visit there can be combined with a visit to Vence, just a little further on. Vence is a bit bigger but also interesting though not quite as picturesque. But the must-see is Matisse’s beautiful chapel, a lovely serene cool place, where even the stained glass and the vestments were designed by him. Best wishes, Pamela
If without a car, it’s quite easy to take a bus from the Gare Routier in Nice, it stops at both St Paul de Vence and Vence itself. Best wishes, Pamela
Hi Pamela, thank you for sharing your knowledge of Saint Paul de Vence. We didn’t go to the Maeght Gallery or to the Colombe d’Or which sounds like a wonderful experience. We did try to see Matisse’s chapel though, after visiting Vence, but unfortunately it was closed. I shall have to go back but in the meantime, my other readers will be able to benefit from your suggestions.