Daytrip to Saint Paul de Vence
One of the daytrips I love to do when I am in Nice, is to visit the village of Saint Paul de Vence. It’s one of my favorite villages in the South of France, so I am always planning a daytrip to this hilltop village which was founded in the 16th century. If you love arts and an authentic atmosphere, then will be this the perfect place for you!
How to get there
You can go to Saint Paul de Vence by car (ca. 20 minutes) or by bus number 400. I love to travel by bus because of the route. If you are lucky to have a seat near the window, you see the other villages, like Cagnes sur Mer, La Colle sur Loup and Saint Laurent. The bus stops at the beginning of the village, named “Saint Paul-Village.” From here it is only 5 minutes to the entrance of the old part of the village.
Discovering the village
I walked in the direction of the famous restaurant Auberge La Colombe d’Or. This “golden dove” was frequented in the twenties by artists such as Picasso, Soutine, Modigliani and Signac. They paid their stay and dinner with artworks which they created. You can still admire them. Nowadays, this restaurant, is the meeting point of the artists.
I walked along Café de la Place and the Petanque area (the Provencal variant of Jeu des Boules) to the gateway to the fortified village and came in Rue Grande. I noticed that it was not so busy. Wonderful! Now I could really enjoy the atmosphere!
Rue Grande has many little shops and art galleries. I was hardly able to take it all in! I It’s lovely to discover unique pieces of art or fashion and especially the “little” boutiques. In the Rue Grande I discovered an unique hidden gem. At the end of this street, you find the cemetery overlooking the valley. When the sky is clear, you can see the shimmering sea…
The church bell sounds. It’s midday. My stomach is rumbling. Almost automatically I walk towards Place des Tilleuls where you can find Restaurant “le Tilleul”,. This is the restaurant where I always enjoy my lunch when I am in Saint Paul de Vence. I can highly recommend the “Lasagne aux légumes de Provence, Ricotta & basilic et sa petite salade verte”. I sit under the lime trees (le tilleul) enjoying a glass of Evian water. It’s a warm day, but it’s perfect. A perfect place to rest my feet and enjoy the French way of life.
More to discover….
After this delicious lunch, it’s time to explore more of Saint Paul de Vence. Narrow streets without people. Old houses surrounded by a lot of flowers. Each corner is a surprise.
I walk along the city walls (Remparts Ouest) back toward the beginning of the village. Saint Paul de Vence has so much beauty and surprises. An artists place full of history and beautiful houses and wonderful views from each corner.
I can highly recommend to visit this interesting village. Stroll around, enjoy the atmosphere, buy a piece of art as a memory and enjoy a delicious lunch or drink.
Enjoy the French life!
For me, Saint Paul de Vence is an inspiring city so I decided that a part of my book takes place here. When I am strolling through the narrow streets, I almost feel at home and the story writes itself. I took pictures of all the details, tasted the way of life in this artists’ village. It is a magical place and I hope to return soon!
Have you ever been in Saint Paul de Vence?