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Saint Paul De Vence - Hilltop Charm in Cote D'Azur





If you search for the "most beautiful villages in Cote d'Azur", St. Paul de Vence will come up every single time, alongside dramatic Eze and culinary Mougins.
 
This might be because of its' proximity to Nice and Cannes, or simply because it's a perfectly preserved, little medieval town, in a movie-like setting of manicured greenery and rolling hills.  

Remember, no cars allowed in the town so prepare for a steep climb in order to get within the walls. But once you are in the old town, just wander around, don't worry too much about looking at the map, you can't get lost!
The town has two main roads that run all along the old centre, one is full of antique shops and the other is completely quiet and empty, what a contrast, a few yards apart!
 

Approaching St Paul de Vence

Watering spots in the middle of the old town

Cheeky art in one of the dozens of galleries in town - off course we both proclaimed that "we want that gnome" as soon as we spotted it!

Strolling around the old town, you are spoiled for choice, when it comes to art.
Galleries open up in every little nook possible, stairs leading down to what can only be Aladdin's caves, staffed with paintings, classic furniture and all lovely things imaginable.
 

The quieter side of town

At the end of the main route you'll find yourself at the tip of the old town - climb up the old ramparts and absorb the view.
The first thing you see just below the ramparts is the town's cemetery, believe it or not, it's as well kept as the rest of the scenery,  impressive!
Allow your eyes to slowly follow the hills, all the way to the sea. It's a small but very satisfying journey.

View to the north and the Alps Maritimes
Follow the hills all the way to the Mediterranean...
The end of the road - literally! This is the southern tip of the old town.
 
Things you need to know:
No cars are allowed in the village, so if you are staying in the old centre, pack light, you don't want to be dragging an endless train of luggage around the pebbly streets.
Also wear flats or wedges, heels are a suicide mission!
I found this charming poet's corner house to rent on Aibnb - if you do that make sure to buy some provisions before hand, there are almost no groceries shops in the village.

It was time for a rest from the heat and a spot of lunch.
We picked a spot just under the old trees in Place de Tilluel, where restaurant Le Tilluel had set up  camp. Melon and prosciutto alongside some Pastis on ice, made everything better.
The occasional breeze and the view, also took our mind away from the heat.

Goat's cheese salad

Beautiful view and a refreshing lunch of fresh, fragrant melon with prosciutto.

We found just one shop open with lovely salamis, cheese, dried fruit and fois gras.
All the staples you really need for a picnic around here. It's right by Place de Tilluel and you must visit it! We bought this lovely salami with nougat and dried cherries. I made a little spread with our goodies, when we got back home and invited the family for a Sunday spot of lunch - a little nice way to bring back our lovely day in St Paul.

The views are spectacular, all the hills around are covered in honey-coloured and terracotta villas with light green and turquoise painted shutters - it's a real life post card.

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