Top 4 of the most beautiful villages on the French Riviera !
Orlane M | Lifestyle | Published on Monday September 5, 2022 at 01:18 pm
Top 4 of the most beautiful villages on the French Riviera ! The French Riviera is known worldwide for its luxurious hotels, its good restaurants and its famous beaches. But not only since the region is also home to many jewels perched on the sides of its hills.
Between sea and mountains, these authentic villages, full of charm where life is good, make up the unique character of the French Riviera. Discover our selection and some addresses not to be missed under any circumstances.
1- Èze: the Riviera phoenix
To start, a tourist hotspot on the French Riviera, although very popular, Èze village is a place not to be missed. Perched in an eagle’s nest at the top of an impressive cliff, Èze is one of the most picturesque villages in the region.
Small alleys, vaulted passages, superbly restored stone houses, small craft shops, shaded squares… Èze is one of the typical villages of Provence. Several of the village’s monuments are also classified as historical. The village also offers superb views of the Cap Ferrat peninsula and the entire French Riviera.
The famous botanic garden
You can visit the sublime exotic botanical garden, where an impressive collection of cacti, succulents and rare species surround the remains of an old castle destroyed by Louis XIV at an altitude of 400 m at the top of the cliff overlooking the sea. Dazzling !
The garden can be visited according to “thematic routes”, there are also 15 clay sculptures signed Jean-Philippe Richard.
Located a little away from the village, we also recommend that you discover the neo-classical style Church of Notre Dame de l’Assomption and its baroque nave. Several times struck by lightning, its original dome has disappeared over the years. The Church was built in the 19th century and is classified as a historical monument.
Also, you will have the possibility if you wish to eat in one of the many good little restaurants with Mediterranean cuisine that Èze village has.
Finally, you can stop to breathe the wonderful fragrances of the two most important perfumers in Grasse, Fragonard and Galimard.
The botanical garden welcomes you every day at the price of 6€/person :
July/August/September from 9 a.m. to 7.30 p.m.;
April/May/June/October from 9 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.;
January/February/March/November/December from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
2- Saint-Paul-de-Vence, the refuge of artists
Located just 20km from Nice, Saint-Paul, by its real name, is the unmissable village in the hinterland of Nice. Its warm atmosphere, its architecture, its historical heritage and its many art galleries will seduce you.
Architecture and monuments
Saint-Paul-de-Vence has many unmissable sites. You can start by strolling and appreciating the charming architecture of the village. Pretty cobbled streets, small squares, old fountains, imposing stone buildings maintained with care, etc.
Then, old medieval city, the ramparts are still accessible and will allow you to do part of the tour of the village. However, be careful, it is quite narrow.
Also, the village hides several religious monuments which are worth seeing such as the keep. The only vestige of the old fortress dating from the 12th century and which now houses the town hall. But also different chapels, each prettier than the other, such as Notre-Dame de la Gardette, Saint-Michel, Saint-Bernard or even Saint-Etienne. Also, the Romanesque Church, transformed into a collegiate church in the 17th century, which contains a magnificent Baroque chapel. You can also see relics taken from the catacombs of Rome.
Legendary restaurants and art galleries
Take a detour through the famous Auberge de la Colombe d’or, this place, known throughout the world, combines the sweetness of provincial life with an astonishing collection of modern art. Very great artists such as Pablo Picasso, Matisse, Braque, Léger, Calder and many others, left magnificent works there. Works that are now part of this exceptional place.
In continuity and for art lovers, take the rue Grande in which you can discover a plethora of art galleries of different styles. On the list of must-see sites and not the least, the Maeght Foundation, museum of the Vençois country, probably one of the best known on the Côte d’Azur! A remarkable space imagined by collector Aimé Maeght, dedicated to the greatest artists of the 20th century: Miro, Braque, Giacometti, Calder, Chagall…
It is an architectural ensemble made of concrete and pink bricks designed by José Luis Sert with the idea that all the works receive daylight. To integrate the museum into the maquis, the architect kept the unevenness of the ground and interspersed the rooms with patios and pools. Which gives an aspect of tranquility and serenity, the trees have not been uprooted either and fit perfectly into the museum.
The village has some very good restaurants, some with stunning views of the Mediterranean.
Without a shadow of a doubt, this village is definitely one of the small perched wonders of the region that you absolutely must discover.
3- Biot, the village of glassblowers
Located on the heights of Sophia-Antipolis and only a few minutes from Antibes, the pretty village of Biot attracts many visitors, locals and tourists alike. It is certain that its timeless charm, with its medieval houses, its cobbled and flowery streets, and its talented designers will charm you.
Indeed, in the 18th century Biot was well known for its pottery, which it exported at the time to the Americas and India. Making the village one of the most important manufacturing centers of oil jars. In 1956, Éloi Monod perfected the bubble glass technique and created the Verrerie de Biot, which then became the city of crafts.
During your visit, you can start by strolling through the many small shady streets of the village. You can admire the great diversity of talented creators. Ceramists, mosaic artists, glassmakers, jewellers, illustrators, leatherworkers, artistic ironworkers, painters or even fresco artists, Biot is a paradise for the art of living.
We advise you to visit the glass eco-museum. This large hall will allow you to admire the master glassmakers working all day. You will be able to observe all the stages of manufacturing a piece, from the “picking” of the molten glass to the finish.
Like all the other villages in the region, you can eat in one of the many small traditional restaurants. You will find them mainly rue Saint-Sébastien, which is the main axis of the center of Biot.
Departmental Park “La Brague”
Also, nature lovers you will be charmed by this village which hides the Brague Departmental Park. It stretches over 480 hectares and you will find 5 hiking trails to indulge in all around the village. Crossed by the Brague river, the fauna and flora are lush. You will be able to meet there udders, cuckoos, ducks but also wild boars and pheasants. For the greatest pleasure of your toddlers!
4- Tourettes-sur-Loup, “The city of violets”
Perched at an altitude of 1200 meters, this medieval village also called “La cité des violettes”. Tourettes-sur-Loup will seduce you with its white stone architecture, thus differentiating it from other villages in our region. This small fortified village around its castle unfolds on a main street formed in a half-moon.
Another artists heaven
Like Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Tourettes-sur-Loup is renowned for having been the refuge of many artists. The author Jacques Prévert who after having lived for a while in Cannes settled there. He will receive his friend and composer Joseph Kosma there. Together they will create the film “Les Portes de la Nuit”. The film was not a great success, but the tune of “Feuilles Mortes” hummed by Yves Montand”, he did! “Feuilles Mortes” would become “Autumn Leaves” to be sung by the greatest: Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, Eric Clapton, etc.
The city of violets
Morever, note that the village is also called “the city of violets”. For more than a century, the place has not stopped cultivating this flower, the village is today the only one in France to cultivate it. In autumn its flower is used to make sweets, in summer they will be distilled by the various perfumers of Grasse and in autumn and winter to make pretty bouquets.
Every year since 1952, the village has highlighted this flagship flower in March. They organized the violet festival to mark the end of the season and the arrival of spring.
Also, Tourettes-sur-Loup has dedicated a shop exclusively to this emblematic flower. You will find a lot of souvenirs such as candles, perfumes, drinks, sweets etc… at the violet.
Later, want to have lunch or dinner in the village? Like all the other provincial villages, it has many good restaurants. However, to have tested it, we strongly recommend the restaurant “Chez l’ami Paul“. Installed under an arbor, you will enjoy delicious traditional Provençal cuisine in an idyllic setting.
To sum up, we hope that this article “Top 4 of the most beautiful villages on the French Riviera !” you were pleased ! ?
In the same style, also find our article “5 most beautiful beaches on the French Riviera !” juste ICI.