This small, romantic, entirely pedestrianised medieval village lies behind Cagnes-sur-Mer, perched on the mountain to escape Saracen attacks.
The cobbled streets of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, surrounded by its fortifications and full of artisans ‘ workshops and artists’ studios, fascinate all those who come up here, far from the fashionable splendour of the coast.
With its 40 inhabitants, this village contains romantic little squares, spectacular views of the valley, small corners of Provençal charm and the Chapelle du Rosaire painted by Matisse.
Among its narrow streets, stairways and fountains, you will find corners of pure poetry, provided you avoid the rush hours when buses pour in hordes of tourists in search of souvenirs. It is home to artisans and painters, and has always been a favourite destination for artists and intellectuals.
A few kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea, perched on the southern Alps, this charming village is ideally located for discovering the French Riviera and enjoying a pleasant stay of relaxation and discovery.
The fortified village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence is microscopic. It only takes a few minutes to cross the village from one side to the other, but you can spend a few hours discovering the fantastic views of the ramparts, the architecture of the houses, the squares, the wonderful art galleries and museums.
On Wednesdays, don’t miss the farmers’ market, which will welcome you with open arms with excellent local produce, on the village square.
The small village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence will charm you with its preserved medieval side that testifies to its military past and history.
The belt of ramparts has not changed much since King François I had it built in 1538 and today it is an excellent place to admire the village and the entire valley that surrounds it. Indeed, the ramparts offer splendid views of the Mediterranean Sea, Cap d’Antibes, the Pre-Alps de Grasse, the Baou de Saint-Jeannet, but also of the Mercantour peaks on a clear day.
Then head towards two historical monuments to visit in Saint-Paul-de-Vence: the three-storey square tower of Esperon, then the Porte de Vence. On the east side of the village, note the pretty ivy-covered house occupied by Jacques Prévert for about ten years.
It was the headquarters of the confraternity of the Pénitents Blancs, dating back to the 17th century.
After a long restoration in 2000, it was completely decorated by Jean-Michel Folon, a Belgian artist who decorated it with a mosaic at the back of the nave, stained glass windows, paintings and sculptures.
A few steps away from the donjon, which today houses the town hall, the Church of the Conversion of Saint Paul was built. It was built over several centuries, which explains the diversity of period styles that can be seen inside.
This is one of the most interesting places to visit in Saint-Paul-de-Vence.
One of the authentic places to visit in Saint-Paul-de-Vence is the large fountain, which once welcomed all the inhabitants of Saint-Paul-de-Vence to carry out their daily activities: washing clothes, watering animals, fetching water.
Framed amidst the old houses, it is now surrounded by boutiques of craftsmen and artists, who will enchant you with their original creations.
With its hundred-year-old plane trees, it is the place where the inhabitants of Saint-Paul like to meet. In this legendary square, Yves Montand and Lino Ventura played controversial games of boules.
It borders the Café de la Place, where it is lovely to sit and enjoy the entertainment, and the Colombe d’Or, a famous restaurant that has hosted the greatest artists of the 20th century: Matisse, Chagall, Picasso, Braque, Leger, Folon.
It has an exceptional collection of works by great artists such as Chagall, Giacometti, Miró, Matisse exhibited on a rotating basis, as well as temporary exhibitions that are always of a high standard.
The Mirò labyrinth is beautiful, a path winding through the museum’s lush garden where the Spanish artist’s sculptures are located.
In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article
We recommend a night’s stay: when the town empties of visitors and the sound of cicadas invades the silence of the evening, you can linger between a romantic dinner in the town’s little restaurants and a romantic walk along the ramparts, from where you can enjoy a magnificent view over the valley and down to the sea.
Appreciate the illuminated ramparts, the intimacy of a walk in the coolness of the alleys, rest in the sun, have breakfast on the terrace, discover the constantly renewed art in the heart of the exhibition spaces. Hotels, B&Bs and holiday homes welcome you in the comfort and charm of southern houses.
The nearest airport is Nice Airport. From here you can directly rent a car at the airport and then continue your trip to the Côte d’Azur.
By train, the nearest railway station is Cagnes sur Mer. From here, you will need to take bus No. 400 (Cagnes sur Mer – Square du 8 mai stop SNCF / Saint-Paul-de-Vence), which takes 15 minutes.
What's the weather at Saint-Paul-de-Vence? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Saint-Paul-de-Vence for the next few days.
Just 7 kilometres from the sea, the village of Saint-Paul de Vence is located in the Alpes-Maritimes, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region.