The charming village of Saint Paul de Vence

As one of the oldest medieval towns on the French Riviera, Saint Paul de Vence really packs a punch. The town is home to both contemporary and modern art galleries, Renaissance churches, and a castle that dates back to the 14th century. Saint Paul de Vence is the ideal destination for a culture-filled vacation in southern France. ​

The charming village of Saint Paul de Vence

The collection of museums and monuments aren't the town’s only selling point. Saint Paul de Vence is also home to several boutique shops, quaint cafes, and authentic French restaurants. Whatsmore, getting to Saint Paul de Vence from Nice is quick and cost-effective when traveling with FranceRent. 

Aside from the attractions, Saint Paul's is awash with history. The town sits inside fortification walls that date back to the mid-15th century. The walls remain precisely as they did in the 15th-century and add a layer of intrigue to this pretty little town. 

Things to do in Saint Paul de Vence
The first thing you'll want to do when arriving in the village is to get your bearings. What better way to do so than taking a stroll through the town center? Follow the cobblestoned paths as you explore every street and alleyway on foot. Fun fact: the streets remained bare until 1950 when the Mayor ordered cobbles. The fountain in the town square is a good starting point, and easy to find as music tends to be playing from beneath it.  

Next on your to-see list should be the Grimaldi Castle Museum. This elegant castle dates right back to the 1300s and houses an array of permanent exhibitions. The castle is also the location for a number of concerts throughout the year, so it's worth checking online in advance to see what's on. Similarly, the Chapelle Folon is another impressive building and one that's brimming with local artwork. 

To enjoy a greener side of the town, visit the Musee Renoir. The museum dedicates exhibitions to the work and life of impressionist artist Auguste Renoir, and visitors can explore his former studio. While the museum is fantastic, its the museum's grounds that showcase the beauty of the region. Visitors may explore the three hectares of well-pruned land.  

You're going to want to climb the Ramparts of Saint Paul de Vence for spectacular views out over the surrounding countryside. You’ll also be able to see the distant Meditteranean Sea. The fortification walls have protected Saint Paul's since 1546, and today visitors can explore the bastions while taking in the views. If you're an early riser, then the rampart walls are the ideal spot to watch the sunrise. 

Art, Culture, and Shopping
Saint Paul has a thriving art scene, and there are several private studios and public galleries that are worth exploring. Not to mention, most artists who own property in the town center tend to work with their doors open to create an open-studio vibe. Some of the most talked-about galleries in town are the Art Seiller Galerie, the Bogena Galerie, and Art Galerie 31. The latter boasts a permanent exhibition covering the works of Michel Degav. However, one of the most famous galleries in the town is Fondation Maeght. The museum houses a long-list of artwork by renowned 20th-century artists, including Pierre Bonnard, Alexander Calder, and Jean Arp. 

As for shopping, visitors can pick up all manner of wares from artisan tableware to local sweets. For artisan jewelry, check out Choisy La Galerie or for designer accessories. After, pay a visit to Enfin Veuve. If you're hoping to leave the French Riviera having adopted the local attire, swing by French Collections and shop for garments made with traditional silks. 

Day Trips from Saint Paul de Vence
Saint Paul's is equidistant from Cannes and Nice, there are endless day trips to enjoy. While visiting the larger resort towns is appealing, consider venturing to some of the nearby medieval towns. The village of Mougins should be on your to-do list as this beautiful commune is under a 30-minute drive west of Saint Paul's. Expansive olive groves, blooming Cyprus trees, and lush green forest are what make this medieval town extra special. 

Another popular day trip from Saint Paul de Vence is to the town of Vence. The town sits just 5-miles north of Saint Paul's and is home to the Chapelle du Rosaire, a small Catholic chapel that dates back to 1947. The chapel has been designed and decorated by French artist Henri Matisse. Before you leave Vence, pay a visit to the old ash tree found at the western gateway. Planted in the 16th century in honor of Francis I's visit to the region, the tree marks a historical event in Saint Paul's history. Other nearby towns of interest include Antibes and the island of Sainte-Marguerite. 

The charming village of Saint Paul de Vence

While Saint Paul de Vence might be a small town, but the list of things to do is quite extensive. Between visiting museums and galleries and dining at quirky restaurants and cafes, you'll be soaking in southern France's small-town charm. The town is also an excellent base for those wishing to explore the inner towns of the French Riviera and links nicely with nearby Cannes and Nice. 

From Nice Cote d'Azur Airport, Saint Paul de Vence is just a 20-minute drive inland. FranceRent can take care of all your luxury travel and transfers needs in advance. If you want to touch down in Saint Paul de Vence in style, why not arrive by private helicopter? You’ll get to enjoy views of coastline while you're at it. Alternatively, if your trip to Saint Paul's is part of a multi-stop itinerary, consider chartering a yacht to sail the coastline. 

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