Most people come to the French Riviera for its sun, beaches, and views, but we discovered so much more. The villages and countryside are awesome, too.
Today, we left Nice and headed back toward Monaco and visited Èze and Saint-Paul-de-Vence, both Medieval hilltop villages with amazing views in the French Riviera.
What makes it very special here are the roads that are high on the mountains overlooking the sea. These roads cut into the mountains and into the sides of the cliffs. It makes for awesome views and nail biting rides. If you remember, Princess Grace lost her life on a road like one of these.
First, we stopped in Èze, a village high up a mountain on the sea.
It has narrow winding streets that we just loved.
Èze was a great place to stop for lunch and see great sweeping views of the French Riviera.
The village sits on a high cliff over 1,400 ft above sea level and is very near the Italian border. Its oldest building dates back to 1306. We learned that Walt Disney spent a significant amount of his time here.
Èze, population about 3,500, is very popular with tourists and especially with honeymooners. It is what some call a village-musée, a “museum village” because few residents of local origin live here now.
Chuck and I wandered through it and spent a significant bit of our time having lunch in a little alley restaurant. We were entertained by a blind kitty.
Afterwards, we went to Saint-Paul-de-Vence. This village sits high on a hilltop also in the French Riviera. It is one of the oldest medieval towns and is known for its art galleries.
Saint-Paul-de-Vence was a haven for the famous, mostly due to the La Colombe d’Or hotel. We were told that all kinds of celebrities stayed here including Satre, Picasso, Sinatra, and many more. This was their base of operations here in the French Riviera.
Saint-Paul was an old border village from the 16th century separating France and the House of Savoy. The views are fantastic over the hills and down to the sea.
On the south side is a panoramic view of their beautiful countryside. Walking along the cobblestoned ‘Grande Rue’ its main street is most impressive. We ambled down its narrow cobbled side streets, too, taking some time to do a little shopping.
We loved the patterns in the cobblestones.
This is a great place to just ramble.
Chuck took one look at the Grand Rue and its shops and mumbled something about his wallet. Funny man. He acts like I don’t have any credit cards. ☺
This was the end of our trip to Southern Europe and we flew back home from the Nice airport. Both of us had been to France, the first time over twenty years ago; but this was our first trip to the French Riviera. We really enjoyed it. We hope you did, too.