French Riviera Secrets


French Riviera Villages

Some of the villages on the French Riviera have succumbed to the pressure of tourism and look more like open-air museums or fair grounds rather than authentic Provençal villages.
Valbonne and St. Paul-de-Vence are good examples of this; however, they do remain pretty and worth a visit, you just won't get the authentic laid-back Provençal atmosphere that other villages still have.
There are however, many authentic villages as well, some more authenthic than others, some a bit overtaken by tourists, and a good many where time appears to have stood still...


Cipières is a tiny village, about 40 minutes from Nice, 30 minutes from Grasse, and about 15min from Gourdon.
It overlooks the valley of the river Loup, and beyond to the village of Greolières and the Cheiron mountain range.


About an hour's drive from Nice, some 73km, lies the medieval village of Entrevaux.
It's characteristic setting is instantly recognisable, tucked against a rocky hillside, bordering on the river Var, with high above it the 16h century fortress.
On the way up, you can enjoy the beautiful vistas on the village and on the river valley below.


Accessible from the road known as the "Moyenne Corniche" (M6007), which runs between Nice and Monaco, about half way between the two cities, lies the village of Eze.
Situated on a rocky hilltop, it's visible from miles around. Very well known, and loved by artists and tourists alike, Eze is a lovely village to stroll through, offering beautiful views on the Mediterranean as an added bonus.


The village of Courmes is about 40 km ( or a 1 hour drive) away from Nice, and about 20km ( 30min drive) away from Grasse.
This tiny village has a beautiful centre, and is surrounded by the pre-Alps, just at the end of the road through the Gorges of the river Loup.
The whole setting is that of utter tranquillity...
From here there are several recommended walks you can do.


High above the Côte d'Azur, overlooking nearly the entire region, is the village of Gourdon, of the classified villages in France.
Views range from Nice airport in the east, all the way to Cannes and beyond, to the Esterel, in the west.


Situated equally high above the Riviera, is the village of Mons, with views rivalling those of Gourdon.


Saint-Cézaire-sur-Siagne is yet another scenic village, about 30km or 30 minutes drive from Grasse.
It sits high on a ridge overlooking the Siagne river valley, and has a beautiful view point looking out towards the north.


Few places on the French Riviera have been more hyped up than St Tropez. Its name forever linked to Brigitte Bardot, who first came here in 1956, it was already popular among some famous writers, actors and artists, such as Guy de Maupassant, Errol Flynn and Matisse.
Popular with the rich and famous ever since, also a very pretty fishing village in a beautiful setting, St. Tropez is a must-see.


The village of Utelle is about 9 km away from St Jean-la-Rivière, along a scenic and very winding road.
Far from the tourist crowds, it is a haven of tranquility. Wander through the tiny streets, and then up to the viewing area which offers impressive 360 degrees views of the surrounding area... the beauty of the landscape, the silence of the surroundings, all have a very relaxing and calming effect...


Valbonne, situated right in the heart of Sophia Antipolis business park, is a charming old Provencal village.
Its narrow streets are laid out in a nearly perfect rectangular grid. Valbonne has got numerous art galleries, decoration and gift shops and is very popular with tourists.

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