Tag Archives: Riviera

Hill towns of the French Riviera

contact_03The hill towns of the French Riviera are a delight to explore, especially during in the off season, when even the most popular hill towns such as Eze are quiet. Eze village is a dramatic Medieval village precariously perched on a rocky outcrop towering above the Riviera coast like an eagle’s nest.  The ancient fortified village is still crowned with the ruins of its 12th-century castle, and the castle grounds host the well-known tropical Jardin Exotique.  The charming village is a maze of steep cobblestone streets and arched passageways, and the panoramic views from over 1500 feet above sea level are breathtaking.

gourdonvillageGourdon is another stunning hilltop village near Grasse (40km NW of Nice). From Grasse you can travel the D3 road which winds back and forth through the Gorges du Loup and up a steep ascent to the beautiful village of Gourdon – an unspoiled gem with a spectacular setting clinging to the steep hillside and overlooking the Loup canyon on one side and the countryside and villages to the distant Riviera on the other side. On a clear day you can see from Nice to the Italian border.

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The village is filled with picturesque cobblestone streets and quaint stone houses, shops, and a handful of restaurants. On such a beautiful day, we chose La Taverna, which has a panoramic view from the large south-facing terrace. We enjoyed a lovely salade chevre chaud (my favourite salad). This version served the chevre cheese bubbling hot on the side of a green salad with tomatoes and croutons. The salad was delicious, and the setting and the view from the terrace were extraordinary.

Other hill towns that we have visited in the past and recommended are Tourettes sur Loup, Biot, and Mougins.

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Tourettes sur Loup is an especially picturesque village with a Medieval core of clustered warm stone houses, most of which are now artist ateliers (workshops), where you can watch the artisans at work and purchase lovely olive wood products, handmade jewellery, and artwork.

Biot, near Antibes, is known for its colourful handblown glassworks filled with tiny air bubbles. You can visit the Verrerie de Biot to see a demonstration of glass blowing and purchase some of the beautiful pieces, which can be shipped home.

Mougins is a charming medieval village just north of Cannes that has become known as a gastronomic centre. Mougins has a charming pedestrian only centre courtyard with a fountain, lots of flowers, and shady trees, where you can find several Michelin starred gastronomic restaurants.

056We continued our journey NW into the Var region of Provence and stopped at Lorgues, another lovely village to revisit one of our favourite villas: Villa Lorgues.

063This pretty south-facing villa opens onto a sunny terrace surrounding the pool. This 3 bedroom villa now has a studio suite on the ground level, as a 4th bedroom to accommodate and additional 2 guests. Villa

 

Lorgues is ideally situated within easy walking distance of the pretty village of Lorgues, which has a weekly market, and several shops, cafes & restaurants. The villa is very well appointed and features air conditioning. Lorgues is ideally located just 1 hour from Nice and Aix en Provence and the Mediterranean coast.

 

 

 

 

 

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Excursion to Menton

074 One of our favourite villages on the Cote d’Azur is Menton: a beautiful seaside village on the Franco-Italian border. We visited Menton several years ago and have always wanted to return. Today we drove the scenic coastal road (D6098) from Villefranche sur Mer towards Menton (24km) passing through Beaulieu sur Mer, Eze Bord de la Mer, Beausoleil and Monte Carlo.

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The old town, le Vieux Menton, is filled with colourful and beautifully restored Medieval style buildings, and pedestrian only cobblestone streets winding up from the market square to the Eglise St. Michel and the Chapel Penitents Blancs at the top of the hill.

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From here you can gaze over the mosaic squares to beautiful views of the harbour, the gardens, beaches, and across the sea to the villages on the Italian coast. Around the market square the streets are filled with shops, and terrace cafes.

 

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Down by the sea front are lovely gardens, seaside walking paths, and beautiful beaches. You can walk along the ramparts that still protect the harbour, and which offer stunning views of the colourful village and the coast.

 

Menton boasts over 300 days of sunshine a year, and is famous for its lemon festival in February. We were delighted to return to sunny Menton and hope to come back again soon. On our return to Villefranche, we took the upper road (D6007) and enjoyed the extraordinary views of Cap d’Ail, St. Jean Cap Ferrat, and the setting sun. Don’t miss the stunning Medieval hillside village of Eze – definitely worth a visit. See more in post “Hill towns of the French Riviera”.

 

New apartment next to beach in Villefranche sur Mer

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We just listed another beautifully renovated 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment next to the beach in Villefranche sur Mer.

0630gThis apartment is situated above the quay with breathtaking views of the sea and just steps from the beach, and the shops and restaurants in the village.

The apartment has just been renovated and features beautiful picture windows with views of the sea from every room. The well designed kitchen is great for cooks and is equipped with all new appliances, cooking equipment, and tableware. 0630bThe furnishings and decor are a clever mix of modern and antique with original art. The highlight of this apartment is the private terrace overlooking the beach and the sea with a dining table & BBQ – a fabulous place to call home for a holiday or an extended stay!

New apartments in Villefranche sur Mer

During our stay in Villefranche sur Mer, we inspected two exciting new apartments and revisted apartments already in our rental portfolio. We are thrilled to introduce a new 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment in the old town of Villefranche.0629c

This gorgeous apartment has just completed renovations and is furnished and decorated with style. With two sets of double French doors opening onto a balcony, this apartment features stunning views out to the sea. The living-dining and kitchen are open plan and the views can be enjoyed from every room.

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The kitchen is a gourmet cook’s dream with lots of counter space and all equipment for preparing great meals with fresh market ingredients.

 

 

The 2 bedrooms and bathrooms are beautifully decorated with lots of attention to detail, including important touches such as make-up mirrors, good bedside reading lamps and lots of storage. This apartment would make a great home for a long stay in the lovely village of Villefranche sur Mer…maybe while studying French at the Institut de Francais (post coming soon).

Link
France Bound  Specialists for France travel & vacation rentals. www.francebound.net

France Bound
Specialists for France travel & vacation rentals. http://www.francebound.net

Welcome to our new blog where we look forward to sharing our insider tips and recommendations for travel and vacation rentals in France. To kick off our new blog, we invite you to join us on our upcoming France inspection trip. We travel to France regularly to check out new places and to revisit some of our favourite places. Join us as we visit Provence villages and towns, restaurants in Paris & Provence, markets in Paris & Provence, shopping in France, and recommended sights & activities in France. We will also be staying in a selection of our villa & vacation rentals in France, and inspecting new prospects for vacation rentals in France. We look forward to sharing our experiences with you on this trip to Provence and Paris. Follow us on the francebound blog and the francebound.net facebook page as we visit Nice, Villefranche sur Mer, the Riviera, Provence, Aix en Provence, Luberon villages, Paris and more.