A few weeks back Kate Holstein asked me to join her on a a travel adventure in the South of France. Obviously I said YES.
Our adventure started in the French Riviera area. We arrived at our first stop just outside of Nice in the medieval mountain town of Saint Paul de Vence. Followed by 2 nights in the the chic beach town of St Tropez, where our day trips consisted of visiting nearby villages of La Garde Freinet and Grimaud. From the French Riviera we moved north to the Luberaon in Provence. And we finished the trip with one night in Paris.
We had a unique reason and way to see this area. Kate and her young family are in search of a home to spend a year in France.
It was a perfect and unique way to explore these charming towns and to get a glimpse at life in this area. This French Riviera guide covers some of my favorite stops along the way.
Saint Paul De Vence
The medieval town is known for its art history and is filled with galleries. The hub of the village is located around a large boules field. There is a wall that surrounds the village, you can walk all around the top of it.
STAY - AIRBNB
La Miette - Airbnb
We stayed in one of the most charming 12th century AIRBNB's, located in the heart of Saint Paul de Vence. The medieval town was once home to some of the most world-renowned names in early 20th Century art, literature and film... Picasso, Matisse, Jacques Prévert (this property, La Miette, is his old house) and Yves Montand to name but a few. There are 3 bedrooms in the apartment. You can either book all 3 or individually and you will be sharing the common area.
Colombe d'Or - Hotel
Additionally the Colombe d'Or is a beautiful hotel to stay or dine at. I have only visited in the winter, but the gardens are supposedly incredible. Be sure to check out the hotel history, it was a convening place for artists during and after WW11. A number of the artists couldn't pay for their stay so they left paintings and that is why they have the most incredible art collection.
La Garde Freinet & Grimaud
On our way to Saint Tropez, we stopped in the small charming towns La Garde Freinet and Grimaud. The towns are an hour and a half drive from Saint Paul de Vence and only another 1/2 hour to Saint Tropez (with no traffic). Both of the villages are situated in the mountains, with spectacular views of the Alps to the Mediterranean. Because of the time of the year both these villages were pretty sleepy, we were looking at some properties here which made it extra fun to stop and explore. The gas station proved to be a great spot for lunch and is a huge biking destination.
Next stop Saint Tropez for 2 nights. I quite liked the winter quietness. Saint Tropez institutions like Senquier, I found much nicer at this time of the year. The people watching is still great but the interior of restaurant is beautiful and you never go inside during the summer. Obliviously we will be spending time at the Saturday Market (yes I am obsessed with markets, but in the south of France you would be a fool not to be.)