The medieval era of French history can still very much be felt today, perhaps nowhere better than at the nearly perfect St Paul de Vence. About 12 miles from Nice and almost directly inland from the Nice Airport, this medieval hilltop jewel is what visitors dream of when they say they want to stroll through a charming village in the South of France.
From the 12th-century keep, which now serves as the town hall, to the 14th-century church, the 16th-century fortified walls and the cemetery, which stands on the original village land and is the final resting place of Marc Chagall, walking through St Paul de Vence is truly a walk through history. Travelers love the Choisy Gallerie, where it’s
sometimes possible to find Christian Choisy himself at work. Combined with the stunning views and the town's 20th-century obsession with showcasing artists, it's a day trip you won’t forget.
As you could guess, the feast of the senses experienced at St Paul de Vence extends to its dining spots as well. Whether at the epic la Colombe d'Or set in a fairytale garden or the casual Le Café de la Place, which offers a first-row view of spirited boules games, there is something for every taste and budget, while sacrificing nothing in ambiance.
The best way to get to St Paul de Vence is by car, which makes it a natural fit for a guided tour. By public transport, there are buses from Nice (about 45 minutes) and Cagnes-sur-Mer (about 30 minutes).