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Itinerary for Vence

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australia
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Itinerary for Vence

We are basing ourselves in a house just outside Vence for one week in late June with two children aged 12 and 14. We will have a car and would like to explore the area as we have never been there before. Love little villages, markets, swimming in gorges and sea and eating in great rstaurants and cafes. Would be extremely grateful for itinerary recommendations - happy to travel.

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1. Re: Itinerary for Vence

Hello lovefranceAustralia,

Vence is a lovely place, sure you will have a wonderful stay there. The square is lovely, with markets taking place most days. There is the beautiful Chapelle du Rosaire by Henri Matisse (check opening times for this, though). I can also highly recommend the restaurant L'Armoise (9 place du Peyra, Tel: 04 93 58 19 29), it is a tiny establishment with mainly fish dishes but the food there is the best I have had in the region.

Nearby Tourettes-sur-Loup is also a tiny mountain-side village, perched precariously on the side of a great drop. It also has great coastal views and is famous for its violet industry. There is an ice cream place, Tom's, that does a violet ice cream my hubby LOVES and to eat there is a lovely restaurant, Grand Mere. They have a big open fire to cook on and are famous for their cous cous. Le Cafe Midi, on the square is also great if you fancy a glass of vin/Orangina and a lazy watch of boulle!

Grasse is a popular destination, famous for its perfume industry. I have never been (my husband lived in the South of France from the age of two, and he has never liked Grasse!) but most people seem to disagree with him about the town!

En route to Grasse are the Gorges-du-Loup. These are amazing waterfalls and hillsides near the village of Pont-du-Loup, which is a small village near Grasse and below Gourdon. It has a famous old blown up Hotel and the for a sweet/jam factory, the Confiserie des Gorges-du-Loup Florian. There you can do a short tour and see how the sweets, jams and candied peels are made.

Gourdon is a mountain-top village, very touristy, but with the most amazing view of the coast, the drive up there is also wonderful.

Further down towards Nice there are other places to see. Antibes is popular, although busy. On the other side of Nice there is the Villa Ephrussi di Rothchild is on the Cap Ferrat on the Monaco/Villefrench side of Nice. It is a big old house, in some disrepair, but the gardens are wonderful.

In this direction, also, is Eze, a hill-top tourist trap with a nice botanical garden.

Monaco I don't like much but I am glad I went once just to say I have been! The palace is fun to see and the gardens.

Nice itself is a wonderful city. I love the old town, Cours Saleya is lovely and there is a weekly flower market. You can also get good - and cheap - pizzas down the side of the market for any number of small restaurants! You could also try the local dish, socca, a kind of chickpea pan cake. The castle is great. the Colline du Chateau, which overlooks the whole city and the habour on the other side. The Prominade des Anglais is famous and makes a lovely walk. The beach is quite nice for a swim although not much to look at.

You could also consider a day trip to Northern Italy. There is a popular market at Ventimiglia. Also, nearby is Dolceaqua, a village with a famous bridge, where we had a lovely meal (Although I am afraid i cannot remember the places name - but it is the most popular eating place for tourists and locals alike!)

australia
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2. Re: Itinerary for Vence

WOW!! Thank you so much for all the information. I absolutely cannot wait to do everything you have suggested. We are definately people who like to avoid tourist traps - so agree with all the comments you make. The Gorge falls sound immaculate; the restaurant suggestions perfect too - thank you so much again!!

Scotland, United...
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3. Re: Itinerary for Vence

Just to add a little on to Riotstars suggestions.

If you do go to Ventimiglia, please visit Bordighera. You need to get off at Ventimiglia, and catch the next train (only 5 minutes along the line) to reach Bordighera. It's absolutely beautiful. You walk up to the Old Town and that's the prize. If you enjoy being off the beaten track and non-touristy places then this is for you.

Enjoy the trip.

United Kingdom
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4. Re: Itinerary for Vence

You're more than welcome - like I said my husband grew up in Tourrettes-sur-Loup so I have had several wonderful holidays down there with him and I am always happy to share any tips!

I hope you'll have an amazing trip :-)

Seattle
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5. Re: Itinerary for Vence

Excellent write up Riotstar. I enjoyed visiting Biot. If you go, there is a walking brochure from the Visitors Center which is very nice to take. I enjoyed a lunch on the plaza in the square. The town is known for blown glass and there is a nice emphasis on art in the town. I don't think the Legar Museum is open yet. There are several glass blowing factories that you can visit. I didn't have a car so I didn't walk over to the area where the factories are located but it might be interesting. I live in Seattle and there is a great glass art community here (Dale Chuhuly is from Seattle) so that led me to visit the town.

If you decide to do a day trip to Italy, I also recommend stopping in Menton. The old town is worth a visit along with the cemetery located at the top of the old town. If you are interested in gardens, don't miss Hanbury Gardens just over the border in Italy or Serre de la Madona and Val Rahmeh in Menton. The Menton visitor's site has a great information for visiting. Here's a link to the garden section (if you aren't interested in gardens there is other information at the site)

http://www.menton.com/uk/gardens/index.html

Another very charming village just over the border in Italy is Apricale. Or if you decide to stay in France, Sainte Agnes above Menton is a lovely town.

Provence and Beyond is another great website for researching the town:

http://www.provencebeyond.com/index.html

Oh yeah, that reminds me of another town - Entrevaux.

So much to do - You'll have a great time.

australia
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6. Re: Itinerary for Vence

Thank you all for your suggestions. I am now fully axcited about visiting the Sth of France - the only challenge will be leaving!

San Luis Obispo...
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7. Re: Itinerary for Vence

We rented a house near Vence (St Jeanett) a year ago and I concur with the previous recs. We did go to Grasse but primarily to have lunch just outside of town at the wonderful Bastide St Antoine.

Don't miss a visit to St Paul de Vence and the Fondation Maeght museum--one of the finest small modern art museums in the world. The village of St Paul de Vence while filled with tourists, is extremely charming. We always have one lunch at the lovely Relais & Chateau inn Le St Paul.

We would usually go to the morning market in Vence and buy our produce and then shop at some of the very good food stores in the old part of Vence. Our favorites were the bread shop Sabbia and the patisserie Palanque. They also have a couple of very good butcher shops, an excellent pasta shop and a fine cheese shop.

australia
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8. Re: Itinerary for Vence

Thank you all so much for your suggestions. Think we will return slightly overweight, but extremely happy!

9. Re: Itinerary for Vence

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