A perched village on the French Riviera, Saint-Paul-de-Vence is a little place with a big name. Just look at the personalities seduced by the atmosphere, landscapes and clear light: Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, James Baldwin, the list goes on.
Being here means following a path beaten by the leading lights of 20th-century culture, as you’ll tell at the Fondation Maeght, an art museum like you’ve never seen. Saint-Paul-de-Vence is as adorable as it is tiny, but there’s no end of places to visit in the car, none of which take more than half an hour to get to. This could be a day at the beach at Cagnes, an excursion inland to an epic gorge or an afternoon of culture and sightseeing in Nice.
Lets explore the best things to do in in Saint-Paul-de-Vence:
1. The Village
The walls that raise the village on its roost are from the mid-15th century, and have not been changed since they were built. Above them, Saint-Paul-de-Vence isn’t much more than one street, Rue Grande, with enticing crevasse-like alleys and stairways branching off it.
The art connection remains strong, and you’ll pass restaurants, galleries and cute shops selling materials for budding artists.
On the southernmost edge is a terrace with stirring views of a trademark Provence landscape: Look north and you’ll make out the limestone bulk of the Baou de Saint-Jeannet . Directly beneath you here is the cemetery where Marc Chagall is buried.