Visit Beautiful Hilltop Villages Overlooking the Mediterranean
25 April 2019
Nestled in the hills above the larger towns are arguably some of the most beautiful villages and towns in Europe.
Nice, Cannes, and Monaco are all great for nightlife, but drive a little way into the hills if you want a more restful vacation.
St-Paul de Vence is the village of artists. You will be in the company of the greats such as Matisse, Calder, Miro, Modigliani, Picasso, Prevert and Chagall. Walk along the ramparts to have 360 views from this captivating town. The warmth of the air is glorious and the pride of the residents evident in the flowers in pots on the pavements. Visit the cafes and bars that were once inhabited by some of the most famous artists in the world, and now by modern day painters and sculptors making waves of their own.
Eze-sur-mer is perched on rock 500m above sea level. The village is built around the ruins of a 12th-century castle, which is a testament to centuries of occupation, from Romans and Moors to the House of Savoy. You can wander through the labyrinth of beautiful streets, keeping in the shade and take in the almost fluorescent bougainvillea-wrapped villas that lead down the hillside to the sea. The views over St Jean Cap Ferrat and the Mediterranean are simply amazing, and can be appreciated from Eze’s panoramic restaurants – it is awe-inspiring.
Mount Boron is home to Elton John and family - their opulent 1920s mansion on Mont Boron that overlooks the sea and the town of Nice. Delightful Belle Epoque and Art Deco holiday villas are dotted around the hillside here, with views over nice and the Mediterranean, it’s definitely somewhere you could settle for a while!
Cap d’Antibes is where exiled Duke of Windsor chose to live with Wallace Simpson when he gave up the crown. So with royal connections there must be some magic here. Between Nice and Cannes the forested Cap d’Antibes peninsula is dotted with grand villas. The Cap separates Antibes from Juan-les-Pins, a chic resort with buzzing nightlife and the Jazz à Juan music festival. Antibes itself is where you’ll find Post Vauban – a yachting harbour which has been used since Roman times. Explore this area any time of year and you will find plenty to do.
VilleFranche-sur-Mer is a very picturesque village with colourful houses, close to the Italian border. The sweeping natural harbour gives a grace to this area. The Saint-Pierre chapel, near the fishing port, was decorated by Jean Cocteau in 1957. This is a must sea for French cinema fans as he transformed into a mirage of mystical frescoes, including scenes from St Peter’s life, interspersed with references to Cocteau's cinematic work.
This whole coastal area deserves time and consideration to get the most out of it. Artists, royalty, visionaries and the stars from the 20th and 21st centuries have been drawn here. Phones down, heads up and enjoy the scenery.
Beaulieu-sur-Mer situated on the French Riviera between Nice and Monaco is nestled in abundant greenery and is one of the most delightful spots on the coast. With palm trees bordering the beaches and the beautiful parks and pretty streets this really is a “beautiful place” as its name indicates.