French Riviera Part 2: Medieval Wonders


While planning a trip to the French Riviera, it’s definitely not enough to just visit the major cities such as Nice, Cannes or Monaco. The gems are often those found along the way and a self-drive is the best way to see it. Doing a self-drive on the French Riviera is quite easy to achieve. Simply rent a car at the local car rental, key in the destination on the GPS and head out.

A road-trip to remember
We first came across the village of Èze, seated impossibly on the cliff top overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The view of the village against the clear blue sky was so stunning we had to stop and snap a picture.

The village of Èze on the French Riviera.

The village of Èze overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

With our appetite whetted by Èze, we drove to Saint Paul de Vence, one of the oldest medieval villages on the French Riviera. The moment we stepped into the village, time seemed to stand still. Our footsteps slowed as we took in the varied sights on offer.

Saint Paul de Vence on the French Riviera.

Christmas at Saint Paul de Vence.

High above on the entrance arch, the daylight peeked through the Christmas decorations, creating a shimmering effect on the surrounding walls. Down below, the intricately-laid cobblestones clamoured for attention.

Saint Paul de Vence on the French Riviera.

Watch where you’re going – it’s too pretty to miss.

A visual overload hit us and we struggled to absorb it all. Roaming through the narrow streets and alleys proved to be an endless adventure, not knowing what we were going to find next. Lucky for us, we were pleasantly surprised at every turn of the corner.

Saint Paul de Vence on the French Riviera.

The picturesque alleys of Saint Paul de Vence…

The view from Saint Paul de Vence on the French Riviera.

And the view of the surrounding hills.

It’s tempting to linger around when you have a view like this. But if you are a perfume fan, you must visit the Fragonard perfume factory in Grasse. Over there, you’ll get to tour the factory, see how perfume is made and even customise your own fragrance.

The Fragonard perfume factory in Grasse on the French Riviera.

Customise your own fragrance at the Fragonard perfume factory in Grasse.

On the drive back to Nice, we stopped by another gorgeous medieval village – Mougins. Inside, we found stone houses and cobbled streets, charming little shops and galleries, and plenty of restaurants to rest our feet and take in the view.

The medieval village of Mougins on the French Riviera.

Cobbled streets and charming little shops at Mougins.

“Do we really have to leave?”
With sceneries like these, I can understand why people don’t want to leave. The French Riviera is not just a place to escape the harsh winter up north, but a sanctuary that refreshes your mind and rejuvenates your soul. A destination that makes you feel like you’ve come home again. Perhaps that’s why fans of the French Riviera return year after year.

But that’s not the end of our trip. Stay tuned for the final French Riviera location!


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