Vence is a charismatic mountain town set on the French Riviera. Get lost in the medieval Old Town and visit a chapel designed by iconic French modernist, Henri Matisse. Scenic hiking and cycling trails take you from the sparkling Mediterranean coast to the rugged Maritime Alps.
Things to do in Vence
Lose track of time in the pedestrian-only Old Town. Ancient stone townhouses with wooden doors and colourful window shutters line the narrow streets. Narrow alleys funnel you into sunny squares anchored by bubbling fountains. Browse antique shops and enjoy lunch on Place du Grand Jardin, a lively thoroughfare dotted with cafes and bistros.
Admire works by French master Henri Matisse at Musée de Vence. The museum is housed in an elegant château and places a special focus on 20th-century art. Chapelle du Rosaire is another unmissable attraction for Matisse fans. The iconic French artist designed the chapel from the ground up. Geometric stained-glass windows and a modernist altar and echo Matisse’s eclectic style.
Day trip to Gourdon, one of the most beautiful villages in France. Enjoy a gorgeous drive through the countryside before arriving at the clifftop village. Stroll around the atmospheric historic district, browse artisan boutiques and enjoy spectacular views over the Loup River and the Mediterranean Sea.
Use Vence as a base to explore the beautiful Alpes Maritimes department. World-class coastal hikes around Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and the Cap d’Antibes are a short drive away. Inland trails in Parc Naturel Régional des Préalpes d'Azur showcase forests, gorges and valleys.
Getting around Vence
Vence is compact and easy to get around on foot, especially in the pedestrianised Old Town. The town is in the Alpes Maritimes department, a 45-minute drive from Nice and Cannes. Rental cars offer the freedom to visit Vence and explore the region at your own pace. Nice Côte d'Azur Airport is a 30-minute drive away.