EXPLORING PROVENCE-ALPES-CÔTE D’AZUR
Alpes-Maritime; the clue’s in the name of this region which affords so many possibilities for summer adrenalin pumping fun. Thrill-seekers will want to try paragliding or canyoning down the rushing gorges, or cycling the hilly section of Le Tour which passed through Tourrettes-sur-Loup in 1993.
Or slow the pace with a leisurely spin to St Paul-de-Vence, or a round of golf at Biot. With the fabled Cote d’Azur just 14km away a day on the beach is always an option. If peace and quiet are your thing you can horse ride, hike – or even climb – in the Mercantour National Park where you can take in the splendour of the views – and Europe’s largest high mountain lake.
CHIRPING CICADAS, THE SOFT SIGH OF THE BREEZE IN THE OLIVE GROVES; EXPERIENCE SUMMER IN SURROUND SOUND
From the crisp chill of autumn to spring’s welcome warmth; the sporting life ratchets up during the winter months. Drive the 45 easy minutes to ski at Gréolières-les-Neiges – with 30 pistes and 30km of cross country ski trails there’s more than enough to satisfy the keen skier. Or if you are a more advanced skier experience what Limone has to offer – only two hours drive from the villa.
Or just take in the winter wonderland and enjoy stunning views with a snow-shoe trek. Nearer to home you can get on your bike, go for a hike or, for the hardy, a wild swim in the Med. And, when your day is done, chillax by the glow of candles and your own log fire.
THE CHAMPAGNE AIR OF THE ALPS, THE SOOTHING FRAGRANCE OF BURNING PINE; WINTER HAS AN ESSENCE ALL OF ITS OWN
ARTS & CULTURE
Culture oozes from the very stones of this region; from the Romanesque buildings of Tourettes-sur-Loup, to the hilltop magnificence of St Paul-de-Vence. Inspired by the intensity and richness of the light, artists including Raoul Dufy, Matisse and Picasso have lingered here producing some of their best work.
Marc Chagall is buried in St Paul-de-Vence and on the walls of its iconic Colombe d’Or hotel you can gaze upon the priceless works collected by its former owner while you sample the traditional menu. Find works by Miro, Giacometti, and Braque displayed to perfection at the prestigious Maeght Foundation. Or delve into St Paul’s-de-Vence’s intriguing past at its Local History Museum and cultured art galleries.
Or wander the winding cobbled walkways of Tourrettes-sur-Loup and browse the area’s antique stores, for confit pots and ancient, monogrammed linen. Stop for coffee and croissants or maybe to buy a bunch of violets – this elegant little village is France’s largest producer of this vivid, fragrant flower.
BRILLIANT COLOURS OF THE FLOWER MARKET ARE REFLECTED IN THE ICONIC MODERN ART
Yoga on the lawn, stretching by the pool, lying in bed, leafing through a magazine. Relaxing is what you’ve come here for and there are plenty of people and places to help you make the most of it. Wander the villa’s peaceful gardens or stroll in the sunshine round the local towns.
Indulge with a facial or manicure at one of the welcoming salons in Tourrettes-Sur-Loup or St Paul-de-Vence. Or take time to visit Le Mas d’Artigny spa. Whether you practice Tai-chi, Pilates, or just want to lounge in the hammock, the peace and fresh air will leave you soothed and invigorated.
CRISP WHITE WINE, FRUITS DE MER, PLUMP APRICOTS AND FRESH PAIN AU CHOCOLAT; HAS FOOD EVER TASTED THIS GOOD?
FOOD AND WINE
Eat in, eat out; the taste of France is always irresistible, whether you are browsing the local markets, for olives, cherries and fougasse, or treating yourself to the unique experience of dinner at the legendary Colombe d’Or. Take your pick of the choicest cuts in the boucherie at Tourrettes-sur-Loup and barbecue under the stars.
Or lunch in town at the Michelin-starred Bistrot Gourmand Clovis. And while you’re in town, don’t forget to track down some violet ice-cream-it’s a local speciality! However, wherever, and with whoever meals here will become not just a memory but an experience.