The charming village of Valbonne lies in the valley of the Brague river roughly 15 kms inland from the famous coast of the French Riviera and the towns of Cannes and Antibes. It’s also only 10 minutes from my home and is one of my favourite places on the Côte d’Azur. Come with me as I explore the streets of charming Valbonne.
Valbonne is my go-to place for a dose of Provençal charm. I’ll go when I feel like a mosey around the market, or to find a special present from one of the independent boutiques.
When my kid comes home from school needing an English book for the end of the week I’m grateful there’s an English bookshop to bale me out (and I always end up buying more than the required text!)
I go to Valbonne for a coffee with a friend or an evening meal out but I often go just to amble around the streets soaking up its unique atmosphere, for no other reason than to get a dose of Provençal charm.
Valbonne village is unusual for a medieval town in that it is laid out on a grid plan rather than winding up to a lookout point. It is 5 streets across by 10 streets up/down which makes it look like a minuscule Manhattan on a map!
Unlike the many ancient hill villages in the area it’s not steep so it’s very easy to walk around and its pedestrian streets (closed to all traffic except deliveries) are tarmacked (attractively) not cobbled making it accessible for all.
The village has just enough interesting, independent shops without being overwhelming. You’ll find a delicious cheese shop and a couple of patisseries, several very tempting interior design/home decoration stores, clothes boutiques and a delightful toy shop stuffed with colourful wooden toys. There are plenty of restaurants both in the main square and tucked away down side streets.
But what I love most about the village are the quiet residential streets where no two doors are the same and residents personalise their tiny street fronts.
Each house stamps its individual mark on its small street space by decorating its windowsills and steps with pots and plants, setting out small tables and chairs, and even cushions on tiny stone benches.
Most of the buildings are built in stone though some are rendered in warm southern tones. Windows are complemented with traditional painted shutters.
I can easily while away a couple of hours wandering around these alleys searching out little details, admiring the way the sun filters through a shutter creating an unusual shadow, or how the sky is reflected in a window.
I look up to see laundry drying in the breeze and down to see a contented cat snoozing in the shade. I love photographing the village in different seasons and different lights, and every time I go I find something new.
I hope you enjoyed your stroll around charming Valbonne with me. It’s easy to visit by car (30 minutes from Antibes and Cannes, 15 minutes from Grasse, 45 minutes from Nice). There is a large free car park on the edge which only gets full in the height of the summer and there are busses from Cannes and Antibes (1.50€ per ride).
For more pictures of charming Valbonne take a look at these posts:
Why not PIN this for later!