Highland Trek: Provence

Tripoto
29th May 2014

Gourdon

Photo of Gourdon by Kristoffer

Gourdon - Valley View

Photo of Gourdon - Valley View by Kristoffer

Gourdon - Valley View

Photo of Gourdon - Valley View by Kristoffer

Gourdon - Valley View

Photo of Gourdon - Valley View by Kristoffer

Gourdon - Alps

Photo of Gourdon - Alps by Kristoffer

Gourdon - Valley View

Photo of Gourdon - Valley View by Kristoffer

Gourdon - Valley View

Photo of Gourdon - Valley View by Kristoffer

Gourdon - Pont du Loup

Photo of Gourdon - Pont du Loup by Kristoffer

Gourdon - Alps

Photo of Gourdon - Alps by Kristoffer

Gourdon - View from the top

Photo of Gourdon - View from the top by Kristoffer

Gourdon - View from the top

Photo of Gourdon - View from the top by Kristoffer

Route de Caussols

Photo of Route de Caussols by Kristoffer

View of the Mediterranean coastline

Photo of View of the Mediterranean coastline by Kristoffer

Valley map with Nice off in the distance

Photo of Valley map with Nice off in the distance by Kristoffer

Closer view of Nice

Photo of Closer view of Nice by Kristoffer

Gourdon - Pont du Loup

Photo of Gourdon - Pont du Loup by Kristoffer

Gourdon - Alps

Photo of Gourdon - Alps by Kristoffer

Saint Paul de Vence

Photo of Saint Paul de Vence by Kristoffer

Saint Paul de Vence

Photo of Saint Paul de Vence by Kristoffer

View from the ancient city wall

Photo of View from the ancient city wall by Kristoffer

Medieval Tower of Saint-Paul de Vence

Photo of Medieval Tower of Saint-Paul de Vence by Kristoffer

View from the ancient city wall

Photo of View from the ancient city wall by Kristoffer

View from the ancient city wall

Photo of View from the ancient city wall by Kristoffer

View from the ancient city wall

Photo of View from the ancient city wall by Kristoffer

A view looking back at the highlands

Photo of A view looking back at the highlands by Kristoffer

A view looking back at the highlands

Photo of A view looking back at the highlands by Kristoffer

When traveling to the Côte d'Azur (often known in English as the French Riviera), places such as Cannes, Antibes, Nice, and the Principality of Monaco are often at the top of one's itinerary list.  But when taking that walk along Nice's Promenade des Anglais and you notice those highlands behind the city, you realize that there is more to see beyond the riviera.  

If you're looking to take a short day trip away from the coast, then the lovely countryside cities of Grasse, medieval Gourdon, and  Saint Paul de Vence will fill your day.  Getting to the Provence countryside is half of the fun as there are three options at your disposal: 1) Taking the bus, 2) Renting a car avec GPS, or 3) Taking a guided tour.  Which ever mode of travel you choose, you should have enough time in a day to take in these three hidden gems of Provence.

Perhaps one of Grassee's main touristy attractions is the Parfumerie Fragonard. Grasse has been a perfume town ever since the 1600s, and today as the world's perfume capital its reputation speaks for itself. Its sister perfume factory is located in Eze. If perfume isn't your forte, then you can set off to explore and discover the rest of this historic town.
Photo of Grasse, France by Kristoffer
Photo of Grasse, France by Kristoffer
Traveling up the Route de Caussols, it's almost impossible to miss the medieval city of Gourdon. This historic commune offers some magnificent panoramic views of the Cote d'Azur. The city also serves as a tourist stop with shops and a hand full of restaurants to sample the local cuisine.
Photo of Gourdon, Alpes-Maritimes, France by Kristoffer
In similar fashion, although not as vast or as high, Saint Paul de Vence is another hilltop commune which provides some beautiful views of the surrounding area. The city's signature piece is its maze of walk ways and alleys which guide you to numerous shops and restaurants that are hidden beyond the city walls.
Photo of Saint Paul de Vence, France by Kristoffer