The Best Cities and Villages in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
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The Best Cities and Villages in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Mahaut Fauquet
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The Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (PACA) region is filled with picturesque villages and charming towns, each offering unique characteristics. This region is iconic for its perched villages, for example, these small medieval towns that overlook the area, as well as colorful little ports with Mediterranean flair! From the towns of the Côte d'Azur to the bastides of Provence, here is a list of the most beautiful villages and towns in the region.

The Most Beautiful Villages of Provence, the Alps, and the Côte d'Azur

Gordes (Vaucluse)

Located in the Luberon Natural Park, Gordes is often hailed as THE most beautiful village in France. This Provençal village is the epitome of the perched villages prevalent in the PACA region and owes its fame to the many artists who have lived there. It's hard to say what is more beautiful: the view from Gordes, overlooking the Provençal valleys and olive fields, or the view of Gordes, as you gaze at the brilliantly white village perched atop its rock.

Photo de Gordes

Roussillon (Vaucluse)

Roussillon (not to be confused with the department located further west) is primarily known for its pervasive red and orange hues, extending from the ocher cliffs surrounding the village to the houses built in the same tones! The town offers incredible views and hiking trails through the ocher quarries, an orange panorama that attracts numerous tourists each year.

Photo Roussillon

Saint-Paul de Vence (Alpes-Maritimes)

This medieval village is a hub for art, famous for its Maeght Foundation, an open-air modern art museum. With its breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and its serene Provençal atmosphere, Saint-Paul-de-Vence is a prime destination for lovers of history, art, and tranquility!

Photo Saint Paul de Vence

Cassis (Bouches-du-Rhône)

Cassis is well known in the region for its white cliffs and turquoise-watered calanques. But beyond the coveted creeks, Cassis is primarily a charming small village where one delights in strolling during the summer! While there, don't forget to try its famous aromatic white wine!

Photo Cassis

Barcelonnette (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence)

This unique village in the Ubaye Valley is known for its Mexican influence, visible in its colorful villas, a legacy of emigrants who returned from Mexico in the 19th century. Barcelonnette is also a hub for winter and summer sports enthusiasts, offering numerous opportunities for hiking, skiing, and mountain biking. Its location in the heart of the mountains provides breathtaking landscapes and a peaceful setting for nature lovers.

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Menton (Alpes-Maritimes)

Nicknamed the "Pearl of France," Menton is famous for its exotic gardens, mild climate, and Lemon Festival, a true carnival that takes place every year in this small coastal town! Its beaches and colorful architecture attract those seeking the gentle Mediterranean lifestyle.

Photo Menton

Eze (Alpes-Maritimes)

Jean Cocteau once said of Eze: "There is no other place more exotic, more unusual, more suspended in the void..." It couldn't be more accurately described: the town offers a spectacular view of the coast, its turquoise waters, and wooded hills! The best view? You'll find it in the beautiful Exotic Garden, built on an old fortress at 429 meters above the sea!

Photo Eze

Antibes (Alpes-Maritimes)

Once a city of artists, Antibes charms with its historical heritage, ramparts, and lively port. Explore the Provençal market, visit the Picasso Museum, and enjoy the pleasures of Mediterranean life in this charming town.

Photo Antibes

Aix-en-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône)

A city of art and history, Aix is famous for its Provençal alleys lined with plane trees, its thermal springs, and the Cours Mirabeau, a lively avenue with cafes and markets. It’s a chic city that enjoys a privileged setting, ideal for those who want to live near Marseille but in a calmer environment.

Photo Aix-en-Provence

Avignon (Vaucluse)

Known for its theater festival and the Palais des Papes, Avignon is a city of great cultural and historical richness with a lively atmosphere all year round. Don't forget to visit the bridge, and even if no one dances on it these days, it's still fun to see the inspiration behind the most famous French nursery rhymes!

Photo Avignon

PACA, One of the Most Beautiful Regions in France

In summary, it's impossible not to fall in love with such a diverse region! From mountain villages to festive small ports, PACA has it all—history, charm, cuisine, the sea, ski resorts, and the most melodious accent in France! There are many more villages and towns to discover, so don't hesitate to tour the region to find which one you like the most!

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