Essential Details About Vence
- Post code: 06157 / 06140
- Region: Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
- Department: Alpes-Maritimes
- Population: 18,536
- Elevation: 40 - 1,033 m
- Geo-coordinates: 43°43′25″N 7°06′51″E
- Distance to Nice airport: 16 km (22 mins drive)
- More info on Wikipedia
A Brief Overview of Vence
It’s no wonder that Vence is one of the most popular towns on the French Riviera. Situated in the hills overlooking Antibes and Cannes, the Medieval walled village is one of the prettiest in the area, with some of the best views. The town dates back to the 13th Century, but the hillside around Vence is thought by historians to have been populated as far back as 439. The town’s picturesque scenery and glorious setting have been drawing artists and writers to the area for years and Vence has inspired more than a few well-known paintings and novels along the way. The old town with its stone ramparts contrasts nicely with the more modern part of Vence and the thriving daily market is still the centre of village life. Whether you plan to live here on a year-round basis, or use your property as a luxurious holiday home, we guarantee you’ll love spending time in the ‘marvel of Provence’ as Nostradamus once dubbed this garden city.
When it comes to stunning scenery, Vence’s location in the hills takes some beating. As you leave the coast behind, the first thing you’ll notice is how green everything looks. Add in the breathtaking views and the scent of lavender which drifts up from the nearby fields and you could be mistaken for thinking you’re in heaven, rather than in Vence. And the village itself is no less impressive with its Medieval city, numerous chapels and ornate stone fountains in just about every square. The narrow streets are full of stone gateways and arcades dating back hundreds of years, a traditional washhouse and of course all those infamous fountains. In keeping with Vence’s artistic past and present, there are lots of art galleries and exhibition spaces dotted about all over the village. Stroll around the streets and discover Roman ruins, ancient passageways and a magnificent ash tree in the Esplanade Fernand Moutet. Legend has it the tree was planted by François I during the signature of the Nice Truce back in 1538, but even without the royal connections, it’s always an impressive sight.
In the heart of the old town, you’ll find 8 chapels, each more beautiful than the next and all with fabulous paintings and sculptures on display. The 4th Century cathedral is also well worth a visit thanks to its religious relics and beautiful mosaic designed and created by former Vençois Marc Chagall. At the top of the town, the Chateau de Villeneuve with its impressive watchtower was once home to the Counts of Provence. Following extensive renovations, it is now part of the Fondation Emile Hugues and hosts a variety of contemporary art exhibitions throughout the year. Just below the walled village, the more modern part of Vence is primarily a residential area. But with a cinema, outdoor concert arena, tennis courts and open-air pool, there’s always something to do here while you’re in town.
Like most of the French Riviera, Vence is also home to an incredible range of restaurants and bistros. There are endless options for eating out all over town and the village square is the perfect place to relax with a coffee and soak up the atmosphere and the sunshine. Shopping is another favourite pastime for the Vençois. There are dozens of little boutiques in the old town plus the extremely popular markets which Vence hosts every week. Selling everything from flowers to antique books, you’ll love spending time browsing the stalls for local goods and possibly even hidden treasures. Sports fans will enjoy all the events the town organises during the year from the International Billiard Festival to the Vence Fréchaut Trophy cycling tour. And if you want to get out into the open air yourself, the urban fitness trail based around the ubiquitous fountains is definitely a must!
Another big advantage to living in Vence is the easy access to the rest of the French Riviera. Jump in your car and head to St Tropez for lunch, or spend a weekend just over the border in nearby Italy. The beach is literally just down the road and resorts like Cannes and Monaco are the perfect choice for a fun day out with the family. During the winter season, make the most of living so close to the mountains and head up into the Southern Alps for endless powder and some of France’s best ski slopes. Whatever your passion and no matter what you’re looking for, we guarantee that you’ll love life in the French Riviera hillside.
Living in Vence
Life in Vence is a world away from the resorts down on the coast. Situated in the hills above Antibes, this little town is surrounded by lush green trees and beautiful flowers. With Medieval ramparts and historical monuments around every corner, Vence is very much in touch with its past. But it’s also a modern town with lots going on. Locals and visitors alike shop at the daily market in the Place du Grand Jardin, and the whole town comes together to celebrate saints days and local festivals. Vence’s very own personal microclimate guarantees great weather all year long, and at just 20 minutes away from the seafront and the airport, you’ll love its handy location.
Thanks to its golden sunlight and stunning views over the Mediterranean, artists have been falling in love with Vence for years. Some of the greatest painters and sculptors of the last century have called Vence home, and the town is still a haven for artists today. Chagall and Dufy both lived and worked in Vence but its most famous former resident must be Matisse. Inspired by former nurse turned nun Sister Jacques-Marie, Matisse designed and built a beautiful chapel in the town. Today the Chapelle du Rosaire is one of Vence’s most popular attractions with visitors from all over the world coming to see the ‘Matisse Chapel’. And there are stunning art galleries and museums all over town with outdoor exhibits held throughout the summer. It’s the ideal opportunity to pick up some unique pieces for your new home.
When it comes to food, you can’t go wrong in Vence. The town’s restaurant scene has a little of everything from cosy local brasseries to an ancient chateau with a Michelin-starred chef. Try pizza cooked in a woodfire oven or tasty organic vegetables fresh from the local market. There are so many great options, that we predict you’ll find a new favourite café every week. Whether you fancy a casual lunch in the sunshine, or a romantic dinner for two in the most elegant of surroundings, it’s safe to say you’ll love the fantastic selection of places to eat out in Vence.
The daily market is definitely one of the best things about living in Vence. A slice of authentic Provençal life, nothing will make you feel more French than browsing stall after stall of delicious meats and cheeses, or tucking a couple of crusty baguettes in your bag for lunch. The main vegetable and flower market is held in the Place du Grand Jardin every morning and is a great way to make friends and stock up on locally grown produce. On Wednesdays, the fruit and vegetable stands are joined by the town’s antiques market. Browse delicate glassware and beautiful antique lacework and perhaps pick up a bargain for your French Riviera home.
They say that water is life, and nowhere is that more true than in Vence. Nicknamed the City of Water, Vence has always had a very special relationship with l’eau. Mineral water from the La Foux source supplies the town’s fountains and locals can often be seen queuing up to fill their bottles and jugs around the village. In fact the Vençois are so proud of their spring water that once a year they even throw a party to celebrate La Foux and the fountains. With singing, dancing and live music, this is one local tradition you’ll definitely want to join in with.
Living in the hills of Provence, you’ll be able to take part in exciting events all year long. Thanks to its long history, Vence organises lots of traditional celebrations and festivals for residents and visitors. Listen to live music until the sun comes up at the Fête de la Musique, watch the coronation of the Queen of Vence at Easter time or join in with the folk dancing at the annual Feast of St Elizabeth. And during the summer season discover the antiques fair and pottery market held in the narrow streets of the village. Celebrate fireworks, live music, theatre or flowers, whatever you’re into, Vence has a festival for you.
Vence is also the ideal location for sports enthusiasts. Set in the hills, there are endless adventures to be had whilst hiking the trails around the village, or pony trekking through the forests. From mountain biking to swimming, tennis to a modern skatepark, Vence has a whole range of activities to keep you and the family busy. With its ideal location just 20 minutes away from the coast, you can also take advantage of a whole host of thrilling watersports during the summer months. Relax and catch some sun on the beaches around Antibes and Cannes, or cool off with a dip in the Mediterranean before heading home. And when the temperature cools off, you’re only 45 minutes away from the Vence’s closest ski station. With miles of pristine white slopes just a quick drive away from your French Riviera home, village life has never been so much fun!
Charming and unspoiled, Vence is a modern town with a long heritage. If you’re looking for sunshine, stunning views and a touch of that laidback Provençal lifestyle, this is the perfect place to purchase a base on the French Rivier
Properties for Sale in Vence
Surrounded by lush green hills with the Mediterranean below it, Vence is in is an idyllic setting. Luxury properties are always in demand in this part of the world and we have the best selection in town. Scroll back up to see the full collection of Vence property for sale or read on for recommendations.
This spectacular 5 bed Provencal villa in Vence would make an ideal family home or luxury holiday house. Spacious and comfortable it consists of a charming mansion plus an independent ground floor apartment which would be perfect for when the inlaws come to stay. Outside, you’ll love the enormous garden with its heated swimming pool, summer lounge area and pool house plus multiple terraces for dinner or drinks. Inside, enjoy a second swimming pool as well as a gym, a sauna, and entertainment room. The master suite with its private terrace and jacuzzi will really wow your guests but it’s so luxurious you might just want to keep it all to yourself!
This is just a small collection of our Vence real estate. If you’re looking for something which isn’t listed here, get in touch with our Vence Estate Agents and they will give you some more options in the surrounding area.
Properties for Sale Near Vence
Investing in Vence Real Estate
Purchasing property in Vence is a very safe bet. Whether you’re looking for a family home or an investment opportunity on the French Riviera, you can’t go wrong with this little village. As popular as it is pretty, here are just a few of the reasons why we think you’ll fall in love with the city of spring water:
The idyllic setting. Vence is surrounded by olive groves, citrus trees and fields full of flowers
The easy access.Vence is just 20 minutes away from the international Nice Cote d’Azur Airport
The sense of history. Vence dates back to the 4th Century and has dozens of historical monuments to explore
The climate. Blessed with its own personal microclimate, Vence enjoys mild winters and long hot summers
The social calendar. The town of Vence organises festivals and events throughout the year
The market. Vence is famous throughout the region for its thriving food market
The spring water. Vence has its very own source of mineral water with numerous fountains dotted about the village
The scenery. The village overlooks the mountains and the Mediterranean, spectacular sunsets are a given
The sports and leisure facilities. Vence offers a wide variety of different activities from tennis to horse riding
The art. Vence has long inspired artists and sculptors and the village is known for its galleries and exhibits
The mountains. Vence is just a couple of hours away from the ski resorts of the Southern Alps for winter fun
Top Events in Vence
Living up in the hills is a great way to experience the best of village life. Vence is home to several traditional festivals and celebrations during the year, plus a daily food market, a weekly antiques fair and much more besides. Here are a few of the best events to pop in your diary once you decide to make the move to Vence:
- St Valentine's Day Ball & Election of the Queen of Vence ~ February
- Queen of Vence Coronation Ceremony, Folk Dancing & Flower Parade ~ April
- Culture Festival ~ May
- Pottery Market ~ May
- Festival of Fountains ~ May
- Festi’Vence ~ June
- Fête de la Musique ~ June
- Bastille Day ~ July
- Les Nuits du Sud Festival ~ July
- Festival of St Elizabeth ~ August
- Antiques Fair ~ August
- Film Forum ~ November
- Christmas Market ~ December
The Purchase Process in France
Buying a luxury real estate in Vence can seem confusing at first but it’s actually a very straight-forward procedure.
The purchase process is set up to protect both buyer and seller and usually only takes a couple of months from start to finish. From putting in an offer to collecting the keys to your new home we’ll be with you every step of the way, so the only thing that you’ll need to do is find your perfect property from our fantastic selection.
To help you understand how it works, we've visualised the purchase process in France on the following infographic.
Now you’ve heard a little about Vence and the surrounding area, the next step is to arrange a viewing. To save you time we’ll take care of all the details. Give our team a call or send us a quick email with your requirements and we’ll be delighted to find you the perfect property in lovely Vence.