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Valbonne - Sophia Antipolis

 
The departement of the Alpes Maritimes - Pop.: 4,000 inh.

Highway A8 exit Antibes - Valbonne is 10 km. from Cannes.
Valbonne, door of the town
Valbonne is a very beautiful little old town, built in a peaceful valley bursting with Mediterranean vegetation.

It is very chic and residential and has grown tremendously since the beginning of the 70s, at the same time as the nearby Sophia-Antipolis science park. The engineers and researchers from all over the world who work there have either bought or built villas and country houses in the surrounding area.

Valbonne, street


Valbonne is lucky in that it has a historic centre sheltered by its rampart of village houses, conserving its charm.

It is a delightful place to visit, and what's more it has been beautifully restored and maintained.


Valbonne town house
Ochre stone house fronts with pastel coloured shutters, porches smothered in vines or exuberant bougainvilleas, doors with lintels decorated with the emblems of penitents and journeymen, the beautiful building housing the "mairie" and its 19th century belfry, and everywhere you turn there are little restaurants with tables in the street, in the shade provided by historic old houses... Valbonne is just amazing.

Valbonne, passageway


The original feature of Valbonne is that, unlike most medieval Provencal villages, it was built according to an urban grid pattern (the streets intersect at right angles), dating back to the early 16th century.



Valbonne, square with terraces

It is a very pleasant village to visit (and no doubt to live in), where it is relaxing to stroll along the pretty streets on a slight slope, all taking you down to the Renaissance era Place a Arcades, where you can partake of a delightful lunch on one of the restaurant terraces.


Valbonne, antiques shop

You can do some shopping too; the pretty fashion shops, antique dealers and interior decoration boutiques vie with each other for attractiveness and chic.

If you prefer historical heritage, you must visit the monastery founded in the year 1200 by the Chalaisian religious order.

It was built in the Romanesque-Gothic style and was recently restored. It has a Romanesque portal and altar, 18th century head reliquaries, a chapterhouse, a treasure room and the monks' dormitory.

Valbonne, hotel

Finally, don't leave Valbonne without tasting the local speciality, a wine made using Servan grapes, a variety which it is said "keeps until Easter"...

so don't wait any longer before trying it.


What to see:

The Chalaisian abbey. Chapels of St Bernardin and St Esprit.
Roman aqueduct at Clausonnes (built at the start of the reign of Augustus).
Early Christian necropolis at Pont-des-Fades.
Oppidum of Sainte-Therese.
Municipal museum of Popular arts and traditions.



Leisure activities:

Municipal swimming pool.
Opio-Valbonne golf course (18 holes). Victoria Golf Club (9 holes).
Part of the Regional nature park of La Brague (374 hectares, a botanical trail, hiking and bridle paths).
Part of the Departmental nature park of La Valmasque (427 hectares, a model ecological site at Etang de Fontmerle, covered with water lilies in summer, a platform to observe vegetation and wildlife, a health trail, jogging circuits, walks, bridle paths, botanical trail).
Handicrafts mill. Handicrafts (glassware, pewter, pottery, wrought iron).
Antiques fair. Potters' market.
Grape festival (February).



Accommodation:

Hotels.
Holiday rentals.
Bed and breakfast.



Neighbouring towns and villages:

Mougins (6km), Opio (5km), Biot (8km).





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Valbonne, bell tower

Valbonne, square

Valbonne, fountain

Valbonne - Hotel Les Armoiries and its terrace
 
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