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On highway A8, take exit Cagnes. 15 minutes from Nice airport by D36.

Discover the pretty town of Vence, near Nice

A town that attracts artists

Centre-ville de Vence.

Vence combines the charm of a historical town with an exceptionally mild micro-climate. Dufy, Matisse, Chagall, Dubuffet, Carzou, Arman, D.H Laurence...

These are just some of the artists attracted to Vence. Henri Matisse for example, to whom we owe the Rosaire chapel, a unique piece of work, said of Vence where he lived: "this morning as I was walking along in front of my house, seeing all these young girls, women and men cycling to the market I felt as if I was in Tahiti."

The Roman history of Vence


Behind all this charm is a great deal of history. Vence was formerly the ancient Roman settlement of Vintium, and subsequently became the bishopric and seigneury of the Villeneuve family. The town has conserved much of its historical heritage. From the Ligurian period you can admire the "Marseillais Columns", the remnants of a Roman triumphal arch.

The ramparts

Tour à Vence.

Later on, in the Middle Ages, a defensive wall was built around the town. Many fine remains of this rampart are still standing and can be crossed at the tower-gate of Signadour or the Levis portal (both dating back to the 13th century), the Peyra gate (15th century) or the Breche gate (18th century).

The pretty old town centre

Once you have entered the town, just wander around the maze of cobbled alleyways, passing underneath refreshing vaulted passageways, to admire Place du Peyra Renaissance and its famous fountain photographed innumerable times (1822). Don't miss the Gothic house on Place Godeau, and on Place Thiers, the ash tree planted in memory of François 1st's visit in 1538!

The Cathedral

The Romanesque cathedral (11th century) adjoining the Saint Lambert Tower (12th century), contains stalls sculpted by Jacotin Bellot, a dredge carpenter from Grasse (15th century), a beautiful 16th century altar piece, a unique set of 17th century polychrome wooden statues, a mosaic by Marc Chagall ("Moses saved from the waters") and a Saint-Veran sarcophagus dating back to the 5th century!

Restaurants and cafés in old Vence

Vence dans les Alpes Maritimes.

When you have had your fill of artistic treasures, enjoy some well-deserved rest as you lunch on the terrace of one of the many small restaurants scattered around the pretty squares that are everywhere in old Vence.

The Château des Villeneuve and the Chapelle des Pénitents Blancs.

Then leave the old town via the Peyra gate to visit the Château des Villeneuve, now converted into a museum where contemporary art exhibitions are held. Further on you should visit the Chapelle des Pénitents blancs, a superb building boasting a cupola covered with varnished tiles and a Renaissance belltower.

The superb Col de Vence to gain altitude

Fontaine à Vence.

Further on still you can quench your thirst at the Fontaine de la Foux, from which extremely pure mineral water has been flowing ever since medieval times (1431). With its micro-climate blessed by the gods, its hills of olive trees and citrus fruits, common and holm oaks, Aleppo pines, luxuriant gardens fragrant with rosemary and lavender, its majestic baous and the Col de Vence where the air is so pure, Vence has plenty of assets to enchant you.

Our map of Vence (postcode 06 140)

To find your way around this pretty town on the Côte d'Azur, you can use our interactive map on this page. We've included all the points of interest in Vence as well as our accommodation recommendations. So you can locate them before booking your weekend or holiday in Vence.

What to do near Vence

If you're looking for original activities to do during your stay in Vence, here are some suggestions with local guides. We've tried out all these excursions and highly recommend them. They'll make great souvenirs for your holiday on the Côte d'Azur.

What to see

Cathedral of Nativite-de-Notre-Dame and its Treasure (historic monument originally built in the 11th century).
Château des Villeneuve (16th-17th century).
Chapelle du Rosaire des Dominicaines 1951, designed and decorated by Matisse, stained glass windows.
Penitents blancs chapel (historic monument dating back to 1614).
Sainte-Elisabeth chapel (Jean Canavesio fresco, 15th century, "the path to Paradise").
Les Colonnes des Marseillais.
Boursac Mill (built in the 15th century, converted into a youth community centre).
Important prehistoric and ancient remains: neolithic burial site at Baou-des-Blancs (Ibis and Aigle caves), numerous oppida, section of the Via Ventiana, Roman remains at the Col de Vence forestry centre and even Gallo-Roman reliefs in the cathedral.
Local organic market on Saturday morning (Place du Grand Jardin). Friday and Sunday morning: farmers' food market.

Leisure activities

Contemporary art exhibitions, literary events, drama activities.
Classical music and jazz concerts.
Secondhand books market. Traditional feast days.
Swimming pool, tennis, clay pigeon shooting, fishing.
Walks (200 km of waymarked paths to the Baous and Col de Vence).


Design hotel 5-minute walk from the town centre and 15km from Nice Airport
Guest rooms with TV, private bathroom. (ome with balcony) - free Wifi
Garden terrace with panoramic view - children’s playground - Swimming pool

68€ - 158€

Holiday rentals

Résidence Evancy **** - les Jardins d'Azur
Vence (Nice) | St Paul de Vence : 5 km - Nice : 16 km

98 Premium vacation rentals 2 to 8 people with private terraces and equipped kitchen in a new residence, cozy decor. Heated swimming pool, multisports ground, children's games. Panoramic view. Breakfast optional

623€ - 3430€


Bed and breakfast.
Holiday rentals.


You have sent us several requests about the town of Vence. Here are our answers to your most frequently asked questions.

When is the market in Vence?

The Vence market takes place once a week on Friday mornings in the Place du Maréchal Juin and the Place du Grand Jardin. It's a friendly Provencal market, ideal for finding good local produce and crafts from the region.

Where to eat in Vence

If you're looking for a good place to eat in Vence, we can recommend ‘L'Auberge des Seigneurs’ and ‘La Table du Cantemerle’. You'll find good cuisine from the South of France, friendly service and you'll have a great time.

What is the altitude of Vence?

The town of Vence is about 300 metres above sea level. The famous Col de Vence rises to 963 metres, giving a superb view of the Alpes Maritimes.

Is it pleasant to live in Vence?

Vence is a very pleasant town, well situated on the Côte d'Azur without the frenzy of Nice or the madness of Saint-Tropez. It's a great place to live, and in fact the population has risen sharply in recent decades, stabilising at around 18,000. It's a pleasant town in the Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur region.

Place à Vence.
Centre-ville de Vence.
Vence dans les Alpes Maritimes.
Vieille ville de Vence.
Fontaine à Vence.
Tour à Vence.


Saint Paul de Vence (6 km), Tourrettes sur Loup (6km) and La Colle sur Loup (8 km).

Zoom in the map



Main villages of the area: