Unique Living
September 4th, 2014 | by Serge Cowan

Location Guide : France – Cannes Special – Vence & Mougins

Without doubt the villages of Saint-Paul-De-Vance and Mougins are two of the most picturesque and un-spoilt communes in France, with both possessing extraordinarily rich cultural heritage that makes them quite unique for destinations so comparatively small. Both villages are incredibly beautiful in their own right, and are situated on and around hilltops – a defensive necessity when they were founded many centuries ago – that today lends them a delightful charm and ambience.

Totally absent of unsightly modern developments, they make not just excellent destinations in their own right but also as a base to explore nearby Cannes and the world famous coastline of the Côte d’Azur.

Before looking at the many attractions to be found in the villages themselves, let’s first highlight a couple of major events and glamour to be found along the coastline itself. The glitzy, jet-setting coastal town of St-Tropez lies just a short journey westward along the coast, with the trip itself taking in some of the most beautiful views in the whole of France. Once there, prepare to be dazzled by the incredible array of super yachts along the Quai Jean Jaurès, that leads into the atmospheric Old Village. Further up the hill is the famous citadel that offers breath-taking views across the harbour and along the coastline. Those in search of a little culture will find the Musée de l’Annonciade fascinating, as one of the oldest and most prestigious galleries in France that pays special tribute the beauty of the local region.

Slightly closer to both Vence and Mougins is Cannes, another super-fashionable destination that is famous worldwide thanks to its annual film festival. Beautiful and affluent throughout the year, the town bursts into exuberant life when the stars roll into town for premieres and promotional tours. However, the festival isn’t all about star-spotting, there’s a huge amount of pop-up events such as film master classes, talks and of course screenings that really take over the city. Much of the real estate in the region takes inspiration from the older villas that can be found around the older part of the town, and you will notice that the architectural influence resonates especially in Vance and Mougins.

So there’s obviously plenty to see and enjoy in two of the larger destinations along the Côte d’Azur, but what about the two villages themselves? Starting with Vence, there is an incredibly rich local cultural scene that has over the years drawn some of the most influential artists of their time to settle in the community. Marc Chagall is one of many who visited the village and fell so enchanted with it that he decided to make it his lifetime home, such was the way it so perfectly encapsulates French life. Artists still flock to Vence to participate in the thriving and diverse artistic life of the community, displaying their work in the many galleries and open-air. It’s truly a fascinating experience to walk around this atmospheric place. Take in the cobbled streets and medieval architecture and then be stunned by the creativity and artistic passion that pervades throughout.

Only a few miles to the west is Mougins, another thriving historic town that has an extraordinarily rich cultural tapestry. The one time home to luminaries such as Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau to name just two of the artists, actors and designers that have fallen in love with Mougins, today the village offers a dazzling range of galleries, exhibitions and events. Fans of antiquities will find the modern Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins is home to many hundreds of artefacts paying tribute to the importance of art in human history, while also being home to many more stunning contemporary works. The village has a range of smaller galleries that cater for all tastes, and it is also home to an annual gastronomic festival paying tribute to the rich culinary tradition of the region.

It’s no surprise, given the culture, beauty and atmosphere of these two destinations that many famous attendees have stayed in these two areas while attending the Cannes festival. For those lucky enough to live here, they may find themselves next-door to a Hollywood A-lister for a fortnight, enjoying the same gorgeous views that have so inspired many artistic minds over the years.

Featured Properties in Vence & Mougins

4 Bedroom Villa | Mougins, French Riviera, France



6 Bedroom Villa | Vence, French Riviera, France



Serge Cowan

Serge Cowan

Managing Director and Founder

Serge has an extensive marketing background, after a broadcasting career, Serge moved into marketing where he worked for BSkyB & a number of leading Public Relations agencies.
More from this author

Latest News

Sign Up

To our Newsletter

Register for our newsletter to receive our latest new instructions and country guides.