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St. Paul de Vence vs. Tourrettes-sur-Loup

St. Paul de Vence vs. Tourrettes-sur-Loup

Jul 2nd, 2007, 10:43 PM
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St. Paul de Vence vs. Tourrettes-sur-Loup

We will be visiting this area on a 5-hour private tour (arriving in Cannes by ship).

I am thinking of missing St Paul and visiting Tourrettes instead on the assumption it will be less commercial and quieter. Would I be making a dreadful mistake to miss St Paul? We will be traveling with four seniors who are relatively mobile but who walk slowly.

Thanks to everyone who participates on these Boards.....lots of great info.
llandaff is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2007, 08:12 AM
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I've never been to Tourettes so cannot comment.

St Paul gets a lot of coach tours so can seem overrun. It is a lovely village best appreciated before 10.00am and after 6.00pm in my opinion.

Diz01 is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2007, 08:20 AM
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the road getting to Tourrettes is awesome - a corniche drive overlooking the coast as i remember.

St Paul de Vence is a great village but so is Tourrettes - St Paul has the popular Maeght Foundation art museum on its edge - a plus.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2007, 10:05 AM
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We stayed in St Paul de Vence on a fairly recent trip to the area. The village is in a walled city- it is quite beautiful, and the main streets can be filled with tourists during the day. The evenings are charming. The Foundation Maeght is wonderful and worth the trip for its collection. Tourettes is smaller and less touristy because it is further inland about a half hour from St Paul. Depending on your interests and time, you could visit the Maeght and the Matisse Chapel and then go on to Tourettes.
justretired is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2007, 10:23 AM
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Walking around St-Paul-de-Vence is difficult for anyone with mobility problems: lots of climbing and cobblestones. The narrow "streets" can be very crowded and difficult to navigate. So, I'd suggest you head to Tourettes, which is somewhat flatter and less congested. Nicer, too, I think.
Underhill is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2007, 02:23 PM
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Thanks all.

My plan was to visit either St Paul or Tourrettes along with the Fondation Maeght, the Gorges du Loup and Gourdon. Would we have time to visit both villages and still limit the tour to 5 hours from Cannes?
I know the Fondation doesn't open until 10am so maybe we could have a quick look at St Paul for half hour on the way?
I also thought about the Matisse Chapel but that, according to some websites, is not open on a Friday.

Any comments would be gratefully received!
llandaff is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2007, 02:50 PM
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The drive out to Gourdon would take at least an hour each way; I don't think you could easily combine it with visits to the Fondation Maeght (you'd want about 1-1/2 hours for that), Tourettes, and St-Paul. But you could do the other 3, just about, in the 5 hours you have. But does that include the travel time from Cannes? That might be pushing things.
Underhill is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2007, 08:46 PM
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St Paul is crowded during the day (we went last May) but filled with upscale galleries and gift shops which I enjoyed. Tourrettes was uncrowded with more craft stores than art galleries. Our group of four voted it the best village in the area. We had a fabulous lunch with a view at Auberge de Tourrettes. We liked trying the violet flavored ice cream sold by "Tom's" (I believe).

We were disappointed in the Maeght. I realize that a minority view but I wish we'd have done something else with our time.
JeannetteC is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 04:05 AM
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Several years ago I rented a house with my daughter and son in law in Tourrettes-sur-Loup. We did St Paul de Vence and other towns during the daybut loved returning "home". It's a charming town filled, as others have mentioned, with delightful craft stores. Meandering around is just great. It is a little hilly so you might be walking slowly It would get our vote for sure!
kathrynj is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 04:53 AM
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To answer the original question, I prefer St. Paul de Vence. We first went to Tourrettes sur Loup almost 20 years ago and were charmed by it. When I returned for the first time last year, I thought it was somewhat run down and neglected looking in comparison to St. Paul de Vence, which I did not care for much during our first visit but found to be lovely on my most recent trip. St. Paul really is beautiful. If I could only see one, I'd go there. Also, I don't remember seeing much of anything, craft shops or otherwise, in Tourrettes.
gabriele is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 11:47 AM
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I also prefer St Paul over Tourrette sur Loup. Tourette doesn't have the wall fortification and the interior lanes are not as interesting. St Paul only has a couple of lanes with steps which you can easily go around them by taking the gentler meandering lanes. I remember how my daughter had no problem going down the steps on her own even when she was only 20 months old.

If you're looking for a very flat attractive town to visit in the area, take a look at VENCE which is more like a bastide town close to St Paul de Vence. It's much flatter than Tourrette and has just as much interesting ambiance/architecture.
DAX is offline  
Jul 5th, 2007, 09:27 PM
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St-Paul may not have many steps, but climbing up the street can be difficult for anyone with knee or foot problems--just a warning.
Underhill is offline  
Jul 6th, 2007, 05:12 PM
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A few years ago, my wife blew her knee skiing shortly before we went to St Paul in the spring, she had to avoid the steps but had no problem walking the gentle uphill/downhill lanes. As far as she can remember, we walked through several gentle sloping lanes in Tourrettes s.L just like in St Paul. There is a higher density of tourist shops/galleries in St Paul than in Tourrettes s.L. As I mentioned before the town with hardly any slope is Vence.
DAX is offline  
Jul 7th, 2007, 11:45 AM
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Thank you all so much for your help.
I have decided that this area obviously deserves way more than 5 hours even on a cruise ship whirlwind Mediterranean overview!

I have hired a tour guide for 8 hours and will attempt to visit both St Paul and Tourrettes and maybe Vence as well. I think it will be less tiring and stressful to have a full day trip than it will to try to cram everything into 5 hours.

All your replies were much appreciated.
llandaff is offline  
Jul 7th, 2007, 11:50 AM
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Dear Llandaff....Just a hint on how to minimize the crowd experience in St. Paul de Vence. Head straight up the main street all the way to the end of town, near the ramparts. Then, work your way back down at whatever pace you want. Most people congregate at the lower end, the beginning, of town and the crowds are significantly less near the end.
marthag is offline  
Jul 7th, 2007, 05:07 PM
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I agree with several others that it's the road to Tourettes that is exceptional; St. Paul is full of tourists but for good reason. The only problem would be the walk from parking into the walls - it's pretty steep, so give them some time. Galerie Maeght is my idea of a great museum - perfect size, everything in it is good.
tamarackidaho is offline  
Jul 8th, 2007, 11:08 AM
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I love St Paul de Vence. The Maeght foundation is special and in the village
you can sit at a café and watch the boules players on the court in front of you. Upstairs in the Post offic you can view photos of Yves Montand who played on that court regularly and they married and celebrated at the hotel there The Colombe D'Or
Suggested reading: A Taste of Provence, the story of the Colombre D'Or.
Tourrettes is one of the few villages that sells great crafts. It is flatter but the walk in St paul is not bad. Tourists usually arrive there in the morning. By late afternoon they are gone.
cigalechanta is offline  
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