La Colle sur Loup

This little town 3 km (1½ miles) southwest from St-Paul-de-Vence has been largely overlooked by tourists, and undeservedly so. What it lacks in sweeping views across the valley it makes up for in authentic Provençal charm, especially now that the whole village has been spruced up with careful restoration of its 17th-century buildings and new paving stones in the traditional style. There aren't many shops, but the town has more than its share of good places to eat, from crêperies to gourmet bistros. In a protected area, La Colle is surrounded by unspoiled hills: cutting through these are Les Gorges du Loup, a canyon whose narrow beaches serve as secret bathing spots for those who prefer to avoid the crowds and blazing sun of the coast.

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