Vence holiday villas place guests in one of the more historic walled villages of southern France, with parts of its cathedral dating back to the 4th century. Lying slightly inland from Nice, holiday homes in Vence are very close to its beaches, yet still offer convenient access to the Alpine hinterland. Vence is well known as home to many famous artists and writers, including the English author of Lady Chatterley's Lover, D.H. Lawrence, who died here in 1930. The main attraction of Vence is the village square, however, which plays host to a variety of restaurants, cafés and bars.
Shops and galleries line its shaded alleys, and the medieval old town is an essential must-see. If these charms sound appealing, guests will be pleased to hear that holiday accommodation in Vence comprises mainly of villas, typically fully equipped for a modern self-catering holiday: modern kitchen appliances; dishwashers; laundry facilities; satellite television; DVD players; internet access – most amenities are covered. In addition, many accommodations in Vence also come with access to a pool, whether their own or part of a complex, to offset the slight inconvenience of the three-miles-distant beach.
Outdoor pursuits: There are numerous walks in the hills and valleys around Vence, and of course the Alps offer an excursion for winter skiing. The proximity to the coast means the attendant watersports are within easy reach, so tourists can make the short trip every day if they wish, only coming home to a quiet dinner as the sun sets.
Beaches: The beaches of Nice (shingle) and the unmissable Cagnes-sur-Mer (more sand than shingle) are a short drive away, and accessible by public transport if desired. Vence is midway between Cannes and Monte Carlo, too, so those seafront options are also convenient. If Vence sounds a little too quiet, guests might wants to consider the glitz and glamour of Cannes holiday apartments.
Nightlife: Tiny Vence isn't much for the party scene, but for restaurants, it's difficult to top these Provencal gems. Prices can be prohibitive, however, and booking is often essential in summer. There's a two-starred Michelin establishment in Jacques Maximin Table d'Amis. For a boogie, Nice is the best bet.
Shopping: Quaint local galleries and shops punctuate the winding town centre boulevards. For self-catering guests, there's a local food market every morning but Monday, and a Provencal market, selling local produce such as olives, cheeses and meats on Tuesdays and Fridays. Further afield, Cannes and Monaco offer the opulent boutique shopping for which they're rightly famous.
Culture: The village cathedral has parts dating back to the 4th century and is open daily from 9am until 6pm. The Chateau de Villeneuve has a continuing revolution of art exhibits, usually modern in scope. Also, every July and August, there are a series of open-air music concerts on Friday and Saturday nights.
The slight altitude and inland aspect of Vence means temperatures in the summer usually top out at a comfortable 25°C or so, while the short, mild winters will see highs in the low-teens. Like the rest of the Cote d'Azur, the rain mainly falls in October and November, and even then, it's not enough to dampen spirits.
Nice Cote d'Azur Airport is only eight or so miles from Vence, making flying in the most convenient way of getting in. They're pretty much all direct flights, too, as Nice is a major travel hub. Travelling by car is possible, as the south of France is only a couple of days' drive from the south of England, and the journey itself is a pretty one. Trains can shuttle travellers from London in around nine hours."