Valbonne is located a short 10 minute drive from Mougins, 15 minutes from Grasse, and 20 minutes from Antibes. The village of Valbonne is picturesque and has retained much of its 16th century character while still offering a vibrant town atmosphere. In addition, the town is in close proximity to a number of golf courses, hiking trails, and other outdoor activities.
Valbonne is a beautiful medieval village, built in a peaceful valley abundant with Mediterranean vegetation. It’s a delightful place to visit and has been beautifully restored and maintained. Stone house fronts with pastel colored shutters and porches covered in vines and bougainvillea line the narrow streets. Everywhere you turn there are little restaurants and shops. The town is lively with a large community of English-speaking expats who reside in Valbonne year-round.
In 1486, under Louis XI, Provence was legally incorporated into the French royal domain, and this began the renaissance of the region. The village now known as Valbonne was founded in 1519, by Augustin de Grimaldi, bishop of Grasse and abbot of Lérins. Augustin de Grimaldi commissioned the worker-monk Don Taxil to construct the village adjacent to the abbey to increase the value of the land. The aim was to use exclusively local labor to build a community that would lead to the repopulation of the region. This was accomplished by the importation of Italian artisans, to work the clay found in the nearby villages of Vallauris and Biot.
Did you know?
The architectural plan of the village of Valbonne differs from that of many other villages located in the South of France which typically spiral around a hill. The village is laid out along a grid pattern, under the influence of Roman military camps. The construction took over a century to be done and has remained relatively unchanged.
A Week in Valbonne – Our Recommendations
The following is our guide for a one-week stay in Valbonne. This is a proposed itinerary for our guests but we can tailor your holiday according to your preferences.
Day 1 – Saturday:
Arrival at 4pm
Dine at the Café Des Arcades in Valbonne’s lively main square
Café Des Arcades is situated in the heart of Valbonne village and offers a lively and fun atmosphere with good bistrot style dishes.
Day 2 – Sunday:
Practice the art of lounging by the pool
Dinner at La Pigeot in Valbonne
Situated in Valbonne village, La Pigeot is a favorite among the locals offering a charming, eclectic atmosphere and authentic Moroccan cuisine.
Day 3 – Monday:
Visit the port and the charming cobblestone streets of Vieil Antibes (20 minutes away)
Enjoy a fresh plate of fritto misto on the dock at Royal Plage
Spend the afternoon on the sandy beaches of Plage Garoupe
Feeling more active? Enjoy a beautiful trail along the sea that starts from Plage Garoupe and goes along the peninsula of Cap d’Antibes.
Day 4 – Tuesday:
Lunch at Le Petit Fouet in Mougins (10 minutes away)
Le Petit Fouet is a favorite among the locals offering a charming atmosphere and delicious classic French dishes in the heart of Mougins village.
Tour the shops and galleries in Mougins Village
Day 5 – Wednesday:
Visit the town of Biot (20 minutes away)
Biot was a pottery centre from the 16th century to the 18th century. Today, it’s famous for its decorative pottery and glasswork.
Master the art of glassblowing in an afternoon class
In this class, you will become the glassblower’s assistant as he creates a piece of glasswork and you will create your own small glass piece as well.
Dinner at La Bastide Saint-Antoine, a Michelin star restaurant in Grasse
Day 6 – Thursday:
Lunch at the famous Colombe d’Or in Saint Paul de Vence (30 minutes away)
La Colombe d’Or offers delicious Provençal cuisine on a beautiful terrace with views of the valley
Walk the charming cobblestone streets of Saint Paul de Vence and explore the various shops and galleries
Day 7 – Friday:
Tour the lively market of Valbonne
Spend the afternoon playing golf at the Château de la Bégude (5 minutes away)
Not up for golf? Spend the afternoon poolside at your villa
Dinner by private chef in the gardens of your villa
Day 8 – Saturday:
To rent a luxury holiday villa in Valbonne click here.
Photos by Zoya Stafienko for A.M.A Selections. All images © A.M.A Selections