La Colle sur Loup
The village was founded almost accidentally in 1537. At first, it was an early suburb of the village of Saint Paul de Vence. It was at this time that François the First enclosed the village of Saint Paul by adding a second wall, thus finishing the village’s fortification. St. Paul was now safe from invaders from any direction. Unfortunately, there were some people living where the wall was supposed to be erected. In a medieval type of “eminent domain”, a posh way of saying government eviction, these people moved into the valley under their former home in the village of St. Paul de Vence. The people thus displaced founded the village of La Colle-sur-Loup. While, this was probably a traumatic experience, it worked itself out just fine in the end as La Colle sur Loup is one of the most beautiful places in the Southern part of France.
La Colle sur Loup is a pleasant country resort that can be enjoyed in different ways every season of the year. It is located near the economic centres of the Côte d’Azur, with an altitude of 90 meters, and this French village offers a lot to both visitors and the nearly 7000 happy, friendly inhabitants who call it home. Nearby villages and towns include St Paul de Vence, Cagnes sur Mer, Vence, as well as Nice.
Shopping is a great passion of many visitors to the village of La Colle sur Loup, with the town centre offering something for everybody. Every Saturday also brings the Provincial Market. However the shopper is not too intrigued with what they are buying, they may notice the beauty of the narrow medieval streets and the beautiful sculptured doorways they contain. The village contains an abundance of art and architecture.
The greatest draw of the La Colle sur Loup village is the stunning natural beauty that is all around you when you visit in this part of France. This includes many different types of habitats from pine forests to beautiful, blowing fields of flowers, from olive trees to oak undergrowth. One can see many different types of flora, fauna, and animals here. One of the great benefits of this village is the wooded slopes that surround.
One of the biggest natural attractions is the River, “Le Loup“. The Le Loup River, known all over France, and possibly the world, for its wonderful trout fishing as well as the beauty of its banks. Families may want to swim in its waters, sunbath on its banks or just float down it. Sportsmen though will always want to bag the biggest trout within its bounty, and the river gives them many opportunities to do so.
Sportsmen will find much more to do in the village than just fish. There are walking and hiking trails for those who enjoy exploring, heated swimming pools for cardiovascular health and joint improvement, tennis courts, cycling for those who find hiking too slow, and horseback riding. The river offers canoeing, and kayaking. There are also two activities parks: La Guérinière and Roubert, which have trails for adults, games for children, and horses for both. There is also a Sports Centre in the village where guests can participate in all sorts of games and activities including, but not limited to: athletics, football (soccer), and basketball. Within driving distance one can find many other sports: ballooning, bungee, cycling, diving, fishing, hang-gliding, hiking, horseback, rafting, sailing, spelunking, squash, swimming and windsurfing. It is best to research the best places for these things before one goes, as many of them are in out of the way businesses, not readily visible from the main road. The village of La Colle sur Loup is also near, not one, but two ski resorts: Gréolières and Andon.
For the less athletically inclined visitor there are galleries. This area of France is famous for its artists, and many of them display their works close to home. Lovers of art can find every conceivable type of art in the near vicinity, and in abundance in the nearby St Paul de Vence. Not all of the art is in museums. Much of it is in the buildings themselves, which reflect the beauty of medieval architecture.
The churches of this region, built when church building was not only an art form but also a holy act of town pride, always had a bell tower which was a work of art in itself. The bells not only called people to worship, but also informed the whole countryside of tragedies and things of interest. The village La Colle sur Loup boasts the beautifully designed Church St Jacques and bell tower. It also contains three chapels: Pénitents Blanc, St Donat and St Roch.
Next to the chapels, the most important and imposing buildings were the Châteaus, which housed people that knew how to build with both quality and beauty. The De Montfort Château is an example of just such a building.
For the culinary inclined individual, there are plenty of options in restaurants and cafes in the area, including four restaurants in the village itself. Provence’s cooking is regional. Being close to the ocean, of course, offers a wonderful selection of seafood. The Mediterranean influence also brings hot spices and olive oil onto the menu. Some spices include: Rosemary, serpolet, sage, thyme, marjoram, savoury, basil. The local diet also includes fruits, salads, pastas, cereals, vegetables, and some meat. A careful vegetarian may find a meal in nearly any café. What the local diet does not often include is a lot of cow’s milk and cheese. In the hilly country, it is easier to raise the small adaptable goats than the large, clumsy cattle. Therefore local dishes often include goat cheeses.
So where does one stay when one visits the village of La Colle sur Loup? Depending on the budget and tastes of the tourist and his or her family, there are several options including: 4 camping grounds, 2 family holiday villages, furnished holiday rentals, Bed and Breakfasts, and a solitary Holiday Center.
Restless tourists may enjoy a day trip to visit the nearest neighbours. St. Paul, only 3 kilometres (just under 2 miles) up the mountain, is a cultural and artistic centre. It is also a medieval stronghold. Historically minded tourist will marvel at the architecture and history of the boat shaped fortress-town while their more artistically minded counterparts can spend weeks in galleries without ever visiting the same one twice.
The nearest big city is Nice. Next to Paris, Nice is arguably the most active, cultural, and interesting cities in France. In Nice one can catch various cultural events including plays, ballets and operas. There are more galleries in Nice even than in St. Paul. The nightlife is exciting and sophisticated. Add to this the wonderful natural beauty of the Mediterranean and the sophisticated romantic pleasure of dinner in a café or a glass of wine on the beach, and you will understand why Nice is one of the most popular tourist destinations in this tourist popular country.
The village of Colle sur Loup is not only beautiful and functional; it is a very welcoming place for tourists of many tastes and backgrounds. The people that can feel comfortable there range from aristocrats to anglers, the very rich to the family that wants a semi-rural vacation, the athlete and the art appreciator. In the town square, the nature lover can rub shoulders with the chronic shoppers, neither of them feeling out of place. In short, there is something for everyone in Colle sur Loup.