French Riviera hilltop villages to visit during your south of France yacht charter


On the French Riviera, the hinterland proves to be just as charming as the coastline. Enchanting medieval-style stone villages with their narrow streets, art galleries, pretty little churches and panoramic views of the Mediterranean and the Alps stand in stark contrast to the far more familiar coastal scenery. These hilltop villages will offer the perfect setting for a shore excursion during your south of France yacht charter. Below are our recommendations of the villages you should visit in the beautiful French Riviera countryside.

Panoramic view of the hilltop village of Eze under a beautiful blue sky
A narrow street in the hilltop village of Eze with its pretty stone houses
Paintings on display in front of an art gallery in the hilltop village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence
The exotic garden of Eze with a panoramic view of the Mediterranean


Let's start the exploration with our favourite village: Eze! A short distance from the border with Italy, Eze has the appearance of an eagle's nest perched high above the Mediterranean Sea. Given its unique location, Eze offers one of the most breathtaking views on the French Riviera. Its cobbled streets and stone houses are also among the most authentic on the coast. But the main attraction of this delightful medieval village is the spectacular exotic garden nestled on the site of an ancient fortress. Perfume enthusiasts might also want to visit the Fragonard factory. To add to all this, the village of Eze has some excellent restaurants. If you have the opportunity to visit Eze during your yacht rental on the French Riviera, be sure to stop for lunch on the superb terrace of the Hotel La Chèvre d'Or.


Biot is another of the hilltop villages that draws the crowds. It is pretty small but very lively with some cafés, restaurants, shops and a weekly Provençal market. It also has one of the finest artistic legacies in the region. For centuries, Biot has been home to many craftsmen and in particular potters. Over time, the craft of glassblowing has also developed and nowadays, it is still possible to observe the craftsmen at work at La Verrerie de Biot. The glass of Biot is famous for its small internal bubbles. A visit to the factory is an absolute must if you have time to stop off in Biot during your south of France yacht charter. Another major attraction of the village is the Fernand Léger Museum, which has about 350 works by the artist.


The village of Mougins is a popular destination for an epicurean outing. Every year in September, the village organises an international gastronomy festival. In addition, Mougins has a number of excellent restaurants, some of which have Michelin stars. L'Amandier is our favourite as we love its superb terrace offering a panoramic view of the surroundings. After a hearty meal, one can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the narrow streets of Mougins to discover its little boutiques, workshops, art galleries, museums and its charming church. The Mougins Museum of Classical Art is worth a short visit. For golf enthusiasts, there are several courses nearby.


Saint-Paul-de-Vence is a wonderful example of a fortified hilltop village. Since the 1920s, it has been a favourite hideout for numerous artists and other celebrities. To name just a few... Modigliani, Chagall and Bonnard, all spent some time there. Like them, you will probably find the village an exquisite beauty and a true source for inspiration. For insiders, Saint-Paul-de-Vence has a reputation that goes beyond the confines of the French Riviera. The winding narrow streets lined with art galleries and tiny craft shops give the village a very unique atmosphere, infused with authenticity. Just down the road from the village, the Maeght Foundation is home to an internationally renowned collection of contemporary art.

Between the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains of the Alps, the hilltop villages enhance the charm of the French Riviera. Take advantage of your south of France yacht charter to visit some of them.