A Fantastic Range of Activities All Year
There's a fantastic range of activities all year round available on the French Riviera, with something for everyone, from incredible restaurants, museums and art galleries, to outdoor activities for cyclists, hikers and rock climbers.
La Piccada is a ten minute walk to St Jeannet, where there is a bakery, several restaurants, a terrific pizza place, a popular bar/café with panoramic views, a post office and two food shops selling local produce and freshly-prepared dishes.
St Jeannet also has one of the last independent vineyards in the region, which produces white, rose and red wines. Below St Jeannet village itself is the area known as Le Peyron, where there’s a supermarket, two bakeries, a pharmacy, a Thai restaurant, a newsagent's and a bank.
Something for everyone all year
This area is full of delightful, understated medieval villages which are great for exploring and invariably boast wonderful restaurants. Well known are the towns of Vence and St Paul-de-Vence, just a short drive away. Vence has a charming historic inner city that boasts an excellent food lane as well as France’s smallest cathedral, not to mention shops, restaurants and a lively Friday market.
For foodies this area is exceptional, with several Michelin-starred restaurants including Le Clovis and Alain Llorca in nearby Tourrettes-sur-Loup and La Colle-sur-Loup respectively, as well as St Paul’s famous La Colombe d’Or and in Vence the Auberge des Seigneurs, which welcomes many of the F1 teams every Monaco Grand Prix. A short drive away you’ll also find Le Florian in Bouyon, once feted by the late Michael Winner in his Sunday Times column.
Art and Culture
For culture enthusiasts there is plenty to see all year, with a wide range of art museums including the Matisse and Chagall in Nice, the Picasso in Antibes, the Renoir in Cagnes, the Fondation Maeght in St Paul-de-Vence and the Musée d’Art Classique in Mougins. More specialised are the perfume museums of Grasse and the Fondation Escoffier culinary museum in Villeneuve Loubet, as well as castles, cathedrals and belle époque villas to explore.
Renowned Danish artist Anne Vilsbøll spends much of her time in St Jeannet, and has even produced a collection inspired by the St Jeannet residents, one of which hangs on the living room wall at La Piccada!
This area is a ideal for lovers of the great outdoors, with fantastic hiking trails to suit all abilities starting right on our doorstep, including a walk up to the top of the Baou itself, from where there are panoramic views. We’ve been told you can walk from here to Geneva along the mountain route, but have yet to try. For more information, do take a look at Riviera Rambling.
The French Riviera, or Côte d’Azur, is one of road cycling’s Meccas. Tour de France yellow jersey wearer and former Team Sky directeur sportif Sean Yates once described Nice as the best place in the world to cycle all year round. In our opinion St Jeannet, away from Nice’s traffic and with a far greater choice of bike-friendly roads, is even better.
Several professional teams have training bases in the area and, at the risk of reeling off a list of drug-addled stars, Lance Armstrong, Tyler Hamilton and Kevin Livingstone all conducted legitimate parts of their training here while Alexander Vinokourov is a neighbour.
The backcountry has hundreds of kilometres of quiet roads with several fantastic cols. When the temperature drops head down to the coast. Nothing beats pedalling along the Mediterranean in winter sunshine – Monaco and Italy one way; Antibes, Cannes and St Raphael the other.
St Jeannet itself is only 5kms from the Col de Vence (south facing and therefore can be climbed throughout the year) and is also on the Nice Ironman course. Several cyclosportives are held in the area every year. For keen cyclists there couldn’t be a better place to stay and La Piccada is ideal for accommodating groups of up to ten.
We like to think there is little about cycling in the area we don’t know, so feel free to contact us with any vélo related questions. If you need help transporting bikes to and from the airport, we can arrange this on request. Bikes can be stored in the villa’s spacious garage and there is parking for up to three cars.
The Baou has become well-known for its rock climbing with faces suitable for all levels of experience. There is a climbing shop and club in the village, with multi-lingual guides available to ensure safe and enjoyable climbing.
Our nearest beach is at Cagnes-sur-Mer, an easy drive away. There’s a free car park and a fantastic set of pedestrian and cycling lanes which reach as far as Nice to the east and Antibes and Cannes to the west, and are ideal for the leisure cyclist and children.