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Luxury villa rental French Riviera

Whatever you want from a sunshine holiday, you will find it on the French Riviera – from stylish seaside resorts to fascinating heritage attractions, top class museums to buzzing restaurants and chic shops. But it鈥檚 not all about the coast.聽You don鈥檛 need to venture far inland to experience the delights of rural Provence with its lavender fields and ancient perched villages. So a holiday at Villa Lou Patio luxury villa rental in the French Riviera, ticks all the boxes for a Mediterranean break offering the best of coast and countryside. Just five minutes’ walk from the village of La Colle-sur-Loup, this stylish property is less than 5 minutes by car to St-Paul-de-Vence, 10 minutes to Cagnes-sur-Mer and 15 minutes to Nice airport.

Villa Lou Patio – luxury villa rental French Riviera

With four en-suite master bedrooms, each with air-conditioning and a full bathroom, this delightful stone property includes an open-plan living area and full kitchen with a large island surrounded by bar stools. Outside, guests can enjoy al fresco meals under a covered dining area that overlooks a private swimming pool, the sparkling water kept clear and bacteria-free by natural minerals rather than chemicals.

If you like a house with a story, you will love Villa Lou Patio. Owners Veronique 鈥 鈥楴icky鈥 – and Kevin met at Seattle University in 1979 where Nicky who is from the south of France, was learning English. Seattle-born Kevin, a professional basketball player, had already spent a year in Brittany playing for Le CEP in Lorient so was more than happy to head back to France that summer to join Nicky and her family at their villa.

鈥業 knew straight away I had met The One,鈥 he remembers happily.聽 So after fulfilling a year鈥檚 contract to play near Lausanne, Kevin chose to play and coach a team in Bastia, Corsica so he could easily visit Nicky at her parents鈥 villa. They married in Seattle in 1981 and Nicky became a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines where she still works today, whilst Kevin pursued a career in real estate.

For the next 37 years, the couple visited Nicky’s parents at the villa every August until they passed away and in 2018, were able to buy out her two siblings and set about renovating the property to their own taste. Now Kevin has become a French citizen so that he and Nicky can spend as much time as they want in the country when they retire.

The best of the French Riviera on your doorstep

It is easy to while away the hours relaxing by the pool at Villa Lou Patio, but it would be a shame to miss out on the area鈥檚 many attractions. The nearby village of La Colle-sur-Loup stands at the edge of the Gorges du Loup, a popular spot for hiking, climbing and watersports. Explore the historic streets of the village, its heritage buildings and, in particular, its floral history as Capital of the Rose.

Until the mid-20th century, La Colle was the main supplier of flowers to Grasse, some 20 km to the west and now famous as capital of the Proven莽al perfume industry. Fan of Chanel No 5? The rose that is its main component came from here, along with orange blossom, violets and peppermint. Visit in May and you might catch the annual floral extravaganza, Autour des Roses, that includes displays by horticultural suppliers and craft workers, as well as creative workshops and music.

Half an hour鈥檚 walk will take you up to St-Paul-de-Vence, one of the must-see perched villages of Provence. Follow the self-guided walking route through the squares and alleys of this strategic border stronghold that was protected with ramparts in the 16th century on the orders of Fran莽ois 1, and discover the story of its heritage buildings and famous residents revealed in some 20 interpretation panels. Actor and singer Yves Montand loved to play p茅tanque in the Place du Jeu de Boules; 20th century artists like Matisse and Picasso regularly met in the Colombe d鈥橭r; and artist Marc Chagall is buried in the cemetery with his wife Vava.

St Paul-de-Vence still attracts creative people, so allow plenty of time to browse the studios, galleries and craft workshops along Rue Grande. And don鈥檛 even try to resist the sights and scents of the small local market that takes place on Wednesday and Friday mornings in Place du Jeu de Boules – a great place to pick up local produce for a Proven莽al picnic by the pool back at Villa Lou Patio, or perhaps some artisanal soaps or herbs as gifts.

Coast and countryside

If you love a market, you won鈥檛 want to miss the flower market Cours Saleya in Nice, just 20 minutes from La Colle by car and less than an hour by bus going east along the Mediterranean coast. The lines of stalls sell local produce as well as flowers and are open for business from 9am till 1pm every morning except Monday when the stalls are taken over by antique and vintage dealers. Shopping over, head into the atmospheric streets of the beautiful Old Town; walk along the huge curve of the famous Baie des Anges; and walk or take the lift to the top of Castle Hill for fabulous views over the marina on one side, the bay and the Old Town on the other.

Nice also boasts a wealth of museums to suit every interest from Roman archaeology to Fine Arts, photography to sport, whilst art lovers won鈥檛 want to miss the museums dedicated to Chagall and Matisse. And when you need to refuel and take the weight off your feet, look out for the Cuisine Nissarde logo proudly displayed by around 30 gourmet restaurants who offer an authentic taste of the city and surrounding area.

Closer to Villa Lou Patio, Cagnes-sur-Mer lies between the sea and the mountains with flower-lined lanes winding through the medieval village of Haut-de-Cagnes that looks down on the old fishing village of Cros-de-Cagnes. This irresistible combination has attracted many famous names including painter Auguste Renoir who moved here in 1908. His former home at the Domaine des Collettes today houses the Renoir Museum, whilst the Grimaldi Ch芒teau-Museum hosts contemporary art exhibitions and concerts. Some retail therapy perhaps?聽 Head to Polygone Riviera, France鈥檚 premier open-air shopping centre.

And if you can possibly squeeze in another visit, go west along the coast to the pretty resort of Antibes which also boasts artistic connections, this time to Picasso who was invited to work at the Grimaldi Castle for two months in 1946. After his stay, the artist left a large body of paintings and drawings to the town, followed in 1948 by a ceramic collection. See a selection along with donations from his family at the Picasso Museum inside the castle walls.

So whatever your taste in sunshine holidays, you will find plenty to see and do on the doorstep of Villa Lou Patio!

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