"Tourrettes-sur-Loup, City of Violets" Tourette-sur-Loup by Beausoleil

Tourette-sur-Loup Travel Guide: 15 reviews and 40 photos

Great day trip from Vence or Nice (or Grasse)

Tourrettes-sur-Loup (spelled this way in the Michelin Tourist and Motoring Atlas and on the village web site) is a short but spectacular drive from Vence above Nice. Be sure to pull off the road somewhere along here to get a photo of the town on the mountain.

It is very touristy, but that doesn't take anything from the charm or from the views from the walls. Our theory is that we are tourists so if we want to do tourist things, we do them . . . and have a grand time.

Tourrettes is the City of Violets and is the only place in France where the cultivation of violets is still the principal occupation for about eleven families. In the late 1800s the agricultural activity of the village centered mainly round the violet. Do get a small pack of candied violets as a souvenir. You can also get violet ice cream with a candied violet on top. Interesting flavor and very pretty.

The flowers are picked between 15 October and 15 March and are used for sweets and for perfume by the perfumeries in Grasse.

There is a Violet Festival on the 1st or 2nd Sunday in March. Check the town web site for dates nearer to the festival.

Cobblestone streets, great views and sun dials

There is parking just below the town walls and a little ceramic map highlighting the sights. Then you just wander the lovely cobblestone streets, visiting shops and galleries and supporting the French economy. There are restaurants where you can stop for coffee or wine and groceries, and specialty shops where you can buy a picnic if that's your preference.

Nearly every town has a sundial. We love to look for them.

. . . and there are those wonderful views.

The shops are picturesque and colorful

This is a typical little shop along one of the streets. I think we must have wandered through most of them. I was particularly taken by the blue door, hence the shop name. I love that shade of blue; it goes well with stone; it reminds me of Provence.

83 Grand Rue
phone: 33 (0)4 93 24 19 25
Tourrettes-sur-Loup Official Web Site

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Gorgeous view, fun shops, friendly people
  • Cons:Very touristy even out of season but still lovely
  • In a nutshell:Worth a trip just for the drive. Spectacular countryside.
  • Intro Updated Jan 13, 2014
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Reviews (10)

Comments (8)

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Dec 1, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    So this is where the Blue Door is from! Got your card yesterday and LOVE it!! Thank you so much, Sally, I'll frame it and hang it in my living room :-) I also love the courtyard fountain and would certainly shop a lot of wooden bowls and objects, I simply love these kind of different colours in these objects! And eat ice cream with violet taste :-) Your hotel find looks amazing, I love the view into the mountains!

  • RafaelTheSecond's Profile Photo
    Jun 27, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    Your secrets about charming towns in France is simply fascinating!

  • Jeannette1's Profile Photo
    Feb 25, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    I want to stay in Tourettes if we go to Nice later this year. Nice watercolor.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Dec 20, 2010 at 11:43 AM

    Tourettes (with or without the s) certainly looks lovely! That house looks even better in your watercolor than on the photo. Steep steps, though.

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Sep 30, 2009 at 4:56 PM

    Tho I haven't explored France yet, it seems to me there are too many wonderful doorways to paint. How can you choose? And you weave as well!?

  • ATXtraveler's Profile Photo
    Nov 14, 2008 at 4:50 PM

    I definitely think some of that violet ice cream is in my future. Thanks!

  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo
    Aug 13, 2008 at 6:22 PM

    ohmygod - same picture, same beautiful scene. so good that these villages never change. BTW, nice painting. Talent. N.

  • ForestqueenNYC's Profile Photo
    Oct 22, 2006 at 8:20 AM

    I read about Tourrettes sur Loup years ago and have wanted to go there since then. Your photos have given me a push to go the next time I am in Nice.

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