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La-Colle-sur-Loup, Alpes-Maritimes

A pretty village famous for its antiques stores
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La-Colle-sur-Loup is a pretty Medieval village just down the road from the more famous Saint-Paul-de-Vence. It's much more tranquil, retaining a quiet charm that makes a wander around very pleasant.

Across the main road from the village there is a 12th century abbey that now houses a rather fabulous hotel and restaurant. You’ll find the tourist office on the roundabout at the entrance to the village, with the 17th century Eglise de Saint Jacque right opposite. If you want to take a wander round La-Colle-Sur-Loup and check out all the historic landmarks then make sure you call into the tourist office first for a map, the village isn’t touristy enough to have put up signs up everywhere.

The Loup river is one of the main features of the village (about a kilometre to the west) and offers refreshment during the hot summer months; the river also has two lovely public parks along the banks with play and picnic areas.

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La-Colle-sur-Loup is more tranquil than its famous neighbour, St Paul de Vence, retaining a quiet charm that makes a wander around its narrow cobbled lanes, fountains and squares very pleasant indeed. The town has historically been associated with artists and perfume-makers, and is now known for its fine restaurants, boutiques and antique stores.

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La-Colle-sur-Loup offers several beautiful and historical buildings, such as the Canadel Priory- a 12th century abbey which now houses a rather fabulous hotel. Another sight worth seeing is the wonderful stained glass windows and square belltower of the Saint Jacques Church. The town also boasts the 16th century Chateau de Montfort and 'Le Gaudelet, a hunting lodge from the same era with a Renaissance facade. Be sure to call into the tourist office for a map; the village isn’t touristy enough to have put up signs up everywhere.

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The main thing that folks come to La-Colle-sur-Loup for is antiques. There's an antique fair on the second Sunday of every month as well as antique shops which take prime location on the main shopping street. Note that most of the antique stores are shut on Mondays. If you’re coming to La-Colle-Sur-Loup for a day out then we recommend coming on a market day, as the village is a sleepy little place that is rather too quiet otherwise.

La-Colle-Sur-Loup is also known for its open air concerts during the summer, with live music every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday throughout July and August - check with the tourist office for this summer’s programme.

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The Loup River and surrounding forest is one of the town's greatest attractions, providing an oasis of cool and peace in the summer months. Activities abound: You can horseride, kayak, canoe, hike or fish for trout- or just spend the day with a picnic in one of the two public parks along the river. There's also a children's amusement park called Ludipark and a nearby sports ground offering athletics, football and basketball, with tennis also on offer at the local club.

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At the centre of La-Colle-Sur-Loup is a pedestrianised street; the old stone buildings, cobbled street and small square make it a charming place to stop for lunch. There are plenty of places to choose from whether you want a quick bite from a boulangerie or a proper lunch at a restaurant, and they all seem reasonably priced.

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There are some very nice B&B's in the area. If you are a foodie, try the luxury hotel Alain Llorca, it has a renowned restaurant.

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La Colle sur Loup, Nice

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