The south of France as we all know is a land of sunshine, sea and wonderful culinary delights. I was very fortunate to get to know the area around Nice rather well as I have some wonderful friends who have a house in Nice and an old shepherd’s hut in a valley just below the small village of Venanson.
The village itself is a real French treasure that sits high in the hills above Nice. It is so typically French with its bar and café as well as a small restaurant that serves very traditional fare. There is no flamboyance in this lovely restaurant and the table clothes are made of plastic but the food, well this is something quite different. Meals served here are tremendously good and full of the flavors of the south.
There is also a beautiful old church in the village that has a vantage point overlooking some of the beautiful countryside that sweeps below it. There is a ‘boulangerie’ which has some of the best cakes and bread I have ever tasted, but then everything tastes so good when the air is so clean around you.
I remember putting on my hiking boots and setting off to find the lovely waterfall that is about a 15 minute walk from my friends’ shepherds hut. They had converted this once shack into a lovely weekend retreat where they spend time relaxing with nature and enjoying village life. The walk was amazing and took me over an old viaduct which has long been forgotten, to the delightful little waterfall. We spent the afternoon bathing in the cool waters of the pool at the bottom of it and I must say on a hot summers’ day it was incredibly refreshing.
Venanson appears at it was centuries ago, nothing seems to have changed here. The splendid walks through the woods, along the ridges and deep into the valleys are a trekkers’ dream come true. The tall pines, the birds of prey and the sound of the cycadelles with the scent of the pine needles make it an experience never to be forgotten. Of course a lot of gardeners would disagree with me about the cycadelles, but you cannot help but marvel at these lovely little creatures that suddenly appear out of nowhere.
I spent a month exploring this little part of the south of France, away from the coast and the hustle and bustle of Nice in the summer time, in the peace and tranquility of nature and I must say it was one of the most pleasant experiences I have ever had in France.
If you ever get the chance to visit this little bit of heaven on earth when you are in the South of France, and I highly recommend that you do, then take your walking boots with you and discover the delights of the waterfall and the marvelous trails that lead you through one of the most beautiful regions of France.
Village of Venanson
- Region: Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
- Department: Alpes-Maritimes
- District: Nice
- Postal code: 06450
- Elevation: 760–2,089m
- Land area: 17.98 km2
- Population: 138
- Density: 8 /km2
- Coordinates: 44.05362, 7.25361