The Children’s Paradise...
Between the Alps and the sea (altitude 2400 feet) on the Route Napoleon (National Road 85), Saint-Vallier de Thiey is first and foremost a charming Provencal village boasting a 12th-century church and ancient portals, where the town’s historic character and hidden facets can be discovered by the careful and curious visitor. Centrally located in the hills above the Cote d’Azur, Saint-Vallier de Thiey is just 29 kilometres from Cannes, 12 from Grasse (the Perfume Capital), and 50 kilometres from Nice’s international airport.
Once a farming village, this community remains one of the most significant sheep-raising centres in the region, and has progressively developed commerce and crafts activity, such as santon figures and pottery, as well as being the site of a number of hotels, a campground, and numerous bed-and-breakfasts. Along with sports activities and the equestrian centre, Saint-Vallier has fascinating outdoor sites, such as the natural bridge, and rich archaeological resources, like the Druidic Rock, dolmens, and remarkable caves open to visitors.
With a sports complex, children’s playground, and enormous meadow of more than five hectares, the town has earned its reputation as an outdoor “children’s paradise.”
A Bit of History :
Saint Vallier was the bishop of Antibes, who was martyred in the 4th century by the Visigoths during their invasion of Provence. Le Thiey is the 4800-foot mountain overlooking the village. On the Place de l’Apié one can see a bust of Napoleon, recalling his passage through Saint-Vallier on March 2, 1815, upon his return from the Isle of Elba. One can also see the bench on which he sat.
Sites to Discover :
* Sainte Luce Chapel : Built in 1562, the chapel shelters a well that is reputed to have miraculous powers against diseases of the eye.
* Saint Esprit Chapel : Built in 1635 by the penitents blancs, the chapel is dedicated to Our Lady of the Rouguière.
*The Druidic Rock : rugged slabs perched in unstable equilibrium on a massive stone block. The bories : stone shelters for shepherds.
* Ponadieu : a natural bridge resulting from the limestone deposits of an extinct spring.