A beautifully preserved medieval centre crammed with crafts shops defines Tourrettes-sur-Loup, perched on top of a rocky spur that drops abruptly into a steep gorge. Rolling hills provide a stunning backdrop to this hilltop village. Hikers love the Puy de Tourrettes mountain which rises to 1267m as well as a number of other trails leading out from the village.
The village is named for the three towers (tours) that punctuate the maze of little stone streets. Although its marvelous defensive position encouraged habitation as far back as the Neanderthal period, most of the buildings date from the 15th century. Throughout centuries of political and economic tumult, the one constant has been the cultivation of flowers, especially violets. From October to March, the violet flowers are cultivated, culminating in a violet festival in the beginning of March.
What to See
In addition to the gates and ramparts, notice the Olive Oil Mill Aqueduct, the beautiful washing fountain (lavoir), the Saint John Chapel, the Church of Saint Gregory dating from the 16th century and the Chateau that now serves as the Town Hall. From the Belvedere, there's a sweeping view of the Cote d'Azur from the Esterel mountains in the west to Menton in the east.
There are several B & Bs in Tourrettes-sur-Loup but no hotels in town. The nearest is the four-star La Résidence du Moulin.
Transportation to Tourrettes-sur-Loup
Take the motorway A8 to the Vence exit. Follow signs to Vence and then the D2210 to Tourrettes-sur-Loup. You can park about 300m outside the village and take a free shuttle to town or park in a small parking lot in the town centre.
Bus 510 links Tourrettes-sur-Loup with Vence. Click here for the schedule.
The tourist office (tel 04 93 24 18 93) is at 2 Place de la Liberation in the town centre. Ask for the pamphlet outlining a walking tour of the town.