French Country Cottage. Powered by Blogger.

A little French village that stole my heart

Have you ever been somewhere and instantly felt a kindred connection? 
A place that felt so familiar... so welcoming and so incredibly enchanted. 


I felt a sense of connection in quite a few places in Europe. 
 But there was one place that spoke to me on a much deeper level- 
a little medieval village on the southern coast of France. 




Have you seen the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast? 
The one about Belle who meets the Beast and they fall in love and all of a sudden 
he turns back into a prince. 
The one where Bonjour is said with enthusiasm again and again as Belle wanders through the town where she lives with her father. 
Where everyone knows everyone and where charm and history is in abundance. 




Yes, it is a Disney movie-but wandering through Roquebrune had me feeling like I stepped into that little old town in the movie and I will admit.... I was singing those familiar songs from Beauty and the Beast.... and I absolutely loved it. 



When we were planning our travels through Europe- of course Paris was number one on my list of where I wanted to go.  But I also wanted to experience France outside of a large city- I wanted to stay in a small village- the ones dotted with old cobblestones and painted shutters and filled with lots of history.  


My husband found Roquebrune one day while researching- and instantly fell in love with the history it has- there is an old castle in the town & he is a history fanatic so for him- that was it. 
But I loved that it was overlooking the water and was a very old village-
 and it promised to be full of charm and character - and a whole lot of stairs... :)
but what we didn't know was just how much we would fall in love
 with Roquebrune and the people who live there.


We left Cinque Terre, Italy early in the morning and rode the train to Genoa and then onto  Roquebrune- Cap Martin, France. 
When the train stopped after about a 5 hour trip- it was in a tiny train station just next to the water.


We had rented a home and our wonderful host Aline offered to pick us up at the train station and give us a ride.



I have to say, I wanted Aline to adopt me.  We loved her instantly-
she was so kind and funny and she gave us great advice.
She grew up in Roquebrune and now lives in Paris but happened to be staying in town for a couple weeks when we were there. 
After picking us up- she drove us up to the village- and
told us all about the history, tips and more along the way. 
And when we got to the top -
we grabbed our luggage and walked the rest of the way into Roquebrune. 



As we walked on the little old stone pathways, we were greeted with warm Bonjour and smiles by everyone.


Aline pointed out the tiny market to pick up fresh produce 
and the grove of lemon trees growing on the hillside and the little restaurants and what to eat.


Our home away from home was several levels ( there are a lot of stairs in Europe)
and it the most glorious balcony and view of the coast on the top level. We enjoyed breakfast & dinners with the doors open and soaked up this incredible view.


Which btw- you can see we were pretty high up- there are about 850 stairs/steps to climb to Roquebrune from the beach-  and vice versa. 
We did the climb up and down twice- and then once again with our luggage when leaving early in the morning. It is an amazing workout- though- with luggage can be a bit of a extreme workout. haha.
There are roads for cars to get to the edge of the village- but one of the things we enjoyed while staying here was doing things the way the local folks do.


We bought our produce, eggs, cheese, fresh bread -and even wine out of a French wine cave right there at the small local market- and we loved the owner of the market who
was wonderful to chat with. 


When we were struggling to explain something we were looking for to the market owner-
 and we spoke little French-and he said he spoke little english-
but we laughed as we both spoke 'Google' when we pulled out our phones
to translate at the same time.  
:)


Mostly, as a visual person- I loved all the details in Roquebrune- the stone walls,
 the colorful painted shutters and buildings 


and of course, the little things like the bistro sets  just waiting to be enjoyed 


 the potted geraniums 



and those lanterns and old doors got me every.time. 


As well as the nooks and crannies 



and little alleys that beckon you to walk through and see what is around the corner.





And this.... this was one of my favorite moments in Roquebrune. 
It was early morning- we were up wandering the village  quietly snapping photos and climbing to the castle while listening to the birds and watching the village wake up.


While I was snapping a photo of these charming teal shutters - they unexpectedly swung open and this lovely woman smiled at me taking a photo. 
I said 'Bonjour'  and smiled at her-
and she greeted me and then finished opening her shutters with a big smile.

It is such a regular everyday moment in their village 
but is was so charming- it is one that will stay with me. 
And honestly, moments like that are what I loved the most about staying 
in this little town.


I loved meeting the people who call Roquebrune home.  
I loved that they greeted you like you were a good friend - they were kind and generous with their smiles and hospitality. And we loved the slower pace here 
and that you walked everywhere and noticed so much more than if you were driving.
Which... we did. 
We walked down those 850 steps to the beach. 
And then to Monaco.
(Which wasn't the original plan...haha)
and then back up those steps again.
and just the wonderful flavor this little town had. 
It absolutely charmed us in every way.

A couple quick instagram story videos as we walked through- I have a ton of them from everywhere we stayed in Europe- maybe I will compile a few more to share








At the very top of these stairs-  you can see the castle in Roquebrune peeking out a bit 
just under the French flag flying in the wind.


Wow was this long... and this is mostly just what I got with my iphone folks... obsessed does not quite sum it up haha.
But... in part two-
I will share more about the medieval castle, our trip to Monaco for coffee,
and a few more photos.

And for info on where we stayed-
I will share a few more photos of the house in the next post also-
but you can read more about Aline and how to stay in her charming home here 
(not sponsored) 

Happy Wednesday everyone.




22 comments

  1. How lovely! Thank you for sharing. One of the best things about France is that she’s filled with wonderful little towns like this. I love Paris but these delightful towns hold an Equal place in my heart!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Courtney- thank you for sharing these photos and videos!! They were exquisite!! Just like a dream

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks so much for sharing! I loved all your photos! LOoking forward to part 2.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It is my dream to visit the countryside/coastline of France, Italy, and Spain (where my family is from). Thank you for sharing this. I have always has a romantic idea of what the county/coastline of Europe may look like. These are breathtaking, quaint, and just lovely. I look forward to your next post.
    Sharleen

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love all the pics. So beautiful. Do another book on your trip. Love your first book.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Such wonderful photos, I really liked them

    ReplyDelete
  7. So charming! Thank you for sharing, Courtney. I love your photography!

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a wonderful vacation! Thank you so much for sharing your "story". The village looks quaint and charming!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Just lovely...beautiful 💜💜💜

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is place is magical! :) There’s something special on each photo, like a fairytale story. Marvelous!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Beautiful shots. I received your book today and the couple images I viewed I love! I can't to peruse it with my morning cappuccino.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow, another great post with amazing photos, I'm a visual person too, maybe even too much of a visual person if anyone knows what I mean, and your posts are magical to me! Thank you for sharing your adventures with us.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh I love this village, thank you for sharing!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I just looove your posts! Europe really does b"you around the corner". Thank you for sharing, as I have always been curious about rural France. I just love how you describe things!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love everything about your Blog. However, my granddaughter is so in love with France, that I suggested she check you out. At the ripe old age of 18 (just barely), she has been to France twice, and plans to spend her college junior year studying in Paris. Keep up the beautiful photos, suggestions, and all you do that makes us all wish we were there!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Beautiful! I was lucky enough to go to France a few years ago with my parents and daughter. My parents had gone to Provence for many years. We flew into Nuce, stayed in Ste Maxine, then drove to a house in a very small village in Provence. We stayed about 10 days and went on an adventure every day - Avignon and Palace of the Popes, Orange to amphitheater, castles, and those wonderful markets. One of my favorite towns was L’Isle Sur le Sorgue. Great market and precious little shops and the antique shops! I didn’t want to leave and was sad to come home. That area of France is truly magical.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you so much for sharing this quaint little town!!! It looks absolutely magical!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you kindly for sharing your trip. It sounds truly magical. I have added it to my MUST visit destinations.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you for this lovely trip which I hope to take myself one day. I cannot get too much of country French.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Love reading all your descriptions of these French villages, and the photos, of course. Looking forward to you sharing your tips.

    ReplyDelete