From Eze, a medieval village perched on a rocky outcrop, to the artists’
mecca Saint-Paul de Vence, to Sainte-Agnès, the highest coastal village in
Europe, the region is brimming with jewels to be discovered.
Nestling between the sea and the mountains, the villages of the Côte
d’Azur boast a harmonious blend of art, history, and culture in a landscape of
outstanding beauty, many of them commanding superb views of the Mediterranean.
Here are four of the best!
Around fifteen minutes’ drive from the Principality, this village is
widely considered to be one of the jewels of the Côte d’Azur. Among the winding
streets, narrow staircases, and vaulted roofs, you’ll find a plethora of
artists’ studios. A veritable eagle’s nest with a rich medieval history, Eze rises
400 metres above the Mediterranean. At its summit, the exotic garden adjoining
the ruins of the old castle houses succulents and tropical plants from every
part of the world, thriving and flourishing on this rocky outcrop!
Overlooking the Principality, the village of La Turbie commands a
spectacular panoramic view of the Mediterranean, from Italy to the ochre peaks
of the Estérel mountains. To get a unique glimpse of three countries at once,
head to the Tête de Chien promontory. It’s truly a sight to behold! The
village, at an altitude of 150 metres above sea level, also has a rich past, as
can be seen in the monumental Trophée d’Auguste. Visitors can view the remains
of the ancient edifice, built 2,000 years ago by the Romans to honour the Emperor
Augustine. There is also an interactive museum and a wooded park around the
Some 20 km from Monaco as the crow flies, you’ll find Sainte-Agnès, also
known as the “balcony of the Côte d’Azur”, thought to be Europe’s highest
coastal village. Also classed among France’s most beautiful villages,
Sainte-Agnès is a treasure trove of stunning sea views and secret charms hidden
among its cobbled vennels. It is also home to the southernmost of the Maginot
fortifications, which was used to defend against the Italian invasion in June
1940. Perched on a rocky spike with 2,000 m2 of underground tunnels,
the fortress is an important part of local history!
A village eternally associated with artists, Saint-Paul-de-Vence was the
inspiration for numerous painters who fell under the spell of its breathtaking
views and unique light. With its famous ramparts, perched atop a promontory
between the sea and the mountains, with the southern Alps behind and the
Mediterranean stretched out before it, Saint-Paul-de-Vence is known around the
world. In the countryside below, the Maeght Foundation is home to one of the
finest collections of 20th century.sculptures, paintings, and engravings. The
gallery of modern and contemporary art exhibits treasured works by artists such
as Marc Chagall, Fernand Léger, and Georges Brague.