Explore the most stunning villages on the French Riviera from Monaco!

Publication date: 27/04/2023
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!

La Turbie
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 site.

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.