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    Over chic beaches and a relaxed lifestyle, the sun shines almost every day on the Cote d’Azur. People come from all over the globe to enjoy the French Riviera vibe. The charm and glamour of the Riviera is not the only thing that draws people to France’s medieval villages.

    Charming Medieval Villages In France

    These tiny medieval villages are located on the hills of the French Riviera. Tourists often visit Eze, the elegant town and hotel that is so well maintained. They also see Saint Paul de Vence, a medieval village with much art.

    Both of these French villages are sure to make everyone ooh and ahh. For their charm and authenticity, the lesser-known villages of the Alpes Maritimes are well worth the trip.

    We’re heading there! As we explore four charming medieval French villages hidden in the South of France, join us!

    Sainte Agnes – Medieval And Fortified

    Sainte Agnes enjoys two privileges.

    • It is officially called the “most beautiful village” in France.
    • It is located 800m above sea level and claims to be Europe’s highest coastal village.

    Beaux Villages of France

    The road leading to this medieval village is steep, with many sharp turns and twists. The spectacular views of the valley below, filled with olive trees and shades of blue at the horizon, make up the difference.

    The cobblestone streets of Sainte Agnes lead to peaceful squares and secret archways. It is easy to imagine how life was a century ago.

    Where to Visit in Sainte Agnes

    Take a stroll down the streets to admire the houses.

    Look closer at the houses that line narrow alleyways and streets from the 15th through 18th centuries. While some homes are original while others have been restored, they all retain their unique character.

    Bunker on the Maginot Line and its WWII Fort

    This massive fortification was built in the 1930s to defend France’s borders against invaders. For a small fee, you can visit the bunkers located several meters below the rock.

    The Garden

    A path leads from the fort to a steep and wide stairway. Continue climbing until you reach the garden. Our endurance was tested. It was worth it. The reward? The reward? Great views from the top of the village roofs!

    The garden is full of beautiful flowers and fruit trees. The garden volunteers may request a small donation, but entry is free.

    The Castle

    The castle is located above the gardens. We found only the castle’s ruins here. These ruins tell the story of a King who destroyed the court of the 10th century as punishment for his enemies in the late 1600s.

    Take a deep breath and take in the stunning views of this medieval village. Hikers will find many paths to reach other incredible viewpoints and villages around the village.

    Spring and fall are ideal for memorable moments in this medieval village. Winter has its charm, but most shops will be closed.

    Saint Agnes Village:

    Sainte Agnes can be found east of the French Riviera, just above Menton, the last town before it crosses into Italy.

    Coaraze – The Sunniest Of Medieval Villages Villages In The Alpes Maritimes

    Twists and Turns There are many trees to choose from: olive, pine, and mimosa. It is almost impossible to hear the crickets or smell the rosemary plants. It needs to be faster going to reach this hilltop village. Every turn through the lush greenery creates suspense.

    Here live real people. It is a small village that functions daily, and the residents love welcoming visitors. It lives up to its medieval reputation, besides its beautiful setting.

    The panels explaining different landmarks at the village entrance include the public “lavoir,” a rectangular concrete basin in which women used to wash their clothes. This was often a great time to share your life stories. You might make the most of it.

    We found ourselves lost, wandering through the medieval village architecture. The 16th-century church, the arcades, stone houses, and arched passageways lead us to narrow, sloped streets that lead to hidden corners. It all creates a maze full of authenticity.


    The village of the sun. This is the alternative name for Coaraze. It is in a sunny area that receives more sunlight than the average year, and many sundials are scattered throughout the village.

    Jean Cocteau, a famous artist, created the first sundials in 1960. Later, in 2000, other contemporary artists from the area, such as Ben and Sosno, joined the fray to give the sundials a modern twist.

    As you explore Coaraze, try to locate the sundials. It will be easier to find the sundials by picking up a map from the tourism office.

    Painted houses

    It is a surprise to see houses painted in warm colors, yellows, and pinks all over the village. The sunlight intensifies these colors, adding poetry and curiosity to our walk.

    A small, simple chapel from the 17th century is just in front of each village. Ponce de Leon, a Spanish artist, painted two frescoes featuring biblical scenes. He used a variety of shades of blue. It was named the Blue Chapel in the 1960s.

    Nature Hike

    A unique path leads to Rocca Sparviera for those who enjoy a nice hike after a stroll through the village. It takes approximately 2-4 hours, depending on your pace, to complete at 1000m elevation.

    Legend says that Queen Jeanne, who had suffered a terrible family tragedy during medieval times, placed a curse upon Rocca Sparviera. Her curse caused the 350 residents of Rocca Sparviera to flee their homes in retaliation.

    The only evidence of the phantom village is the ruins. We could see incredible views on the hike up to the ruins.

    Another reason why residents fled was that the village had been without water for too long due to drought. However, most people believe in the legend.

    Ask for a map from the tourism office. You will need proper shoes for some areas that are difficult to reach.

    Village Location

    Coaraze, a beautiful French village, is located 40km from Sainte Agnes (see op. above) and 30 km from Nice.

    Tourrettes sur Loup – Medieval and Poetic

    Tourrettes sur Loup, a picturesque medieval village with flowers hanging from its windows and smiling residents, is like a postcard. The medieval setting captured our imagination and took us back to another time after passing through the stone archway.

    We accepted the invitation and wandered the cobblestone streets, imagining the lives of middle-aged peasants and lords.

    You can spend hours exploring this charming medieval town’s main street and side streets. The entire afternoon was spent on this trip. Watch for unusual details, delicate flowers, and sweet scents. You will find it all as a poem in progress.

    Tourrettes sur Loup, like most perched villages, is small, but it’s so beautiful that it doesn’t matter how big. They all weave together, creating a maze of beauty around each stone.

    Cite des Violettes

    Residents have been cultivating violets for over 100 years. People worldwide call this medieval village (Cite des Violettes) the “Village of Violets.” This small museum explains the history of the violet and celebrates the bloom festival in March!

    You can queue up to get violet ice cream or buy crystalized violet candy that you can take home as a unique gift. Admire handmade crafts in tiny shops as you stroll through art galleries.

    You can enjoy a tasty meal at one of the village’s traditional restaurants or stop by a small snack shop to get a local experience. This medieval french village is worth exploring alone or with your family.

    Relax and enjoy the tranquil views beyond the fortresses, over the wooded hills to the Mediterranean Sea. Gel a glimpse into the green valley and valley below, where fig trees naturally grow everywhere.

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