The 15 most beautiful villages around Nice

Plus beaux villages autour de Nice : Mise en avant

Would you like to discover Nice’s magnificent coastline in picturesque surroundings? Visit our selection of the most beautiful villages around Nice!

Known the world over as the economic and cultural capital of the Côte d’Azur, Nice is a hotbed of tradition and heritage. With its Promenade des Anglais, carnival floats and Nissarde cuisine, it’s no wonder the city attracts 4.5 million travelers every year. But the beauty of the Côte d’Azur is not limited to its capital. Around Nice, numerous villages dot the relief of the Alpes-Maritimes. If you’re on a discovery quest and looking for a rare Mediterranean nugget, here’s a catalog of the most beautiful villages around Nice, to take you on a tour of little-known corners of the « River of Genoa ».

1. Cagnes-sur-Mer

Plus beaux villages autour de Nice : Cagnes-sur-Mer

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Just 30 minutes by TER from Nice, Cagnes-sur-Mer is a friendly seaside resort halfway between Saint-Laurent-du-Var and Villeneuve-Loubet. With 3.5 km of pebble beaches overlooking the Mediterranean, the water temperature of its « Baie des Anges » is so mild that you can swim all year round!

A former fishing village, the commune also boasts its own « Promenade de la Plage » and is the ideal setting for numerous events and celebrations, such as the « Fête de la Saint-Pierre et de la Mer » or the « Dimanches Malins » in Spring.

2. Chin

Plus beaux villages autour de Nice : Menton

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On the borders of Italy and the Principality of Monaco, this beautiful village around Nice enjoys a subtropical microclimate perfect for sunny vacations in summer and winter alike.

With its multi-colored buildings, sun-warmed ochre streets, sandy beaches and serene local life, Menton is a haven on the French Riviera not to be missed.

3. Beuil

Plus beaux villages autour de Nice : Beuil

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But the Alpes-Maritimes are also a paradise for alpine sports enthusiasts.

At the end of the Gorges du Cians, the fortress-like village of Beuil is a must for ski and hiking enthusiasts. Dominated by the 2817 m-high Mont Mounier, the village also attracts visitors for its rich and diverse wildlife. Its summer lavender recalls the gentle warmth of the Mediterranean coast.

4. Peille

Plus beaux villages autour de Nice : Peille

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For history buffs, Peille is one of the most beautiful villages around Nice. This small commune is an authentic medieval town built on the edge of the steep cliffs of Mont Baudon. It offers panoramic views from the Bay of Nice to the Esterel mountains.

Untouched by the ravages of time, this village takes you back to the Middle Ages, with its well-preserved monuments such as the listed Sainte-Marie church, the Saint-Sébastien chapel and the Place du Mont Agel.

5. Mouans-Sartoux

Plus beaux villages autour de Nice : Plus beaux villages autour de Nice : Mouans-Sartoux

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This beautiful village around Nice is the perfect place for a quiet, relaxing vacation. Originally two separate communes, Mouans and Sartoux were brought together on March 28, 1858 by Napoleon III.

Mouans-Sartoux makes a point of preserving its rural identity with its ethnographic museum « Reflets d’un monde rural », located in the heart of the stables of its 16th-century château.

6. Sospel

Plus beaux villages autour de Nice : Plus beaux villages autour de Nice : Sospel

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At the heart of the verdant Bévéra valley, Sospel is nestled in a mountainous landscape. Situated 20km from Menton, it is a crossroads for the major hiking trails of the Alpes Maritimes.

Indeed, the village of Sospel thrives on its cultural diversity, tranquil charm and numerous sporting activities. The most curious among you can visit the Pont Vieux, the Barbonnet, Agaisen and Saint Roch forts and their trompe l’oeil paintings.

7. Èze

Plus beaux villages autour de Nice : Plus beaux villages autour de Nice : Èze

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Situated just beyond Nice, this beautiful village stretches along the coast from Cap Roux to the tip of Cabuel. The region’s pleasant climate most of the year gives way to lush vegetation of banana, date, carob, orange and lemon trees.

Further out to sea, you’ll find Èze Village with its many small craft stores, the gardens of the Château de la Chèvre d’Or and the church of Notre-Dame de l’Assomption d’Èze.

8. Peillon

Plus beaux villages autour de Nice : Plus beaux villages autour de Nice : Peillon

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From the top of its rocky spur, Peillon is a medieval town perched 376 m above sea level.

This village has preserved its unique soul, with narrow streets lined with staircases and vaulted bridges. Indeed, the Baroque style is omnipresent in the village. But travelers can also visit the preserved old oil and flour mills.

9. Saint-Paul de Vence

Plus beaux villages autour de Nice : Plus beaux villages autour de Nice : Saint-Paul de Vence

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Protected by ramparts built on the orders of François I, the village of Saint-Paul de Vence has left its mark on the minds of many artists, including Yves Montand, Simone Signoret and Jacques Prévert. Many of their works can be admired at the Fondation Maeght.

Its ancient fountains and picturesque little village streets, from the Porte Royale to the Porte Sud via the Rue Grande, capture visitors in a unique atmosphere, a jewel of the Côte d’Azur.

10. Grasse

Grasse

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Don’t let its name fool you, Grasse is a renowned town on the Côte d’Azur. In fact, it’s the perfume capital of the world!

With its three flowers in the « Villes et Villages fleuris » competition, this beautiful village around Nice will take your sense of smell on a journey. Eaux de toilettes, soaps, powders, Grasse owes its palette of varied scents to the Fragonard perfumery, Molinard and the Galimard Factory and Museum.

But if you’re looking for a breath of fresh air, Grasse is also the fourth-largest city in the Alpes-Maritimes, with lush green surroundings of mountains, forests and caves.

11. Tende

Tende

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Once a province ofItaly, Tende was annexed by France in September 1947, under the terms of the Treaty of Paris.

Situated on the border, this village has the particularity of being built in several storeys on the mountainside. Its Clock Tower and the remains of the Château des Lascaris dominate the village. The narrow streets with their greyish stone facades add a touch of the picturesque to the largest commune in the Alpes-Maritimes.

12. Sainte-Agnès

Sainte-Agnès

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In the past, this high-altitude village was a military post defending the French-Italian border on the Maginot Line. Today, Sainte-Agnès is one of the most beautiful villages around Nice. It is also classified as one of the « Most Beautiful Villages in France ». But it also boasts « the highest coastal village in Europe ».

Culminating at an altitude of 800m, it offers an exceptional panorama of the Mediterranean Sea. It also attracts history-seeking holidaymakers for the remains of its fortified castle and the southern bastion of the Maginot Line.

13. Tourrettes-sur-Loup

Tourrettes-sur-Loup

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Between Nice and Cannes, this charming little town is an ancient medieval village. At the crossroads of the sea and the mountains, perched on a rocky outcrop, it gazes out over its lush vegetation of aloes and prickly pears.

It’s also known as the « City of Violets » for its annual harvest of the homonymous flower, which has been going on for almost a century. This is also the occasion to visit the commune for its violet celebration, held in its honor in March.

14. Gourdon

Gourdon

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With its narrow streets, half-timbered houses and medieval heritage, Gourdon is the perfect village for a picturesque vacation.

Listed as one of the « Most Beautiful Detours in France », Gourdon is suspended in time, atop its cliff overlooking the Gorges du Loup. Stroll through the narrow streets, admire the chapels and churches, and enjoy the superb panorama of the Riviera from Place Victoria. Take a stroll through the small shops and discover renowned local crafts: honey, nougat, soap, perfumes and spices, glassware… There’s something for all the senses!

Finally, don’t leave this eagle’s nest without visiting its castle. A testament to its noble heritage, it has been home to many great families. Today, the chateau is open to the public, where you can explore its incredible architecture (including the Renaissance gateway, inner courtyard and gargoyles) and superb gardens.

15. Falicon

Falicon

Photo credit: Wikipedia – Jpchevreau

Finally, let’s turn our attention to the medieval village of Falicon. The charm of this old town, perched between Saint-André-de-la-Roche and Tourrette-Levens, lies in its beautiful stone houses and restored pastel facades.

Walkers be warned: access to the village is by foot. But it’s well worth the effort. Magnificent trompe-l’oeil frescoes adorn the town’s walls. You’ll also be impressed by the panoramic view of the Nice coastline from the shade of the hundred-year-old oak tree.

Let the Mediterranean breeze guide you along your journey and enjoy the rare pearls the Côte d’Azur has to offer!

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