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Holidaymakers searching for holiday rentals in Sainte-Agnes also enquired about apartments in Antibes, apartments in Menton and apartments in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin

Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur (Alpes Maritimes) - The Highest Coastal Village in Europe

The village of Sainte Agnès is perched on the flank of a mountain, 750m above the Mediterranean. Although only 3 km from the coast as the crow flies, by car it is reached via a mountain road with spectacular panoramic views that winds its way up the 9km from Menton at the eastern end of the French Riviera. Due to its unique position, Sainte Agnès enjoys the title of ‘Highest Coastal Village in Europe’, in 1997 becoming a member of the association ‘Les plus beaux villages de France’ which includes 142 villages all chosen for the exceptional nature of their location, their cultural, historical, architectural or natural treasures exposed to the public in an attempt to highlight their importance and thus preserve them for future generations.

The first record of the village was in 1185 as Sancta Agneta, and until 1258 was ruled by the Counts of Ventimille, when it fell under the power of the Counts of Provence. The most breathtaking views of the hills down to the Mediterranean and the surrounding coastline along to Italy are to be found upon climbing to the 9th-century chateau, and its charming ‘Jardin Médiéval’ high above the village which by all accounts was built by the Saracen Prince Haroun, upon falling madly in love with a young Provençal girl. Although fully restored in 1502, the chateau is today in ruins. Some of the ancient walls remain, however, and their arrow slits evoke a strong feeling of what the extremely well placed defensive position may have been like in medieval times. Archaeological digs carried out on the site have unearthed at least 23 skeletons along with other artefacts, pointing to the area having be inhabited as far back at the Bronze Age and possibly even the Neolithic. The wonderful 360˚ vista was again brought into prominence in 1932 when the Fort Maginot de Sainte Agnès, was constructed as part of the Maginot Line. This contained an important concentration of artillery of which much is still in working order. The fort was never put to the test as the invaders decided to just go round it, although I have been told that a gun may once have been fired at the Italians.

Although the ‘commune’ of Sainte Agnès descends right into the Menton valley, the permanent population of the village itself is only about 90 people. Many of the village houses are 15th to 18th century, and have been divided and re-divided by family inheritance over many generations, making their layout rather hard to divine from the outside. The village offers three restaurants (two of which also double as bars) all with wonderful views over the hills and down to the coast. It also boasts three gift shops, and a very well stocked village ‘épicerie’.

As well as the obvious charms offered by the close proximity of the coast, Monaco, Nice, Italy and the beautiful peaks of the Mercantour National Park are all within easy reach. The hiking route GR51, also known as the Balcony of the Cote D’Azur passes the village and can lead to you North East to the hamlet of Monti, East to the Italian border, South West to the village of Gorbio and West towards Nice. There are also a few quite hilly loop hikes from Sainte Agnes, including the glorious Mont Baudon, some using part of the GR51. Whilst walking these routes, you will no doubt notice the abundance of lavender, an integral part of one of the many village fêtes held during the summer months.

Written by Kirsty Lowe - Owner of Property 98220 in Sainte-Agnes, France

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Wonderful! 4.8/5
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Excellent! 4.4/5
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Wonderful! 4.9/5
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Excellent! 4.7/5
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Excellent! 4.3/5
(11 reviews)
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11
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Excellent! 4.6/5
(35 reviews)
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Wonderful! 4.8/5
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Wonderful! 4.8/5
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18
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Wonderful! 4.9/5
(13 reviews)
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13
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Wonderful! 4.9/5
(15 reviews)
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Exceptional! 5.0/5
(43 reviews)
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Wonderful! 4.8/5
(21 reviews)
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21
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Wonderful! 4.8/5
(17 reviews)
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17
Viewed 26 times in the last 48 hours
Excellent! 4.7/5
(18 reviews)
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Apartment #1639615
18
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Exceptional! 5.0/5
(13 reviews)
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13
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Wonderful! 4.9/5
(10 reviews)
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10
Viewed 59 times in the last 48 hours
Exceptional! 5.0/5
(56 reviews)
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56
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17
Viewed 136 times in the last 48 hours
Wonderful! 4.8/5
(24 reviews)
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24
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Excellent! 4.4/5
(5 reviews)
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5
Viewed 70 times in the last 48 hours
  • 2 BR
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4
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Excellent! 4.4/5
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5
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Excellent! 4.6/5
(16 reviews)
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16
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Excellent! 4.4/5
(8 reviews)
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  • Studio
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4
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Exceptional! 5.0/5
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Very Good! 4.0/5
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5
Viewed 19 times in the last 48 hours
Wonderful! 4.9/5
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10
Viewed 59 times in the last 48 hours
Wonderful! 4.9/5
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31
Viewed 70 times in the last 48 hours
Exceptional! 5.0/5
(21 reviews)
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  • 2 BR
  • 2 BA
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  • Sleeps 6
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21
Viewed 33 times in the last 48 hours
Wonderful! 4.9/5
(28 reviews)
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28
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Exceptional! 5.0/5
(8 reviews)
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Wonderful! 4.9/5
(15 reviews)
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  • 5 BR
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15
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Exceptional! 5.0/5
(25 reviews)
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25
Viewed 49 times in the last 48 hours
Wonderful! 4.8/5
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  • 2 BR
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12
Viewed 43 times in the last 48 hours
Wonderful! 4.8/5
(20 reviews)
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  • Sleeps 5
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20
Viewed 44 times in the last 48 hours
  • 2 BR
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3
Viewed 58 times in the last 48 hours
Wonderful! 4.9/5
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24
Viewed 16 times in the last 48 hours
Wonderful! 4.9/5
(7 reviews)
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  • 1 BR
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7
Viewed 19 times in the last 48 hours
Excellent! 4.6/5
(32 reviews)
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  • Studio
  • 1 BA
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Studio #1146776a
32
Viewed 24 times in the last 48 hours
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  • 1 BR
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4
Viewed 58 times in the last 48 hours
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Recent Reviews

Very stylish with great facilities.

5 of 5
Stayed for a month over winter. Beautifully stylish with the owners having a real flair for design. Great for an escape from the worst of the British weather. Enjoyed all the facilities of the villa - efficient heating, wifi, tv and dvd- on inclement days and was lovely to get out and about in the area when it was sunny. Wouldn't hesitate to recommend.
  • Review Submitted: 14-Feb-2017
  • Date of Stay: Jan 2017

Great property, great location

5 of 5
The apartment was a perfect choice for us. It is the perfect size for a family with kids, and the garden and the upstairs pool gave our kids the opportunity to have areas where they could "Escape the parents" and we could relax knowing they were in a secured area. It was clean, roomy, lots of light and enjoyable. Everything is a quick walk, the sea, the supermarket, the old town and restaurants. The owner was very helpful and accommodating. Always a quick response to emails. It was our first time in Menton, and we really loved the area, you are in the cote d' azur but don't feel like your in a holiday resort. Everybody is very friendly and the town is very well connect with transport. All in all a great property and a great location, we highly recommend this property and Menton. We will be back, Johanna
  • Review Submitted: 25-Jan-2017
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2016

Loved it!

5 of 5
We stayed over the Marathon weekend in November - we were looking for somewhere central and convenient to stay for doing the race but also to sightsee afterwards. We were really impressed by the lovely apartment - it was clean, spacious, comfortable and very convenient for our weekend. The owners have obviously spent a lot of time doing the apartment up and maintaining it to a high standard. Mike, the owner, was extremely helpful in answering our questions before we arrived and very prompt in taking us through the booking/deposit process. He arranged for a friend to meet us at the apartment when we arrived and she was also extremely helpful and accommodating. We would highly recommend this apartment to anyone looking for a holiday in Nice - we loved it and will be back!
  • Review Submitted: 24-Jan-2017
  • Date of Stay: Nov 2016