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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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Sainte-Agnes Holiday Apartments & Villas (3,876)

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                                                                                                      Recent Reviews

                                                                                                      Great place in the right location.

                                                                                                      5 of 5
                                                                                                      Just returned from a ten day holiday staying in this spacious and cool apartment. Exceptionally clean. The bedrooms are extremely large and all ensuite. Two have air conditioning. Fans in all other rooms. The showers are great, especially after a day on the beach (which is a 5 minute stroll). We even came back for lunch and returned to the beach. Kitchen has everything and a very large fridge freezer. Couldn't fault the place. Train and bus stations within a short stroll. We used these to travel to Italy, along the coast and into mountains. Small daily market two minutes away for fresh fruit and veg. Seriously recommend this place. Jeff is a very friendly and helpful host. We are a family of four with teenagers 17 and 15 who need their space and this place never let us own. When we return to Menton we will be using Jeff's place again.
                                                                                                      • Review Submitted: 04-Aug-2016
                                                                                                      • Date of Stay: Jul 2016

                                                                                                      Great location, fabulous modern, clean apartment

                                                                                                      4 of 5
                                                                                                      This is a great apartment if you are looking for a central location in Menton. It is in easy walking distance of the railway station and also into the town. The apartment is on a main road but is set well back so there is no traffic noise. Even though there is no outside space, it doesn't feel closed in as it overlooks a garden and has lovely long windows, the light streams in during the morning as the windows are facing east - this means the apartment stays cool throughout the day - a bonus when it has been really hot during the day, The facilities are all very new, the showers particularly have a luxurious feel.There is a lovely friendly couple who live in the downstairs apartment. The owner stayed in touch via email and arranged for the cleaner to meet us at the apartment to both deliver and collect the keys. The apartment is in an old period building and the staircase up to it is quite narrow. If you have mobility issues/ child's buggy etc you might struggle with the steps - there are 18 in total. The access is via a path up the side of the adjacent building. There was some lighting in the evening but you might prefer to take a torch. We really enjoyed our stay - the apartment had everything we needed and there were no issues. We would definite stay there again.
                                                                                                      • Review Submitted: 28-Sep-2015
                                                                                                      • Date of Stay: Sep 2015

                                                                                                      Menton is a lovely place to stay, we chose it to be near Monaco for F1 so ideal. ...

                                                                                                      4 of 5
                                                                                                      Menton is a lovely place to stay, we chose it to be near Monaco for F1 so ideal. Good base for touring and relaxing. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
                                                                                                      • Review Submitted: 21-Jun-2013
                                                                                                      • Date of Stay: May 2013