Sainte-Agnès is a small village located a few kilometers from Menton, near the French border with Italy, in the south-east of the Alpes-Maritimes department.
Sainte-Agnès, the balcony of French Riviera
Ranked among the “most beautiful villages in France”, Sainte-Agnès is proud of another attribute: It is the highest coastal village in Europe.
Culminating at nearly 800 meters of altitude, it offers a breathtaking panorama on the Big Blue. You will understand why the village is also called the “balcony of the Côte d’Azur”!
The remains of the medieval castle dominate the village and a medieval garden nestles behind its ramparts. Its strong, southern bastion of the Maginot Line, attracts military history enthusiasts.
A little history…
Castle ruins of Saint-Agnès
The origin of the village is lost in the legend. Agnes, a Roman princess, traveled with her escort not far from Via Aurelia. She would have sheltered in a cave during a terrible storm. Saved from the fury of the elements, she erected a chapel to her patron saint, as a sign of gratitude. Then the rock served as a stronghold throughout the Roman era. The feudal castle was erected by the Counts of Ventimiglia and destroyed by order of Louis XIV.
In the village you will discover beautiful cobbled medieval streets, lined with small restaurants, craft shops or art galleries. You will walk with delight under its many vaulted passages and can admire beautiful houses from the fifteenth to eighteenth century highlighted by a generous flowery vegetation. The set is really charming and really worth your visit!
You will also see a large concrete bunker and a fort that was built in the cliff as part of the defenses of the Maginot Line before the Second World War. The vast underground rooms of the fort are open to visitors.