Sainte-Agnes, France – Things To Do In Highest Coastal Village In Europe

Welcome to Sainte-Agnes, the highest coastal village in Europe. It’s also listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France! Unfortunately, even despite that, it feels like it’s often overlooked and hard to find in many travel blogs and guides. And it’s a shame as Sainte-Agnes is a truly delightful place on Cote d’Azur that is worth exploring. It’s just waiting for curious travelers to discover its history and fascinating secrets. Keep reading and discover things to do in Sainte-Agnes village in France.

Interesting fact. According to the legend, the village is named after a Roman princess who was caught in a storm and took shelter in a nearby cave.

Sainte-Agnes, France - Things To Do In Highest Coastal Village In Europe
Happy Little Traveler Authors

Created by Sonia & Wojtek

One day, we packed our lives and slowly rushed into the unknown with smiles on our faces. We’re full-time digital nomads traveling in Europe who inspire to live, travel, and discover differently. Sunny coastal destinations are what we love most. We share travel guides, tips, and know-how to make planning your next trip a piece of cake. Real human experience and verified facts only!

This website uses affiliate links thanks to which we may earn a commission for purchases you made at no additional cost to you. If you like the content, consider using those links to support us. Thank you!

Sainte-Agnes, France FAQ

Where is Sainte-Agnes located?

Sainte-Agnes is located inland in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region in the Alpes-Maritimes department in Southeastern France. It sits on a hill at an altitude of 800m a.s.l overlooking the French Riviera and towns like Menton and Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.

Is Sainte-Agnes worth visiting?

Sure thing! Sainte-Agnes is a picturesque, perched medieval village where you can feel like you stepped back in time. It’s well-preserved, pretty, peaceful, and a little bit lost in time. Yet it’s undiscovered by many which makes it your next perfect escape from busy towns on the coast. Overall, there might not be dozens of exciting things to do in the Sainte-Agnes but even despite that, we think you shouldn’t skip a visit while in the area.

What is Sainte-Agnes known for?

Sainte-Agnes is best known for being the highest coastal village in Europe that offers truly spectacular views over the Cote d’Azur. For history buffs, it might also be known for Fort Maginot which was the last fortification along Maginot Line that was built by France in the 1930s to stop an invasion by Nazi Germany.

Things To Do In Sainte-Agnes, Highest Coastal The Village in Europe
View over Sainte-Agnes village on Cote d'Azur

Things to do in Sainte-Agnes, France

Sainte-Agnes old town streets

Sainte-Agnes is a small village and you won’t need a map to explore it. Just let yourself be carried away by the medieval feel of its winding cobblestone streets and sooner or later you’ll discover every nook and cranny. Quaint stone houses decorated with flowers, cozy squares, vaulted passageways, a few restaurants and artisan workshops, cute cats, and of course great views await you. Wherever you turn, you’ll find something interesting among Sainte-Agnes’ old town streets.

What makes Sainte-Agnes even more pleasant to explore is the fact that it’s almost untouched by tourism. Oh, and most parts are pedestrianized which means no cars on the streets and peaceful sightseeing! Isn’t that amazing? We’re not surprised at all that Sainte-Agnes was named one of the most beautiful villages in France! While there, it’s very easy to understand what makes this village so special.

Among Sainte-Agnes village streets you’ll find points of interest like the baroque Church of Notre Dame des Neiges with bell tower covered in enameled tiles, Fort Maginot, ruins of the castle, Town Hall, Saint-Sebastien chapel, and some amazing viewpoints.

Learn more iconBook now: French Riviera Full Day Private Tour

Explore Sainte-Agnes Old Town Streets and Squares
Things to do in Sainte-Agnes, France - Explore village streets
Sainte Agnes Old Town Street with stone houses
Things to do in Sainte-Agnes, France
Baroque Church of Notre Dame des Neiges in Sainte-Agnes, France
Cozy square in Sainte-Agnes village
View over Sainte-Agnes village in France
Stone houses and cobblestone street in Sainte Agnes Old Town

Fort Maginot

Fort Maginot (fr. Fort de la Ligne Maginot) is a fortification that sits at 780m a.s.l, overlooking the coast and the Mediterranean Sea. It was built between 1932 and 1938 on the south edge of Sainte-Agnes, as part of the Maginot Line. Its task was to defend the area against possible Italian and German attacks.

It was, and still is, an underground city with approximately 2000m2 of underground space hidden 55m beneath the surface. Fort Maginot consists of an entry block, 2 artillery blocks, 2 infantry blocks, and one observation block facing Italy. It could house around 350 men for 3 months without any external supplies.

Fort Maginot remained in government hands until 1990 when it was handed over to Sainte-Agnes and was opened to the public as a museum. It’s a perfect stop for history lovers who would love to discover how soldiers’ lives might have looked like during wartime. Also, there is an amazing viewpoint just next to the entrance!

If you wish to visit Fort Maginot, you have to choose one of the guided tours that take place during the day. Unfortunately, tours are only in French. Entrance cost €6 for adults and €3 for children, cash only (February 2024). Fort is always closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, the rest of the days depend on the month. For current prices, opening, and tour hours visit website.

Cloudy view over the coast from Fort Maginot viewpoint in Sainte-Agnes
Entrance to Fort Maginot in Sainte-Agnes, France

Sainte-Agnes castle & gardens

The ruins of Sainte-Agnes castle (fr. Château de Sainte Agnès) are located on the rocky hill at the top of the village. Its foundations and tower date back to the end of the 10th century, and the first mentions of the fortress are from the end of the 11th century. Thanks to its privileged location, Sainte-Agnes castle played an important military role for many centuries and saw many battles. It was partially destroyed in the 17th century by the order of King Louis XIV.

We won’t lie – castle ruins aren’t very impressive but from the highest point, you can get truly magnificent 360° views of the area (well, if you’re lucky with the weather!). While there, be sure to also stroll among the remaining walls, check out information boards to learn more about the castle, and visit the medieval garden.

Getting to Sainte-Agnes castle isn’t very easy and definitely not recommended for people who have trouble walking. It’s steep and not well maintained. The same goes for the ruins. But if you can do that, it’s well worth the effort. Entrance to the castle is free, but if you wish you can leave a donation in a cabin at the entrance.

Sainte-Agnes Castle ruins in the clouds

Viewpoints from and over Sainte-Agnes

For the striking views over the surroundings be sure to head to the viewing platform right next to Fort Maginot entrance and to the top of the Sainte-Agnes castle.

Nice views over the village can be found near the entrance to Sainte-Agnes, near Saint-Sebastien Chapel. We recommend climbing a small hill right next to it. You can also admire the village from above from a route to the castle. 

We’ve pinpointed all in the map at the bottom of this post.

Learn more iconBook now: French Riviera Full Day Private Tour

View over Sainte-Agnes village from near Saint-Sebastien Chapel
Views over Cote d'Azur from Sainte-Agnes village

How to get to Sainte-Agnes, France?

Sainte-Agnes is located about 10km from Menton or Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, 35km from Nice, 25km from Eze and Peillon or 60km from Antibes. The most convenient way to get to the village is by car.

Learn more iconFor great car rental deals visit Rentalcars website.

Where to park in Sainte-Agnes?

There are two free parking lots in Sainte-Agnes. One is located at the entrance to the village, next to Saint-Sebastien Chapel. The second one is right next to Fort Maginot. Both of them are free. From each, you’ll have to continue exploring the village on foot.

To Sainte-Agnes by public transport

Unfortunately, there aren’t many options for getting to Sainte-Agnes by public transport. First, you need to get to Menton (bus, train, or taxi) and from there take a bus (line 10) to the village. To learn more about bus connections that might interest you visit or website.

To Sainte-Agnes by taxi

The most expensive option but also available from almost every place you might be in Cote d’Azur. For example, a trip from Menton will take about 15min (€25-30), 35min from Nice (€85-110) and 25min from Eze (€50-65). To learn more about taxi connections that interest you visit website.

Camping Sainte-Agnes

If you’re traveling by camper, places like Camping la Giandolla or Camping Parc Saint Michel might interest you. They are located near Saint-Agnes. We also saw some campers in the parking lot at the entrance to the village, next to Saint-Sebastien Chapel.

Cloudy streets and buildings in Sainte-Agnes village
Adorable cat among Sainte-Agnes village streets

Things to do in Sainte-Agnes, France – Summing up

Hopefully, now you understand why Sainte-Agnes was named one of the most beautiful villages in France and why you should include it in your Cote d’Azur itinerary. It’s a very charming and picturesque place where you’ll be able to experience more of a local vibe, instead of a touristy one. Oh, and those views… They are what make a trip to Saint-Agnes even better! This village is an ideal place to slow down for a bit and enjoy the charm of the South of France. We wish you a great trip!

Our video from Sainte-Agnes

Our opinion about Sainte-Agnes

For us, a visit to Sainte-Agnes was a half-day trip from nearby Cannes where we lived for a few weeks. Until our second time on Cote d’Azur, we had no idea that such a nice place existed there! Unfortunately, Sainte-Agnes isn’t mentioned in many guides or travel blogs and we came across it by accident, just by scanning Google Maps while looking for new interesting and not-so-obvious places.

We visited the village in late July and we were two of just a handful of other people out there. We really liked wandering among its charming streets. Unfortunately, we were quite unlucky with the weather as it was super cloudy. During our about 4 hours in the village, we went to the viewpoints a few times in hopes of a better view! But finally, some clouds moved away and we could see it all in its glory! We can only imagine how great they are in good weather! Oh, and there were quite a lot of cats to pet so… we have to like Saint-Agnes! 😀 

Cats of France - Sainte-Agnes village
Adorable cat on the road to Sainte-Agnes castle

Restaurants, accommodations, and map

Check out various recommended places below.

Where to eat in Sainte-Agnes?

Here are your best, high-rated options in Sainte-Agnes:

Where to sleep in Sainte-Agnes?

Hôtel Riva Art & Spa near Sainte-Agnes

Hôtel Riva Art & Spa

Hôtel Riva Art & Spa is located in Menton, close to a bus stop from which you'll arrive to Sainte-Agnes. It's a stylish retreat that seamlessly combines contemporary luxury with artistic flair. Located near the beach and Old Town, this boutique hotel offers modern rooms adorned with unique artworks, providing a sophisticated and cultural atmosphere. Guests can unwind in the spa, and enjoy the panoramic views from the terrace.

Hotel Lemon near Sainte-Agnes

Hotel Lemon

Hotel Lemon is located in Menton, close to a bus stop from which you'll reach Sainte-Agnes. It's a charming establishment that captures the essence of the Mediterranean lifestyle. Situated near the beach and the historic Old Town, this hotel offers comfortable rooms with a refreshing and modern lemon-themed decor.

Accommodations photos source:

Sainte-Agnes, France - Map of places

Pin & share:
Sainte-Agnes, France - Things To Do In Highest Coastal Village In Europe

Home » France » Sainte-Agnes, France – Things To Do In Highest Coastal Village In Europe

Your Travel Resources Handy In One Place 🗺️

🏨 Accommodations

For a short stay check out Booking or Agoda. Staying longer? Take a look at the offers at Airbnb.

🎫 Book tours

Are you up for taking part in epic guided tours? Book ones you like using GetYourGuide or Viator.

🚗 Rent a car

To find great rental car deals check out Rental Cars and get ready for your car trip!

✈️ Book a flight

For the hottest deals check out WayAway or Skyscanner.

🚆 Get train tickets

Love traveling by train in Europe? Book your tickets on Trainline.

🧳 Travel insurance

Enjoy peace of mind during traveling and don't leave your country without good travel insurance. SafetyWing or World Nomads are the best in class. 

🛡️ VPN

To stay safely connected while traveling, don’t forget about a good VPN. We recommend Surfshark or NordVPN.

🌐 Mobile internet

To stay online always and have roaming bills in check use Airalo - the world’s first eSIM store with digital data packs for over 200 countries/regions!

💰Travel finances

Get your travel finances smart and straight with Wise or Revolut.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top