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How to Visit Peille, France: A Secret Village Near Nice

Peille Village is a Medieval village that dates back to the 12th century and is known by its inhabitants as “le plus curieux” (the most curious) village in Southern France.

One of the most breathtaking hilltop villages in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, it’s definitely a mystery how this gem has remained hidden for so long! One thing is for sure: the incredible views and narrow streets will make you fall in love with this quaint Provençal village.

There are hardly ever visitors or tourists in Peille, so you can escape the crowds that are normally on the French Riviera!

How to Get to Peille, France

Although Peille is very close in distance to Menton and Monaco, it is much more difficult to reach by public transport from those two cities. If you are renting a car, then it’s an easy drive from either city.

However, there is no need to rent a car to visit Peille (and it will save you a bunch of money if you don’t!) Peille is easily accessible by public transport. Yay!

Peille Village bus stop

Travel from Nice to Peille by Bus (Sundays Only)

From Nice, take bus 14 “Les Chênes Verts” to Bus 66 “La Turbie/ Peille Village.” The route may look a little different depending on where you are staying in Nice but it should take about an hour and a half to get there.

The only downside is that this bus only runs on Sundays! It’s definitely worth a bit of extra planning to get here on a Sunday and save money.

Another way to get there is to take the L1 metro “Hôpital Pasteur” to Pont Michel and then take the Bus 66 to Peille Village. Since we live near Port Lympia, this was the route we took.

Did I mention that this bus ride will only cost you one dollar each way?!

Pro Tip: While in Nice, make sure to buy a 10-trip Ligne d’Azur card from the machines at the metro stops and it will save you 50 cents per trip! you can get on as many subways and buses as it takes to get to your destination in under 75 minutes.

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Monaco & Menton to Peille by Public Transport

From both Monaco and Menton, you will first have to take the TER to Nice and then take the bus options listed above. Not only will this trip be a lot more expensive, but accommodations in those two cities are also more expensive than in Nice.

How Much Time Do You Need to Visit Peille Village?

You can visit the whole village and its’ surroundings in just a morning or an afternoon.

However, if you would like to make it a full-day trip, you can stop by La Turbie on the way. Or you can bring some snacks and a good pair of shoes and hike from Peille village to Peillon village.

All you really need is a good camera and decent weather (which isn’t that hard to find in the South of France!) and you’re ready to visit Peille!

The Best Time of Year to Visit Peille

There’s not really a bad time to visit the Cote d’Azur, but if you want to avoid the heat then don’t come during June, July, or August.

The best time of year to visit would be May, September, and October.

What to Do in Peille

Walk 1 Mile to the Best Viewpoint of Peille

One thing that you will definitely notice as you look out the windows of the bus on the way to Peille: you’re passing all the best views!

As soon as you get to the bus stop in Peille, head back down the road that you just came from until you see an overpass like the one pictured below.

road that leads to Peille Village viewpoint

From there, you can get a full panoramic view of the gorgeous village and its medieval houses with a mountainous backdrop. It reminded me of Halstatt, but without any tourists.

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If you plan to hike from Peille to Peillon, you can save this walk for after you’ve visited the village since it is on the way.

Peille Village viewpoint
Peille France

On your walk back to the village, there are plenty of places that will make you want to stop and take even more pictures.

road that leads to Peille Village
Peille, France
Honestly, this might be one of the most beautiful pictures I’ve ever taken!

Wander the Medieval Village of Peille

This is a must for any hilltop village. Just keep wandering and finding new alleyways and narrow streets until you’ve visited the whole village! The photo below is of Place Lascaris or Place du Mont-Agel which is one of the most beautiful areas of the town.

The gothic fountain in the Place du Mont-Agel dates back to the 14th century.

Place Lascaris in Peille France
Place Lascaris or Place du Mont-Agel

The Hotel de Ville (which is not a hotel! In French, this means “City Hall”) is definitely a place you don’t want to miss.

Fun Fact About Peille: You might notice that some of the signs aren’t in French or Italian. They are actually written in Occitan! It’s a dying language spoken in Southern France, Italy, and Spain and is split into many different dialects.

the Hotel de Ville in Peille, France
Hotel de Ville (Town Hall) in Peille, France
walkway in Peille, France

Grab a Snack or Some Lunch

Although we brought our own lunch and snacks since we weren’t sure if anything would be open on a Sunday (and we’re a bit crazy about saving money while traveling!), there were a few restaurants and cafes open throughout the town.

There was a small pizza restaurant right at the start of town, a creperie, and a family restaurant called “Chez Nana” right by the Hotel de Ville.

Chez Nana restaurant in Peille Village
Chez Nana Restaurant in Peille Village

Visit the Palais Lascaris

If you pass under the gothic columns in Place Lascaris, you can start walking up Rue Lascaris which will take you to the Palais Lascaris (lots of Lascaris, I know!) This Palais was built by the Lascari family in the 14th century right on the edge of the cliff.

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It was renovated in the 17th century, but isn’t open for visits.

There is actually another Palais Lascaris (built by the same family) in Old Nice, which is now a museum owned by the City of Nice.

Walk to the Monument aux Morts War Memorial

The walk along the Rue Lascaris will lead you up to the Monument aux Morts which is on top of a large rock right in front of Peille village. From here you can look across the village at both the castle and the church.

Monument aux Morts in Peille, France
Monument aux Morts

Visit the Castle Ruins & Sainte-Marie Church

If you want to continue exploring Peille, head to the castle ruins or the Sainte-Marie Church. The castle ruins are from the thirteenth century and the church is from the twelfth century.

There are also ancient frescos inside the church. Since we were about to start our hike to Peillon, we decided to skip them both, but plan to come back with family soon.

View from Rue Lascaris in Peille
View from Rue Lascaris in Peille

Hike to Peillon

If you’re really up for a bit of adventure, then the day is just getting started! From Peille, you can walk all the way to yet ANOTHER insanely gorgeous hilltop village called Peillon.

It’s a little more than 3 miles away and takes about an hour and a half to get there, but with views like these that is nothing.

Peillon, a nearby village to Peille

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