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Medieval village of Peille

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Chateau Grimaldi near Cagnes sur Mer

I’ve been enjoying getting out by bike and exploring some of the small villages up behind Nice. Last week was west to Cagnes sur Mer, and over the weekend I went north up to Peille.

Peille, within the Alpes Maritimes department, is a small medieval village in a very scenic setting high in the mountains at over 600 metres altitude. The location is rather remote but worth the visit. And with fall upon us, the leaves were changing color creating a beautiful backdrop of yellow, reds and greens in the hills and along the road to Peille. I’d say it is one of the most attractive villages in the region, with medieval houses huddled together on a steeply sloping hillside and surrounded by forested hills. It hasn’t become overly touristy like other villages such as Eze, and reminds me a lot, actually, of Dolce Acqua next door in Italy.

Peille is still entered through a medieval gateway, as it has been for at least 500 years. And it’s a pleasure to explore its steep and narrow streets, many arched so the homes on either side do not cave into one another, with plenty of vaulted passageways, much of which is said to date back to the 12th century.

The views from the village across the countryside are also exceptional, and looking to the west you can still see the Mediterranean as the shoreline stretches towards Cannes. The ride back down to Nice was fantastic with plenty of hairpin along the way.