The town of Peillon in France is a car-free, medieval village located in the Alpes-Maritimes department near the French Riviera about 35 minutes driving from either Villefranche sur Mer or Monaco.
The beauty of Peillon is that it felt truly untouched by tourism. Peillon is free of gift shops, cafes, and has only two restaurants and one hotel.
In this post, I’m going to show you why you need to add Peillon to your French Riviera itinerary!
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How to Get to Peillon in the French Riviera
Getting to Peillon by Car
The fastest and easiest way to get to Peillon is by car. You can drive all the way to the village if you have rented a car, but you must park at the parking lot by the hotel Auberge de la Madone and proceed the rest of the way into town by foot.
Getting to Peillon by Train & Hike
If you do not want to rent a car, and are looking for a cheaper option you can get there via train / on foot. There is no public transportation that takes you directly to Peillon, but you can get relatively close.
From Nice, you can purchase a ticket for the TER train (Tende) to the Peillon – Sainte-Thècle stop. Once you get off at this stop, it will be a 42 minute walk up a paved road to the hilltop town of Peillon.
Alternatively, you can take the same TER train getting of at the Peille stop, the neighboring village, and walk on a hiking trial for about 40 minutes to Peillon.
Just remember, if you aren’t staying the night to leave enough time to hike back and catch a train or bus.
Best Things to See in Peillon, France
Wander the Medieval Streets of Peillon
The town of Peillon is not large at all, and can be fully walked in about 20 minutes. If you are arriving by car, you can park in the only parking lot and the rest of your exploration will need to occur via foot.
What I loved most about wandering the streets in Peillon was just getting lost and seeing what was around the corner. Each doorway was so unique, and some stair cases even formed tunnels over another passageway. The amount of greenery and flower pots also stood out for me against all the stone houses.
There are also a lot of furry friends that you will find as you wander the streets. Most were friendly but this guy in the photo above looked like he was ready for dinner and not interested in making friends with me.
Visit the Church of Saint-Sauveur
In most of the panoramic photos of Peillon, you can’t help but notice the yellow steeple of the town church. This is the Church of Saint-Sauveur and can be visited by a short, although at times steep, 5 minute walk through town.
Once you reach the Church of Saint-Sauveur you will be rewarded with some of the best views into the valley below.
Hike to the Viewpoint of Peillon
There are two different viewpoints of the village of Peillon that you can hike to. This first, and my favorite, is from the Saint Roch Church Viewpoint (view pictured above). Does it not look like a screensaver?
This viewpoint is about a 2 minute walk from the parking lot in front of the hotel. From the main road, Rte du Vieux Village, you will veer off to a dirt path towards the Saint Roch Church about 100 meters after the hotel (1 minute walking). Walk for another minute and you will reach the church. You can continue past the church on the dirt path until you find the perfect view. The picture above was taken a few minutes walking past the church.
The second viewpoint, which I did not go to, gives you more of an areal view of the village. This walk is about 8 minutes from the hotel via either Camin de la Madona or La Colle de la Madone.
Below is a map of the two viewpoints I mentioned, so you can save them for later. If you select the star next to the title, you can save these pins to your personal Google Maps!
Where To Stay in Peillon, France
While many people only visit Peillon for a day trip, we actually stayed a night in Peillon during our 2 week road trip through the south of France.
There is only one hotel to stay at in the historic town of Peillon at Auberge de la Madone. The rooms here are comfortable, but not overly spacious or modern. The rooms have a personal balcony overlooking the town of Peillon.
I actually really liked the dated decor and charm of the hotel. To me, it fit in a lot better with the rest of the medieval town rather than a super modern hotel.
However if you are looking for more character, you can actually stay in a traditional stone house in the pedestrian only village of Peillon. You might enjoy these Vrbo finds:
- The updated and modern loft at Mas Thomasine Apartment in Peillon
- The private pool at the Family Villa with a Pool
- The balcony overlooking the Peillon valley at the Charming House in Peillon Village
- The spacious rooms and full American kitchen at the Luxurious Home the Medieval Village
Where To Eat in Peillon, France
There are only two restaurants within walking distance of the town of Peillon. The first is a Michelin Guide restaurant Les Plaisirs or the restaurant at hotel Auberge de la Madone. If you are like us, and prefer a more low-key dinner, about a 9 minute drive away we can recommend Pascal Pizza for dine-in or to takeaway!
I hope you have enjoyed discovering Peillon through this post, and will consider adding it to your French Riviera itinerary. If you are currently planning a trip to the French Riviera and have any questions, drop them in the comments below. For more travel inspiration and tips, follow me on Instagram for current updates.
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- How to Visit the Gorges Du Verdon in Provence France