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The departement of the Alpes Maritimes - Pop.: 3.000 h.

40 km north east of Nice - A8 junction 55 then the D2204.
15 km from Menton - A8 junction 59 then the D2566.
Coach: Menton - Sospel. Train : Nice - Sospel.
Sospel - The Village

Sospel is a peaceful village located very near the Italian border, to the south of Mercantour National Park, in the heart of the green valley of the Bevera. Its population triples in the summer season.

Sospel - The Bevera river
Starting in the 5th century, Sospel was an Episcopal city and for a long period an important staging post on the royal road from Nice to Turin, also known as the salt mule road. Travellers crossed the Bevera here, taking a toll bridge built in the 13th century. This old bridge still exists. It was partially rebuilt after the second world war and currently houses the tourist office.

Sospel - House
When you get to Sospel, let yourself be charmed by the medieval atmosphere of the old part of the town. Many of its facades are decorated with superb trompe-l’oeil designs, that display their merging shades of ochre and brown along the riverside houses. Here you will be able to admire the numerous Gothic houses, the cobbled streets, the squares with their archways, a wash house that is still in use and old fountains listed as part of the national heritage.

All that remains of the ramparts that surrounded the city at the end of the 14th century, is the ruins of a tower, which was part of the Chateau belonging to the Counts of Provence.

Sospel - Saint Michel  cathedrale

The best place to end the visit is in front of the baroque Saint Michel cathedral, in a recently restored square paved with pebbles in original white and grey designs. Inside are two 16th century triptych paintings. The village of Sospel has been renovated in the traditional pale pink and yellow colours of Liguria, and as it is located very close to the border it will give you a foretaste of Italy.

Sospel - Maisons

There are splendid surrounding landscapes which are wonderful for walking, horse riding, and cycling along the 300 km of sign posted routes. This is a walkers paradise as Sospel sits at the cross roads of the major national footpaths leading to the famous "Vallee des merveilles" and the Mercantour National Park.

For those who prefer to stay in the village itself, summer sees a range of events : exhibitions antiques and flea markets, craft fairs, lace fair and even a scarecrow competition!

What to see:

Cathedral of St Michel (18th century) with Romanesque bell tower.
Le Pont Vieux (The Old Bridge). Listed fountains.
Le Faubourg Saint Nicolas, a medieval square with the former town hall, 12th c. archways.
15th century fountain dating from the 17th century (White Penitents).
Ruins of "Chateau de Sospel" (take the stairway behind the town hall).
St Michel square. The Barbonnet and St Roch that was part of the Maginot line.

Leisure activities:

Wonderful starting point for walks, Sospel is at the crossroads of three long-distance hiking paths (GR 52, GR 52A, 8 valley GR).
Fishing, Paragliding, Mountain biking, Canyoning. Climbing. Tennis.
Swimming pool. Botanical trail. 4 Orient-Express carriages.
A network of miniature trains (free of charge). Lace exhibition in the autumn.
In summer the "Baroquiales" and the Scarecrow Festival.


Bed & breakfast
Vacation rentals - Gites.

Neighbouring towns and villages:

Castillon (10km), Breil sur Roya (10 km), Moulinet (12km), Menton (15km).

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Alpes Maritimes
Villages in the Alpes Maritimes (169)

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