Last May, I spent four amazing days by the French Riviera. It was a work-related trip that started and ended in Menton, which you can read in more detail here. However, the days in between were peppered with hidden gems. So I thought I would share these lesser-known destinations with you as the best day trips from Menton! Tucked away in the hills behind Menton and its famous beaches, these places are utterly magical. One thing to note is that you will need a car for visiting any of those destinations. The landscape behind Menton is a mountainous one, full of sinuous roads going uphill. So get ready for some magnificent scenery!

sospel day trips from menton


One of the most amazing day trips from Menton is definitely Sospel. A picturesque village in the Bévéra valley, it’s utterly charming and peaceful. Within one morning, we explored every corner of it. Squares lined with colorful houses reminded me of Italian villages on a summer day. The scene was downright captivating!

sospel day trips from menton

After a morning stroll, we sat down for lunch at the Sousper restaurant. A delicious three-course meal on the sunny terrace felt wonderful. The service was impeccable and the food quality was impressive. To be perfectly honest, we had trouble finishing our desserts. The preceding dishes were so appetizing and big that the dessert took us by surprise. All in all, it was a restaurant I would definitely recommend if you find yourself in Sospel!

sospel day trips from menton

However, even more than the village of Sospel, another place captured my heart. Just outside of Sospel, you’ll find the most mesmerizing accommodation. An old stone farmhouse with a chapel next to it, I still reminisce on my time spent at La Chapelle Saint Gervais. It’s such an idyllic countryside getaway. At night, you only hear the song of the crickets. I was picturing nights at that table spent stargazing and getting lost in conversations.

Maybe I’ll write a separate blog post about this spellbinding place one day. The two nights I spent there still linger in my mind, even after all this time. It’s not every day that you get to sleep in an apse bedroom that’s part of an 1100-year-old chapel. And I certainly have more than enough photos for another article!

La Brigue

This tiny village with a population of 700 is completely surrounded by mountains! Its proximity to the Italian border is discernible in its architecture. Those vibrant houses kept recalling Italy to my mind, as we turned from one colorful street into another. If we’re talking about day trips from Menton, La Brigue is one of the more unique ones!

woman taking photos in la brigue, day trips from menton

Even though it’s small, you could still spend hours wandering through the streets and alleys of La Brigue. Its old churches were especially enchanting. We especially loved Chapelle Saint-Michel with its blue and yellow ceilings.

You’ll notice plenty of beautiful details, such as medieval tunnels and vaulted arches adorning the streets of La Brigue. Overlooked because of its somewhat isolated position, it’s impossible to end up here by accident. The dead-end road leads to the village and to the mountains, meaning it’s often bypassed by traffic. A genuine hidden gem in the mountains!

la brigue day trips from menton

La Brigue only became a part of France after WWII, which explains the Italian influences. Nestled at the foot of the mountains, this delightful village feels frozen in time. Life seems different here, slower and more intentional. It might just be me romanticizing how isolated it is but it might also be true.

While in La Brigue and in Sospel, we tried out many local dishes. I still fondly remember all the delicious savory pies filled with various vegetables, or as they’re called in French, tourte. It might sound simple to make but trust me, the taste is anything but simple. They were all so appetizing and unique in flavor!

On your way out of La Brigue, make sure to stop by Pont du Coq. This beautiful stone bridge dates back to medieval times and has a unique humpback shape. Equally interesting is the famous chapel Notre-Dame des Fontaines. Hidden away in the woods, this 15th-century chapel is completely covered in frescoes. Built on top of remnants of a pagan temple, you’ll find seven springs emerging from the rocks underneath the chapel!

Mercantour National Park

The last destination might be more destined for the adventurers. There are many serpentine roads leading to the Mercantour National Park. And when you get there, there are more than 500 km of marked trails to choose from. This stunning place treated us to some unforgettable views. Being on a tight schedule, we only got glimpses of the park while being driven to certain spots.

day trips from menton, mercantour national park

The highest peak measures 2078 m. Hiking, rock climbing, paragliding, mountain biking, exploring canyons, the list of activities at the park is endless. Accompanied by guides, we got to learn a lot about the park and its protected fauna and flora. We explored the Authion mountain range, notably the forts from WWII. I loved the deep valleys, dramatic sunshine, and jagged peaks of the Mercantour National Park. It’s an extraordinary place!

On your way back to Sospel, don’t miss Chapelle Notre Dame de Ménour. To be honest, it’s impossible to miss it due to its unique position! But make sure you stop and take a short walk up to the chapel. The impressive staircase leads you to the church, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. This was definitely one of the most striking locations we visited during our stay!

Unique day trips from Menton

All in all, these are but a few suggestions for day trips from Menton. The French Riviera offers endless possibilities. You can visit one of the many seaside towns alongside the coast, you can hop over to Italy for a day, or like me, discover something completely new. I’m not sure I would’ve ever ventured into the mountains behind Menton on my own but I’m so glad this work trip led me there. Because I honestly can’t wait to return, revisit my favorites and discover more!

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