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Happy Hiker explores Peille with Monaco Villas


Hiking on Monaco’s doorstep


Circuit de Lorquière

Perched above Monaco out of sight but not out of mind is one of the locals’ best kept secrets – Peille! When I arrived in Monaco back in 1982, many of my first clients were native Monegasques and I wondered why they would disappear off for weekends to their second homes in Peille. It didn’t take me long to go and investigate for myself and from that day to this began a love affair with this property owners’ and hikers’ paradise.


Geographically on Monaco’s doorstep yet psychologically half a world away, Peille allows you to get out into the fresh air and enjoy the benefits of being in the middle of the mountains without the long drive. Located just 20 minutes by car from Monaco, Saint Martin de Peille is naturally much sought after by those seeking to acquire a weekend country retreat while at the same time being able to spend the summer there with a hassle-free commute to Monaco. So when a rare property gem comes onto the market, it’s worth taking a look at. The Happy Hiker spoke to long-standing, Monaco resident Trevor Gabriel of Monaco Villas (tel: 0033 6 60 96 08 00) about an amazing property in Saint Martin de Peille. Hiking is a great way to see the area and get a feel of what it would be like to own a property there but if you want to see this villa in detail, take a look at this link http:http://www.monaco-villas.com/en/fiches/43945-saint+martin+de+peille+20+minutes+from+monaco.html



It’s very rare to find such a jewel in such close proximity to Monaco, with peace and quiet and space for children to do things other than play with their devices. With olive and fruit trees in abundance and a beautiful garden, the villa and outhouses are designed to a very high standard. There is also a great pool and entertaining area with plenty of parking spaces for guests. In fact, it’s a house owner’s paradise.



The fact that you have panoramic views of the country and the mountains is the icing on the cake. For me, Saint Martin’s real charm lies in the fact that you can step outside onto a mountain trail and hike to your heart’s content. For golf lovers the Mont Agel golf club is a few minutes down the road and for those who like to eat out, there is a good choice of local restaurants.

peille signs

Today I’m going to take you on a 9.7 km, four-hour, medium level hike with a gradient of 460 m. This circuit will give you a good introduction to what the area around Peille has to offer and introduce you to the picturesque medieval village of Peillon.


If you are coming from Monaco just drive up to la Turbie and then follow the signs to Peille and then La Grave de Peille where you should park in the train station. This is the main station for the whole Peille area and has plenty of parking spaces. Orange maps will find it immediately. Once you’ve parked, walk back out of the station entrance and you will see the first way marker right in front of you at pavement level. Turn left (south) and follow the road for 500m until you reach the next sign-posted way marker where you will cross the railway line through a pair of gates and then start the ascent through the pine forest. Follow the yellow rectangular way markers and the regularly located sign posts indicating Circuit de Lorquière. You will soon catch a glimpse of the beautiful village of Peillon perched majestically on its rock and have an opportunity to visit the village on your way back as the path goes via the entrance to the village.


As you walk through this beautiful valley, it is hard to imagine you are just a stone’s throw away from city life. Below these ancient paths, run streams and small waterfalls and above you are the immense rock faces of Peille which make this location a favourite for lovers of the Via Ferrata. You will eventually come out onto the quiet road that runs through the lower residential area of Les Lacs in Saint Martin de Peille. Stay on this road for about 2km where you can catch a glimpse of some of the villas and their gardens. Keep following the yellow way markers along the road until you eventually come to a sign post where you make a right turn (west) into another wooded area and then the beautiful pathway along the foot of the pointe de la Lorquière cliffs (678m). When you reach the entrance to Peillon, have a walk around the village before commencing the final descent back to Grave de Peille.



I advise taking hiking sticks, as they will help you on both the ascents and the way down. They also guarantee you get a full body work out. You’ll need a cap and sunglasses to keep the sun off your face (the sun is a lot stronger in the mountains so don’t forget the sunscreen) and several layers of clothing that you can shed or put on as your temperature changes. Remember to take more water than you think you’ll need (at least a litre and a half per person) and enough protein bars for during and after the hike. I always have a high fibre, high protein breakfast before I set off which means that I don’t need to carry a large picnic with me as good protein bars are sufficient (always take a couple of extra ones). Purpose-made hiking gear, boots and a rucksack are a must and you will need lighter wear for the Spring/Summer season and heavier/warmer for the Autumn/Winter period.


Last but not least as I mentioned above you will need the IGN n° 3742 OT map (NICE/MENTON) to mark out your trail before you set off (all numbered markers are indicated on the IGN maps which are available for purchase online or at good book and sports shops). If you are a French speaker you can also find the hike on this link: https://randoxygene.departement06.fr/pays-nicois/circuit-de-lourquiere-9299.html but you will still need your IGN map as these on-line guide maps are only approximate. There are also hike specific apps such as Visorando, which have both free and purchasable versions and can be very useful guides and even have GPS options https://www.visorando.comhttps://www.visorando.comwhic. If you have Strava you can record your walk on this app and it will give you lots of fascinating statistics at the end as well as totalling up the number of km you do in any given year.
Enjoy your hike and don’t forget your camera!

For more information regarding properties contact:

Monaco Villas

2, avenue Saint Laurent
98000 Monaco

Tel. : +377 97 70 10 10
Fax. : +377 97 70 10 11



About the author

Judy Churchill

Judy Churchill

Judy Churchill is a British national, resident in Monaco. She a speaker of 6 languages, was educated both in Britain and Europe and holds an honours degree in modern languages (French and Spanish – University of Hull), teaching and training qualifications, is a certified translator/interpreter (Monaco law courts), winner of the 2007 JPC Citywealth award and a UK (skillfair) five star rated consultant.

Over the past 35 years Judy has set up and run her own Language and Training consultancies in three European countries, has worked with, coached and advised royalty, VIPs, HNWs, ministers of state, film, sports and TV personalities, and private individuals across the globe.

Judy has been interviewed and featured in training videos, radio, TV and Internet broadcasts. .

She has spent much of the past 20 years designing, developing and running communications and team building courses around the world for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries amongst others.
Much of Judy’s work today involves helping people to achieve their short and long-term personal or professional goals through life coaching as well as teaching French, English and Spanish.

Judy is a regular conference and motivational speaker, has written numerous articles, published both on and off line, and has published an e-book on How to Cope with Exam Stress, an on-line training tool on Emotional Intelligence and is a co-author of the MBA Women’s Guide to Success https. Her work is quoted on the University of Cambridge ESOL examiners’ reading list.

Judy’s hobbies include many outdoor pursuits, theatre and reading. She is an accomplished athlete, having competed for many years in track and field both in the UK and Monaco at a national and international level.

Judy is General Secretary of Outward Bound Monaco a charity she helped set up in Monaco and in whose programmes and events she plays an on-going active role.

In 2011 Judy set up the group New Women Networking on the Riviera to coach, support and mentor women in and around Monaco.

Email:[email protected]

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