Pink blossoms hang from a lamppost next to a river in the French mountain town Sospel
Photo by Charlie Dave  –  Link

Sospel

France

The small French village of Sospel in Provence is a charming mountain town near the border with Italy. While it's very close to the buzzing resorts of Monte Carlo and the French Riviera, Sospel itself is quiet and peaceful, with a medieval feel and an old stone bridge (Le Point Vieux) dating back to the 13th century.

Sospel began as an important staging post along the salt mule road beginning in the 5th century. These days, it's a popular stop for roadtrippers making their way around the South of France or driving through north Italy - especially during the summer. In July and August, antiques shows, flea markets and festivals bring the town to life and attract visitors to its lovely setting in the stunning valley of the Bevera.

The splendid baroque-style Saint Michel cathedral is another draw to this town. Much of it was constructed in the 17th century, apart from the belltower on the right which dates back to the 13th century. Its giant size and ornate design make the cathedral quite a surprising sight in such a small town!

People also come to Sospel to take advantage of the great outdoors. Here you'll find lots of cycling routes and walking paths, including the starting point of three well-known long-distance hiking paths that lead to the famous Vallée des Merveilles, which itself is part of the Mercantour National Park. Whether you're driving through France or popping over for a short detour from North Italy, Sospel is most definitely worth your time.