Skip to content

prenant des photos en surplombant les gorges du fleuve de la roya à saorge

Saorge, a village perché up the Roya Valley, is an extraordinary find. It is easy to go there by train and foot from Nice, France. One needs only a camera and a sense of direction, that is, how to turn left or to turn right after having descended from the train and walked to the road in front of the train station.

To reach Saorge, take the Train des Merveilles from Nice and get off at the Fontan-Saorge station. Walk to the road that passes by the station, look to the left and then to the right, notice that you are safe to walk, and turn right. Contrary to first impressions and some doubts later, this road will lead to a dead end–Saorge.

The 15 to 20 minutes walk to Saorge has a gradual elevation gain IMG_0627and is easy going. One might add some time to the estimate, since the views will be panoramic and most sensible flâneurs will point the view finder and snap away. Hint: go on a clear day.

The first test whether the way is correct happens soon enough. A long tunnel looms up ahead and no way in sight to go around it. It is a tunnel for cars. Fear not. A warning sign is posted, cautioning cars to watch for pedestrians, and one sees the light at the end of the tunnel. (Do not worry: it is neither a train nor a car with very bright lights.)

Walk through the tunnel and around a corner of the road that has a wonderful vantage point and maybe pause for a moment. Look far and wide and down. Imagine what it would be like to volplane from there. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)


Turn the corner and the patience has been rewarded because Saorge is up ahead.

One can expect tight streets in Saorge, typical in a village perché. Getting lost is easy. (You can lose your mind as well.) But rest assured that all who wander these streets are not lost: they are exploring. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

As usual, when I visit these villages, I spend time looking at the doors and windows that close me off from their interiors. They are beautiful, mysterious. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

To appreciate fully the mountains surrounding Saorge and the valley below it, one should fly, see it as the birds do. Luckily Vincent Jacques has done it for us on YouTube..

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. hungryko #

    Wow. Absolutely lovely, and a place where I wouldn’t mind getting lost. Provided there are bakeries and cafes to recollect. Windows and doors (that of villages) are indeed mysterious. They’re all soo different. Unlike here where they aren’t really a mystery. Happy travels to you.

    • Thanks. Yes, it lovely in these villages and so hard to capture in photos. The real deal is best. Bakeries and cafés are there but the populations are so small that they are open at odd times. One must be careful when visiting because restos may be closed. The high season is most likely the best time to visit.

  2. Jack D. #

    Great photos, Mike, and I really liked the video as well.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: