Hello and welcome to the latest instalment in your South of France surveyor’s guides to some of the most beautiful places to visit along the coast of this wonderful part of the world.

In today’s article we venture to the picturesque headland of Cap Martin and the idyllic seaside village of Roquebrune Cap Martin.

Roquebrune Cap Martin

Located two kilometres from Menton and Monaco, the seaside resort starts at the water’s edge and rises to 300m from sea level.

After the area was first settled by cave dwelling humans it was developed by farmers who raised Castellaras for shelter and protection. The name of Roquebrune appears for the first time in 1157 and was noted for its strategic potential for the powerful Genoa, the House of Anjou,and the Counts of Ventimiglia. Roquebrune was then run by the Grimaldi of Monaco for five centuries until the transfer to France in 1861.

When you first set foot in the village, its storied history can immediately be felt. From the medieval village and castle, to St. Marguerite’s church, the ancient olive tree, the cave of Vallonet where those first humans settled and Le Corbusier’s cabin, the entire village is a joy to behold for history and architecture lovers alike.

When looking at the luxurious palatial villas, it’s easy to see why statesmen, royalty, writers, and artists all loved coming to Roquebrune for inspiration and rest. Winston Churchill, Coco Chanel, Sacha Guitry, Jacques Brel and Silvana Mangano, amongst others, were regular visitors to the area.


For the modern tourist, Roquebrune Cap Martin is resplendent with many things to see and do.

The old town with its castle, the church of Sainte-Marguerite and a maze of alleys and passages one can spend hours exploring. The millennium olive trees on the path to the chapel of La Pausa are a sight to behold, as is the 10th Century castle – a rare example of Carolingian era architecture, complete with stunning vistas of the waterfront, from Italy to Monaco. For those with an architectural passion, you may want to visit the hut of the architect, Le Corbusier, as well as his final resting place – a beautiful tomb in the village cemetery overlooking the blue waters.

The surrounding area also contains many opportunities for exploration, especially in the nearby village of Gorbio. And then there’s the headland of Cap Martin itself, complete with a picturesque coastal path, lush vegetation, and peaceful coves.

The region is also home to several events and festivals you may wish to plan your visit around. The Good Friday procession of lanterns, The celebration of the Passion of Christ every August 5 for the feast of Our Lady of the Snows, The Feast of St. Louis on August 25. The Evening of classical music at the castle in July and August, are all worth checking out.

And, of course, no South of France locale would be complete without a range of wonderful cafes, bars and restaurants, where you can sample some of the region’s incredible food and drink.

Final Thoughts

If our guide to Roquebrune Cap Martin has got you hungry to explore this incredible coastline for yourself, you may want to look at purchasing property in the region.

South of France surveyor, Charles Mackintosh has decades of experience buying and selling in the region and has the knowledge and experience to help you with your journey.

Please get in touch with Charles today, for more information and insights on buying property in the region.