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The French Riviera,
walking on balcony trails to beautiful villages

 

 

On your way to Saint-Paul de Vence

Source of inspiration for many artists from all over the world, the Provence village of Saint-Paul de Vence is exquisitely perched on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside and the sea, a little further. After visiting the Matisse Chapel in Vence, you will enjoy a pleasant guided walk along hillsides, carpeted by cistus’ lovely pink flowers in the spring. Near Saint-Paul, you can visit the Maeght Foundation, an outstanding place which gathered one of the most important collections of works by painters fascinated by the light of the Côte d’Azur : Bonnard, Braque, Chagall, Giacometti, Léger and Miró. 

Walking time : 2 hours
Rating : leisurely
Price (per person) : €60 (4 people) / €70 (3 people) / 
€100 (2 people) / €200 (1 person)

 

From the heights of
Bormes-les-Mimosas

During this short hike, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a broad panorama over the Îles d’Or (Golden Islands) and the coastline, the Peninsula of Giens, particularly. You will also have time to listen to the commentary provided by your walking guide, especially about the Mediterranean flora and the “maquis”, thick growth of small trees and bushes. This type of vegetation is so called on acid soils, such as the brown schist rock typical of the Massif des Maures whose territory starts above Bormes-les-Mimosas, in the western part of the French Riviera.

Walking time : 2 hours
Rating : leisurely
Price (per person) : €60 (4 people) / €70 (3 people) / 
€100 (2 people) / €200 (1 person)

 

Around Saint Jean Cap Ferrat

Very quickly accessible from the city of Nice and starting from the town of Beaulieu sur Mer, this coastal walking path around St Jean Cap Ferrat peninsula is a short and pleasant getaway from the agitation of the French Riviera resorts. Walking all the way as closely as possible to the sea, you will marvell at the contrasts between the blues of water and of the sky, the whites of the rocks and the greens of the Aleppo pines and garrigue shrubs.
If you choose to start from the town of Beaulieu sur Mer accessible by train (10 minutes away from downtown Nice) rather than from St Jean Cap Ferrat marina, your local guide will take you on an one-hour longer walk. 

Walking time : 2.5 hours ( + 1hr from Beaulieu sur Mer)
Rating : leisurely
Price (per person) : €60 (4 people) / €70 (3 people) / 
€100 (2 people) / €200 (1 person)

 

Peille and Peillon :
two cute hilltop villages

The twin medieval fortified villages of Peille and Peillon are among the most typical of the French Riviera hinterland. Perched on top of craggy outcrops overlooking a deep valley, they have changed little since the Middle Ages : both come in a mass of narrow little paved streets and steps, winding up and down through arches and vaulted passageways. 
On walking paths used by cattle herds for three millenia, rosemary, thyme and other herb scents remind you that you are in Provence. The walk from one village to the other lasts 2 hours ; your guide can find an alternate route for the return journey, if need be. 

Walking time : 3 hours, including visiting the villages
(5 hours with the return walk)
Rating : moderate
Price (per person) : €80 (4 people) / €90 (3 people) / 
€135 (2 people) / €270 (1 person)

 

The Estérel red rocks near Cannes

10 kilometers from the Promenade de la Croisette, you can start a hike to take on the Pic de l’Ours (1,627ft), one of the summits of the Estérel. This is a volcanic range charac- terized by gorgeous red rock formations that are covered by oaks and pines whose dark colors sharply contrast with. From the heights, you will enjoy a beautiful panorama over the colorful summits all around and, in the distance, over the Golfe de La Napoule and the city of Cannes, to the east, and the Golfe de Fréjus, to the west. 

Walking time : 4.5 hours
Rating : moderate
Price (per person) : €80 (4 people) / €90 (3 people) / 
€135 (2 people) / €270 (1 person)

 

The balcony of the Côte d’Azur

This is probably the most exceptional walking route above the coast of the French Riviera on which your local guide can take you. It joins the very ancient hilltop villages of La Turbie, Gorgio and Saint Agnès that, respectively, overlook the cities of Monaco, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin and Menton. All day long, with ascents and descents, fabulous views over the Riviera, very close, and over the Alps, in the distance, will accompany you. 

Walking time : 5 hours
Rating : challenging (elevation gain : 2,800 feet)
Price (per person) : €80 (4 people) / €90 (3 people) / 
€135 (2 people) / €270 (1 person)

 

Monaco and surrounding villages

Starting from the seaside at Eze Bord de Mer, dominated by the Revère Plateau (2,200 ft), this hike first takes you to the hilltop village of Eze. After strolling through its narrow streets and small squares, you climb up to the plateau from which you can enjoy one of the most outstanding panorama of the coast, with the Cap-Ferrat peninsula. From the Roman town of La Turbie, you quickly discover another breathless view, totally different : the Principalty of Monaco, with its high rises and its famous rock, le Rocher, where stands the Prince’s Palace. A climb down to Cap d’Ail then allows you to end this scenic day walking along the beaches to the center of Monaco.   

Walking time : 6 hours
Rating : challenging (2,500 feet elevation gain) 
Price (per person) : €80 (4 people) / €90 (3 people) / 
€135 (2 people) / €270 (1 person)

 

 

 

Vence, St Jeannet and the Baous

After a first stunning view from the Baou des Blancs above the Provence town of Vence and overlooking the Baie des Anges, Cap d’Antibes peninsula and Golfe Juan, you will forget for a few hours the glamourous French Riviera, walking through a land once used for cultivation and today devoted to winter pasture : the Plan des Noves. Your guide will then lead you down into the Gorge de la Cagne, before crossing the river and proceeding above the valley floor. Your last climb will be up to the plateau towards the Baou de St Jeannet.

Walking time : 7 hours 
Rating : challenging (2,800 feet elevation gain)
Price (per person) : €80 (4 people) / €90 (3 people) / 
€135 (2 people) / €270 (1 person)

 

 

Would you like to walk on the French Riviera’s wild side ? Have you heard of the Calanques ?


Calanques are coastal landscape features unique to the Mediterranean sea, made of narrow dry valleys with deep sides, submerged by the sea.

And the most famous of these coves in the shoreline are the hidden calanques outside Marseille, less than a 3-hour drive from Nice. In Marseille calanques, white coastal cliffs beautifully overlooking contrasted turquoise and dark navy blue colours of the sea create mesmerizing panoramas.
If you have never seen a calanque, come and spend one day in Massif des Calanques, one of the greatest natural wonders in France.

In the main menu, under “Destinations”, select the item “Guided hiking in the Calanques National Park“ to find a walk or a hike in Marseille calanques.

Here are some pictures of the Calanques :