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Select your trails among 10 in the outdoors of Nice, Cannes & Monaco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The seaside in Roquebrune Cap Martin

 

Half-day trips on the French Riviera : coastline and back country

 

The Côte d’Azur balcony on foot,
one of the best things to do in Monaco 

 

What a panoramic descent you are about to make and a beautiful hilltop village you will walk accross ! You start from the little town of La Turbie, overlooking the Principality of Monaco and known for the Trophée d’Auguste. Then, you follow the crest of the plateau from La Cime de la Forna to a spot just before the Fort de La Revère. Up there, you can enjoy constant views over the shoreline between Cap d’Aïl and the Cap Ferrat peninsula. Finally, from this last spot, you walk all the way down to the sea, 2,150 feet ! Mind-blowing ! But, naturally, you can have a halfway stopover at Èze village. 

 

Walking time : 3 hours
Rating : challenging (great elevation loss)

 

 

 

 

Around Saint Jean Cap Ferrat

 

Very quickly accessible from the city of Nice and starting from the town of Beaulieu sur Mer, this coastal hiking path around St Jean Cap Ferrat peninsula offers a short and pleasant getaway from the bustle of the French Riviera resorts. Walking all the way as closely as possible to the sea, you will marvel at the beauties that Mother Nature has created for us : the sublime contrasts between the blues of the sea and sky, the whites of the rocks and the greens of the Aleppo pines and garrigue shrubs.
If you 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 will walk one more hour. 

 

Walking time : 2.5 hours ( + 1hr from Beaulieu sur Mer)
Rating : leisurely
Season calendar : year-round (summer : 8am – 11am only, not allowed on fire risk days)

 

 

The charming Cap de St Tropez

 

Saint Tropez is located on the French Riviera, about halfway between Nice and Marseille. The town and its bay were attracting the Parisian intelligentsia and artists long before cinema created Brigitte Bardot in “And God created Woman”. This half day hike starts on the coastline 2 km east of the famous little harbour. Your local guide will lead you along the pretty St Tropez bay southern coast pathway for 2.5 hrs. This pleasant nature walk provides, by turns, the crossing of beautiful beaches and passages through rocky areas and along large seaside mansions. It also offers, from time to time, outstanding views to the Maures mountains and the Esterel red peaks. You will then turn your back on the sea by climbing a short slope, the only ascent of the whole hike, and follow backroads to head back to your starting point.  

 

Walking time : 3 hours 
Rating : easy
Season calendar : year-round (summer : 8am – 11am only, not allowed on fire risk days)

 

 

 

On your way to Saint-Paul de Vence

 

Saint-Paul de Vence has been for long a source of inspiration for many artists from all over the world. The Provençal village, exquisitely perched on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside and the sea, is this hike’s destination. The starting point is the charming town of Vence, situated within a half hour drive from the city of Nice. After visiting the Matisse Chapel, your local guide leads you on pleasant trails on the hillsides. These are carpeted in the spring by the lovely pink flowers of rockrose (cistus). When arriving near Saint-Paul, you can visit the Maeght Foundation, an outstanding art place:  it has 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 show us this fascination on their nature representations.  

 

Walking time : 2 hours
Rating : leisurely
Season calendar : year-round (summer : 8am – 11am only, not allowed on fire risk days)

Visit of the Maeght Foundation not included.

 

 

 

 

Peille and Peillon : two pretty hilltop villages

 

Within a half hour’s drive from Monaco and from MentonPeille is, along with Peillon, among the most typical medieval fortified villages of the French Riviera hinterland. Perched on top of craggy outcrops overlooking a deep valley, these twin towns 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. 
Along walking paths used by cattle herds for three millenia, rosemary, thyme and other herb scents remind you that you are in Provence. The pleasant nature walk from one village to the other lasts 2 hours ; with attention to the fact that an alternate route exists for the return journey, if need be. 

 

Walking time : 3 hours, including visiting the villages
(5 hours with the return walk)
Rating : moderate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Baou de St Jeannet

 

Day trips on the French Riviera: coastline and back country

 

 

The Estérel red rocks near Cannes

 

Only 10km from the Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes, under the supervision of your local guide, you can start delightful nature hikes. During this one, you take on the Pic de l’Ours (1,627ft), one of the peaks of the Massif de l’Estérel. Volcanic red crags form these gorgeous hills that are covered by oaks and pines whose dark colors sharply contrast with. From the heights, you enjoy a beautiful panorama over the colorful hills all around. And, you can see, in the distance, La Napoule bay and the city of Cannes, on one side, and Fréjus bay, on the other. 

 

Walking time : 4.5 hours
Rating : moderate

 

 

 

 

The peaceful beauty of Porquerolles

 

To get an idea of the true riches of the three islands off the coast of Hyères, near Toulon, just remember that they are called Les Iles d’Or (the Golden Islands) : the unspoiled splendor of their seascapes is unique. Porquerolles, the closest to the continent, only a 10-minute boat ride away, nestles a charming tiny village. But, its treasure is the beauty of a craggy coast made of steep cliffs and secluded creeks, bathed in turquoise waters. And you reach those idyllic spots by hiking with your local guide through the typical Mediterranean vegetation.  And what must be remembered is that blooming starts during late winter on Porquerolles island. Walking paths where you encounter nobody !
Heaven on earth !

 

Walking time : 5 hours
Rating : moderate (stony sections)
Season calendar : 1/1 – 6/30 & 9/1 – 12/31

 

 

 

 

The balcony of the Côte d’Azur

 

This is probably the most exceptional walking route above the coast of the French Riviera. Offering lovely nature sceneries, it joins the three 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, ascents will alternate with descents and fabulous views over the Riviera, very close, and over the Alps, in the distance, will accompany you. 

 

Walking time : 5.5 hours
Rating : challenging (elevation gain : 2,800 feet)
Season calendar : 1/1 – 6/15   &   9/15 – 12/31

 

 

 

 

 

From Saint-Paul de Vence up to the heights of Vence

 

Saint-Paul de Vence has been for long a source of inspiration for many artists from all over the world. Not far from Nice, the Provençal village is exquisitely perched on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside and the sea. After a visit through its narrow cobbled streets, your local guide leads you to the charming town of Vence, 3 miles northwards. From there, you follow a circular route that climbs up to the rocky Baou des Blancs. This peak rises high above the town, offering a breathtaking 360° view over the coast. A beautiful hike that is no small feat !

 

Walking time : 6 hours
Rating : challenging (elevation gain : 2,200 feet)
Season calendar : 1/1 – 6/30  &  9/1 – 12/31

 

 

 

 

Monaco and surrounding villages

 

Starting from the seaside at Eze Bord de Mer, towered over by the Revère Plateau (2,200 ft), this hike first takes you to the hilltop medieval village of Eze. After strolling through its narrow streets and small squares, under the leadership of your local guide, 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 jutting out into the Mediterranean. 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. Finally, 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) 
Season calendar : 1/1 – 6/15  &  9/15 – 12/31

 

 

 

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