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10 choices of coast & inland hiking trips in the outdoors near 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 ! Starting from the little town of La Turbie, overlooking the Principality of Monaco and known for the Trophée d’Auguste, you will then follow the crest of the plateau from La Cime de la Forna to a spot just before the Fort de La Revère, enjoying constant views over the shoreline between Cap d’Aïl and the Cap Ferrat peninsula. From this spot, you will walk all the way down to the sea, 2,150 feet !, with a halfway stopover at Èze village. Mind-blowing !


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


The port of 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


Source of inspiration for many artists from all over the world, Provence’s village of Saint-Paul de Vence, within a half hour drive from the city of Nice, is exquisitely perched on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside and the sea. After visiting the Matisse Chapel in Vence, one of southern France’s most beautiful towns, you enjoy a pleasant guided walk along hillsides, carpeted in the spring by cistus lovely pink flowers. Near Saint-Paul, you can visit the Maeght Foundation, an outstanding place which gathers one of the most important collections of works by painters fascinated by the Côte d’Azur light, as they show us on their nature representations : Bonnard, Braque, Chagall, Giacometti, Léger and Miró.


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. 
On 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 ; there is 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














The Baou de St Jeannet


Day trips on the French Riviera: coastline and back country



The Estérel red rocks near Cannes


10 kilometers from the Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes, with your local guide, you can start a delightful nature hike to take on the Pic de l’Ours (1,627ft), one of the Estérel’s peaks. This is a volcanic range characterized 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 hills 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





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 through the typical Mediterranean vegetation, whose blooming starts early March, 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


Source of inspiration for many artists from all over the world, the small town of Saint-Paul de Vence, within a half hour drive from the city of Nice, is exquisitely perched on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside and the sea. After a visit through its narrow cobbled streets, your local guide will lead you to Vence, 3 miles to the north. From there, you will follow a circular route that climbs up to the rocky Baou des Blancs that 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. 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


Click map of Provence
to get an overall view of the region