Home » Regions » Guided hiking and walking tours on the French Riviera to beautiful Provence towns

Half-day and Full Day hiking tours on the French Riviera
splendid coast pathways & amazing balcony tra
ils to beautiful Provence towns and villages

 

 On your way to Saint-Paul de Vence
Half-day

 

Source of inspiration for many artists from all over the world, the Provençal 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 France’s most beautiful towns, your local guide will show you a pleasant trail on hillsides carpeted in the spring by the lovely pink flowers of rockrose (cistus). 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, 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.

 

 From the heights of Bormes-les-Mimosas
Half-day
 

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. In the various interpretations by your local guide, you will learn about the Mediterranean flora, the dark forest of cork oak and the “maquis” that you will walk through. That type of vegetation is made up of a thick growth of various plants, small trees and bushes, a little bit like garrigue. But maquis (that gave the noun “maquisard”) is so called on acid soils, such as the brown rock of Massif des Maures. The territory of the small range starts above Bormes-les-Mimosas. This little town, very pretty, is located in the western part of the French Riviera, halfway between Nice and Marseille.

 

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

 

 

 

A very pleasant trip from Nice: St Jean Cap Ferrat
Half-day

 

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 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
Season calendar : year-round (summer : 8am – 11am only, not allowed on fire risk days)

 

 

 

 The charming Cap de Saint Tropez
Half-day

 

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 of 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)

 

 

 

 

Peille and Peillon : two pretty hilltop villages
Half-day and Full Day

 

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 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
Season calendar : short hike : year-round (summer : 8am – 11am only, not allowed on fire risk days) / long hike : 1/1 – 6/15  &  9/15 – 12/31

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The peaceful beauty of Porquerolles
Half-day and Full Day

 

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, whose blooming starts during the late winter on Porquerolles island. Walking paths where you encounter nobody !
Heaven on earth !
 

Walking time : from 3 to 5 hours
Rating : moderate (stony sections)
Season calendar : year-round (summer : 8am – 11am only, not allowed on fire risk days)

 

 

 

The 3 capes hike near St Tropez
Half-day and Full Day

 

This trail is the wild part of Saint Tropez coastal path. It starts 3 miles away from Ramatuelle, beautiful hillside town located in the heart of the Saint Tropez peninsula, and follows the coastline over its full length. The three capes that you will see are Cap Camarat, Cap Taillat and Cap Lardier. The last two are the most impressive. They are located in an area protected from the real estate pressure. That is probably one of the reasons why the hike offers such diversified scenery and so stunning views. This natural landscape would make you believe that you are dozens of miles away from the glamourous Saint Tropez.


Walking time
 : 3 hours (6 hours with the return)
Rating : easy
Season calendar : short hike : year-round (summer : 8am – 11am only, not allowed on fire risk days) / long hike : 1/1 – 6/15  &  9/15 – 12/31

 

 

 

The Estérel red rocks near Cannes
Full Day

 

10 kilometers from the Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes, under the supervision of your local guide, you can start a delightful nature hike and take on one of the peaks of the Estérel massif : the Pic de l’Ours (1,627ft). It is a volcanic range characterized by gorgeous red crags 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 La Napoule bay and the city of Cannes, to the east, and Fréjus bay, to the west. 


Walking time
: 4.5 hours
Rating : moderate
Season calendar : 1/1 – 6/15  &  9/15 – 12/31

 

 

 

 

The balcony of the Côte d’Azur
Full Day

 

This is probably the most exceptional walking route above the coast of the French Riviera that your local guide can help you discover. It joins the very ancient hilltop Provence towns 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. 
This day hike is a must do for all those interested in exploring the south of France by foot!

 

Walking time : 5 hours
Rating : challenging (elevation gain : 2,800 feet)
Season calendar : 1/1 – 6/15  &  9/15 – 12/31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Monaco and surrounding villages
Full Day

 

Starting from the seaside at Eze Bord de Mer, towered over by the Revère Plateau (2,200 ft), your local hiking guide first takes you to the hilltop medieval 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 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

 

 

 

 Vence and St Jeannet towered over by the rocky Baous
Full Day

 

This nature day hike starts from the charming Provence town of Vence, less than a half-hour drive from the western districts of Nice. From the rocky Baou des Blancs, high above Vence, you will enjoy a first stunning view over the Baie des Anges: you can see Nice to the left, Cap d’Antibes and the Iles de Lérins, shimmering in the sea, to the right. You will then forget for a few hours the glamourous French Riviera, walking across a land once used for cultivation and today devoted to winter pasture: the Plan des Noves. Later, your local guide will lead you down into the Gorge de la Cagne, before you will cross the river and proceed above the valley floor. Your last climb will be up to the plateau towards the top of the high cliffs called Baou de St Jeannet. From up there, you can enjoy a breathtaking scenery : the village of St Jeannet below and in front the gulf from Antibes to Nice.

 

Walking time : 7 hours 
Rating : challenging (2,800 feet elevation gain)
Season calendar : 1/1 – 6/15  &  9/15 – 12/31

 

 

A picnic on top of the Baou de St Jeannet

One of the most spectacular day trips from Nice

 

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


What we call calanques on the French Mediterranean coast and in Corsica are natural scenery, unique to this sea : they are parts of narrow and steep-walled dry valleys that have been submerged by the sea for several millions of years, forming today’s shoreline.

And the most wonderful of these exceptional inlets are the hidden ones that can be found along the coastline to the south-east of Marseille, less than a 3-hour drive from Nice. In these calanques outside Marseille, the white coastal cliffs, that beautifully overlook the contrasted turquoise and dark blue colours of the sea, create mesmerizing panoramas, unrivaled anywhere in the world.
If you have never seen a calanque, come and spend one day in Calanques National Park, one of the greatest natural wonders in France.

 

View 10 hiking trips in the Calanques National Park

 

Here are some pictures of the Calanques :

 

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