The Côte d’Azur balcony, 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 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 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
Peille and Peillon :
two cute hilltop villages
Within a half hour’s drive from Monaco, Peille 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 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 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
The balcony of the Côte d’Azur
This is probably the most exceptional walking route above the coast of the French Riviera. 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 : 5.5 hours
Rating : challenging (elevation gain : 2,800 feet)
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’s 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 Baou des Blancs, the rocky peak that rises over the coast, offering a breathtaking 360° view. A beautiful but far from relaxing walk.
Walking time : 6 hours
Rating : challenging (elevation gain : 2,200 feet)