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

Daily guided hiking on the French Riviera 
splendid coast pathways & amazing balcony trails to beautiful Provence towns and villages

 

 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 is exquisitely perched on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside and the sea, a little further. After visiting the Matisse Chapel in Vence, one of southern France’s most beautiful towns, you will 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 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

 

 

 

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, a pretty small town in the western part of the French Riviera, halfway between Nice and Marseille.

 

Walking time : 2 hours
Rating : leisurely

 

 

Among the most pleasant half day trips from Nice:
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 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 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

 

 

 The charming Cap de St Tropez pathway

 

Saint Tropez is located around halfway between Nice and Marseille. This half day trip starts on the coastline 2 km east of the famous small harbour. Your local guide will lead you along the pretty Gulf of St Tropez 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, unique views over the Maures hills 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 reach your starting point.  

 

Walking time : 3 hours 
Rating : easy

 

 

 

Peille and Peillon : two pretty hilltop villages

 

Within a half hour’s drive from MonacoPeille 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

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

The 3 capes hike:
the wildest part of the coast pathway near St Tropez

 

This half day hike, which starts 3 miles away from Ramatuelle, this beautiful hillside town located in the heart of the St Tropez peninsula, follows the coastline over its full length ; so, this is a point-to-point trail. 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 around there such diversified scenery and so stunning views ; this natural landscape would make you believe that you are dozens of miles away from the glamourous St Tropez.

 

Walking time : 3 hours (6 hours with the return)
Rating : easy

 

 

The Estérel red rocks near Cannes

 

10 kilometers from the Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes, you can start a nature hike to take on the Pic de l’Ours (1,627ft), one of the peaks of the Estérel massif. It 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 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 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 trip is a must do for all those interested in hiking in the South of France.

 

Walking time : 5 hours
Rating : challenging (elevation gain : 2,800 feet)

 

 

 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, 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) 

 

 

 

A picnic on top of the Baou de St Jeannet

 Vence and St Jeannet towered over by the Baous

 

This nature hike starts from the Provence town of Vence, less than a half-hour drive from the western districts of Nice. After a first stunning view over the Baie des Anges, Cap d’Antibes peninsula and Golfe Juan from the Baou des Blancs, a rocky hill above Vence, you will 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. 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 hilltop called Baou de St Jeannet.

 

Walking time : 7 hours 
Rating : challenging (2,800 feet elevation gain)

 

 

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.
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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