8 days
Duration
Moderate
Difficulty
France
Location
March-November
Availability

  Spectacular hiking trails far from the tourist crowds

 Timeless villages nestled in wooded valleys, surrounded by high mountains

 The beautiful perched villages of Sainte Agnès and Eze

  The pretty “Italian style” town of Menton on the Mediterranean Sea

 Walk the spectacular wooded peninsula of Cap Ferrat and reward yourself with a refreshing swim at the end


Hiking on the Côte d’Azur

Self-guided walking holiday with luggage transportation

Behind the French Riviera’s glitz and glamour, the southern Alps rise dramatically and are home to a back country of timeless villages, nestled in lush valleys and nesting atop rocky crags. The ancient paths wind their way through lush forests and majestic olive groves. Perched high above the sea, the views are truly breath-taking. The centuries-old footpaths eventually lead you back down to the shimmering Mediterranean and to the colourful Italian-style coastal town of Menton, one of the prettiest villages on the Côte d’Azur.

Continuing along the Riviera coastline, you will discover the beautiful Cap Ferrat peninsula. A hiking trail winds its way around the edge of the peninsula and the contrast between the lush green of Cap Ferrat and the blue of the Mediterranean makes this walk really special. On the hills high above you will see the picturesque village of Eze, the destination for your final hike. Climbing up to Eze via the famous Nietszche trail, you will be rewarded with some of the best views on the whole Riviera!

A shorter version of this hiking trip is also available here

*Please note that due to flood damage and path maintenance there are some changes to this route for the 2021 summer season. Please contact us for further details.

8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS From €830 per person sharing*

*Discounts available for groups of 4 or more. Please enquire for prices.
*A high season supplement will apply during peak booking periods.
*A single supplement charge will apply for solo walkers.

ACCOMMODATION In charming hotels/guesthouses on a bed & breakfast basis. All rooms are en-suite.

Please note that the hotels in the backcountry are quite rustic and simple (typical French Augerges serving home-style food) but customers appreciate their charm and authenticity. Hotels in Menton and Villefranche are more modern and comfortable.

If a hotel is fully booked, then we will book a similar one for you and inform you about the alternative booked.

You can also book additional nights at any of the hotels along the way.

AVAILABILITY You can start your trip on any day of the week (subject to availability) from March 1st to November 15th.

This trip is not available during the week of the Monaco Grand Prix

INCLUDED
7 x nights in selected hotels with en suite facilities
7 x breakfasts
1 x picnic lunch on day 5
1 x dinner in Sospel on day 3
Luggage transfers days 2 to 5
Day 3: Taxi transfer from Sospel to the Castillon pass (start of your walk)
Road Book with detailed walking itineraries &  highlighted maps
GPX tracks
24/7 telephone support
NOT INCLUDED
Flights & travel insurance
Lunches & dinners, if not otherwise stated
Transportation to your 1st hotel in La Brigue (easy access by train)
Transportation between Menton-Villefranche-Eze-Nice  (easy and regular train access)
Anything else not mentioned in the “included” section
OPTIONAL EXTRAS
Additional nights before, during or after the walk
Single Room Supplement(s)
DIFFICULTY This trip is suitable for people who are used to regular and sustained exercise (whether walking, cycling, aerobics, etc.) and who can handle walking uphill (slowly) for up to 2 hours at a time. Walks are generally under 5 hours, on various types of terrain – though nothing technically difficult – with up to 600 m of climbing per day.

*Please note that due to flood damage and path maintenance there are some changes to this route for the 2021 summer season. Please contact us for further details.

1

Day 1: Arrive in La Brigue

Arrival by train from Nice > La Brigue (train ticket not included)

The timeless village of La Brigue is nestled in the mountains very close to the Italian border, with its beautiful architecture and centuries-old homes with their colourful facades. The village traded its Italian flag for a French one in 1947 and much of the valley is bathed in a Franco-Italian fusion of language, food and culture.

Overnight: La Brigue

2

Day 2: La Brigue loop walk

Distance: 12 km | Ascent: 550 m | Descent: 550 m | 4 hrs approx.

You climb from the town of La Brigue, along a tight valley laden with wild lavender, thyme and winter savoury. Passing the ruins of ancient stone dwellings, you reach the Boselia Pass and begin a breathtaking and panoramic descent towards Tende, the very last town before the Italian border. Take a well-deserved break at one of the local cafés before returning to La Brigue, either by foot or by train.

Overnight: La Brigue

3

Day 3: Breil sur Roya to Sospel

Distance: 15 km | Ascent: 600 m | Descent: 550 m | 5½ hrs approx.

A short morning transfer takes you to Breil sur Roya to begin your walk. You leave Breil sur Roya by foot, giving you a wonderful panorama of the valley. There are two choices of paths above the village and we’ve chosen the one less travelled, following abandoned stone terraces, now dotted with olive trees. You will reach the stunning ghost town of Piène Haute, more Italian than French, perched high above the valley. Your path then takes you to Italy – to the colourful town of Olivetta – before returning France and to the town of Sospel. Sospel is an authentic medieval mountain town with an old stone toll bridge crossing the Brévera river.

Overnight: Sospel (dinner is included at your accommodation tonight)

4

Day 4: Sospel to Sainte Agnès

Distance: 10 km | Ascent: 550 m | Descent: 550 m | 4 hrs approx.

A short taxi transfer this morning takes you to the start of your walk. After a gradual climb through a scenic beech forest, the summit of Mont Ours eventually appears. Now, standing at well over 1000m above the sea in the southern Alps, the Mediterranean is revealed before you in all its majesty. You finally reach the perched village of Sainte Agnès, listed among the most beautiful villages in France and – set at 800 m altitude – the highest coastal village in Europe.

Overnight: Sainte Agnès

5

Day 5: Sainte Agnès to Menton

Distance: 14 km | Ascent: 250 m | Descent: 950 m | 4½ hrs approx.

Picnic lunch included today.

Once again you leave Sainte Agnès by foot and, walking along a deep and scenic valley, you reach the lost villages of Monti and Castellar. Castellar offers quaint streets and charming restaurants. Your path leads you to the heart of the town of Menton, the prettiest town on the French Riviera with its labyrinth of colourful streets and with several architectural treasures.

Don’t forget to check out the town’s markets before you go. There is a covered market every morning, on Tuesday morning on Carei Square, and on Saturday morning a fish market at the port.

Overnight: Menton

6

Day 6: St. Jean Cap Ferrat loop walk

Distance: from 11 km | Various short coastal paths | 3-4 hrs approx.

After breakfast you will take the train with your luggage from Menton to Villefranche sur Mer. It’s a short and very scenic 30-minute train ride (ticket at your own expense, €4.20 pp.). Leave your luggage at the hotel before beginning a beautiful 3-4 hour coastal walk around the famous Cap Ferrat peninsula.

Overnight: Villefranche sur Mer

7

Day 7: Stairway to Eze

Ascent: 400 m | Descent: 400 m | 2 hrs approx.

Eze is just a short 5-minute train ride from Villefranche (tickets at your own expense, €1.80). This beautiful medieval village is perched like an eagles nest on a narrow rocky peak overlooking the Mediterranean. The ancient fortified village is crowned with the ruins of its 12th-century castle. The castle grounds host the fabulous Jardin Exotique, and the views of the Riviera coastline from the top are absolutely stunning!

After your walk you take the train back to your hotel.

Overnight: Villefranche sur Mer

8

Day 8: Departure

Your trip ends this morning after breakfast. Au revoir…!


Getting to La Brigue

  The closest airport is Nice Côte d’Azur Airport.
La Brigue is easily reachable by direct train from Nice. The journey takes less than 2 hrs and you can check train timetables on the following web site: http://www.ter.sncf.com/paca

Departure from the Côte d’Azur

There is a regular train line from Menton to Nice, also serving Villefranche-sur-Mer and Eze. Timetables and prices available here: https://en.oui.sncf/en/train/timetables/nice/menton
French Riviera walking holiday Eze
The medieval village of La Brigue in the Alpes-Maritimes
Pretty flowers in the Alpes Maritimes
Hiking in the Alpes Maritimes
The 13th-century toll bridge in Sospel
Place Saint-Michel, Sospel
Colourful buildings in Place Saint-Michel, Sospel
Shopfront in Sospel
View over the Alpes Maritimes from Mont Ours
Evening clouds in the valley, Sainte-Agnes
Descending from the Chateau Sainte Agnes
The hills of the French Riviera above Menton
French Riviera hiking
Menton on the French Riviera
The cathedral and pastel-coloured houses of Menton
Summer evening in Menton
Villefranche sur Mer
Walking trail on Cap Ferrat
Cliffs at Cap Ferrat
Riviera Marina
Fisherman on the French Riviera
The medieval perched village of Eze on the Cote d'Azur
Cafe in Eze
The Cours Saleya market in Nice
Fresh market produce on the French Riviera

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