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French Riviera: mountains-to-sea

€715 per person

Behind the French Riviera’s glamour hide timeless villages, nestled in the lush green valleys of the Alpes Maritimes or perched atop rocky crags. The ancient paths wind through forests and follow majestic olive groves. Situated high above the sea, the views from these settlements are stunning and breathtaking. The centuries-old paths lead straight to the beautiful town of Menton at the Italian border. The latter is known for its notable gardens, pastel-colored villas, striking historical locations, museum and memorials. The cultural mix of Italian and French through the centuries has influenced the local architecture and cuisine. The open-air markets held in the various villages and small towns will offer you the chance to try local delicacies and organic produce directly from the manufacturers. When making plans for this holiday, you may wish to consider the days of the week, when these take place:
▪ Breil sur Roya: market on Tuesday & Thursday morning
▪ Sospel: market on Thursday morning
▪ Menton: every morning at the covered market

  • Destination
  • Duration
    5 Days I Level: 2/3 (of 5)
  • What is included
    Accommodation in simple backcountry inns incl. breakfast (en-suite rooms); 2x dinners (Day 1 & Day 2); Luggage transfers; People transfers (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4); Roadbook (itinerary description in English and detailed walking maps, incl. access to GPS tracks of the trails; 1 set per booking); Emergency hotline
  • What is not included
    Drinks and other meals, public transportation, entry fees.
  • Best period
    mid-March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, mid-November
1
Day 1: Arrival in Sospel
Arrival on your own by train from Nice to Sospel (less than 1hrs train ride). Transfer from the train station to your guesthouse (included). Sospel is located in the Bevera valley 20km north of Menton near the Italian border previously a staging post on the route de sel. You spend the first 2 nights in Sospel.
2
Day 2: Sospel - Breil sur Roya - Sospel (15km; 5,30hrs; +600m/-550m)
After breakfast short transfer to Breil to start 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. Reach the stunning ghost town of Piène Haute, more Italian than French, perched above the valley. Your path then takes you to Italy – to the colourful town of Olivetta – before returning France and the town of Sospel. Sospel is a genuine and medieval mountain town with an old stone toll bridge crossing the Brévera River.
3
Day 3: Sospel - Col de castillon - Sainte Agnès (10km; 4hrs; +550m/-550m)
A short taxi transfer takes you to the start of our walk. After a gradual climb through a scenic beech forest the summit appears – and perched well over 1000m above the sea the Mediterranean appears in all its majesty, the southern Alps. You reach the perched village of Sainte Agnès, listed among the most beautiful villages in France, and set at an altitude of 800m above sea level. It is the highest coastline village in Europe.
4
Day 4: Sainte Agnès - Cime de Baudon - Sainte Agnès - Menton (15km; 4,30hrs; +600m/-600m) OR Sainte Agnès - Menton (14km; 4,30hrs; +250m/-950m)
Starting from the perched village of Sainte Agnès, it is a steady climb over the Bausson pass. For 30 minutes you take a small mountain road with a panoramic view of the sea (this small road is not very busy with cars and is mostly used by cyclists). The summit of the Cime de Baudon offers an exceptional 360° view of the whole region and the surrounding mountain peaks: a very beautiful orientation table which allows you to see as far as the summit of the Sainte Beaume and the Alps. Afternoon transfer from St Agnes to Menton.
*STANDARD OPTION FOR THE DAY: The walk above will be done only in case the standard option for the day, as described below, is impossible to be done due to landslides. If the standard option is available, this is what will be planned for this day, as this walk is more scenic and enjoyable: Leave Sainte Agnès and walk along a deep and scenic valley, until you reach the lost villages of Monti and Castellar. Castellar offers quaint streets and restaurants. From there your path leads further down towards the heart of the town of Menton - arguably the prettiest town on the French Riviera with colourful streets winding around in never-ending labyrinths and with several architectural treasures. Overnight in Menton.
5
Day 5: Menton (Departure day)
Take your time to explore on your own multi-faced Menton.

TOUR LOCATION

Price
715 Euro per person in twin/dbl room
Single room & Solo Traveler supplement
Single room supplement: 200 Euro
Solo traveler supplement: 455 Euro
Tips
Daily departures between mid-March and mid-November. Best town to arrive from is Nice. Regular trains (almost each hour) link Nice and Sospel.
Accommodation
Simple back country inns incl. breakfast (en-suite rooms); 2x dinners (Day 1 & Day 2);

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