Mercantour hiking: from the Southern Alps to the French Riviera trails
    • France - French Riviera
    • 7 days
    • Walking
    • Self-guided
      • From March to October
      • December
    • 2 - 10 travellers
      • Simple
      • Comfort
      • Charming
      • Trip code : B1112

About the Mercantour hiking: from the Southern Alps to the French Riviera trails trip

About your French Riviera walking tour

Your French Riviera walking holiday: Behind the French Riviera, the Alps rise dramatically. Almost all tourists visit the tiny strip of land along the coast, but the backcountry is dotted with timeless villages that have escaped the glitz and glamour of the towns along the sea.
During this self-guided walking trip, the centuries-old paths lead from one village to the next, with jawdropping panoramas of mountains and Mediterranean Sea. You reach the town of Menton, one of the prettiest villages of the coastline, where you can stroll along the beaches and enjoy an ambiance only the Côte d'Azur can offer. You then enjoy 2 optional walks to the charming village of Eze and the beautiful Cap ferrat cape

Please note: the hotels in the backcountry are quite rustic and simple, but you will appreciate the charm and authenticity. Once you get to Menton, you can choose your level of quality and comfort

Highlights of the trip

  • Genuine mountain villages surrounded by the Alps mountains
  • The mixed influences of Italian and French culture
  • The magnificent perched village of Sainte Agnès
  • 3 dinners & 2 picnics included
  • The coloured town of Menton right on the Med Sea
  • The charming village of Eze and the beautiful Cat Ferrat cape



    Go Private or go guided ! Customize your holidays with a local specialist here 

From the blog

Mercantour hiking, from the Southern Alps to the French Riviera trails: Day By Day

1 - Arrival in Sospel

best hike in the french riviera in sospel

  • You arrive on your own in the timeless village of Sospel - by train - nestled in the mountains near the Italian border, with its beautiful architecture and its centuries-old homes with colourful façades. 
  • Night in Sospel
  • MEALS included: Dinner

Day 2 - Hike to Mont Agaisen

  • Loop walk - Sospel > Mount Agaisen
    3 hours 30 - Ascent: +350 m / Descent: -350 m
  • Nestled in a basin surrounded by beautiful peaks and hills, the village of Sospel is even more admirable from the top of Mount Agaisen. During this hike, you will admire the very wide plain which hosts the medieval village of Sospel, rich in a beautiful heritage. But also more recent structures such as the Mont Agaisen fort, the ascent of which is the highlight of this hike. The Mont Agaisen is a place appreciated by paragliders who find it a good starting point for their activity. In the past, the Mont Agaisen was the place of an original activity since from 1913 to 1927, workmen cut stones which were used for the works of art along the railway line which connects Nice to Tende.
  • Night in Sospel
  • MEALS included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 3 - From Sospel to the highest coastline village

hikers walking from sospel to sainte agnes

    • Sospel > Sainte Agnes 
      4 hours - 10km / 6.2 miles - Ascent: +500 m / Descent: -500 m
    • A short transfer takes you to the Col de Castillon pass, where you are teased with views of the shining blue Med Sea. You follow a path under the shade of an ash forest and zigzag upward towards the watchtower of Mont Ours before the true panorama is laid out: the entire Riviera and even the island of Corsica in clear weather. The medieval town of Sainte Agnes sits perched like an eagle's nest between you and the sea.  Sainte Agnès is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France, its narrow cobbled streets built over the centuries with massive granite blocks. Only 3km from the sea as the crow flies, and perched at 800m in altitude, Sainte Agnès is listed as Europe's highest coastline village.
    • Night in Sainte Agnès
    • MEALS included: Breakfast 

    • Market on Thursday & Sunday (small one) morning in Sospel

Day 4 - Hike to Saint Gorbio

  • Walk - St Agnes > Gorbio > St Agnes
    4h - 10km / 6.2 miles - Ascent 450m  - Descent 450m
  • Picnic included
  • The perched little village of Gorbio - on its rocky spur - is worth a lengthy visit. Those who come to visit it often remark that it is one of the most authentic villages along the Riviera. The Renaissance castle at the edge of the village - converted into a museum - and the two chapels attest to the village’s rich medieval history.
  • Night in Sainte Agnès
  • MEALS included: Breakfast & Picnic & Dinner

Day 5 - Down to coloured Menton on the Med sea

menton on the med sea on the french riviera

  • Sainte Agnès > Menton 
    4 hours 30 - 14km / 8.7 miles - Ascent: +250 m / Descent: -950 m
  • Picnic included
  • You leave Sainte Agnès to descend into a lush valley, framing the hilltop Castellar. This sleepy village with quiet streets, sole grocery store, bar and two restaurants, is the last bastion of tranquility before arriving on the Riviera. From Castellar you find and old path winding down, and soon you've reached a set of ancient steps set directly above the old village of Menton. Spend time raoming along the colourful labyrinth of streets in the old town before a small stretch of boardwalk leading to your hotel.
  • Night in Menton
  • MEALS included: Breakfast & Picnic
     
  • Market: Daily market in Menton and a big one on Saturdays

Day 6 - Explore Eze & Cap ferrat Cape

  • Today you have also 2 options :

    - Eze mer / Eze village and return - 2 hours, 15 min. +400m/-400m back and forth to Eze.
    Take the train from Villefranche to Eze.(not included)
    The perched, medieval village of Eze sits defiantly on a rocky spur, soaring high above the coastline. Today’s walk takes you on a well-maintained path from the coastline to Eze, listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. The narrow cobbled roads in Eze are worth exploring, while a fabulous cactus garden sits on the very top of the village. The entrance fee for the garden is 5€; and even if you aren’t a fan of succulents, the 360 degree views from the top are alone worth the entrance price.
    Train back to Menton

    - Villefranche via St. Jean Cap Ferrat - 3hrs, 11km: a few short climbs along the coastal path
    Detour: walk around the eastern arm of the peninsula, add one hour.
    Take the train from Menton to Villefranche (not included). You start your walk around the famous St Jean Cap Ferrat, it’s a beautiful 3 hours coastal walk. You can also add a detour and walk around the Eastern 
  • Night in Menton
  • MEALS included: Breakfast 

Day 7 - Enjoy Menton & the Med sea ..

menton on the med sea

  • End of your trip after breakfast

  • Lots of markets in Menton : Covered market every morning, on Tuesday morning on Carei Square, on Saturday morning fish market at the port

  • We recommend
    . Have an extra night in Menton
    Too much to see and do in Menton ..! And that's why we suggest an extra night here in Menton, probably the prettiest town on the Mediterranean
    . Continue onwards your exploration of Provence with the costal trip around the PORQUEROLLES islands !

  • Return:
    . Regular train lines from Menton > Nice
    . Regular flights from Nice - See this link

More self-guided walking tours in Provence

    • France - French Riviera
    • 5 days
    • Walking
    • Self-guided
      • From March to October
  •   Accommodation choice :

      • Simple
      • Comfort
      • Charming
  • Highlights of the trip

    • Genuine montain villages surrounded by the Alps mountains
    • The cultural mix of Italian and French influences
    • The lovely perched village of Sainte Agnes
    • 3 dinners & 2 picnics included
    • Ancient paths through forests and follow majestic olive groves
    • The coloured italian-style town of Menton on the Med Sea
    • The lovely town of Eze and the charming Saint Jean Cap ferrat cape

    • Please note :  the hotels in the backcountry are quite rustic and simple, but you will appreciate the charm and authenticity. Once you get to Menton, you can choose your level of quality and comfort



      Go Private or go guided ! Customize your holidays with a local specialist here 

      • France - French Riviera
      • 7 days
    • Walking
    • Self-guided
      • From March to October
      • December
  •   Accommodation choice :

      • Simple
      • Comfort
      • Charming
  • Highlights of the trip

    • Genuine mountain villages surrounded by the Alps mountains
    • The mixed influences of Italian and French culture
    • The magnificent perched village of Sainte Agnès
    • 3 dinners & 2 picnics included
    • The coloured town of Menton right on the Med Sea
    • The charming village of Eze and the beautiful Cat Ferrat cape



      Go Private or go guided ! Customize your holidays with a local specialist here 

      • France - French Riviera
      • 6 days
    • Walking
    • Self-guided
      • From March to November
  •   Accommodation choice :

      • Simple
      • Comfort
      • Charming
      • Superior
  • Highlights of the trip

    • The wilderness of the islands of Porquerolles and Port Cros
    • The hidden gem of the Mediterranean gardens of Le Rayol
    • Plenty of swimming opportunities every day !
    • 1 dinner included with the famous fish specialty "La Bourride"
    • Majestic coastline paths and hidden inlets






      Go Private or go guided ! Customize your holidays with a local specialist here 

      • France - French Riviera
      • 6 days
    • Walking
    • Self-guided
      • From June to October
  •   Accommodation choice :

      • Charming
  • Highlight of the tour 

    • The lakes, mountains, and rock carvings of the "Vallée des Merveilles"
    • A true Alpine experience 
    • The cozy "Chamois d'Or" hotel: an unforgettable experience
    • 2 dinners & 3 picnics included
    • Authentic villages nestled in deep, wooded valleys, surrounded by high mountains
    • The Mercantour National park and its wild fauna and flora
    • Walk on century old path in some outstandingly beautiful valleys 



      Go Private or go guided ! Customize your holidays with a local specialist here 

    Mercantour hiking: from the Southern Alps to the French Riviera trails
        • France - French Riviera
        • 2 adults (2x670€)
        • 0 children (0x670€)
      • 7 days
      • Simple
    Total 1340€
    Deposit 400€
    Book now !