Walking the Southern Alps to the French Riviera: short and sweet
    • France - French Riviera
    • 5 days
    • Walking
    • Self-guided
      • From March to October
    • 2 - 10 travellers
      • Simple
      • Comfort
      • Charming
      • Trip code : B1160

About the Walking the Southern Alps to the French Riviera: short and sweet trip

About your French Riviera walking tour

Your French Riviera walking holiday: You explore the genuine back country of the French Riviera and hike on panoramic trails as the Alps rise dramatically close to the Med sea. You walk from one small authentic mountain village to the next, with jawdropping panoramas of mountains and Mediterranean Sea.
This self-guided walking tour ends in Menton, one of the loveliest italian towns in the south of France, where you enjoy the colourful facades and the beaches.

A great self guided short walking break, with simple accommodation in the mountain villages, and comfort to charming hotels in Menton.

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 

From the blog

Walking Southern Alps to the French Riviera, short and sweet: Day By Day

Day 1 - Charming Sospel

hiking cote azur

  • Arrival on your own by train from Nice (not included).
  • Nestled at 350m altitude, surrounded by lush mountains Sospel is a very picturesque village offering a foretaste of nearby Italy.  You will hear both languages French & Italian and feel both influences in architecture, culture .. and food !
  • Night in Breil sur Roya
  • Meals included: Dinner

  • We recommend:
    Have an extra night in Nice and enjoy the lovely old town ! 

  • Access
    . Regular flight to Nice - See this link
    . Regular train lines from Nice. Check ahead the schedule on SNCF PACA

Day 2 - To the highest coastline village in Europe

hikers walking from sospel to sainte agnes

    • Walk - Castillon pass > 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 & Dinner

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

    • We recommend
      . Add an extra night in Sainte Agnès & enjoy the extra walk (out-and-back) to the nearby village of Gorbio out-and-back (3h45 - 10km - 6.2 miles - +450m/-450m). Add this extra walk to your trip : click on BOOK section 

Day 3 - A walk to 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.
    Walk out-and-back to Gorbio
  • Night in Sainte Agnès
  • MEALS included: Breakfast & Picnic & Dinner

Day 4 - Down to Menton by the Med sea !

sainte agnes menton

  • Walk - 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 5 - Walk to Eze or to Saint Jean Cap Ferrat

menton on the med sea

  • End of your trip after breakfast. 
  • Today you have the choice to relax and take the time to enjoy Menton. Or you have 2 walk options :

    - Walk 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. 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 (not included)

    - Walk Villefranche / St. Jean Cap Ferrat cape
    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 part. Train back to Menton ( not included) 
  • 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 French Riviera
    . 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 holidays 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 

    Walking the Southern Alps to the French Riviera: short and sweet
        • France - French Riviera
        • 2 adults (2x510€)
        • 0 children (0x510€)
      • 5 days
      • Simple
    Total 1020€
    Deposit 320€
    Book now !