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
      • Trip code : B1140

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
  • 1 dinner & 1 picnic included
  • Ancient paths through forests and follow majestic olive groves
  • The coloured italian-style town of Menton on the Med Sea

  • Extra walk option : Add an extra walk to Gorbio ! 

  • Choose your type of accommodation,  extra walks, etc .. Click on BOOK
From the blog

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

Day 1 - Charming Breil sur roya

hiking cote azur

  • Arrival on your own by train from Nice (not included).
    Surrounded by lush mountains along the banks of the river Roya, you start your Mercantour hiking trip  in the picturesque town of Breil sur Roya. You will hear both languages French & Italian and feel both influences in architecture, culture .. and food !
  • Night in Breil sur Roya

  • 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 > Breil. Check ahead the schedule on SNCF PACA

Day 2 - Hiking through olive groves to Italy

olive groves of olivetta

  • Walk - Breil sur Roya > Olivetta > Sospel 
    3 hours 30 - 15km / 6.5 miles - Ascent: +600 m / Descent: -550 m
  • From Breil, a path leads you along centuries-old terraces through the olive groves. You reach the tiny village of Piène Haute, seemingly lost on its rocky perch, with a year-round population of only 30 souls.
    From here you descend a valley adorned with ancient olive trees, and arrive smack on the border between France and Italy. Embark on a small detour to the quaint Italian village of Olivetta for lunch before walking above a spectacular gorge to Sospel.
  • Night in Sospel
  • Meals included: Breakfast

  • Small market on Tuesday in Breil sur Roya

Day 3 - To the highest coastline village in Europe

hikers walking from sospel to sainte agnes

    • Walk - 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.
    • Dinner included and 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 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 - End of your hiking in Mercantour ..

menton on the med sea

  • End of your trip after breakfast. Take the time to relax and enjoy Menton, visit Cocteau museum, the daily market and the Med sea

  • 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

Trip info

The rates are per person

  • on a 2 pers. minimum reservation basis (shared room)
  • and is always subject to availability
  • If you travel SOLO : please contact us 

INCLUDED

  • 4 nights double occupancy with private facilities
  • 4 breakfasts
  • 1 dinner
  • 1 picnic
  • Luggage transfers days 2 to 4
  • Our Road Book with detailed walking itineraries, including highlighted maps
  • 1 road map of the region
  • GPS files
  • 24/7 assistance tel

NOT INCLUDED

  • All lunches not noted-included in your itinerary
  • Entrance fees into museums, insurance, drinks
  • Items of personal nature
  • SINGLE supplement

NOTE - Accommodation

The Hotel St Yves in the village of Saint Agnes is rather a simple hotel, than a "standard" comfort one. : it offers modest rooms, with a family and fellow walkers' ambiance that is extremely warm and friendly.

More self-guided walking holidays in Provence

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    • 5 days
    • Walking
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  •   Accommodation choice :

      • Simple
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  • 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
    • 1 dinner & 1 picnic included
    • Ancient paths through forests and follow majestic olive groves
    • The coloured italian-style town of Menton on the Med Sea

    • Extra walk option : Add an extra walk to Gorbio ! 

    • Choose your type of accommodation,  extra walks, etc .. Click on BOOK
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    • Genuine mountain villages surrounded by the Alps mountains
    • The mixed influences of Italian and French culture
    • The magnificent perched village of Sainte Agnès
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    Walking the Southern Alps to the French Riviera: short and sweet
        • France - French Riviera
        • 2 adults (2x555€)
        • 0 children (0x555€)
      • 5 days
      • Simple
    Total 1110€
    Deposit 360€
    Book now !