Walking the Southern Alps to the French Riviera: short and sweet
    • France - French Riviera
    • 6 days
    • Walking
    • Self-guided
      • From March to November
    • 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 mountain villages surrounded by the Alps mountains
  • The cultural mix of Italian and French influences
  • The lovely perched village of Sainte Agnes
  • 4 dinners & 3 picnics included
  • Ancient paths through forests and follow majestic olive groves
  • The coloured italian-style town of Menton on the Med Sea
  • Option walk : 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).
  • Only for the BB Chapelle st Gervais : transfer from the train station to the BB ( that is located out of town ) 
  • 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 Sospel
  • 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 - From Breil to Sospel, via Italy

  • Walk - Breil sur Roya > Sospel - 5h30 - 15 km / 9 miles - Ascent: +600 m / Descent: -550 m
  • Short transfer to Breil. You leave Breil sur Roya by foot, giving you a wonderful panorama of the valley. There are two choices in paths above the village and we’ve chosen the one less travelled, following abandoned stone terraces, now dotted with olive trees. You 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 to the town of Sospel. Sospel is a genuine and medieval mountain town with a n old stone toll bridge crossing the Brévera river.
  • Night in Sospel. 
  • MEALS included: Breakfast & Dinner

  • Breil sur Roya: market on Tuesday & Thursday morning

Day 3 - 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
    • Picnic included 
    • 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 & Picnic & 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 - A walk to Gorbio or Baudon mountain

  • Picnic included
  • Sainte Agnès > Cime de Baudon > Menton
    4 hours 30 - 14km / 8.7 miles - Ascent: +600 m / Descent: -600 m
    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.
  • Night in Sainte Agnès
  • MEALS included: Breakfast & Picnic & Dinner

Day 5 - Down to Menton by the Med sea !

sainte agnes menton

  • Walk - Saint Agnes > Menton 
    4h30 - 14km - Ascent: +250 m / Descent: -950 m
  • Picnic included
  • From Saint Agnes, you walk down to the village of Castellar. With its quiet streets, sole grocery store, bar and two restaurants, it is a last bastion of tranquility before arriving on the Riviera. From Castellar you find an old path winding down, and soon you've reached a set of ancient steps set directly above the old village of Menton. Menton is rightfully listed as the prettiest town on the Riviera with colourful and very well restored homes, and with rich and interesting religious architecture. The microclimate around Menton, even more mild than the rest of the French Riviera, is favorable for growing citrus fruit. The local economy these days is based around high-end tourism, but the local lemons and lemon products are still to be found (including lemoncello).   
  • Free afternoon to discover the lovely coloured town of Menton, and to swim in the Med sea ! 
  • Night in Menton
  • MEALS included: Breakfast & Picnic

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

Day 6 - 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.
  • MEALS included: Breakfast 

  • Extra 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) 

  • 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

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  • Highlights of the trip

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  •   Accommodation choice :

      • Simple
      • Comfort
      • Charming
  • Highlights of the trip

    • Genuine mountain villages surrounded by the Alps mountains
    • The cultural mix of Italian and French influences
    • The lovely perched village of Sainte Agnes
    • 4 dinners & 3 picnics included
    • Ancient paths through forests and follow majestic olive groves
    • The coloured italian-style town of Menton on the Med Sea
    • Option walk : 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
      • 6 days
    • Walking
    • Self-guided
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  •   Accommodation choice :

      • Simple
      • Charming
  • Highlight of the tour 

    • The lakes, mountains and rock carvings of the "Vallée des Merveilles"
    • A true Alpine experience 
    • The cosy "Chamois d'Or" hotel: an unforgettable experience
    • 3 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
    • Walks on centuries old paths in some outstandingly beautiful valleys 



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

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

      • Simple
      • Comfort
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  • Highlights of your walk in the French Riviera

    • Authentic villages nestled in deep wooded valleys, surrounded by high mountains
    • The cultural mesh of Italian and French influences
    • The lost village of La Brigue, on the Italian border
    • 4 dinners & 1 picnic included
    • The magnificent perched village of Sainte Agnès
    • The coloured italian-style town of Menton on the Mediterranean Sea

    • 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 

    Walking the Southern Alps to the French Riviera: short and sweet
        • France - French Riviera
        • 2 adults (2x870€)
        • 0 children (0x870€)
      • 6 days
      • Simple
    Total 1740€
    Deposit 580€
    Book now !