5 days

  Timeless villages nestled in wooded valleys, surrounded by high mountains

  Sweet Sospel, with it’s medieval buildings renovated in the traditional pink and yellow colours of Liguria

  A fascinating cultural mix of Italian and French influences

  The beautiful perched village of Sainte Agnès

  The pretty “Italian style” town of Menton on the Mediterranean Sea

Hiking the Alpes Maritimes

Self-guided walking holiday from the Southern Alps to the Mediterranean

Behind the French Riviera’s glitz and glamour, the southern Alps rise dramatically and are home to a back country of timeless villages, nestled in lush valleys and nesting atop rocky crags. The ancient paths wind their way through lush forests and majestic olive groves. Perched high above the sea, the views are truly breath-taking. The centuries-old footpaths eventually lead you back down to the shimmering Mediterranean and to the colourful Italian-style coastal town of Menton, one of the prettiest villages on the Côte d’Azur.

A longer version of this trip is available here.

5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS From €870 per person sharing*

*Discounts available for groups of 4 or more. Please enquire for prices.
*A high season supplement will apply from 1 April to 30 September.
*A single supplement charge will apply for solo walkers.

ACCOMMODATION In charming hotels/guesthouses on a bed & breakfast basis. All rooms are en-suite.
The standard hotels of this trip are listed below. If a hotel is fully booked, then we will book a similar one for you and inform you about the alternative booked.

*Accommodation in Sainte Agnès is in a very simple accommodation with modest rooms and basic facilities but a very nice terrace restaurant overlooking the valley.

You can also book additional nights at any of the hotels along the way.

AVAILABILITY You can start your trip on any day of the week (subject to availability) from March 1st to November 15th.

This trip is not available during the week of the Monaco Grand Prix

4 nights in selected hotels with en suite facilities
4 Breakfasts
3 Dinners on days 1, 2 and 3
Luggage transfers days 2 to 4
Day 1: Transfer from Sospel station to your accommodation
Day 2: Taxi transfer to start of walk in Breil-sur-Roya
Day 3: Taxi transfer to start of walk at the Castillon pass
Day 4: Taxi transfer to start of walk in Castellar
Road Book with detailed walking itineraries &  highlighted maps
GPS tracks
24/7 telephone support
Flights & travel insurance
Lunches & dinners, if not otherwise stated
Transportation to Sospel (easy access by train from Nice)
Transportation from Menton on day 5  (easy access by train)
Anything else not mentioned in the “included” section
Additional nights before, during or after the walk
Single Room Supplement(s)
DIFFICULTY This trip is suitable for people who are used to regular and sustained exercise (whether walking, cycling, aerobics, etc.) and who can handle walking uphill (slowly) for up to 2 hours at a time. Walks are generally under 5 hours, on various types of terrain – though nothing technically difficult – with up to 600 m of climbing per day.

Day 1: Arrival in Sospel

Arrival on your own by train from Nice to Sospel, an authentic medieval mountain town with an old stone toll bridge crossing the Brévera river.

A transfer is included to take you to your accommodation, which is a charming countryside guesthouse 2 km from the village centre. You can relax with a chilled drink and enjoy the magnificent mountain views from the south-facing terrace.

Overnight: La Chapelle Saint Gervais, Sospel (dinner included).


Day 2: Breil sur Roya to Sospel

Distance: 15 km | Ascent: 600 m | Descent: 550 m | 5½ hrs approx.

After breakfast, a short taxi transfer is arranged to take you to the start of your walk. Nestled along the banks of the river Roya, your walking holiday begins in the picturesque town of Breil-sur-Roya, far from the bustle of the coastline. You’re surrounded by lush mountains in a place where time seems to be at a standstill. The town is shaped like a crescent along the waters, with colourful cobbled streets. The town has Italian, as well as French influences. You’ll hear both languages spoken and notice the influence of both cultures in the town’s architecture and food.

Your first day’s walking takes you across the border into Italy, before returning to France. As you walk from Breil-sur-Roya you will enjoy a wonderful panoramic view 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. You will reach the stunning ghost town of Piène Haute, more Italian than French, perched high 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.

Overnight: La Chapelle Saint Gervais, Sospel (dinner included).


Day 3: Sospel to Sainte Agnès

Distance: 10 km | Ascent: 550 m | Descent: 550 m | 4 hrs approx.

A short taxi transfer this morning takes you to the start of your walk. After a gradual climb through a scenic beech forest, the summit of Mont Ours eventually appears. Now, standing at well over 1000m above the sea in the southern Alps, the Mediterranean is revealed before you in all its majesty. You finally reach the perched village of Sainte Agnès, listed among the most beautiful villages in France and – set at 800 m altitude – the highest coastal village in Europe.

Overnight: Sainte Agnès with dinner included


Day 4: Castellar to Menton

Distance: 7 km | Ascent: 270 m | Descent: 450 m | 2 hrs approx.

A short morning transfer will take you to the start of your walk in Castellar. Castellar offers quaint streets and charming restaurants. Your path leads you to the heart of the town of Menton, the prettiest town on the French Riviera with its labyrinth of colourful streets and with several architectural treasures

Overnight: Menton


Day 5: End of the trip in Menton

Your trip ends this morning after breakfast. Au revoir…!

We would highly recommend booking and extra night in Menton as there is lots to see and do in this pretty Mediterranean town. Don’t forget to check out the town’s markets before you go. There is a covered market every morning, on Tuesday morning on Carei Square, and on Saturday morning a fish market at the port.

From Menton there are regular trains along the coast to Nice.

Getting to Sospel

  The closest airport is Nice Côte d’Azur Airport.
Sospel is easily reachable by train from Nice. You can check train timetables on the following web site : http://www.ter.sncf.com/paca

Departure from Menton

There is a regular train line from Menton to Nice.
Sainte Agnes village on the French Riviera
Breil sur Roya
Pretty flowers in the Alpes Maritimes, Sospel
Hiking in the Alpes Maritimes
Hiking in the Alpes Maritimes
View of the Alpes Maritimes in Sospel
Riverside walking path in Sospel
Place Saint-Michel, Sospel
Saint-Michel Cathedral, Sospel
Boulangerie, French Riviera
Chapelle Saint Gervais, Sospel
Hiking on Mont Ours, between Sospel and Sainte-Agnes
Hiking on Mont Ours towards Sainte-Agnes
Chapel in Sainte Agnes
Hiking to Sainte Agnes
Fresh vegetables in Sainte Agnes
The pretty perched village of Saint-Agnes on the French Riviera
Riviera picnic
Clouds in the valley, Sainte-Agnes
View of the surrounding mountains above Sainte Agnes
Mountains in the Alpes Maritimes, Above Menton
View over the Cote d'Azur
Menton on the French Riviera
The pretty seaside town of Menton on the Cote d'Azur

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