Nice RandoBus for Hiking

Update 2021: Due to Tempête Alex, a huge storm this last winter that flooded much of the back country, many roads (not to mention hiking trails!) were washed away, so the RandoBuses are not going this year until everything can be built back and secured.

Hikers now have a ride up to the mountains: dedicated buses taking hikers up to several mountain villages in the Mercantour, for just 5€ each way so just 10€ round trip!

It’s a great service for those without a car, or even those with a car: with the RandoBus there is no parking hassle, no gas, no taking multiple cars for a group …plus you can meet new like-minded people on the way up, and nap on the way back to Nice!

Schedule:  The RandoBus runs every day through the end of August (then every weekend through September) and all buses leave from the train station.  You reserve your seat and pay for the ticket online, then print out a paper ticket to give to the driver.

Trails:  Once you arrive, head directly for the tourist office, where you can get trail maps and advice in English on choosing the best ‘piste‘ for you.  In general, French trails are well marked with ‘balises‘ placed just where you need them.

  • Valberg:  Bus 770 leaves from the Nice train station at 7:15am, arrives in Valberg at 9:10.  The return is at 5pm, arriving back in Nice at 7pm.
  • Saint Dalmas le Selvage:  Bus 740 leaves Vauban at 7:10, then picks up at the Nice train station, arriving in the mountains at 9:15am for your hike. Return is 4:45-7pm.
  • La Colmiane: Bus 730 leaves from Vauban at 7:15, then picks up at the Nice train station, arriving at at 9am. You can start your hike from there, or take one of two navettes that go even farther, to Boreon or Madone de Fenestre. The return is at 4:40pm, getting back to Nice at 6:40pm.

The Nice tourist office has great hiking guides RandoOxegene (only in French but with good maps and all downloadable online), but for English check out RivieraRambling, a terrific site dedicated to walking and hiking on the French Riviera.  Both suggest circuits and detail the well-marked trails from all the little mountain towns, so you can plan a hike that matches your abilities and go at your own speed.

The Cote d’Azur’s surrounding mountains and valleys are so picturesque, every time I go up I wonder why I don’t do it more often… and now it’s so easy there’s no excuse!

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