Self-Guided Walks and Hikes around Nice
There are many stunning (and easy) seaside walks you can do on your own… just look for the signs ‘sentier du littoral’ which means coastal walking path.
This is just an overview, but for the best site in English go to EasyHiker for specific itineraries, photos, and lots of inspiration! The Blue Walk even offers vacation packages designed entirely around walking the Riviera!
Cap de Nice
From the Nice Port, there is an accessible seaside walks around the Cap de Nice. From the the far end of the Port take the little stairway up to the road and then continue around, and start looking for those little stairways and signs. It is a gorgeous seaside walk with the footpath carved into the cliffs and with little wooden footbridges, and it ultimately dead ends, taking around 45 minutes there and back. Wear sturdy shoes and bring water and a towel.
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is and easy bus ride away on bus #15 and is famous for its spectacular walks (2 easy, one harder).
- Easiest walk: Get off at the Pont Saint-Jean stop and just walk down to your left to the Royal Riviera Hotel beach and you will see the start of the path right away. It’s a marvelous 20-minute stroll into town on the flat and paved footpath, with fabulous views on one side and peeks into millionaire’s villas on the other. You will pass by David Niven’s former home, a rose-hued villa marked with a plaque, and shortly thereafter to arrive to the town.
- Still pretty easy: Just past the town you will see Paloma beach, and from the farend of the beach you can pick up the trail (looking for the sign ‘sentier du littoral’ ) to do one of the most magnificent walks on the coast: an easy loop around the windswept cape with peeks into hidden estates that can only seen from the sea. After about 30 fabulous minutes you will see a sign to return to Saint Jean.
- The harder walk is to continue the rest of the way around the point, a 10k hike on a trail that gets a bit more rugged with lots of ups and downs, but you will be rewarded with secluded pristine beaches and stunning views back on the bay of pastel-hued Villefranche-sur-mer. You will need good shoes, a hat and water, as this trail gets full sun in the afternoon.
Another famous walk is the Cap d’Antibes. Take the train to Juan-les-Pins to take a scenic walk on the paved path around the windswept Cap d’Antibes peninsula to the fine-sanded public Plage des Ondes, or continue all they way around the point to the high-roller La Garoupe beach near the famous Eden Roc hotel, where F. Scott Fitzgerald used to summer and set his book Tender is the Night.
Mandelieu to Theole-sur-Mer
The newest trail to be completed, from the town of Mandelieu to the pointe de l’Aiguille, which is possibly the most beautiful beach on the Riviera, and just below the village Theole-sur-Mer. Take the train to Mandelieu, and you can take the train back from Theole at the end.
You can explore those two islands just off Cannes: Eucalyptus-forested Sainte-Marguerite with miles of trails, or smaller Saint-Honore with its vineyards and monastery, both with the added plus of a boat ride! Here’s everything you need to know for a daytrip to the Islands
Coastal Walks that cross into Italy
You can also walk between counties on a scenic trail from Menton in France to Ventimiglia in Italy, or continue along the Italian coast between Ventimiglia and Bordighera on their superbly maintained bike/walking trails (6 kilometers/4 miles).
Easy Walks with Great Views
The City of Nice has an excellent page (in English) full of easy hikes with extraordinary views that are all simple to get to from Nice with public transportation.
More Challenging: Eze-sur-Mer to Eze-Village
Want a challenge? Take the train to Eze-sur-Mer and hike up to the perched walled Medieval fortress Eze-Village. It’s called the Chemin de Nietzsche and will take 3 hours round-trip for the 430 meter climb on ancient Roman steps and stone inlaid trail to the top. And once up there, what a view! Or better yet, bus up to Eze, spend the day, and then hike the trail back down… straight to the beach for a refreshing dip, and then take the train back to Nice!
Check out RivieraRambling, a terrific site in English dedicated to walking and hiking in the hills above the French Riviera. It suggest hiking circuits and details 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.
You can take the mountain trains to base your hike in numerous picturesque villages, or take the awesome bargain-priced rando bus which will take you up to the mountains in the morning and drive you back at the end of the day.
You can also pick up a free Hiking Guide (‘Rando guide’) from the Maison du Departement on the corner of the Prom and the tip of the Old Town; it is only in French but easy to figure out, with detailed circuits/itineraries for every walking/hiking level. The Nice tourist office also has great hiking guides RandoOxegene (only in French but with good maps and this one is downloadable online).
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