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Walks & Gardens of the French Riviera

from $1,879.00

Enjoy picturesque coastal paths of France

  • Reviews 9 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Leisurely / Moderate
  • Group Size Small Group
    5 - 15
All about the Walks & Gardens of the French Riviera.

Located on the Franco-Italian border, on the edge of the warm Mediterranean sea, Menton is a delight for any visitor. It is easy to see how it earned its nickname ‘The Pearl of France,’ combining a city of gardens, seaport, beach resort and a paradise for hikers all rolled into one! With the Alpine chain dropping into the sea at the level of French/Italian border, it is also an ideal location for an Exodus guided walking holiday. Many of the trails start directly from the town and gain altitude in a short distance, offering some of the finest views of the French Riviera.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* All breakfasts
* All accommodation
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Arrival & departure transfers (if meeting group timings)

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Hotel in the heart of the Cote d’Azur
  • Coastal paths and mountain walks
  • Colorful mountain villages
  • 7 nights comfortable hotel with en suite facilities
  • 5 days centre-based walking
  • Low altitude throughout
  • Altitude maximum 751m, average 350m

 

  1. Day 1 Start Menton

    Our start point is a comfortable 3-star hotel in Menton. Situated just a short stroll from the train station, beach and shops, it is ideally located for a week of centre-based walking. In the evening our guide will hold a welcome meeting to discuss the week ahead, give advice on the local area and answer any questions.

  2. Day 2 Walk to the Cap Martin Peninsula, visit Carnoles garden, bursting with colourful citrus trees; those that wish can explore the Palais Carnoles, an art museum with a priceless collection. 

    Today we discover the region. Starting from the hotel we stop at the local market where we discover local food ingredients, then we take the train or the public bus to Carnoles. From there we will start our walk around the beautiful Cap Martin Peninsula where we stop for picnic lunch. After lunch we will visit Carnoles Garden, originally surrounding the summer residence of the princes of Monaco. It is one of the notable gardens of France, known for its citrus trees.

  3. Day 3 Discover Eze; visit the Exotic Garden. Walk down the Nietzche path to join Eze plage. 

    We begin our day by taking the train for a 20 minute journey to Eze plage, and carry on by bus to Eze, a medieval village established in the 14th century, offering magnificent views over the coast. From there we will have the option to walk to Mont Bastide castle ruins to admire amazing views before we visit the Exotic Garden which is built 429 meters above sea level on the site of an ancient fortress. It is overlooking the Provencal hill village providing home for cacti, succulents, xerophytes and various Mediterranean species. After some free time in town we will walk down the Nietzsche path to join Eze plage.

  4. Day 4 Train or bus to Carnoles; Walk to Roquebune. Take the ferry shuttle to cross Monaco Harbour; Discover Monaco old town. 

    Today we take a train or bus to Carnoles followed by a walk to Roquebrune where we enjoy stunning views. Then we walk down to Monaco where we will take the ferry shuttle to cross Monaco harbour. We will discover Monaco’s old town with tiny streets and beautiful buildings as well as the Casino are before we take the train back to Menton.

  5. Day 5 Free day to explore Menton old town, take a trip to the chic principality of Monaco or visit one of the many exotic gardens in the area.

    On your free day you could choose to explore Menton old town. During the 19th century, the British and Russian aristocracy met here in fabulous palaces and villas. The architecture is stunning with the unique baroque style of the Saint-Michel and Conception squares as well as the Saint-Michel Basilica façade. Alternatively you could visit one or more of the 8 gardens of Menton or head further afield to Nice by train or bus and visit its renowned market as well as the ’Promenade des Anglais’. Monaco also has much to offer, particularly its exotic garden which is hanging over the ’Rocher’ giving a beautiful view over the city and the sea.

  6. Day 6 Train to Villefranche bay; walk to Cap Ferrat and to Saint Hospice peninsula. 

    This morning we take the train to Villefranche from where we will walk to the Gavinette point to admire the spectacular view of Villefranche bay. We will continue our walk to Cap Ferrat where we will be charmed by the beauty of Villa de Rotschild.

  7. Day 7 Optional visit to Serre de la Madone garden showcasing rare subtropical plants, followed by a visit to Sainte Agnes. 

    In the morning there will be an option to take the public bus to the Serre de la Madone garden for a visit (payable locally). In the morning we will take the public bus to the Serre de la Madone garden for a visit. Created by Sir Lawrence Johnston he turned terraces of vines and olives into a garden bright with drifts of agapanthus and strelitzia. After our visit, a private bus will collect and take us to the village of Sainte Agnès. High above Menton town, this village is registered as ”one of the most beautiful French villages”. It hides picturesque streets and artist studios. Perched at 800m of altitude, it offers a breath-taking view over the blue Mediterranean Sea. We then take the bus or walk back to the hotel.

  8. Day 8 End Menton

    After a relaxed breakfast we say our goodbyes.

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Where you stay

Hotel Mediterranee

Situated just a 3 minute walk from the sea while being in the heart of Menton, this comfortable hotel makes the perfect base for a week of walking. The hotel has a restaurant, a bar/lounge, 24 hour reception and a rooftop terrace with sun loungers. All rooms are en suite and come equipped with air conditioning, TV (with satellite channels), minibar, coffee maker and hair dryer. Underground parking is available at an extra cost and Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.

Single supplement available on request.

Eating and Drinking

7 breakfasts are included. There is a nearby supermarket and boulangerie to buy packed lunches and Menton brimming with restaurant choices for your evening meal. There is plenty of choice for all budgets and palletes, including traditional French cuisine, fresh seafood and delicious Italian restaurants (influenced by the proximity to the Italian border).

This trip is graded activity level 2 (Leisurely/Moderate).

Although the pace of the walks is leisurely and there is plenty of time to rest and enjoy the views, we place this itinerary at the tougher end of the leisurely/moderate scale due to several of the walks heading to or descending from hilltop villages. You should expect some ascent and descent and read the daily itinerary carefully. The terrain and type of path/track will vary from manmade paved tracks (which are occasionally rocky) to tarmac. All walks take between 4 and 6 hours including lunch stops and require a moderate level of fitness. Public transport can be subject to delays and seasonal timetables, so some waiting at bus stops should be expected.

All walks are optional and there is plenty to do in and around Menton should you wish to take extra days out of the walking itinerary. On some days walks may be shortened if you wish to take public transport (again this is dependent on the time of year), however please be aware this may be at your own expense and the leader will continue with the group (they will happily advise and ensure you know which bus or train you need to take).

All ascents, descents and distances listed below have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to
help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 12/12/2019
5/5

Fantastic trip

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trip combined local walking with using the areas transport system. It was lovely to explore on the local buses and trains and visit medieval villages in the hillsides. Having group lunches together overlooking a fantastic view of the riviera or a small hidden village was wonderful. Good team spirit in the group resulting in very chatty and lively group dinners.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Stephanie was absolutely fantastic from start to finish. She welcomed us with a smile and was friendly and encouraging to all throughout the trip. Her organisational skills were superb and she was keen to give choices on the walks if some of the group wanted to visit a particular location. Stephanie was very knowledgeable about the area and always willing to answer questions and give advice.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There was quite a lot of downhill walking, so worth practising if you don't like going downhill.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotel was in a lovely position on the seafront, very friendly but the rooms were quite small.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Beautiful Riviera

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Although I've joined the Ramblers, I'm not an experienced walker. It's a fantastic feeling at the top of the hill looking down onto the Riviera. Some of the slopes are quite steep but at the end of the holiday, having managed to keep up with everyone and no scrapes or injuries, I returned home with a great sense of achievement that money can't buy.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was excellent. I was travelling on my own and the flight was delayed. I made my way to Menton on the local bus where it was dark on arrival and I was so glad Stephanie came to meet me. On the walks, she was extremely helpful and gave lots of advice. She also explained well the local history of the area.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I went in September because I thought it would be cooler but it was still quite warm and you need to drink plenty of water. This is not a problem as the water is good to drink and there are plenty of public taps in all the local villages. The route is accurately described as rocky and you need walking boots rather than shoes. Also take a swimming costume as the beach is just across the road from the hotel.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I enjoyed sampling the local cheeses with hotel dinner and there is a small Carrefour near the hotel where you can buy some to take home. Instead of sandwiches, there is an excellent patisserie near the hotel where you can buy lovely quiche for lunch and it travels well in your backpack. Also the local honey is delicious and the soaps sold in the local market is a bargain. On the free day the basilica is worth a visit and the the Cocteau museum is a 'must do' and is just across the road from the hotel. Menton is very easy to find your way around and if you get lost just head for the promenade. There is a very reasonably priced and regular rail service to Monte Carlo or Nice if you want to go further afield on your free day.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Enjoyed every minute

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I was very pleased to make the steepest ascent and descent of 460 metres on tricky mountain Paths.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Stephanie was always cheerful and professional. I always felt confident as she guided us along many different paths and taught us how to negotiate some difficult terrain. The whole holiday was well organised, including evening dinners . A definite plus for solo travellers.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't hesitate to step outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself, at any age. Our ages ranges from mid 40's to late 60's . Despite a few aches and pains we all coped well. It is wise to train before hand, including walking up and down steps!
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I am looking forward to my next holiday and plan to do a slightly more challenging walk next time.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Walking The French Riviera 2017

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Repeated moments as walked up to 14km. in a day and was able to repeat this day after day willingly and relatively effortlessly - this was inspirational for future holidays of a similar nature
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was very capable - socialised and communicated well and we felt with her
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Use Exodus - take a fair quality camera - a sunhat and a good pair of stout shoes and UVA & B lotion factor 30-50 even in October
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A lovely location on The Riviera and a great time to go - it seemed like endless summer..

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Wonderful hiking trip, great guide Stephanie

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The hike to the Italain border in the hills Overlooking the great views of the sea and the French Riviera and Italy was beautiful and peaceful. Also the walks around Menton in early evening were very scenic.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was very good. Highly knowledgable and supportive. She had a fun sense of humour and lot's of Stories and history of about the area and the plant life.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Lot's of sunscreen and enjoying the lovely French countryside
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Overall, very good holiday.

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Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
June 6, 2020
Available
$1,949.00
N/A
September 12, 2020
Available
$2,049.00
N/A
October 10, 2020
Available
$1,949.00
N/A
May 8, 2021
Available
$1,879.00
N/A
June 5, 2021
Available
$2,049.00
N/A
August 28, 2021
Available
$2,099.00
N/A
September 11, 2021
Available
$2,099.00
N/A
September 25, 2021
Available
$2,049.00
N/A