Menton, Maritime Alpes, France

Walks & Gardens of the French Riviera

8 days
from
CHF1’494
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4.7 / 5 from 17 reviews
Walking & Trekking
Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
TEK
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Group size:
5–15
Min age:
16

Coastal walking on the Cote d'Azur

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.

Highlights

• Centre based in the heart of the Côte d’Azur

• Coastal paths and mountain trails

• Beautiful gardens and picturesque mountain villages

Key information

  • 7 nights comfortable hotel with en suite facilities
  • 5 days centre-based walking
  • Low altitude throughout
  • Altitude maximum 751m, average 350m
  • Countries visited: France

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
056 631 86 64
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

5

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Approximately 4-6 hours walking per day

Terrain:

Low altitude; good paths, some rocky sections

Day by day breakdown
Day 27.0km/5.0miles
Day 36.0km/4.0miles
Day 48.0km/5.0miles
Day 69.0km/6.0miles
Day 73.0km/2.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • 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.

  • Day 2

    Walk to the Cap Martin Peninsula, visit Carnoles garden, bursting with colourful citrus trees

    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.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • 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.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Train or bus to Carnoles; walk to Roquebrune. 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.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • 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.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • 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.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • 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.
     

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    End Menton

    After a relaxed breakfast we say our goodbyes.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

France

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

In the itinerary we state which meals are included on each day (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).

Weather

The French Riviera enjoys a Mediterranean climate characterized by exceptional sunshine (nearly 300 days a year) and mild temperatures most of the year. Rainfall occurs mainly in March-April and October-November. Spring, from March to May, sees a high of 15°C in March, 17°C in April and 20°C in May. Light showers are fairly frequent. Summer, from June to September, enjoys long, hot days made pleasant by cooling sea breezes. The French Riviera sees an average high of 24°C in June, 27°C in July and 28°C August before dropping to 25°C in September. However, daytime temperatures often soar beyond 38°C. Seawater temperature peaks at 23°C in August. Autumn sees an average high temperature of 21°C in October.

Is this trip for you?

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).

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

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.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
056 631 86 64
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotel Mediterranee

Situated just a 3 minute walk from the sea whilst 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.

Call for general departures:
056 631 86 64
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
056 631 86 64
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed September 2018
    Tom Banfield

    Menton

    This was another delightful walking trip with a good group. The leader Jessica was born locally and is passionate about the history of her region, so that we now know all about the mountain paths along which the donkeys carried the salt over to Italy. Hotel Mediterranee is very comfortable, and close enough to the sea that we were able to have some lovely evening meals in a variety of French and Italian restaurants. on the front.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The exotic gardens at Eze, and the views over the coast.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Extremely friendly and well organised - goodness knows what she put in her huge back-pack each day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Not really - the Trip Notes are very accurate and say it all.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Already thinking about where to go next year...
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Jill Last

    Walking French riverra

    Excellent guide, Sandrine. Exodus must retain her!! Routes, excellent variety, interest and length. Good hotel. Below average breakfast. I had a very good room, but too much vegetation outside window!! Very good roof top bar. Good transport. Flights, don't like late day flights.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walks up high in on coastal hills, with views down to sea. Narrow hillside tracks, walking amongst special plants. WWII underground area at top of hill - sitting on top of a gun turret, eating lunch with a 360 deg view, reflecting! Being in and exploring the old towns Day in Monaco. Our guide Sandrine was inspirational in her enthusiasm and knowledge

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstanding - see above.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Embrace the situation and explore the differences!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Prefer earlier flight times No meals included and quite a pricey holiday
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Karen Todd

    Walking the French Riviera

    Stunning scenery. Walks a little slow as we stopped a lot to look at the flora but sufficiently challenging.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Views and visiting Eze which was optional at lunch stop. Medieval streets in small castle, very worth visiting.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very helpful, explained everything clearly each day, knew the area well and pointed out all the towns and bays etc.
  • Reviewed October 2017
    Bill Kerr

    Walking The French Riviera 2017

    Perfect break away - good capable leader - perfect hotel and wonderful location in Menton. We had a good week and walked to some super places. We enjoyed great meals out in the evening and altogether with the super October weather experienced a truely wonderful holiday

    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 June 2017
    Martha Beaumont

    Wonderful hiking trip, great guide Stephanie

    The trip was great, really nice group of people ands very knowledgable guide with a great sense of humour. The location was beautiful and the hikes very satisfying.

    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.
  • Reviewed October 2015
    Jonathan Boxhall

    La Cote d'Azur est tres belle

    This was my first walking holiday and I really enjoyed it. The Riviera is beautiful. The walks along the spectacular coastline, up in the hills and through the seemingly timeless villages were all excellent. It's hard to believe that some people live there all the time. The other people on the holiday were all nice and friendly, so I should not have worried before booking.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably Roquebrune but it was all good. On Saturday morning in Menton I saw Chris Froome, Tour de France winner.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sandrine is a great guide. She has lots of knowledge of the region, was always friendly and cheerful and was always well organised. I like her taste in coffee.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I got a few insect bites but insects love me, so others might have no problems.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Coming home was disappointing. No mountains, seaside or pain au chocolat.
  • Reviewed May 2015
    Louise Lake

    Enjoyed every minute

    My first solo walking holiday surpassed expectations. Every day was different. The walks varied from rocky steep mountain trails to flat coastal paths. The scenery was beautiful. The views of the Riviera from clifftops were spectacular. Wandering through quaint , quiet villages was a delight. An added bonus was the friendly company of everyone in the group and the laughter and different stories about life in other countries at dinner in local restaurants.

    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 April 2015
    Christine Middleton

    Walking the French Riviera

    A lovely holiday staying in Menton with the chance to visit Monaco and Italy on either side. Hotel was quiet and clean, very near the beach so always easy to locate. Some lovely walks with impressive views, and visits to picturesque old towns and villages.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Having packed lunch bought from the local bakers in Menton overlooking fabulous views in the sunshine

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Stephanie was excellent, she looked out for things of interest on the walk and gave us lots of information about the area. Exceptionally helpful and organised with very clear instructions when needed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would thoroughly recommend the trip, excellent walks and very good food in the many various restaurants in Menton. I went in April and the weather was lovely for the whole week, although raining on the day we left. I found the walks were generally moderate standard and a couple can be done in trainers, however a couple of tricky downhill parts on other walks so bring good walking gear too.
  • Reviewed November 2014
    Anonymous

    Walking the French Riviera

    Wonderful holiday in stunning scenery. Menton is an ideal place for a base - its so easy to visit other places on the Cote D Azur from here. There is a great train and bus service and within an hour you can be in Monaco, Nice or even Italy. The walks are great with some wonderful views of the hills and coastline.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the walk down to the charming village of Eze.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Stephanie was great - nothing was too much trouble. She was informative and had a wonderful sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go and enjoy!
  • Reviewed October 2014
    Margaret Watson

    Beautiful Riviera

    I wanted to try something different this year and this certainly ticks the box. It's a much better way to see the Riviera than a tour bus or cruise ship.

    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.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

With so much to see and do in the world we know how hard it is to settle just on one destination. That's why we have put together a handy guide of trips you are able to do back-to-back.

This trip aligns with most departures of the TEA: Highlights of Provence, TSC: Trails of Catalunya and TEH: Walks of the Cinque Terre & Portofino. To transfer between the 2 destinations:

TEK Nice (Menton) - TEA Marseille - For logistical ease we suggest you join the Provence trip first. You will then be able to join the return group transfer to Marseille airport from where you can take a bus (they run every 20 minutes) to the train station. From here you can take the train to Menton (the hotel is a short walk from the station). 
 
TEK Nice (Menton) - TEH Pisa (Moneglia) - You can take the train via Genova (approx 5hrs) to Moneglia.

TEK Nice - TSC Barcelona - Flights are direct between Nice and Barcelona. If you choose to do the TSC as your second trip there is a public bus from the Barcelona airport to the start point in Begur.

Please note: both departures need to guaranteed for these trip combinations to be confirmed.

If you are interested in combining this trip, please call us, email us or start a Live chat for further details.

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