Menton, Maritime Alpes, France

Walking the French Riviera Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group
Destinations:
France
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TEK
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
16 Min age

Trip Overview

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.

At a Glance

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

Trip Highlights

  • Hotel in the heart of the Cote d'Azur
  • Coastal paths and mountain walks
  • Colourful mountain villages

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.

Group

Throughout the week you will be accompanied by a local French leader, although they will not be staying in the hotel they will coordinate the airport transfers, guide all walks and will join the group for a farewell dinner in the hotel at the end of the week.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
5
Max group size:
15

Itinerary

The French Riviera

Land Only 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, passing through the pretty cliff-side village of Roquebrune Cap Martin

    Today we discover the region. Starting from the hotel we walk around the beautiful Cap Martin Peninsula, passing through the cliff-side village of Roquebrune Cap Martin. Located between Menton and Monaco it enjoys spectacular views the Mediterranean sea. An old village dominated by a charming 10th century fort, it's narrow, stepped streets, deep vaulted passages are perfect to explore on foot.

    Walk: Distance 12 km Ascent 350 m Descent 350 m Time: 4 to 5 hours

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 12 km / 7 miles
  • Day 3

    Head by bus inland to Sospel; walk to the border of the Mercantour N.P; return to Menton by bus

    We begin our day by bus, taking a 45 minute journey to Sospel. With the feel of a mountain town it is a peaceful village located very near to the Italian border and was once an important staging post on the royal road from Nice to Turin. Its cobbled streets, gothic houses and baroque cathedral make a picturesque starting point from which to begin our walk. From here we enjoy a walk at the border of the Mercantour National Park before heading back to our hotel by bus where we can enjoy an aperitif on the sun terrace or perhaps a stroll along the coastal path before dinner.

    Walk: Distance 9 km Ascent 460 m Descent 460 m Time: 5 to 6 hours

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 9 km / 5 miles
  • Day 4

    Monaco - Eze

    Today we take a train or bus to La Turbie via Monaco. From here we have impressive views down over the famous principality and begin our walk on to the village of Eze. A pretty little 14th century village, Eze is famous for its production of clove and orange fruit. Built on a hill, it offers magnificent views of the coast.
    Walk: Distance 9 km Ascent 470 m Descent 775 m Time: 5 to 6 hours

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 9 km / 6 miles
  • Day 5

    Free Day

    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

    Bus to Castellar to explore; walk to the French-Italian border; descend to Menton

    Taking the public bus we reach the perched village of Castellar. Dating back to the 15th century, it is situated on the French Italian border and made up of winding cobbled streets, quaint shops and gives an insight into traditional mountain living. From here we walk up to the Italian border, those with the energy can walk all the way back to Menton whilst those looking for a more gentle day can hop on the public bus.

    Walk: Distance 13 km Ascent 180 m Descent 550 m Time: 5 to 6 hours

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
  • Day 7

    A short train ride to St Jean Cap Ferrat; follow coastal trails along limestone cliffs

    For our last walk of the week we will enjoy another coastal walk around Saint Jean Cap Ferrat. After a transfer by train, we will walk along one of the most beautiful Cap of the French Riviera. Along the route we will see beautifully tended gardens flourishing with a mix or flora and fauna as our track follows limestone cliffs and near along the shoreline. To finish the afternoon, we will have time to visit Villefranche sur Mer with its citadel of the XVI century and the Saint Pierre Chapel decorated by the famous French writer/cineaste Jean Cocteau.

    Walk: Distance 11 km Ascent 50 m Descent 50 m Time: 4 to 5 hours

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 11 km / 6 miles
  • Day 8

    End Menton

    After a relaxed breakfast we say our goodbyes.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotel Mediterranee

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.

Single supplement from £370.00

Food & Transport

Eating & 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).

Transportation

All transport mentioned in the itinerary is included, except for optional excursions or where a client may choose to curtail a group walk. Airport transfers will be by private coach and throughout the week public transport including buses and trains will be used.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

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.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

8 days, normally depart London Sat, return Sat

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London
We normally use the scheduled services of British Airways (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

UK Regional Flights
The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please visit www.exodus.co.uk/regionaldepartures for a useful overview of the options available, and contact our sales team for expert advice.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1½ hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Airport Transfers
Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving onany other flight, even if Exodus has booked it. Those arriving from London on non‐group flights should read the airport transfer section below for information on reaching the start point. Please check with the Exodus office.

Several low cost carriers fly to Nice. From the airport it is a simple journey to our hotel in Menton. If you are unable to arrive in time to join the group transfer you will need to take the public bus - number 99 from the airport to the centre of Nice and then take the train directly to Menton. The train station is conveniently located just a short walk from our hotel.

You can also take a bus directly from the airport to Menton (approx €20 one way). Please see here for further details:

http://uk.niceairportxpress.com/timetables.html

If you wish us to book a private transfer for you the cost will be approximately €90 one way for a taxi.

This Trip can be combined!

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 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.

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

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Menton
Location end:
Menton

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Traditional or lightweight walking boots with good ankle support and a strong sole.

Waterproof/windproof jacket (preferably Gortex) and over trousers.

A warm 2 season jacket or sweater/fleece.

Water containers or Thermos Flask to contain 2 litres of liquid. Day sack of 25/30 litre capacity.

Sun hat, sun screen and lip salve.

Tupperware/penknife for packed lunch.

We also advise using dry flow wicking clothing rather than cotton as it dries much quicker and is more comfortable when trekking.

Optional Equipment

Walking poles (useful for ascents/descents)

Swimwear

Reading List

The French Riviera and Monaco - Lonely Planet. 12th Edition.

Practical Information

Passport

France

Most nationalities, including British, require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

France

No visa required for British passport holders.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

France

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

France's Timezone:
Europe/Paris CEST (GMT +02:00)

Electricity

France's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

Money

France's Currency

The national currency of France is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (October 2017) of approximately 1.1 to the GBP,  0.84 to the USD, 0.67 to the CAD, 0.66 to the AUD and 0.59 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

We recommend you bring your spending money in cash, but credit or debit cards may be useful for shopping/extra excursions. Cash points are available in Nice and Menton.

Tipping

Although optional a tip for the walking leaders at the end of the trip is greatly appreciated. As a guideline we recommend a contribution of from €16 per client per leader. It is customary and appreciated to leave a small tip when eating/drinking in local cafes and restaurants.

Responsible Tourism

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… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

 

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.