The Great Outdoors

The region really lends itself to great outdoor holidays; particularly accessible for all levels of fitness are the hiking opportunities. At the villa we keep a set of guides produced by the local regional authorities. We also provide you with a 1:25000 map.

There are editions for walks in the coastal area (Rando Pays Côtier), inland (Rando Moyen Pays) and the higher hills (Rando Haut Pays). The books have marked maps and descriptions of the walks and details on how to reach the start (in French only).

The trails are categorised as follows:

  • GR (Grand Randonnée): Registered hiking trails that often run across the entire country
  • GRP (Sentiers de Grande Randonnée de Pays): Registered regional trails that will take you around a particular region for several days
  • PR (Sentiers de Promenade): Walking and hiking trails for short circuits, lasting several hours

Coastal walks

Stunning coastal paths provide easy walks in idyllic Mediterranean environment, where cacti, pine trees, bougainvillea and citrus trees all flourish thanks to the temperate climate. We can highly recommend walks along the Cap d’Antibes and Cap Ferrat. For a more challenging expedition, start at the coast level and walk up to a perched village like Eze or into the Esterel hills above Mandelieu/Theole sur Mer.

Hill and Mountain hikes

80% of the region is mountainous with six of the mountain peaks higher than 3000m, so great hiking terrain all year round (with skiing possibilities from December to April). The sea is less than 40 Km from the highest peak of the region, so again the region (and you!) really benefits from a temperate climate.

Here are some of our recommendations:

The Mercantour National Park

This nature reserve was established in the northern reaches of the Riviera in 1979. It has an area of 68,000 hectares. The 2 primary functions of the park are the protection of existing rare flora and fauna species and the re-introduction of others. Consequently, cars and mountain bikes are prohibited in most parts of the park.

The Mercantour Administrative office provides information on a multitude of guided sports activities organised along the rivers, valleys, slopes and rock faces of this park.

  • Tel: 04 93 16 78 88
  • Fax: 04 93 88 79 05

The Massif de l’Esterel

The Massif de l’Esterel lies between Cannes and Saint Raphaël, it’s an ancient mountain range of rugged, reddish rocks which are in stark contrast with the azur blue sea. The natural vegetation consists mostly of hardy shrubs of juniper, lavender, rosemary, wild thyme and heather as well as evergreen oaks. With spectacular panoramic views and a sense of unspoilt nature despite its proximity to Cannes, this really is a wonderful hiking area to discover.

Arriere Pays Grassois

This is the area surrounding Grasse, there are many trails to follow; here are two of our favorites:


Mountaineering & Rock-climbing

There are many climbs in the region. The best facilities for mountaineering are in the Mercantour. Rock-climbing faces vary in surface and grade and there is a climb to suit all abilities, particularly in the foothills of the Alpes and the Roya Valley, and the coastal hills for beginners or training.

Information (in French) is available on the grade, training options and availability of guides from:

Via Ferrata

For Via Ferrata climbing, a rock face is permanently rigged with rungs and cables. This enhances safety in the climb and makes the sport accessible to the less experienced climber.

The mountains of the Alpes-Maritimes have 8 Via Ferrata climbs with departure points at Puget-Théniers, Auron, La Colmiane, Lantosque, Tende, La Brigue, Peille and La Moulière. The website RandOxygène has details of all the Via Ferrata itineraries in the region.

Please be aware that despite the 320 days’ sunshine a year on the French Riviera, it is essential to always have up-to-date weather information as the meteorological conditions can change rapidly and dramatically, particularly in mountainous areas. 

Go to Top