Cote dAzur Tour
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Cote d’Azur & the Perched Villages.


8 days / 7 nights

May 15-22 / Oct 2-9 / 2011


The noble French Riviera from Menton to Nice

Where do you start when describing the Côte d’Azur? The narrow winding streets of Nice’s old town, the beautiful blue sea, the fabulous light that inspired Chagall, Picasso, Matisse, Cocteau and Renoir to live and work in the area? Add to this the romance of hill towns perched high above the coast, the Corniche roads, a sprinkling of Roman remains, villas of the rich and famous, beautiful gardens, and you have the ingredients for a perfect holiday.


Day 1: Meet and greet

Gather in the resort town of Menton, renowned for its medieval history and sweet-smelling citrus orchards. Our charming Hotel Royal Westminster enjoys a unique location facing the beaches and the sea in the city center.
A typical 19th century ’belle-époque’ palace, offering very elegant accommodation and delicious cuisine provençal (6 nights).
menton
Day 2: MENTON ‘the Pearl of the French Riviera’

Menton, a town of artistic interest nestled between the Mediterranean and the mountains, only a stone’s throw from the Italian border. Sun-drenched all year round, this heaven of peace was a paradise for botanists in the 19 th century, as evidenced by the town’s seven exceptional gardens. Accompanied by a local expert, this town makes the perfect setting to start our Provençal experience: walk the rural background, stroll through the medieval center with its baroque church of St.Michel, visit one of the beautiful gardens, interrupted by a delicious lunch sampling some of the region’s specialties.

Walking-time approx.3-4 hours


Day 3: from SAINTE-AGNÈS to LA TURBIE

From Sainte-Agnès, Europe’s highest littoral town, we trace along the Balcons de la Côte d’Azur, an inland route with astonishing views over the coastline, connecting the ancient perched villages. There is always time to enjoy a café au lait at the tiny medieval village of Gorbio before ascending to Mont Gros, an excellent place for a picnic, with an outstanding aerial view of Monaco’s sea of houses below. Finally reaching La Turbie, we’ll be welcomed by the Tropaeum Alpium, a gigantic monument built in 6 BC by Roman emperor Augustus, commemorating the conquest of the Alps.
Sainte Agnes

cap martin

Easy to moderate, with an ascent and descent of ca. 500 m; length of ca. 12 km; walking-time approx. 4 - 4 1/2 hours


Day 4: CAP MARTIN & MONACO

Leaving the hotel on foot, following the coastal path of Cap Martin, graced with palm trees, sub-tropical flowers and beautiful sweeping views of the Mediterranean, we head towards today’s destination – the principality of Monaco, passing by some fine examples of belle-époque villas.

Enjoy the afternoon exploring this glamorous city on a guided walk, featuring the Prince’s palace and cathedral -both part of the old fortified town, Monte Carlo’s famous Casino, the harbor, and more.

casino monte carlo

Easy, length of ca. 9 km; walking time approx. 3 1/2 - 4 hours


Day 5: ÉZE - ‘the Peak of the Côte d’Azur’


Nestled high on top of a steep cliff, Èze is one of the most charming of Provence’s perched villages. Starting at the coast we’ll wind up an old mule track, today known as sentier Nietzsche, named after the philosopher who enjoyed walking this footpath. Eventually reaching the highest spot of this enchanting place, we will be rewarded with a tremendously dramatic sight of the Riviera.

Spending time exploring the old town’s narrow and winding cobbled-stone lanes, you will be overwhelmed by all the beauty surrounding you.

EZE

EZE After lunch an alternative hike calls for 'Mont Bastide', a small mountain above the village with outstanding few, descending to Col d'Eze, from where the local bus returns to Eze and further on.
(If too tired, one can spend more time in Eze and the perfumery )




Moderate with an ascent of ca.400 -500 m; ca. 3 -6 km; walking-time approx. 2.5-4 hours




Day 6: CAP FERRAT

The charm of this forested peninsula has always attracted the rich and famous, who where drawn by the light, the peace, the views of sea and craggy Provençal coastline, and the azur waters all around.
As you stroll along its coastal footpaths, which reveal tantalizing glimpses of grand villas and gardens, you always expect to bump into David Niven, Somerset Maughan or Charly Chaplin –all of whom once had homes here.

Starting at the edge of Beaulieu, the scent of honeysuckle and oleander perfumes the way heading forward to the quaint village of St-Jean. Continuing our pleasant walk surrounding Cup Ferrat, you’ll love the wildest and most remote part of the sentier touristique, stretching from the lighthouse to the beach of Plage de Passable.

You are invited for a delicious picnic on the shore before returning back to Menton by train.
st jean - cap ferrat

Easy ; ca. 13 km; walking time approx. 4 hours


Day 7: NICE ‘The Gem of the Riviera’

Get ready for a day of learning, laughing and eating as you prepare your own provençal feast as you indulge in the French Mediterranean lifestyle for a day in the atmospheric Old town of Nice. Start off with an introductory guided tour of the old quarters discovering the charm of the narrow streets lined with painted facades, baroque churches and busy colorful markets.
nice Here on Cours Saleya, accompanied by a local chef -decorated with one Michelin star, we pick the freshest products prepared for us on a cooking demonstration à la provençal. After this memorable lunch, embark on an afternoon walk to the Chateau hill with amazing views along the Bay of the Angels and across the Maritime Alps.
At days end settle into your historic Hotel Vendôme -a converted Russian palace, located in Nice’s city-center (1 night).

City walk: walking-time approx.3 hours -sneakers acceptable -



Day 8: departure

Our unforgettable journey will conclude after breakfast and we have to bid adieu to our fellow walkers and wave au revoir to the Côte d’Azur.

cap martin menton


Cote d’Azur & the Perched Villages.



Map coming
Level of walking: 2-3 Easy to moderate, on some days undulating terrain with steeper sections; varied paths including some that are narrow and rocky; slippery when wet.
- Shorter versions possible -
Please note: Itinerary can be changed by the guide on spot due to unforeseen circumstances like weather, etc.


Special price (group size min.6-8 pax)
1.900 EURO per person (based on two people sharing a room)
+210 EURO single supplement



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Please read about our conditions and general informations on the special pages, accessable via the navigation on the left side.

This tour includes

- Daily country walks averaging 4-7 miles

- A group size of 4 - 10 participants

- Fine lodging that exemplify the character and charm of the region and
include private bathroom facilities + free use of the Hotel's Spa facilities

- Full breakfast daily and dinner incl. tablewater and a glass of local wine

- Services and expertise of a professional, English-speaking leader
throughout the trip

- Services of local guest experts on scheduled events

- Admissions to schedule sites

- All ground transportation, including boats, trains, etc. during the trip


Not included:

- Flights and travel insurance

- Transport to/and from the starting/end point

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