Hidden pathways on the french Riviera
5 days walking tour from Vence
Day 1: Arrival and transfer to Vence
Welcome by our guide at Nice airport or railway station and transfer by coach to Vence. Vence, the city of arts that has attracted many great painters, including Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall. The Rosaire Chapel, built by Matisse outside of town, is a must-see. The old town is full of charm: the Peyra square with its adorable fountain, art galleries, restaurants and cafés decorate the quaint little streets. Check-in at the hotel. Dinner in a restaurant in the old town, overnight in Vence.
Day 2 : Vence, Saint-Jeannet, Tourrettes sur Loup, Vence - Climb: 400 m, walk approx. 3½ hrs
A few kilometres away from Vence is Saint Jeannet's so-called "Baou", an impressive, 400m high limestone rock cliff. On the way up, we enjoy dreamy views over the Nice coastal area. Walk on the "Riviera’s balcony paths". Thyme, rosemary and herb savours recall the scents of Provence…Picnic on the Baou. In the afternoon, we visit the picturesque artists' village of Tourrettes-sur-Loup, still a centre for active craftwork... Return to Vence. Dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Promontories around Grasse - Climb : 250 m, walk approx. 4 hrs.
Drive to Grasse, world centre of the perfume industry, and start of the famed Route Napoléon. Today’s walk brings us over paths used by cattle herds en route to and from Alpine pastures, up to the archaeological site of “Oppidum de la Malle”, a fortified encampment built from stone blocks and dating back to centuries B.C. During the picnic, the view over nature's finest landscapes topped with typical provençal dry stone cottages is beautiful. We continue by bus to Gourdon, a perched village at an altitude of 650 meters. From there, we walk down the "Paradise way” which, for centuries, was the only access road to the village and overlooks a fabulous panorama. Dinner and overnight in Vence.
Day 4: Colours of the Esterel - Climb: 150 m, walk approx. 5 hrs.
Drive along the coastal road to Cannes and the Esterel Mountains, an impressive geological anomaly on the Cote d'Azur. Our morning walk follows the wild, romantic seaside path, with its jewel-like contrasts between the colours of the red rocks and the green vegetation. During the picnic break, you may like to have a swim. In the afternoon, we will walk through the woods up to a scenic lake surrounded by cork oaks, heather and strawberry trees. Return to Vence for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Vence , Saint Paul - Climb : 150 m, walk approx. 2 hrs.
Free time in Vence for a discovery of the town or walk to the village of St Paul. Visit the village on your own: As you arrive in town, you will come to the famous boules square that was immortalised by Lino Ventura and Yves Montand: a very lively place with a café and terrace. The old walled village has beautiful medieval architecture:ramparts, lovely stone houses, narrow cobble-stoned streets, charming fountains … Saint-Paul-de-Vence has always been a magnet for artists and houses many art galleries, as well as the renowned Maeght Foundation – a modern art centre (visit at your convenience). Dinner and overnight in Vence.
Day 6: Departure
Transfer by coach to Nice airport or railway station.
- 5 nights hotel accommodation and breakfast in a good middleclass hotel in Vence, rooms with private facilities
- 5 diners – 3 courses, drinks not included
- 3 picnic lunches
- Professional english-speaking mountain guide for 3 days
- All transfers and bag transportation
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+ 33 (0)4 93 58 79 00
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