Coastal Walks Near Nice Along the French Riviera
Whether you arrived in Nice, France, by air, train, ship, or car, why not stretch your legs with a walk along the coastline? Generally, the following seaside walks are moderate and not too strenuous. Your reward with little effort is a collection of fabulous vistas.
Coastal Walks Near Nice
Maps and other information are available at the Tourism Office in Nice. The trails are maintained and signposted. However, wearing closed-toed shoes and following the safety instructions is advisable before walking along the coasts or climbing hills. Some paths have steep sections. Also, check the weather conditions carefully before venturing along the coastline, as the surf is sometimes rough.
In 1792, the costal Chemin des Douaniers was born out of the French Revolution. Customs sentry points were established along the Mediterranean coastline from Sainte Maries de la Mer in the Camargue to Menton on the Italian border. Many of these trails still exist, providing terrific coastal walking paths.
Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer
The metropolis of Nice is on the other side of Mont Boron from Villefranche-sur-Mer, a small commune that feels like a town on Italy’s Amalfi coast. Begin your walk at Jardin Félix Rainaud near the famous la Réserve and Plongoir restaurants and head east. Once you pass Cap de Nice, look for a steep set of stairs that will take you to the Basse Corniche, where you will rejoin the trail. From this point to the Lazaret area of Villefranche, enjoy the view with a few elevation changes. The walk is about 6 km (3.7 miles) and should take approximately two (2) hours.
Walk Around Cap Ferrat
Take the train to Beaulieu-sur Mer and walk the Tour du Cap around the Saint Jean Cap Ferrat peninsula. The Cap has a reputation as the home of the rich and famous, but this verdant headland also provides shelter for the Villefranche waterfront and sandy Plage des Marinières. Your destination is the pedestrian pathway that winds around almost the entire Cap. This pathway hugs the Mediterranean, and along the way, you pass a few public beaches and get glimpses of private villas and the stunning Grand Hôtel du Cap (a Four Seasons property). If time permits, stop at Villa Ephrussi de Rothchild to look at this exquisite mansion and its remarkable garden. This walk is roughly 5 km and should take about 1h30.
Explore Cap d’Ail
Walking from Nice to Cap d’Ail is long, at close to 18km, depending on your starting point, and not flat. As a result, many people wishing to explore the Cap d’Ail commune to the west of Monaco take the train to Monaco or Gare de Cap d’Ail and explore the coastal walk (3.5 km) from there. The walk is flat, and swimming is possible at either end’s beaches Mala and Marquet (closest to Monaco).
Eze Walk to the Sea
Take the train to Eze-sur-Mer. A steep hiking trail, the Friedrich-Nietzsche pathway connects seaside Eze to the perched town of Eze. The path is just over two kilometres long, and while descent takes roughly 45-minutes, the climb can take double that amount of time. Therefore, we recommend good walking shoes, water and a decent fitness level.
Walk up to Château de Nice
The Colline du Château (the Castle’s Hill) is a prominent landscape feature from Vieux Nice, the Baie des Anges and the Port de Nice. So why not climb this natural site and discover the medieval castle and Cimetière du Château (cemetery) with its 2800 ornately decorated gravesites? There are several ways to walk up to the top of the hill. You won’t regret the climb once you see the views.
Stroll the Promenade des Anglais
Promenade des Anglais is the celebrated 7 km coastal boulevard between the sea and palm trees that offers superb views of the Bay of Nice and gives the city its unique identity. The openness and long span of the uninterrupted path provide a sense of freedom and space in the urban centre. Many great artists remain fascinated by this unique panoramic footpath, from the great colourists Matisse and Dufy to contemporary photographers and visual artists. The history of the Promenade des Anglais dates back to the 19th century. At that time, many European aristocrats had chosen Nice as their privileged sun holiday of choice during the winter period. The arrival of the upper class, mainly from England, significantly contributed to the economic development and the improvement of the infrastructure and reputation of the city. Continue reading about Promenade des Anglais here.
Nice Nature Walk
Located between a commercial shopping centre and the Aéroport Nice Côte d’Azur is a protected 583-hectare watershed complete with migratory birds and other wildlife. Le Parc Départemental des Rives du Var has pathways for walking and cycling with interpretative panels at various points.