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Self-Guided Walking the French Riviera
8 days
France - Trip code WSFR

Self-Guided Walking the French Riviera

Between Grasse and Menton, the inland paths overlooking the Mediterranean offer up an endless array of coastal panoramas and pass through a variety of scenic landscapes peppered with picturesque villages. This is the place where the steep foothills of the Alps meet the azure sea - a magnificent backdrop for a week of superb walking. Hike by steep gorges and tumbling waterfalls, enjoy the Riviera's mild climate and discover the region's characteristic flora including mimosa, box, yew and groves of orange, lemon and olive.

Trip highlights

  • Grasse - Enjoy the scent of the famed perfume village
  • Paradise Path - Scenic ascent to Gourdon for spectacular views
  • Dramatic, varied scenery - Deep gorges, waterfalls, river valleys and coastal views
  • French cuisine - Mouth-watering local delicacies and wines
  • Cote d'Azur - Walk from the mountians to the Mediterranean
Accommodation grade:
Standard
Our standard, mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service, often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en suite facilities.
Walking grade:
Moderate
For those who are fit and active, these moderate walks are normally on good paths and tracks at low altitude. Days may include some fairly demanding ascents and descents, so previous experience is preferable but not essential.

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Trip starts Grasse

You begin your journey in Grasse, the capital of fragrances. Depending on your arrival time you may wish to explore Grasse's old town, visit a perfumery or the Cathedral Notre Dame du Puy. This town is a true gem, up in the hills north of Nice with numerous ancient buildings and lots of character.

Accommodation: Hotel du Patti(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: None
Day 2 - Walk from Grasse to medieval Pont du Loup

Today's walk to Pont du Loup takes you by the Belvedere of Grasse and the beautiful medieval village of Bar sur Loup. Don't miss the St Jaques-le-Majeur church with its impressive altarpiece and the 'Danse Macabre' or 'Dance of the Dead', a painting dating from the 15th century. Bar sur Loup is perched on a rocky spur overlooking the Loup River valley and is the perfect location for lunch before walking down to the bottom of the valley, at the mouth of the Gorges du Loup. Pont du Loup is small but charming. The tall pillars of an old railway viaduct cross the valley here, towering above the buildings of the village. Today's 16km walk is expected to take about 6 hours and you will ascend 750m and descend 600m.

Accommodation: Auberge Des Gorges du Loup(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast and Dinner
Day 3 - Hike from Pont du Loup to Courmes

Today you will ascend on the so-called 'Paradise Path' up to the medieval village of Gourdon, at an altitude of 760 metres above the Mediterranean Sea. Along with its must-see 13th century castle, you can enjoy beautiful views overlooking Cannes and its surrounds. The path from here is breathtakingly carved into the cliff-face of Gorges du Loup and you pass through tunnels and over footbridges and an aqueduct to the village of Courmes, located right above a waterfall. Today's 14km walk is expected to take about 6 hours and you will ascend 795m and descend 350m.

Accommodation: Gite de La Cascade(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast and Dinner
Day 4 - Walk from Courmes to Vence

Following a scenic ascent from the Pic des Courmettes (1248m), you will find yourself looking out over a stunning view all the way from Nice to Mandelieu. You can see the Gorges du Loup, city of Cannes, and the Lerins islands, whilst in the background lie the mountains of the Alps and the Mercantour. From the edge of the Puy de Tourette, you will look out over to the limestone plateau of Caussols towards Vence, Cheiron and various villages. All along the descent towards Vence, you can admire the beautiful landscapes of the Mediterranean with its 'restanques' (terraces dating back to the 16th century). Your destination of Vence is a wonderfully quaint town with a beautiful 11th century cathedral. Today's 16km walk is expected to take about 4.5 hours and you will ascend 350m and descend 650m.

Accommodation: Hotel Victoire(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 5 - Vence to Saint- Jeannet

Today starts with a short a short taxi transfer to Coste Berarde. From here you cross the limestone plateau of the Plan de Noves to Saint-Jeannet, an extremely picturesque and authentic Provencal village perched on a ledge beneath the towering Baou de St Jeannet. You can hike up to the summit of the Baou (limestone escarpment) for a magnificent view out over the pink and yellow tiles of the village towards Nice, Antibes, the Baie des Anges (Angels Bay) and Estere. This stage is a personal favourite for many. Today's 15km walk is expected to take about 5 hours and you will ascend 600m and descend 750m.

Accommodation: The Frogs House(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 6 - Taxi to La Turbie then trek to Saint- Agnes

After a taxi transfer (40min) to La Turbie, you set off on your hike into the Var Valley. Walking on trails high above the Mediterranean, you'll enjoy superb views over Monaco, Roquebrune Cap Martin and Menton. At the summit of Baudon (1200m) you are less than five kilometres from the sea with a panoramic coastal view stretching all the way from Ventimiglia in Italy to St Tropez. The route continues, ascending through the old village of Gorbio to Saint- Agnes. Perched on a rocky outcrop at an altitude of 766 metres, you can stroll along the quaint cobbled streets of the village or visit the ruins of a 12th century castle that once protected the village from Saracen invaders. Today's 12km walk is expected to take about 4.5 hours and you will ascend 770m and descend 580m.

Accommodation: Hotel Le St Yves(or similar)

Simple Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast and Dinner
Day 7 - Long descent from Saint- Agnes to Menton

From Saint Agnes it's a long and scenic descent to Menton and the Mediterranean Sea. With the sea in front of you, this section of the route, passing through a variety of vegetation zones, is a real delight. Finally you arrive on the Riviera itself in the charming resort of Menton with its old town and its beach: tradition says that you must have a swim in the refreshing water! Today's 10km walk is expected to take about 3.5 hours and you will ascend 250m and descend 900m.

Accommodation: Hotel Mediterannee(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 8 - Trip ends in Menton

After breakfast, the organised part of your holiday comes to an end.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Walking and Trekking information

Walking grade
Moderate
Trek details
On this tour we walk 83 km over six days (an average of 14 km per day). We generally walk on well-marked paths and dirt tracks, there are some road sections. We have graded the route as moderate.

What's included?

Included meals
  • Breakfast: 7
  • Dinner: 3
Accommodation
  • 6 nights standard hotel
  • 1 nights simple hotel
Award Winning Explore Leaders
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Price Guarantee Promise
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Airport Transfers
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FairFX currency card
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Trip information

Country information

France Holidays & Tours

Climate

Across France, from April - August, weather conditions are generally warm and pleasant with moderate rainfall; Autumn temperatures are a bit lower and the winter months (though colder) remain mild. The summer months on the Mediterranean Coast in the south tend to be warmer than the rest of France and have less rainfall, and also more mild winters; freezing conditions are nearly unheard of. The mountainous areas of the Alps, Juros and Pyrenees can be quite different. During summer the morning and evening temperatures are considerably cooler and it becomes much colder in winter with heavy snowfall. Western France, along the English Channel, there can be very strong winds and frequent rain during the winter months Nov - Apr. Wine harvesting takes place in late August/early September.

Time difference to GMT

+1

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Catholic

Language

French

Budgeting and packing

Clothing

The following are essential: good quality waterproof jacket and trousers, fleece jacket, comfortable walking trousers, shorts, warm hat and gloves, sunhat and sunglasses.

Footwear

We recommend walking boots with proper ankle support and good tread. Make sure that your boots are worn-in and comfortable before the start of the trip. We recommend that you wear/carry your walking boots as hand luggage on the international flight. Should your luggage be delayed, your well broken in boots will be irreplaceable. Trainers or trekking sandals are useful for relaxing in the evening.

Luggage transfer

A luggage transfer between each accommodation. This is provided by a local taxi supplier.

Equipment

Bring a water bottle (preferably 2 litres) and high factor sun cream. Trekking poles are recommended. Tap water is safe to drink as are the fountains found in villages, but water sources along the trail may not always be drinkable. Using tap or purified water rather than bottled water will help avoid creating plastic bottle waste. Energy snacks including chocolate and sweets are recommended whilst on trek. You will need a torch for the tunnels on day 3 - Pont du Loup to Courmes.

Country Information

France Holidays & Tours

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£11
Dinner price
£16.00 - 18.00
Beer price
£4
Water price
£1.3
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Euro
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Pounds Sterling and US Dollars can only be changed in larger airports with a Bureau de Change. Please change currency into Euros prior to arriving in France.
Where To Exchange
Bureau de Change can only be found in major cities and large airports. Many French banks no longer exchange Foreign currency.
ATM Availability
In cities and most major towns
Credit Card Acceptance
In major restaurants (make sure you have informed your credit card company that you are travelling abroad as some companies will reject payments)
Travellers Cheques
Travellers Cheques are no longer commonly accepted and can only be changed in larger airports with a Bureau de Change.

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Essential information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Essential Information

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa Information

Visas are not required by UK, E.U Nationals, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office. All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related questions with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

France Holidays & Tours

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory. Tetanus recommended. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider.

Dates, prices and booking

Date
Price from
Single room option
Monday 1 January 2018 - Wednesday 23 May 2018
Your trip can depart anytime between the above dates.
WSFR_2018
From £799
Single room option +£290
Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Grasse
Time and place
00:00 at Hotel Reception
Ending Point
Town
Menton
Time
23:59
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes
Monday 28 May 2018 - Friday 15 June 2018
Your trip can depart anytime between the above dates.
WSFR_2018
From £815
Single room option +£290
Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Grasse
Time and place
00:00 at Hotel Reception
Ending Point
Town
Menton
Time
23:59
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes
Saturday 15 September 2018 - Thursday 1 November 2018
Your trip can depart anytime between the above dates.
WSFR_2018
From £815
Single room option +£290
Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Grasse
Time and place
00:00 at Hotel Reception
Ending Point
Town
Menton
Time
23:59
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes

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