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Alps to the Mediterranean

Descend from the mountains to the Riviera
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Extend your stay
If flying via Nice, why not add a stay in this vibrant, Italianate city?
4-night version
If you are looking for a shorter break, we also offer Alps to the Riviera.
This Holiday in a nutshell
  • self-guided hotel-to-hotel walking, luggage transported
  • contrasting scenery
  • take a day trip to the Mercantour National Park
  • real sense of journey

The final, southernmost Alps plunge dramatically into the sea at the Italian border near Menton. In the bright, warm light of the Mediterranean, pretty villages cling to wooded hillsides. Delightful footpaths link the Italianate settlements, offering wonderful views of mountains, gorges and valleys. One of the real joys of this walk is to experience the transition from mountain to coastal landscapes; by its very nature, this is a very varied walk. Starting in the mountains in enchanting La Brigue, you discover mixed woodland, gorges, dramatic peaks and even the mysterious Vallée des Merveilles ('Valley of Marvels').
The many wild herbs - sage, thyme, rosemary, lavender - send bewitching scents wafting through the mountain air while the ubiquitous stands of cypress trees often made us feel as if we were wandering through an Impressionist painting.
Richard Madden, Outdoor Enthusiast Magazine
By contrast, the walk finishes on the Riviera, in cosmopolitan Menton, a popular resort since the late 19th century and inspiration to many artists, who were drawn by the clarity of the light. This whole border region is an intriguing blend of French and Italian cultures. Indeed, the Upper Roya Valley – which the first part of the holiday explores – remained part of Italy long after surrounding parts were ceded to France – the Italian government persuaded Napoleon that it should remain Italian so that the king could continue to hunt there, and this remained the case until after the Second World War. In the villages through which the walk passes, you are just as likely to hear Italian spoken as French, and the local cuisine is a wonderful mix of Provençal and Italian influences.

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 Average Temperatures & Rainfall
  J F M A M J J A S O N D
°C 11 11 13 15 19 22 26 26 23 19 14 12
mm 77 79 74 66 61 46 22 43 65 104 101 78

The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.

This holiday takes you to altitudes of over 1,000 metres, where temperatures will be cooler than those stated above, which relate to the coast.