Hike in style in and near Monaco
Are you an avid hiker or runner? Or do just love to explore the outdoors everywhere you travel? Enjoy these trails and sites in and near Monaco during your yacht charter in the South of France! Nestled between France’s Maritime Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, Monaco mixes astonishing coastal cliffs and utopic beaches with mountainous zones and lush greenery. Your chief stewardess will make sure you are wearing your comfortable, yet trendy shoes and put on your sunscreen and stylish hat before heading out to explore in style!
The Sentier Littoral a beautiful path accessible to all
The Sentier Littoral is a long coastal path outlining the rugged Cote d’Azur coastline. A favourite of Winston Churchill and Greta Garbo, this beautiful path is accessible to all, and very well signposted along the way. The Sentier Littoral also crosses some of the best of Monaco’s gardens and landmarks, such as the Japanese gardens and the Grimaldi Forum, meaning you can sneak a peek as you wander along. After breakfast on board with a view of the port of Monaco, your driver will bring you to the Plage Marquet to start your hike. You can make your way to Cap d’Ail, or, if you are up for the challenge, all the way to Menton.
The crystal-clear Mediterranean Sea is the perfect blue backdrop for this scenic route. The well-kept footpath hugs the coastline, with high walls covered with plants on one side and waves crashing against the shore on the other. Go slightly inland behind a few splendid villas before heading down a staircase and back onto the seafront at La Pinede, a rugged rocky headland with dramatic scenery. If you want to dip in the water, this is the place to do so! You can swim in the little coves between the rocks and there are either ladders or steps leading down to the water. This is also a good moment to take a little break and sit down at the restaurant here, with its fabulous terrace overlooking the sea. If you have worked up an appetite, order the fish! It is as fresh as it gets and the views here are magnificent.
During your walk, you will be able to improve your local knowledge, as there are lots of handy little information boards along the way. Did you know that the rocks along the waterfront are formed by chunks of the cliffs that fell off during a mudslide way back in the Jurassic period and that they contain loads of fossils? And that the villa The Rock was a favourite hideaway of the famously-reclusive actress Greta Garbo?
When you are ready for your next stop in your quest for nature near Monaco, your driver will pick you and your friends and family up and take you to the gorges near Grasse!
The winding roads of The Gorges du Loup
Hiking in Monaco will allow you to discover postcard-worthy places, and this is one of them. Spectacular waterfalls, bright cliffs, lush vegetation, turquoise water, thrilling wooded trails and steep limestone canyon views await you in the Loup Valley. On your way, ask your driver to stop by the impressive Cascade de Courmes, a freefalling waterfall that lands on mossy rocks and turquoise pools. The Loup river is less than 50 kilometres long and runs from Mount Audibergue to the Mediterranean Sea near Cagnes-sur-Mer.
Visit the mediaeval village of Le Bar-sur-Loup first, perched at 320 meters altitude. This city of orange trees stands on a rock formation, overlooking the valley of the Loup River. In the Middle Ages, it was a large fortified market town, and today remains of the defensive walls can still be seen, as well as some sections of the imposing castle. The surviving parts of the historic castle of the Counts of Grasse, built between the 14th and 16th centuries, consisting of a large rectangular building, three circular towers and the wrought iron entrance gate flanked by two cannons. In front of the castle stands a statue of the Admiral of Grasse, in tribute to the man who in the 18th century participated in the American War of Independence, leading his men to victory.
When you visit Bar-sur-Loup you will be taken on an agreeable journey into the past. The village has taken the sensible decision to make its historic centre a pedestrian zone. Here you will find tall houses huddling against each other, steeply sloping streets and stairways, the Sarrasine Gate and a majestic fountain in the square displaying the coat of arms of the Grasse-Bar family. The panoramic view of the Provencal countryside from here is magnificent. You will be able to spot olive trees, vines, rose bushes, espalier orange trees and jasmine in whatever direction you look. If you feel energetic, you can take the picturesque ‘Chemin du Paradis’, a road to Paradise, climbing up the cliff. Don’t leave Bar-sur-Loup without tasting the local speciality, orange wine! The wine and its related delicacies like marmalade and orange liqueur make for unforgettable and fragrant souvenirs of this beautiful village!
The waterfalls and crystal-clear water make the gorges a popular site for whitewater sports, such as canyoning, aquatic hikes or rafting. Talk to your chief stewardess about which activity you would like to undertake. Are you up to navigate the river with only an inflatable boat and paddles? Rafting is an exhilarating and refreshing way to discover the beautiful riverside scenery. Aboard your raft, navigate on rivers with strong currents, and challenge the rapids of the gorges, accompanied by a state-qualified guide. Don’t forget to bring a set of dry clothes and your underwater camera!
Tête de Chien, the Dog’s Head of Monaco
If you would rather not leave the Principality and keep hiking in Monaco, the Chemin Romain is a fantastic path that mixes panoramic urban views with wildflower patches. Start the hike in Cap d’Ail and climb your way up to the Dog’s Head, a 550-meter-high rock historically used as a military strategic base that overlooks the French Riviera and the beautiful Monaco gardens. From the top of Tête de Chien, you have a stunning panoramic view of the whole of Monaco, Menton, the border with Italy, Nice, Antibes and Cannes. Maybe you can spot your yacht in the Mediterranean Sea, waiting for you to finish your hike in style!
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