A great spring day on Mont Chauve Aspremont

On doit profiter…you have to grab the opportunity as the spring has finally arrived on the French Riviera after a very wet winter. Even the previous record from 1978 was beaten.

The hike to Mont Chauve starts from the charming and well-kept village of Aspremont 14 km north of Nice. Aspremont (500 m) itself offers already great views as it towers high over the Var river valley. There are a couple of restaurants and a bar/café in the centre. The village has recently renovated its parking which is now quite spacious in two floors in the centre of the village.

Mont Chauve (853 m) is located southeast of Aspremont. It is topped by a fortress, and from there you have a panoramic view of Nice, the Baie des Anges, and even some of the boulevards. The strange looking round horizontal thing built on the fortress is a VOR/DME device, a navigational aid for air traffic. In addition, there are a lot of telecommunications masts. Hence, it’s not one of the most beautiful mountaintops per se.

The first signpost is almost next to the parking area. The trail initially follows the D14 road, crosses it and continues along a small road 300m before turning right following the GR5 trail. Ascending along the western hillside of Mont Chauve, one has soon unobstructed views of the Var river valley, Cap Antibes and beyond as well as the snow capped mountains in the north. To ascend the summit, one has to leave GR 5 and turn left at the main intersection south of the mountain, and then follow the trail up to a paved road that leads to the fortress. To complete the hike, as described in the guidebook, the trail back marked by yellow signs descends along the eastern hillside to a place called Baisse de Guigo (730 m) and then straight back to Aspremont.

Map: 3742 OT Nice Menton. Duration of the hike is about three hours. Vertical climb 460 m.
Recommended guide (in French; also on their web site): Tour du Mont Chauve in Rando Pays Côtier booklet.


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