5 top winter hikes near the French Riviera

Baou St Jeannet

Choosing the five top hikes on the Riviera is a difficult if not an impossible task. There are just so many candidates. This is purely our own subjective selection of walks and hikes that we have done in the nearby mountains. The great coastal trails would certainly deserve their own list.

In normal weather conditions, the hills and mountains close to the coast in Alpes Maritimes can be climbed all year round. Cold spells can sometimes bring snow to surprisingly low altitudes. After rainfall, trails can be icy and slippery especially in the shade. On a clear and crisp winter day, the blue skies usually prevail all day whereas summer heat often brings high cumulus clouds above the mountains; afternoon thunderstorms are not infrequent during the summer months..

Here's our selection:

1. Hike above Èze-village

This is a classic Riviera hike which offer super view over the French Riviera a few km east of Nice. It is specially rewarding on a sunny winter day. The hike featured here was done in December. The hike itself is moderate, about 2, 5-3 hours, and you can easily combine it with a visit to Èze-village.

2. Walk above Gourdon

This easy walk, about 2, 5 -3 hours starts from the charming hilltop village of Gourdon. Although a bit touristic in the summertime, the village is pretty quiet in the winter; mostly locals seem to visit the restaurants at the entrance of the village

3. The Baou above St-Jeannet

The ascent from St-Jeannet to Baou de St-Jeannet gives you first a good workout and from the summit great views over the Var Valley, Antibes etc. From the top, you have various options back to the village: the shorter route along the eastern side of the Baou or the longer route along the western side as featured in our blog. Parking is almost impossible during weekends and market days even in winter.

4. Hike above Menton

This moderate 3 hour hike starts from the village of Castellar above Menton. The highest point is quite near the coastline on the Italian border offering breathtaking views over Menton as well as over the Italian coast.

5. From Peille to Cime de Baudon 

Even though this ascent to Cime de Baudon is only 620 m in vertical climb it is steep in some parts requiring some easy scrambling. On a clear winter day, you can simultaneously see the snow capped Mercantour peaks and Corsica in the south.


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