Roc de l'Orméa above Menton

View from Roc d'Orméa down to Castellar

This hike starts from the centre of Castellar (main parking, 340 m), a hilltop village only about 5 km north of Menton as the crow flies.

Roc d'Orméa (1132 m) seen from Castellar

Roc  de l’Orméa (1132 m) dominates the landscape above Castellar, and offers a super panorama on a clear day. We did this hike in the end of February, and when we reached the summit, the foggy clouds ascending from the sea diminished the view. Unfortunately, this type of weather is not that uncommon on the eastern French Riviera.

Start the hike from the centre of Castellar and ascend past the chapel of St-Sébastien. Follow the


signs, initially yellow, later red and white GR signs, and signposts showing Tour du Roc de l’Orméa.

Continue ascending steeply along a partly paved road to the intersection near Col St-Bernard.  Again, note the signpost at this point, turn sharply right ascending along the trail that soon passes the ruins of Vieux Castellar  (870 m). This village was abandoned in 1435 because of the threat of a

Initial ascent from Castellar village

Saracen invasion in favor of the existing Castellar. The trail is now GR52 and marked with red and white signs.

The ascent to Col du Berceau is continuous and quite steep. The Col which is just under the summit of Roc de l’Orméa can be reached in about 2 h 30 min. From here, the summit itself can be climbed easily in less than 10 minutes.

Ruins of old Castellar

The descent to south is rapid. The intersection of GR52/51 is reached soon. At this point turn right and follow the GR51 trail back to Castellar.

On the summit of Roc d'Orméa

Total hiking time 4 h 20

Ascent 780 m

Map: IGN Nice Menton Côte d’Azur 3742 OT

Description in French can be found here


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