Step outside of the Principality of Monaco and a world of natural beauty awaits. Lace up your boots and get ready to explore some of the most enchanting and inspiring hikes and walks in the area.
In Part I of the Monaco Life guide to the best hikes and trails within easy reach of the Principality, we check out the closest walks that can be found just the other side of its borders.
From almost anywhere you stand in Monaco, you can pick out the so-called Tête de Chien that looms high in the cliffs that tower over the Principality. Taking a trip to see this natural landmark up close requires a relatively short, but very satisfying, hike from the French village of La Turbie.
The path is well-marked and well-trodden, and results in a stunning bird’s-eye view of Monaco, the Mediterranean Sea and the surrounding mountains. Take a picnic and make a morning, afternoon or evening of it!
Also on La Turbie territory is the Trophée d’Auguste, a Roman monument built in 6BCE to celebrate Emperor Augustus’ recent victories. It’s a must-see if you’re interested in the ancient history of the region and, by extension, Roman architecture. It costs €6 for over 25s to visit the protected site.
Start off in the village centre and follow the trail up to the monument, which is surrounded by a botanical park that adds a natural element to this “imperial” experience.
The Nietzsche Path or Chemin de Nietzsche is named for the famous philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. A picturesque trail, it begins at the Eze-sur-Mer train station and heads uphill to culminate in breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Along the way, you’ll pass through fragrant pine forests and rugged landscapes, making it a moderately challenging, but immensely rewarding hike. The panoramic views of the coast and the medieval village of Eze are unforgettable.
Perhaps the most leisurely walk on this list, the Moyenne Corniche Trail is a great option for families and those looking to just get outside and enjoy some fresh air. The trail is mostly paved, making it suitable for hikers of all levels, and meanders along the heights of the Moyenne Corniche road to provide Instagram-worthy views on Monaco, the azure sea and forests of native trees and shrubs. Don’t forget your camera, as you’ll want to capture the scenes that unfold at every turn.
The final walk on Part I of the guide is the Cap d’Ail coastal trail, which was apparently a favourite of the likes of Greta Garbo, Sacha Guitry and Winston Churchill. The Sentier du Littoral takes around an hour and a half to complete, but we recommend doing it in both directions and stopping for lunch on the beach at the beautiful Plage Mala below Cap d’Ail’s town centre. Magnificent villas perched on the edge of the water make for the perfect daydream inspiration, while the beauty of this pristine section of coast will have you making plans to come back next weekend.
Make sure you’re never left out of the conversation.
Main photo credit: Jean Luc Paillé / Centre des Monuments Nationaux