Day 4 - Leaving Breil sur Roya (Don and Kerry Helmrich)
Day 4 - Leaving Breil sur Roya (Don and Kerry Helmrich) 
Route summary
£835.00 (2017)
Per person
7 nights, 7 B&B, 2 evening meals, 4 picnics
Luggage transfers between hotels
Medium - Hard
4 - 6 hours per day
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Alpes Maritimes (France)
From the Alps to the Mediterranean
Full Description

A self-guided hike from La Brigue, on the France/Italy border, down the Roya Valley to beautiful Menton on the Riviera, taking in Saorge, Breil, Sospel, and Ste Agnes.


Grade:  medium-hard or medium


Villages perchés to Belle Epoque Menton
After a spectacular railway journey you start your walk in one of the most remote parts of France. The medieval village of La Brigue offers the chance to explore fascinating winding alleyways and old town houses, as do the villages perchés high over the Roya valley and the town of Saorge, which climbs steeply up the valley side (you could also opt to spend the night here from May to September to create a continous walk). Visit the ancient towns of Breil and Sospel and stay in the astonishing mountain-top village of Ste. Agnès, with views across to the Mediterranean. Finally arrive in Menton itself, Belle Epoque faded splendour now being restored to its former glory, and a stroll down the promenade before dining well in one of its restaurants. This route can be walked as a medium-hard walk or, using shortening options, as a medium graded one, and the route is well signed.  Walked by On Foot staff:  Simon, Mary and Debbie


Standard option:  (see 'Itinerary") - 7 nights. But you can add rest days in any hotel, or why not a night in Saorge (May to Sept), an extra night in Menton, or a night in Nice at start or finish? 

6-night option (miss night 5) - walk full route and miss Sospel circular walk. 

5-night option (one night in each hotel) - choose between the walks on days 2 and 3 and miss Sospel circular walk.

4-night option: Stay La Brigue, Sospel, Ste Agnes, Menton, walk days 2, 6 and 7


Self-Guiding introduction by Richard Petitjean (subject to his availability) - accompanying you on your first one or two walking days, or guiding services for whole walking route.  See "Prices".

  • The “villages perchés” of the Roya valley
  • Dramatic alpine scenery
  • Saorge, its winding alleys and underground passages
  • The flora of the Gorge de Bévéra
  • Painted chapels and Renaissance altarpieces
  • Chamois, ibex, moufflons, boars, birds of prey
  • The Belle Epoque charms of Menton

WE RECOMMEND: an extra night at La Brigue (to walk to Tende or to Notre Dame des Fontaines, or in summer to make an expedition to the Vallee des Merveilles, and extra nights in Menton by the sea front, just to relax...


EATING AND DRINKING: At La Brigue expect Tarte Brigueaise (naturally), fried courgette flowers, bresaola, warm goats' cheese, Nicoise stew, aioli provencale, cuttlefish (seiche) cooked with onions, celery, tomato puree.... the cuisine on this route is very southern (seiche, garlic, nicoise, provencale), but with a nod to the mountains (stews, mushrooms, goats cheese) and with a pinch of Italy (bresaola, cacciatore).

Route map
Alpes Maritimes (France) route map
Route designed by

Richard Petitjean

Richard came to the Côte d’Azur to study tourism and has lived here for 30 years working as a licensed Tour Guide. Since 60% of the French flora is represented in this area, Richard’s keen interest in botany is put to the best possible use.