French and Italian Riviera Hiking
French and Italian Riviera coastline

French and Italian Riviera Hiking

8 days

Beautiful coastal views seen on Self-guided West Liguria and Cote dAzur trekStreets of Menton village on Self-guided West Liguria and Cote dAzur trekBeautiful greenery along the trail of Self-guided West Liguria and Cote dAzur trekItalian Riviera is a wonderful place trek on Self-guided West Liguria and Cote dAzur trekSelf-guided West Liguria and Cote dAzur trek has lots of beautfiul coastal viewpointsBeautiful trail of Self-guided West Liguria and Cote dAzur trekSelf-guided West Liguria and Cote dAzur trek is a treat for culture loversMenton village as seen from Self-guided West Liguria and Cote dAzur trek

Explore the French and Italian Rivieras on this 8-day self-guided hiking adventure

What better place to explore then the beautiful hills above the French and Italian Riviera? Come along on a self-guided hiking adventure of Côte D'Azur and the West Ligurian Coast that will take your breath away!

Wind your way along forgotten footpaths and journey across the French/Italian border where the Alps drop into the sea. You’ll hike to hidden mountain villages and explore the French and Italian Riviera by foot, car, and train.

Feast on the local cuisine and try exotic mountain wines. Meet the locals and discover the culture as you explore the ancient principalities of Seborga and Monaco. This self-guided hiking exploration has something for everyone traveling to Côte D'Azur or the Ligurian Coast. Don’t miss it!

Highlights of the French and Italian Riviera Hiking

Revel in the dramatic landscape as you hike along the forgotten byways of the West Ligurian Coast and the Côte D'Azur
Stop and explore ancient principalities from the tiny Seborga to famous Monaco and learn about their rich history and culture
Experience the local culture and cuisine as you discover charming villages and hamlets, try unique wines, and even sample the finest olive oil
Wind your way along the Roya river valley and journey over the French/Italian border where the Alps drop into the sea

Prices

From $995USD
8 days
Difficulty
Self-Guided
3-Star Hotel
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French and Italian Riviera Hiking

Self-Guided Hiking in the French and Italian Riviera

Day 1 Arrive in Bordighera

Welcome to Bordighera! After you check-in at the Hotel Villa Elisa, you’ll receive a welcome packet containing information about the local area as well as a roadbook with maps and detailed descriptions of your upcoming self-guided hiking adventure. Additionally, the packet will contain all needed vouchers for the tour. That evening, after you settle in, you’ll receive a welcome aperitif in the hotel garden followed by your first authentic local meal.
Overnight Location: Hotel Villa Elisa, Bordighera
Distance: N/A
Meals: Dinner

Day 2 Mini Principality Adventure

Catch a bus back in time with a visit to the almost 3000-year-old principality of Seborga. Discover the unique history and culture of a place that’s maintained its own identity for millennia. Though it has only 320 residents, they have their own currency, passports, anthem, and royalty! After exploring the rustic village, you’ll descend through beautiful Mediterranean foliage with the sea spread out below. The hike will finish in the historic district of Bordighera where you can shop and then stop to admire the 19th century villas. Before you head home, don’t forget to check out the Pallanca botanical garden with over 3,000 plants. You can hike back or choose to take a bus from the botanical gardens to the hotel.
Overnight Location: Hotel Villa Elisa, Bordighera
Distance: 3 hrs, 9 km, 160 m of ascent, 500 m of descent
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3 Explore Côte D’Azur

Take your car or catch the train to Eze-sur-Mer in France and begin your hiking adventure on the Côte D’Azur. Climb steadily toward the village of Eze as you pass through lush vegetation and bask in the glorious view of the Mediterranean. Once you reach the village you can wander the streets and visit the gardens or even a famous perfume factory. If you’re up for a challenge, we recommend you keep climbing the hill to Fort de la Revère. It’s a tough ascent, but the stunning panorama is well worth the effort. When you’ve finished admiring the view, just return to the Village Eze where you can take a bus back to your hike’s starting point or choose to hike all the way back instead.
Overnight Location: Hotel Villa Elisa, Bordighera
Distance: 5 hrs, 8 km, 700 m of ascent, 700 m of descent
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4 Trek to Mountain Villages

This will be the longest day of your self-guided hike, but it’s well worth the effort. First, you’ll take a car, train, or bus to the starting point of your hike at the mountain village of Rocchetta Nervina. Your path will take you by an old church as you pass over the river before continuing on a dirt track up the hill. On the way you’ll enjoy views of Rocchetta and the Rio Barbaira valley. If the day is warm, you can stop for a swim in the Laghetti, small pools formed by the mountain river Barbaira. By afternoon, you’ll arrive in Dolceaqua where you can see the bridge spanning the Nervia made famous by Claude Monet. Here you’ll take part in a wine tasting of the fine Rossese wine. The varietal thrives only in this area, frequently growing on steep slopes. Following your tasting you’ll have the opportunity to explore the town with the ancient fortress and stone bridge.
Overnight Location: Hotel Villa Elisa, Bordighera
Distance: 7 hrs, 15 km, 800 m of ascent, 900 m of descent
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5 Your choice: Relax or Hike

Today is your choice, you can relax on the beach or visit the Hanbury Gardens and recover from your hike. Or, if you’re still looking for more adventure, take a car or train to start your hike to Menton, the town surrounded by mountains on the border of Italy and France. You’ll begin your hike along the path of the river and follow it through gorgeous landscapes around Cap Martin. Along the way, you’ll have lovely views behind you along the Italian coast, but stunning views of Monaco in front. You can then continue on to Monaco and explore another independent principality with a fantastic culture all its own. Once you’re finished you can catch a train back to your starting place.
Overnight Location: Hotel Villa Elisa, Bordighera
Distance: 2-3 hrs, 6.5 km, 150 m of ascent, 150 m of descent
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 Hike to Albenga and Varigotti

Start your day by taking a car or train to the ancient maritime republic of Albenga. Hike a picturesque stretch up the coast beginning at Noli’s historic center and continuing on the pilgrimage route “Sentiero del Pellegrino” to arrive in Varigotti. Along the way to this tiny fishing town you’ll see stunning views of the Mediterranean as you wend your way past ancient olive groves, chapels, and Saracen towers. Pause in the town of Albenga and peruse the quaint squares, rustic cafes, and shops. While you’re there you’ll want to check out the cathedral, the medieval towers, and the Roman Maritime Museum. When you’re finished exploring we’ve arranged for you to enjoy a tasting of the fine local olive oil.
Overnight Location: Hotel Villa Elisa, Bordighera
Distance: 3 hrs, 6 km, 300 m of ascent, 300 m of descent
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7 Journey through Roya Valley

Catch a car or train across the border into France and arrive at Breil, a quaint little village in the French alps sitting right on the Roya River. You’ll enjoy picturesque views of the river as it winds beneath you on your journey, flashing azure through the trees, occasionally you’ll cross over the river itself on antiquated stone bridges. Winding your way along through several rustic villages in both France and Italy you’ll travel through olive groves, journey through secluded woods, enjoy gardens and awe-inspiring rock formations. The views are incredible, and behind it all you’ll catch glimpses of the sea. As you come to the end of the hike, you’ll see the Pilgrimage church in the village called Airole. Tonight, you’re invited for a special dinner in Bordighera. This will be a restaurant famous for its slow-food cuisine, so come enjoy an authentic taste of Bordighera!
Overnight Location: Hotel Villa Elisa, Bordighera
Distance: 5 hrs, 13 km, 450 m of ascent, 600 m of descent
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8 Check out and Departure

Sadly, your trip has come to an end. Enjoy your breakfast before checking-out and saying good-bye for the Ligurian Coast.
Overnight Location: N/A
Distance: N/A
Meals: Breakfast

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Self-Guided Hiking in the French and Italian Riviera Dates and Prices

Pricing for this self-guided hiking exploration of Cinque Terre depends on what time of year you choose to visit the Ligurian Coast.

Note that this tour is not recommended in July and August due to summer heat.

Prices for Private Self-Guided Hiking in the French and Italian Riviera

Prices below are per person and based on a number of people staying in one room and the time of the year:

Low Season (February to April and October):

  • Price per person staying in a single room: $1,250 USD
  • Price per person staying in a double room: $995 USD

High Season (May, June and September):

  • Price per person staying in a single room: $1,395 USD
  • Price per person staying in a double room: $1,125 USD
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Accommodation on Self-Guided Hiking in the French and Italian Riviera

This tour is based in a 3-star hotel. Note that one is picked for the entirety of the trip, not day by day.

Hotels on this trip are 3-star, and offer modern conveniences that can make this trip more pleasant. Rooms may have fireplaces or access to amenities such as hot tubs, steam rooms, or private decks to lounge on. Rooms are double occupancy, and single travelers will pay a supplement.

In some cases, accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other, comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
You can pay a supplement to have a private room in a hotel (please check Dates and Prices to find the pricing).

Hotels on Standard Tour

Hotel Villa Elisa ★★★

A romantic atmosphere and beautiful setting make this an ideal place for your vacation. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, concierge, pool/spa, private balcony, room service.

What’s included in the Self-Guided Hiking in the French and Italian Riviera?

Meals

7 breakfasts and 6 dinners (drinks not included). 1 Prosecco aperitif on the day of arrival.

Accommodations

Accommodations for 7 nights in a 3-star hotel as described or similar in a double-occupancy room with a private bathroom.

Transportation during the Tour

Transportation by bus on day 2 and day 6 is included. Much of the trip is planned for guests using their own car. A car is not absolutely required as the starting points for the hikes can be reached via train or public bus, but the tickets for these rides are not included.

Also Included

  • Maps, roadbook, and descriptions of the hikes.
  • Bus ticket from Bordighera to Seborga on day 2
  • Tasting of Rossese wine in Dolceaqua on day 4
  • Bus ticket from Varigotti back to Noli on day 6
  • Olive oil tasting in Albenga on day 6

Not included

  • Arrival and departure to/from Bordighera
  • Tips
  • Drinks
  • City Taxes (if applicable). Typically, €1-5 EUR per person, per night.
  • Any additional services not specifically mentioned under “included”

Frequently Asked Questions about French and Italian Riviera Hiking

Arbaspàa was formed in 2001, and headquartered in Manarola, with a second office in La Spezia. They are committed to providing guests with the best experience exploring the most incredible places in Liguaria.

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French and Italian Riviera Hiking Map

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Is this tour for me?

We rate this tour difficulty as a 3 / 5. A minimum of 6 km and a maximum of 15 km will need to be covered each day. Should you get tired there may be options that have shorter/alternate routes or where a train or shuttle can be taken instead. Check your roadbook for specific details.

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