Alps to the Mediterranean Walk Overview
The anticipation grows as you walk, the contrasting scenery changing from rugged peaks to wooded hills and finally the magical Riviera.
- self-guided hotel-to-hotel walking, luggage transported
- contrasting scenery
- take a day trip to the Mercantour National Park
- real sense of journey
The final, southernmost Alps plunge dramatically into the sea at the Italian border near Menton. In the bright, warm light of the Mediterranean, pretty villages cling to wooded hillsides. Delightful footpaths link the Italianate settlements, offering wonderful views of mountains, gorges and valleys. One of the real joys of this walk is to experience the transition from mountain to coastal landscapes; by its very nature, this is a very varied walk. Starting in the mountains in enchanting La Brigue, you discover mixed woodland, gorges, dramatic peaks and even the mysterious Vallée des Merveilles ('Valley of Marvels').By contrast, the walk finishes on the Riviera, in cosmopolitan Menton, a popular resort since the late 19th century and inspiration to many artists, who were drawn by the clarity of the light. This whole border region is an intriguing blend of French and Italian cultures. Indeed, the Upper Roya Valley – which the first part of the holiday explores – remained part of Italy long after surrounding parts were ceded to France – the Italian government persuaded Napoleon that it should remain Italian so that the king could continue to hunt there, and this remained the case until after the Second World War. In the villages through which the walk passes, you are just as likely to hear Italian spoken as French, and the local cuisine is a wonderful mix of Provençal and Italian influences.