Western Liguria & Côte D’Azur – where the Alps meet the Mediterranean
Hiking program with guide – 6 days, 7 nights
One of our most varied journeys, where both mountains and sea are very close, on this sun kissed coastal strip where Italy meets France. The tour is based in Bordighera: a town of the Riviera with pastel-colored Liberty-style villas and gardens where palm trees and exotic flowers grow. The day hikes pass through the fragrant Mediterranean vegetation with spectacular scenic views over the sea. Blu and green in all shades are the dominant colors – the bright blue of the Ligurian sea meets the lush green of mountain meadows and olive groves (the Ligurian Taggia olive oil is one of Italys’ best!). Turquoise mountain streams flow in deep valleys and picturesque villages cling to the sides of the mountains. No wonder that some famous artists of the past drew here inspiration for their crucial works: Nietzsche and Picasso, Monet and Matisse. As always in our itineraries, the culinary part is very important too: the wonderful Mediterranean cuisine will occasionally meet the rich mountain cuisine with delicious pasta, vegetables and game dishes. Surprising wines, such as the Rossese di Dolceacqua and the Pigato di Albenga complete the trip.
Benvenuti a Bordighera!
1st day: Arrival at the hotel. In the evening aperitif in the garden and meeting with your guide. Enjoy the first delicious multi course dinner.
Olive groves & picturesque mountain villages
2nd day: Hike the most beautiful villages of Western Liguria, at the same time home to the Rossese wine. After a short visit to the beautiful village of Dolceacqua with its ancient fortress and the old stone bridge you’ll walk uphill crossing olive groves and enjoying magnificent views. After about two hours walk you reach a pilgrimage church, a perfect place for a rest and a picnic lunch. From here the hike continues for one more hour with views over the hills and towards the hamlets of the Nervia valley. In Perinaldo you will be picked up by our bus again and driven to a winery, which is known for its fine Rossese wine, an autochthonal grape variety found only in this area, often on extreme slopes.
Total walking time on this day: approx. 3 hours, 8 km, +500 m
Where the Alps meet the Mediterranean
3rd day: Today we climb up in the Maritime Alps that rise just behind the coast. After an adventurous bus ride you reach Colle Melosa from where the hike starts and it is breathtaking in many senses! Look out: the view sweeps from the snow-capped Alpine peaks over the green hills of the deep valleys until the sea! Also the vegetation is exciting: depending on the season, there are blooming alpine meadows, Rhododendrons and orchids. The tour leads through an area that in the two world wars was fiercely contested, some of the structures and paths witness this past. You’ll return to the starting point, where we invite you to a hearty meal at a mountain hut, thus you’ll get to know the local mountain cuisine. Total walking time on this day: approx. 4 hours, 13 km, +/- 600 m
The Côte D’Azur
4th day: bus ride to Eze-sur-le-Mer on the Cote Azur in France. Here begins the famous Nietzsche Trail, where the famous German Philosopher wandered during his stays in this area. Passing through the fragrant Mediterranean vegetation on comfortable steps you’ll reach the picturesque village of Eze. Stroll through the winding streets and do not miss a visit to the beautiful exotic garden. Or do you prefer to visit a famous perfume factory? Afterwards the hike continues up to the lookout mountain: from here the panorama is simply overwhelming!
Total walking time on this day about 3.5 hours, 8 km, + 600 m
Dolce far niente!
5th day: A day off for your own explorations, for example, a visit to Hanbury Gardens or simply relaxing on the beach. Of course, we also help you with tips and advice if you want to hike on your own. No dinner is planned for this evening.
A trip to Albenga and Varigotti
6th day: Today you hike a beautiful strip of the Ligurian coast. From Varigotti, an ancient fishing village with Moorish-looking architecture, the path climbs on the steep coast until Noli, a beautiful little town with its historical center. On the way you have breathtaking views of the sea and you’ll pass olive groves, little churches and old military towers. In the afternoon we have planned a visit in an organic winery where you will be surprised by the philosophy of the owners – here tradition meets modernity! Taste the interesting Pigato wine, typical for this area. You also can buy a nice organic olive oil. In addition, garden herbs are produced.
Total walking time on this day about 3 hours, 6 km, +/- 300 m
Through the Roya valley
7th day: Another day between the French charm and the Italian lust for life! The tour starts in the French Breil, a picturesque village in the French Alps, directly on the river Roya, and you’ll follow the way alongside the stream downwards. The long and beautiful hike takes you past several picturesque places, first in France and finally in Italy, you’ll cross olive groves, secluded forest, gardens or spectacular rock formations. Eventually stunning panoramas come into view leaving you speechless. In the distance you see even the blue sea! Our last vineyard is situated in a spectacular location, high above the village of Airole. It is one of the largest projects of landscaping with the help of dry-stone walls, an estate that produces a special wine in an unusual place. It is like a “Noah’s Ark”, where you can find all the herbs and the rich diversity plants Western Liguria stores. A picnic with wine tasting and a wonderful view waits for you.
Our journey ends with a Slow Food dinner in a charming restaurant with local specialties in the historic center of Bordighera.
Total walking time on this day about 5 hours. 13 km, + 450 / -600
Arrivederci e alla prossima!
8th day: departure or extend your stay.