08 Mar Scenic Walks & Hikes
Cap Ferrat Peninsula
To get to the village of Saint Jean, you need to take the bus number 15 that leaves from the bus stop called Promenade des Arts located behind Monoprix supermarket on Place Garibaldi. The bus trip takes about 30 min and you want to get out in the heart of the village.
Once a small fishing village, today’s Saint Jean is a lush place believed to be one of the most expensive peninsulas in the world to purchase a property, asking price is no less than €44,000 per sq meter! The walk we have in mind for you is not only one of the best on the Côte d’Azur but also gives you a chance to take a glimpse at these posh residences protected by big gates and security cameras.
The walk takes up to 3 hours (if you decide to walk all the way to Villefranche sur Mer), offers plenty of opportunities for swimming and snorkeling and is overall easy. Please bring plenty of water and maybe some snacks as once leaving the village there is not many options to get refreshments. The path is quite clear and you will find large maps at strategic points but it is not very well marked on the roads between various parts of the path.
Start walking from the village towards the well sign posted Paloma Beach and head east following the coastal path (Promenade des Fossettes).
After a while you will come across a signpost for Chapelle Saint Hospice that is a well worth detour. This 19 century charming chapel with a huge bronze statue of the Madonna and her baby is named after Saint Hospitius, a hermit, that used to live on the peninsula. The little church is surrounded by a peaceful cemetery and a small Belgian military cemetery that remembers the victims of WW1.
Return back to the coast and continue around the small peninsula. Then you need to follow the streets west to the start of the path around the main peninsula.
Continue west up the Avenue Claude Vignon, passing to the right of the beach, then left at the first road junction (Avenue de la Puncia). Continue to the end of this street, and at the left is the “La Carriere” pedestrian sign/map. Keep on walking south, past the gate and big sign “Propertie Privée”. Pass the fancy residences and you’re back out on the rocky and natural coast of the main Cap Ferrat peninsula. Pass the big empty building with graffiti, continue till you reach the lighthouse (built in 1827 but destroyed during the Second World War, then rebuilt in 1951).
Pass the lighthouse, you will find a small fountain with drinking water and shaded bench to cool down, from here continue down left from the fountain. You continue walking on a mixture of paved limestone and dirt path with cliffs hanging underneath you.
The coastal path finishes with a set of steps that eventually lead to a road and Passable Beach, a very popular spot where you can grab a lunch or drink.
If you decide to take a bus back to Nice, you can just walk up from the beach to the main road and wait for bus 15 on the stop called Passable/Rothschild.
Your other option is to take the first possible turn to the left off the main road and continue through the residential area to the bay of Villefranche. Do not walk up to the main road (exit to Beaulieu sur Mer) but turn left passing couple of fancy residences following the train track and this will bring you right to the beach in Villefranche sur Mer.