Friday, 23 September 2011

Walking the coast of the Cote d Azur

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011
With time on my side and a little book called 'La Cote d'Azur à pied' (The Cote d Azur on foot) I set off to discover some of the magical coastal walks you can do between Nice and the Italian border.

If you love the sea, beaches, walking, eating well, and you don't mind the odd glass of refreshing rosé, during, before, or after your walks you will definitely enjoy these heavenly paths.  Its all very civilised!

I will take it one post / walk at a time

Carnolès to Roquebrun - Cap-Martin Walk
Lets start off in Nice. Take the train from Nice Ville (the website for the SNCF train timetable is here to Carnolès situated in the Bay of Menton (which is east of Nice towards the Italian border), its about a half hour journey.

(The local trains are frequent and efficient, and I find this mode of  transport to be one of the easiest and least stressful ways of moving along the coast).

Note: You could also take the train from Nice to Roquebrune-Cap Martin (which is a 20 minute train ride and walk east to Carnolès).

From the train station head down to the beach (5 minute walk) and turn right.

The couple of times I have done this walk I have taken the time to enjoy the beach atmosphere here in Carnolès  with a croissant and coffee in one of their many beach cafés before setting out.

Head west and you will pass Le Pirate Restaurant (below)

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011
Le Pirate restaurant, just along from Carnolès

If you are after a rather bizarre and fun dining experience, try Le Pirate, I first ate here 20 years ago and it was all of the above (and more)! The night included a lot of plate throwing, some pirates, a donkey, some very strange spray (and a rather large bill)!

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011
Another comfortable stop along the walk

After about 5 to 10 minutes you will reach the coastal path and as you continue along you will take in some of the most gorgeous mediterranean scenery, past villas and lush vegetation until you reach one of the most peaceful little beaches on the Cote d'Azur the Plage du Buse.

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011
One of the many beautiful sights from the coastal path

My little book told me the journey to Plage du Buse and back to Carnolès was 2 hours 20 minutes, but If I remember correctly I am pretty sure  I arrived at the beach in 30 to 40 minutes (one way only though and this was at a leisurely pace). 

Walking down to the beach you will pass the famous Swiss born architect Le Corbusier's little wooded cabin.  The path leading down to the beach is named after him and on a sad note, Le Corbusier  died here while swimming in 1965.

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011
Plage du Buse at dusk

Don't despair if you haven't packed your picnic, there is a very casual little cafe right on the sand in the western corner of the beach (where you can also hire chairs and umbrellas).  However, there is probably no need for the umbrella as there is a magnificent and huge tree hanging over the garden wall of the imposing villa situated behind the beach, and this provides ample shade for those that need it.  

The first time I did this walk I arrived at dusk and spent a relaxed and peaceful hour leaning against a big rock, reading and enjoying the whole beach to myself. 

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011
Taken from my cosy spot on my 'private' beach

If you dont want to take the same walk back to Carnolès just walk up the hill to the train station at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin (it's 5 minutes away).

More walks to come :-)

Millie xx

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