Saorge perched village hiking, in French Riviera, Southern Alps

Join UIMLA- certified mountain guide Fabrice on a beautiful hiking day trip in the picturesque perched village of Saorge, located in the southern Maritime Alps, in the stunning French Riviera.

 
 

Details

 

Trip Duration

1 day

Mountain Range

Alps

People per Guide

12 people

Trip Level

Easy

Offer Period

Apr, May, Sep, Oct

Type of Trip

Not specified

Highlights

 
     

    Saorge (510m) is a scenic medieval perched village within the Mercantour National Park (685km²), in the French Riviera region (known as the Côte d’Azur). It is built in an amphitheater on the steep wooded side of a rugged mountain, overlooking the Roya Valley, on the border with Italy.

    The Côte d’Azur extends over almost 25 kilometers along the Mediterranean Sea, between the cities of Marseille and Martigues, within the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. Among the region’s attractions, there are numerous mountaintop towns, known as perched villages. These were built as fortresses during the Middle Ages.

    Given its pretty large size, location and history, Saorge is one of the most interesting perched villages in the Côte d’Azur. Located one-hour away from Monte Carlo, most of the village developed between the 15th and 17th centuries due to its location on the old salt trade route that passed by. While it had a population of over 3,000 in 1860, nowadays Saorge is home to just over 400 people.

    During our tour, we will take the Peiremont route and hike on sunny slopes through the many relics of feudal times present in the village: old stone bridges, wells, fountains, monuments, and religious buildings such as Roman- and Baroque-style churches, chapels and monasteries. The trail winds up through narrow steep passageways and spectacular terraces covered with beautiful wild orchids, one of Saorge’s icons, mainly during spring (mostly in May). A final trek will take us through a pine and larch forest, and then to a high path with amazing views of the Roya Valley, surrounded by green woods and white limestone rugged mountains.

    This trip is open to everyone. The loop trail has no technical difficulty. It will take us about 3.5 hours and involves a 360-m altitude gain (100 ft.).

    Discover the colorful Saorge village in this fascinating hiking outing. Send me your booking request now!

    If you are looking for other hiking activities around the French Riviera, I recommend this full-day hike in Mercantour National Park.

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    Price per person

     
    Group of 1
    240 EUR

    Group of 2
    125 EUR

    Group of 3
    85 EUR

    Group of 4
    65 EUR

    Group of 5
    50 EUR

    Group of 6
    45 EUR

    Group of 7
    35 EUR

    Group of 8
    35 EUR

     

    Price includes

     
    • Guiding fee
     Please note that the price includes a small local product snack. However, it doesn’t include picnic. This can be provided with a €10 extra charge per person.
     

    Other details

     
    Skill level required

    First time

    Fitness level required

    Open to everyone

    Meeting point

    Saorge Parking. From the commune of Menton, take the A8 highway to Vintimiglia (Italy), and then head north to Breil-sur-Roya and to Fontan. Once in Fontan, turn right towards Saorge Parking.

    More info

    We can help you arrange transportation from Monte Carlo, Nice or any other city in the French Riviera. If interested, please let us know in advance.

    Required equipment:

    • Light walking boots

    • Breathable jacket

    • Micro fleece and mountain t-shirts (if possible, avoid cotton t-shirts)

    • Cap

    • Water bottle (1 liter per person)

    • Sunscreen and sunglasses

     

    About the Guide

     
     

    I am a hiking guide (International Mountain Leader) who has been working all over France (including Provence and the Alps), Italy and Portugal since 2001. I speak fluent English due to my frequent trips to Taos Ski Valley (in New Mexico, USA where my family runs a great hotel and ski school), and my hiking trips in the American Southwest.

    I live mainly in Nice (French Riviera), but I also move all over the Alps working in different alpine valleys. I often visit Martinique (French Caribbean island), where I enjoy rainforest and tropical hikes.

    When I´m not guiding, I also work as a photographer, and like to climb, ski, play tennis, or kitesurf in my spare time. Additionally, I really enjoy botany and history.

    I can guide you for a half day or for as many days as you like. I´ll take you to discover my favourite French Riviera alpine region, and the wild and large Mercantour National Park (counting 8 different valleys) near Nice, Monte Carlo and Cannes.

    In my region we can enjoy the Mediterranean landscape at sea level. As we move into higher altitudes, we will discover alpine lakes, larch or pine forests, orchids and alpine flowers, open meadows, spectacular medieval perched villages and old baroque chapels and churches, with great historic value.

    We can also discover the hiking hotspots in Provence such as Calanques National Park, Verdon gorges, Sainte Victoire and the Var region, with Saint Tropez a particular highlight.

    I also love to hike in Italy in the very famous world heritage Cinque Terre (the amazing national park of the "Five Lands"), or in Liguria near San Remo.

    And finally, I always enjoy taking my guests to the northern Alps: to Chamonix and Mont Blanc´s amazingly large panoramas or to the great Vanoise National Park, the largest in the heart of French Alps.

     
     

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    What People are Saying about Fabrice Morel

     

    The reviewer did not leave a comment
     
    Rachel
    We had an amazing trip, we wanted to explore the Mercantour region, reconnect with nature, and spend quality time as a couple. Fabrice understood the brief, was clear in his guidelines to prepare the trip, proposed different options, and, ultimately, adapted the hikes on a day to day basis based on the weather. For example, instead of having us hike all day in the mountains in pouring rain on the first day, he adapted the program and took us for a hike all around Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat along the riviera coast. The hikes were stunning, especially at this time of the year (fall) with amazing lights and colors. We highly recommend Fabrice as a guide, he is very knowledgeable on the fauna&flora, local history, on wolves. He also initiated us to some key principles of Nordic walking and mindful walking. Thanks Explore & Share team for connecting us. We definitely will do it again and recommend to friends.
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    Brice Gouvernel
    The reviewer did not leave a comment
     
    LAM Jit Sau
    We spent a day hiking with guide Fabrice in Mecantaur Park. It was a great hike with different levels of difficulty. We rested at the lake at around 2000 meters and then made our way to the mountain pass high above. We were rewarded with a lot of wildlife sightings and even a patch of snow in August. Patrice was great and gave us a lot of information about the area and the flora and fauna. He was also great at pointing out historical events that took place in the area in the past.
    Read review

     

     

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