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Saorge perched village hiking, in French Riviera, Southern Alps

Saorge perched village hiking, in French Riviera, Southern Alps | undefined

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.

Alps

1 Day

Apr, May, Sep, Oct

Low


Description

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.

Price includes

- Guiding fee

Price details

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.


Details

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

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.

FAQs

What are some recommended accommodations near our adventure location?

We understand that finding the perfect place to stay is an essential part of your adventure experience. To help you with this, we’ve curated a list of three highly recommended hotels that offer comfort, convenience, and a touch of local charm. These accommodations are well-suited for adventurers looking to relax and rejuvenate after an exciting day of exploration
Le Mas de Pierre Saint Paul de Vence France
See rooms
Toile Blanche Saint Paul de Vence France
See rooms
Villa Saint Paul Saint Paul de Vence France
See rooms

About the guide

Guide profile image

Fabrice

4.90

(41)

Mountain Leader

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.

Languages

French | English

Certificates

UIMLA

Request more information

What people are saying about this trip

Wanda

5.00

We had a great time on this hike! Our guide Fabrice was excellent: very knowledgeable about all the geological, historical, and cultural aspects of Nice and the surrounding area. He made sure that we were comfortable with the pace of the hike, and the sites we wanted to visit. It was a wonderful experience that we would highly recommend.

Sue

5.00

Fabrice is a first-class guide! Taking into account last-minute weather changes and after assessing our fitness, he quickly customised an exciting itinerary that led us from the Préalpes to the beautiful hilltop villages of Gourdon, Tourettes-sur-Loup and Saint-Paul-de-Vence. He pointed out great photo opportunities, so we managed to take plenty of nicely-framed photos on our smartphones. Fabrice also introduced us to the game of pétanque and thanks to him, we were able to understand and appreciate the games as they were being played by the locals during our trip.

Laurice

5.00

Fabrice was a wonderful guide who was very knowledgable about the area - from geography, history to the animals and plants we saw on our hike, he had a story to tell for all of them! He was incredibly nice to drive us to the mountains and back our Airbnb (only around 1.5 hours into the mountain) and the hike that we settled on was perfect - we saw multiple groups of ibexes and chamois, took in the wonderful Alps scenery and ended our hike at a beautiful alpine lake. I can’t recommend the experience more since it added so much to our trip in the Riviera, it was a truly differentiated experience. Would definitely be back again.

Sue

5.00

Fabrice is a first-class guide! Taking into account last-minute weather changes and after assessing our fitness, he quickly customised an exciting itinerary that led us from the Préalpes to the beautiful hilltop villages of Gourdon, Tourettes-sur-Loup and Saint-Paul-de-Vence. He pointed out great photo opportunities, so we managed to take plenty of nicely-framed photos on our smartphones. Fabrice also introduced us to the game of pétanque and thanks to him, we were able to understand and appreciate the games as they were being played by the locals during our trip.


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