My walk along the Côte d’Azur was unplanned, but very enjoyable. I had arrived on the Côte d’Azur to visit a friend who lives in Cagnes-sur-Mer (near Nice), while the knee injury I had sustained during my previous walk (along the Canal du Midi in south-west France) improved.
As my knee (ligament damage only) actually felt looser when exercised, and as the French Riviera is absolutely beautiful, and made for a very easy walk, I decided that a light walk might actually help me recover.
As my knee required light exercise only, this walk along the French Riviera was ideal. I planned it so that I would only walk a few kilometres each day, and at the end of each day’s walking I would return to my friend’s house in Cagnes-sur-Mer.
The entire 50 kilometre route (about 31 miles), along the coastal road (M6098) has a proper pavement (although this narrows in places to the width of just one person). And although the topography in this area is rather hilly (mountainous even), the actual coastal road is reasonably level – passing through tunnels, and over bridges, where necessary. Most of the tunnels are fairly short, and walkers are kept well away from the road traffic). There is only one tunnel where pedestrians are forbidden (the 620 metre long Tunnel du Cap Estel). However, there is a very simple detour around the tunnel, along a very quiet road overlooking the stunning little Hôtel le Cap Estel.
A few words of warning though:
As mentioned, the width of the pavement varies, and in places is wide enough for one person only. So if there are two (or more) of you, single-file walking is necessary. No problem there.The potential problem arrives when you hit a long straight section of road. Especially when the road ahead is empty. The natural instinct is for one person to step onto the road, allowing side-by-side walking (which makes conversation much easier). However, motorists use these long stretches of straight road as overtaking places, allowing them to pass slower-moving traffic (of which there is quite a lot – motorists admiring the same view that you are).
So the danger is that, although the road ahead is empty, there may be an overtaking motorist (therefore on the wrong side of the road), coming right up behind you – at speed!
So if you do decide to walk along this road, be *very* careful.
Always follow the coastal road (the well-signposted M6098). It is usually fairly obvious which road to follow if you have a choice.
There is one exception though!
As the road passes through the town of Cap d’Ail, once you have reached the end of the main shopping street you will come to a roundabout. Ignore the green and white “vers N7” sign which points up the hill. Instead, keep walking in the same direction. It will soon be pretty obvious that you are on the right road. If in doubt, follow the buses/bus stops!