Nestled between France’s Maritime Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, Monaco mixes astonishing coastal cliffs and utopic beaches with mountainous zones and lush greenery. Not sure where to go to appreciate the wide variety of trails, viewpoints and gardens around Monaco? Here are our top 4 Monaco nature spots.
Here’s where to appreciate nature in Monaco & beyond
The Sentier Littoral
The Sentier Littoral is a long coastal path outlining the rugged Cote d’Azur coastline. A favourite of Winston Churchill and Greta Garbo, the path is family-friendly, safe and signposted all along the way. The Sentier Littoral also crosses some of the best of Monaco’s gardens and landmarks – such as the Japanese gardens and the Grimaldi Forum – meaning you can sneak a peek as you wander.
Start out at Plage Marquet in Monaco and make your way to Cap d’Ail. For hiking aficionados, the path continues all the way up to Menton. The crystal-clear Mediterranean is the perfect blue backdrop for this scenic route that will show you the best of Monaco’s nature. Discover rare flora and fauna, volcanic rock and lush wooded areas along the way, and don’t forget to pack a towel in case you decide to take a cool dip in a secluded beach.
The Gorges du Loup
Spectacular waterfalls, thrilling wooded trails and steep limestone canyon views await you in the Loup Valley, at the feet of the Gourdon. This must-see spot, although located roughly 50 kilometres from the Principality, will amaze all those looking for nature near Monaco. Make sure you stop by the impressive Cascade de Courmes, a freefalling waterfall that lands on mossy rocks and turquoise pools.
The small medieval villages and picturesque towns in the surrounding Provence are worth a visit as well!
The Dog’s Head of Monaco
If you don’t want to leave the Principality, the Chemin Romain is a fantastic path that mixes panoramic urban views with stunning Monaco nature. Start the hike in Cap d’Ail and climb your way up to the Dog’s Head, a 550-meter-high rock historically used as a military strategic base that overlooks the French Riviera and beautiful Monaco gardens.
From wildflower patches to vistas of the glittering sea and views of luxurious Monaco real estate, this 6.5 kilometer walk is worth breaking a sweat for. The signposted path can be quite steep and climbing may be required in some areas.
The Massif de l’Esterel
Roughly 80 kilometres away from Monaco, the Massif’s rugged landscapes, sharp cliffs and arid red rock almost feels like an other-worldly experience. The Massif offers many marked paths for all levels of hiking and biking. From deep ravines, secluded coves and sunny peaks to dry lands, coastal views and beautiful lush greenery, the range of microclimates and landscapes are representative of the wide variety of nature near Monaco.
The Massif offers year-round spectacular views of the Mediterranean but only a few lucky ones will be able to spot Corsica on extra-clear days. Don’t miss out on the vistas from the Pic de l’Ours and Pic du Cap Roux.