Monday, April 29, 2013

Cap d'Antibes Coastal Trail

The Cap d’Antibes coastal trail or otherwise known as, “Le Sentier du Littoral, Cap d’Antibes” on the very tip of the Antibes peninsula is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon exploring more of the beautiful landscape in Cap d'Antibes.
Before you start on this hike…and it is considered more of hike than a walk, plan to spend 2-3 hours around the cape and it will require you wear proper footwear Beach sandals will not do.

There are no shortcuts or stores so bring enough water and food with you and depending on the time of year be prepared for some strong winds.
There are a few ways to hike this coastal trail, if it is your first time I would suggest starting from the popular Garoupe Beach, just look for signs on the south side of the beach where a wide stone path leads the way.
At first you might think this is going to be easy, but before you know it you are climbing small sets of narrow man-made stairs while teetering on the edge of the sea so be sure to make use of the hand rails provided in certain sections.
It’s all part of the adventure though and very scenic, you’ll find yourself stopping along the way, not necessarily to take a rest as it isn’t that strenuous of a trail but to take in the surroundings and photos.
I’m not normally one to pay attention to various types of vegetation but even among the sections of rocky terrain you’ll notice much of this area is still a very natural environment with loads of greenery, there are plenty of maritime pines mixed with the sweetest fragrances coming from the little flowers growing between the rocks squeezed amongst large exotic plants.
Just when you think you are getting used to the trail, you’ll walk around a corner where the views and character of the trail changes again.
The one thing that is consistent is that you are hiking next to some of the most expensive and exclusive estates in the world, they are very well protected with high stone walls and security cameras but every once in a while you will catch a glimpse inside the grounds of the majestic homes and peaceful looking gardens.

Being surrounded by such lush and dramatic scenery, it’s easy to see why one would want to have a home here.
One of the reasons I like to start at Garoupe Beach is because following the coastal trail this way will also take you towards the historic Villa Eilenroc with the grounds being open to the public for a good portion of the year, this exquisite property feels like a treat after hiking for an hour or so.

Just look for the trail signs marked “Chemin des Contrebandiers” (smugglers path), they will lead you to the Villa Eilenroc estate.
After you leave the grounds, you can continue to walk around the outside of the estate, the views in this location are some of the best In places you can see all the way to Cannes and if you wanted, this is where you can go for a swim at the small beach to cool down before proceeding back along the trail.
From here your choice will be to head back along the trail the same way you came or you can head towards the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc which is practically next door to Villa Eilenroc and carry on through Cap d’Antibes.

Whichever way you decide, you won’t regret taking the time to hike along the Cap d’Antibes Coastal Trail!