The sentier du littoral (coastal walkway) by Antibes is a 1-2 hour hike along a narrow, coastal trail that is somewhat of a hidden gem among the flashy destinations of Monaco, Eze, or Nice along the Code d’Azur.
I think it’s a lovely way to experience a part of the Riviera coast – following a super cool path that takes you right along the water’s edge, traversing winding stairs, through cool little alcoves and beaches, and providing gorgeous views. As far as walks go, you really can’t beat it!
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How to Get to the Sentier du Littoral by Antibes
We did the sentier du littoral of Antibes as a day trip from Nice, so we took a bus from Nice to Antibes. Honestly, I would not recommend this mode of transportation. We took the bus because it was a bit cheaper, but it took much, much longer to get there. If we go back someday, I would definitely spend a few extra euros and save an hour or two of travel and take the train or get a rental car.
Most trains between the two cities take only 15-25 minutes (in contrast, we were on the bus for close to 2 hours). At the train station, you can buy a ticket either from the counter, or from the ticket kiosk. Check what platform your train is leaving from, and make sure to validate your ticket in the orange machines before you board (very important).
Getting From the City of Antibes to Cap d’Antibes
If you arrive by train from Nice (or any other city), you will be arriving at the Gare d’Antibes (Antibes train station). The Sentier Littoral starts at Plage de la Garoupe (Garoupe beach) on Cap d’Antibes (the cape of Antibes). The walk between those two places is pretty long, about 50 minutes. If you don’t want to walk, you can either catch a taxi or an uber, or take a (much shorter) bus ride.
The gare routière (bus station) is just about a five minute walk from the train station. It’s located at 1 Place Guynemer. You will take the #2 bus to the Fontaine stop – this should take about 15 minutes.
Once at the Fontaine stop, walk east on Blvd John Fitzgerald Kennedy (apparently the Kennedy’s frequently summered in the area and stayed at a Hotel on this street). Turn right on Blvd de la Garoupe, and finally right on Chemin de la Garoupe to get to the beach. It’s an easy 10 minute walk from the station to the beach. On the far end of the beach, the trail starts!
The Sentier du Littoral Trail
The sentier du littoral trail winds all along the coast of the cape with a variety of landscapes. The most iconic sections tend to get very narrow and go down close to the water as you walk along those craggily rocks that just scream “Mediterranean” to me. These sections often have great lookout points or coves where the water will crash into large sprays as the waves are forced to narrow suddenly against the rocks.
Other sections feature charming stone work – from stairways to covered walks to old buildings. Still other sections widen out and feel more park-like as you walk along the edge of the grounds of some very ritzy properties, and you can admire some really exquisite landscaping. The variety means you’ll never get bored, and, of course, the whole way you have great views of the sea!
The trail ends at the Bay of Antibes Billionaires (yes, it’s really called that.) The bay has a rocky beach and some really cool stone formations to explore. There are a few spots where you can spread out a picnic, relax and enjoy the views!
We spent a couple of hours walking and exploring the trail and all the cool little spots. It’s a very easy walk, despite some stairs and some uneven, rocky spots. If you are with young kids, you’ll want to keep a very close eye on them, as there are a few spots with steep drop-offs into the sea.
We were there in the beginning of April, and there were just a handful of other people on the trail. I’m sure there are more people in summer, but I get the impression that it’s not a super touristy trail or highly trafficked trail, while still being well-known locally.
Once you are done at the Bay of Antibes Billionaires, there is a little path that takes you back out to a regular road. It will connect you to Avenue Mrs. Beaumont, which will take you back to the bus station on Blvd John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The walk is about 10 minutes long and is really fun – it’s down quiet streets, past big manors and estates that you can peek at as you walk by.
Tip: Double check the bus timetable before you leave so you know about when to get to the bus stop, and to make sure you don’t miss the last bus!
I think this hike works excellent as a day trip from another neighboring city; you can also explore the city of Antibes after you finish your hike!
Where to Stay
Antibes is just 30 minutes by car from Nice, so hiking the sentier du littoral of Antibes works excellently as a day trip from Nice.
When you stay in Nice, I highly recommend staying at this perfectly located hotel. We loved being just a minute to the Promenade des Anglais, the Jardin Albert 1, and Old Town. Plus, it has a boulangerie AND fromagerie (cheese shop) just around the corner! Thankfully, there is a mini-fridge in the room (you don’t always get that in France) for storing my stash of cheese!
If you’d rather stay in a smaller, cozier town, we loved staying in Aix-en-Provence – I would highly recommend it! It’s just under two hours away from Antibes by car – so it’s a longer day trip, but still doable.
This adorable hotel in Aix-en-Provence has old French architectural details and is centrally located, just a few blocks away from the Cours Mirabeau. It’s the perfect spot for exploring Aix and immersing yourself in old French charm.
Other Day Trip Options
From Nice or Aix-en-Provence, you can also visit many other beautiful villages in France. We visited and loved the beautiful cities of Menton and Monaco. The Calanques of Cassis are a stunning place to hike, and La Gorge du Verdon is a beautiful canyon. Pont du Gard is a really impressive roman aqueduct. There are so many places to explore in Provence!
How to Get Around on Day Trips
These recommendations are for getting between cities in southern France – when you’re in a city, you generally only need your two legs to get around! If you do need public transportation within a city, take the bus
When going between cities in southern France, we’ve done just about every mode of transportation – train, bus, and rental car – and there are pros and cons to each!
Renting a car gives you the most flexibility, but it is also the most hands-on option (need to navigate, find parking, etc). Thankfully, driving in France is fairly straightforward, road conditions are good, and traffic on the freeways isn’t bad at all.
Driving in downtown Nice was not my favorite, but worth it to get the flexibility. We chose this option on our second trip to southern France because some places we wanted to hit weren’t easily accessible to train and much less convenient by bus.
If you stay at our favorite hotel near the Old Town, there are several car rental spots right around the corner on Avenue Gustave V. This was perfect – we waited until we needed the car to pick it up instead of renting it from the airport and then having it sit in a street parking while we explored Nice, and it was super convenient to pick up.
Most cars in France are manual transmission, so if that’s going to be a problem you’ll want to make your car reservation for an automatic as early as possible (limited number of automatic cars) and be prepared to spend a little more.
If the places you want to visit are easily accessible by train this is an excellent option for getting around southern France. You don’t have to mess with parking, tolls, driving in narrow old towns, or navigating.
However, sometimes the train routes do not connect directly to the places you want to visit. Plus, there is always less flexibility when you aren’t driving yourself.
This is the cheapest option, but honestly, this is my least favorite option because it’s the slowest. Buses can take a long time! It’s a good option though if you don’t need to go far. For example, if I was staying in Nice and wanted to visit Villefranche-sur-Mer, the village riiiiiight next to Nice, I wouldn’t take the train. It’s close enough to just take the bus.
So, which one to choose?
I would choose a car if…
- You want to get places really early or stay late
- If you are planning on going a new place everyday or almost every day
- If the places you want to visit aren’t easily accessible by train (no direct route or the direct route is much slower than the driving time)
I would choose the train if…
- You don’t want to deal with the hassle of parking and navigating
- You are only doing a couple of day trips
- You want the experience of taking the train in France
- The places you want to go are easily accessible by train from where you’re staying
I would choose the bus if…
- You are on an incredibly tight budget
- The places you want to visit are super close to where you are staying
Overall, we loved this pleasant afternoon walking the sentier du littoral of Antibes and would definitely recommend a stop at this off the beaten path location in Provence!