Saint Jean-Cap-Ferrat Hike
There's a nice hiking path along the rocky seaside all the way around the small peninsula and the main peninsula of St.Jean-Cap-Ferrat. The path is very clear, and it's marked by a large sign/map at strategic points, but it's not clearly marked on the roads between different parts of the path.
The path around the small peninsula and most of the main peninsula is wide, concrete-stone. Along the western side of the main peninsula parts of the path are hard-packed dirt and some stony parts, and just enough of ups and downs to give you a bit of exercise. The path varies, and the views vary, with different winds and diffferent light depending on what side you're on. All in all it's a lovely walk.
We began at the Port and hiked around both peninsulas but, depending on the time you have, you can skip out the first one (or the second).
From the Port, walk south and up the road past La Voile d'Or hotel-restaurant. At the first junction (straight or left), go straight, past the hotel Brise Marine, to the junction of Ave Claude Vignon.
Le Pined (10 min)
This is Le Pined, at the neck of the small St Hospice peninsula. (You could turn right here to take the path around the main peninsula only.) Turn left, towards "Chapelle St. Hospice". About 300 m down the road you arrive at Paloma Beach.
Paloma Beach (15 min)
Go down the steps at the left to the beach, and the start of the real "sentier". (There's parking along the road here, but in the summer you would need to get here early.)
You walk across the beach to the path, then follow the path all the way around the point. No more directions needed until you get back to Le Pined again. Just enjoy the walk and the view. On a cloudy and almost rainy Saturday in October we met a group of young Sports Students coming out of the choppy water after skin-diving.
La Madone (35 min)
At the pedestre sign/map here, you can turn right for an optional excursion to the St Hospice chapel at the top of the hill, or continue on the main path around the peninsula.
St Hospice [15 min round-trip, plus sightseeing time]
Go right up the lane from La Madone. At the end, turn right and follow the road up to the chapel. There's a very, very large bronze statue of the Madonna and child, the early-19th century chapel, and a military cemetery for the 1914-18 war.
La Madone (still 35 min, excluding any side excursion)
Continue on the path around the peninsula.
Le Pined (45 min)
Back where you started around the small peninsula, you now need to follow the streets west to the start of the path around the main peninsula. There is a water fountain here so you can re-fill you canteens.
Go west up the Ave Claude Vignon, passing to the right of the beach, then left at the first road junction (Ave d. l. Puncia). Continue to the end of this street, and at the left is the "La Carriere" pedestre sign/map.
La Carriere (55 min)
Continue south here, past the gate and big red sign "Propertie Privée" (it's not intended for you). A few minutes past the fancy residences and you're out on the rocky and natural coast of the main Cap Ferrat peninsula.
Here, along with other walkers, we saw a few people fishing from the rocks along the shore. The path goes south, then around the headland to the picturesque lighthouse at the southwestern tip, Pointe Malolongue.
Le Phare (1h40)
Le Phare is the lighthouse. It's very pretty out here, and very rocky. Going on, up the western side there's more trees and a wilder beauty. When you pass Le Phare, you want the path that goes down to the left. Other paths will take you up to the right towards the center of the peninsula.
Le Lido (2h30) The coastal path ends here, down near the water at Pointe Pilone. We saw a few scuba divers here, on a sunny Sunday in October. From the seaside, there's a short flight of steps up to the road.
Le Lido - Left. We went left at the road, down past a parking lot to the Plage de Passable beach. I think you can cross the beach and up some steps at the far left corner, then follow the streets back around to the right and to your starting point at the St Jean port. We didn't see that way off the beach at the time, and went back to the path exit "Le Lido" and continued the other way.
Le Lido - Right. Right, up the road and past one zig, to the "Chemin du Roy" pedestre sign/map.
Chemin du Roy (2h40, not counting our jaunt to the beach and back)
From here we followed the road to the right towards "Leopold II" as instructed.
It would probably be more efficient if you went straight/left, going the other way on the Chemin du Roy road. Then you can circle right (east and southeast) back to St Jean port. That would be roughly the same route as if you had crossed the beach.
Leopold II (3h00)
The pedestre sign/map here is at the junction of Chemin du Roy and Bvd General de Gaulle. From here there's no direct way back; the streets seem to all want to take you north or south, and you need east.
We turn right (south) on Bvd General de Gaulle and immediately left into the Allée des Pins (you can't see there's a road here from the Leopold II juction just a few meters away).
- Junction end of Allée des Pins, angle right, down the Ave Centrale.
- Junction, cross over (not left or right) still on Ave Centrale.
- Junction, left onto Allée des Brises
- Junction, continue straight (more or less) on Allée des Brises
There's a pedestre sign/map here, but we couldn't figure out a name for this location. There's a wonderful view here, looking west, down across the top of St Jean village and the St Hospice peninsula. Take the long flight of steps down and at the bottom continue on back to your starting point.
St Jean Port (3h35)
IGN (1/25,000) #3742 OT "Nice-Menton"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #26 "Pay d'Azur"