GR51 Balcony of the Cote d'Azur
Length: 508 km Hightest altitude: 970 m
NOTE: The trail is still there (2009) but the FFRP guide is no longer available (since at least 2000). There is/was apparently a conflict with a segment of trail on private property that precluded publishing the trail. The FFRP GR51 guide was last published January, 1993.
This hike follows the international GR51 (Grande Randonnée) trail roughly east-west along the coast.
The eastern end begins at the train station of Menton-Garavan (a 15-minute walk east of Menton). There's a good steep climb at the beginning, but once you're up there where the cool air and the view is, it's pretty much flat, except for the occasional drop down to a valley and back up again. Beyond's GR52 Menton hiking page.
Some of the villages the GR51 passes through are:
Ste. Agnes (above Menton), St. Martin de Peille (above Monaco);
Drap (above Villefranche and Beaulieu-sur-Mer), Tourrette-Levens, Aspremont, Colomars, Gattières, St. Jeannet;
Gorges du Loup, Gourdon (just below the village);
le Bar-sur-Loup, Cabris, Auribeau-sur-Siagne;
Gorges-du-Blavet (south of Bagnols-en-Forêt);
le Muy, Roquebrune-sur-Argens, Cogolin;
Cassis and Marseilles.
Information about maps for the GR51 route is given on our GR51 Maps page.
Individual GR51 Sections
For some of the GR51 sections we have pages with firsthand information and photos. The links are at the top of this page: "GR51 Menton - Ste Agnes, GR51 Gorbio - Drap", etc.
For the Alpes-Maritimes department, the Comité départemental Alpes Maritimes website (http://www.cdrp06.org/) has information on hiking, among other things. One page in particular [http://www.cdrp06.org/sentiers.php] has the latest trail information, indicating parts of trails that may be closed for various reasons.