Der Zöllnerweg - um das Cap Martin nach Monaco

The coastal trail – sentier littoral – between Roquebrune and Monaco

The old coastal path is a narrow path that was once used by patrolling customs officers to prevent smuggling and pirate attacks. There is this sentier littoral both at the Mediterranean and at the Atlantic, one could hike therefore once almost completely around the french seaside.

On the Mediterranean coast, the path occasionally continues on the road because in some areas the coastline is no longer open to the public. Those who, like us, do not feel like walking on the road, can make great day trips out of the individual sections. 

Today we want to walk the section of the former sentier des douaniers from Roquebrune / Cap Martin towards Monte Carlo / Monaco. As we pass a datcha that belonged to Le Corbusier, this part is also called Promenade le Corbusier.

But before we start, we are hungry.

As usual, the man and I didn’t leave home in time and now it’s almost too late to get lunch somewhere. We don’t want any more baguettes, we had plenty of them recently – unfortunately, we only take a packed lunch exceptionally, because we forget it every time. So our first measure is to look for something to eat…

But unfortunately, the restaurants at the beach promenade in Roquebrune, which are open in wintertime, don’t look so inviting. We walk up and down the promenade and agree more out of despair than out of anticipation on Le Fanal. From the outside, it looks like a beach stall that doesn’t need to pay attention to quality because of its amazing location. However, we wronged the small shop. It turns out to be a direct hit that we will remember for a long time. We eat burgers on the terrace, in front of us only paradise-coloured sea and blue sky. It tastes delicious, we treat ourselves to some dessert and are even lucky with our question about the starting point of our walk. To be recommended all around.

But now: off we go on the coastal path from Cap Martin to Monaco!

We drive to the recommended public parking lot at the Avenue Winston Churchill, park the car and unload the dog. And then we start walking. On our left side: only cliffs and sea and on our right: sometimes a garden behind fence and hedge, but more often only nature. The road is paved, but narrow and unsuitable for wheelchairs and strollers. There are many stairs, also steep, long, winding or all three at once.

But it is worth it. The view is once again overwhelming: the sea is so blue and big! Nature so exotic and wild!

We take breaks on stones or stairs directly at the sea and admire the joggers passing by on the steep stairs. And then we turn completely unprepared around one bend and suddenly see Monaco in front of us, flashing through the vegetation. It comes unexpectedly and a little unwelcome because we are so used to the sight of nature.

At some point, we also pass Le Corbusier’s datcha. I probably do the cottage wrong, but we are quite disappointed. Apart from the fact that it is in a state of renovation and therefore closed ( status beginning 2018), it is small and not very magical or even impressive. Only the view makes you a little jealous of Corbusier. But the railway line would be too close for me. And so we are also at the only disadvantage of this way: we now have to walk a short distance beside the rails. Of course, a train arrives promptly and our ears almost fall off.

We survive and are amazed when we come out at a beach where there is a bar next to a hotel! Even open!

This comes right on cue because the walk is rather a hike with a few meters of altitude and yet a bit exhausting. We treat ourselves to a cool drink on the stones, the dog gets after some back and forth also a little water and then we all rest briefly before we set off on the way back. Unfortunately, it has become late in the meantime and the sun is already setting. We won’t make it to Monaco today. That will stay for another time.

Further parts of the coastal path, which I present on my blog, are at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and around the Cap d’Antibes, also behind St. Tropez around the Cap Camarat.

What did you experience on the sentier littoral? Did you like it?