A Côte d’Azur Gem: Medieval Town Haut de Cagnes

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Something to do outdoors during the “rainy season” on the French Riviera Normally, we are spoilt by the weather in our part of the world, but for the past six weeks, it has been raining and raining. And just when it felt that the worst was finally over, somebody up there decided to throw the sluice gates open once again, and we found ourselves cooped up for yet another week.

Conditions were so atrocious that for much of November and early December, the littoral, the coastal path, was closed, while parts of the “back country”, the arrière pays in the hills, are still in a state of emergency. This, obviously, narrows down for us the possible choice of walks in the area quite considerably, even now that the sun is out again.

You may find yourself in a similar situation one of these days, because no

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The Castles of La Napoule

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The French Riviera would be as beautiful, culturally much poorer without its long history of eccentric Anglo-Saxons The French Riviera is a truly blessed spot – with its richly articulated coastline, its pretty coastal villages, its bays and its boats, its nearly perennial sunshine and pleasant temperatures all year round.

But just to prove that nothing is perfect this side of paradise, there are also a few things it distinctly lacks. Historical interest, above all. So when I heard about the castles of La Napoule, I instantly knew that there was something not quite right about them.

And true enough, as we found out when got to La Napoule (7 kilometres west of Cannes), no medieval knights ever set foot in either, and both “castles” owe their existence to the eclectic tastes of their former owners who were typical representatives of the people who came to

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The Wild West of the French Riviera


Théoule-sur-Mer may lack the glamour and urban flair of some of its coastal neighbours in the East, but has a nice little walk attached to it Looking back over the Easy Hiker posts from the last six months or so, it strikes me how few of them refer to anything that we have done on our home turf.

On the one hand, this is good, I suppose, because it shows how busy we were making all those wonderful sponsored trips to places such as Greece, Malta and the Alps (full disclosure: travel bloggers actually quite like sponsored trips), but on the other hand, it is also a bit of a pity because there is still so much left for us to explore in our own backyard.

Take the western half of the French Riviera, for example: we have, until now, never gone

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Between Nice Old Town and the Deep Blue Sea

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A French Riviera Walk on Mont Boron For people who live in and around Nice, Mont Boron is the most readily accessible piece of “real nature” just in front of their doorstep. It is convenient to reach on foot and/or on public transport, yet sufficiently forest-like to pass for the real thing.

For visitors, Mont Boron is a big chunk of rock, visible from nearly anywhere downtown, particularly if you go a little higher up. It feels temptingly close and yet a little too far away for the kind of visit that you could conveniently squeeze into a day trip itinerary, fascinatingly perched between the town’s suburban outskirts and what passes for “real wilderness” around here. Its lure is quite strong, in one word, and sooner or later, as a repeat visitor, you will want to go.

From up close, however, Mont

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The Final Act for the Irish Bard


Walks in the French Riviera: Walk to the villa on the French Riviera where W B Yeats died. In general, I don’t believe in the theory that you can acquire an understanding of literature through a process of natural osmosis in the places where it was once written – in other words that you can replace, for example, the effects of reading or watching Shakespeare’s plays by bumping your head on low-hanging Elizabethan doorways.

Having said that, visiting places where famous writers spent significant periods of their lives often produces benefits of the unexpected kind.

At the very least, it makes you explore areas that you would not otherwise have visited. This can indeed give you a better feel for the object of your visit – the work of the writer, perhaps, but certainly the town or the country where he has

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