The French Riviera is a natural wonderland for both aesthete and athlete. The diverse terrain and unique climate draws those seeking a more active escape, from breathtaking hikes to the peak of Mont Agel to playing tennis in the stunningly situated courts of the famed Monte Carlo Country Club.
In The Mountains
Sitting between France and Monaco and hovering at 1148 metres above sea level, Mont Agel proudly signifies the highest point of Monaco in the Maritime Alps. For sweeping views of the coastline from Cannes to Menton, follow the Tour du Mont Agel trail – a 9.2 kilometre loop starting in Peille and passing by the beautifully situated Monte Carlo Golf Club. During spring, you’ll be rewarded with blankets of wildflowers at your feet.
Moving between steep mountain terrain and barren, lunar landscapes, the Alpes-Maritimes are a haven for pro and amateur cyclists. There are miles of diverse tracks and heroic climbs to choose from – Col de la Madone with its hairpin turns and sharp gradients, or a scenic, more undulating ride from Nice to Cap d’Antibes. If you’d rather watch from afar, the Tour de France challenges the world’s best racers with legendary climbs and descents through Nice, Monaco and Monte Carlo, while Race to the Sun follows riders from Paris to Nice, navigating some of Europe’s most testing and wildly beautiful terrain.
The French Riviera is blessed with a wild and verdant landscape where meandering, scenic roads lead either to the sea or to the mountains. Immortalised in Hitchcock’s ‘To Catch a Thief’, Le Grand Corniche is the highest of the three Corniche Roads that follow the rocky, alpine stretch from Nice to Menton. Hairpin turns and steep drops give way to dramatic coastal views below, making for an equally spirited and spectacular drive.
By The Coast
With its amphitheatre shape and spectacular water-side location, the tennis courts at Monte Carlo Country Club in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin are renowned as the most picturesque in the world. Designed by architect Charles Letrosne in an Art Déco style, 12 of the 20 courts are reserved for international play – including hosting the prestigious Monte Carlo Masters each year. Cypress trees and shaded pathways separate the courts, and whether a novice or seasoned player, it is hard to imagine a more thrilling or arresting spot to watch the ball (and the world) go by.
Punctuated with jagged coves and azure waters, the Côte d'Azur is a paradise for those who love the water. The warmth and clarity of the Mediterranean Sea in the summer months offers near-perfect conditions to swim, dive and explore, from ancient shipwrecks teaming with marine life in the coves of The Var, to snorkelling amongst the vibrant seagrass meadows at Paloma Beach in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
With it’s rolling terrain and elevated position between the mountains and the sea, the Monte Carlo Golf Club is an 18-hole course set to challenge and excite. While the course requires skill and precision, the endless views are simply there to enjoy. Pleasingly, nine holes overlook the glittering Mediterranean sea while the remaining nine face the often snow-tipped Alpine Peaks.