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Starting the Camino in Nice

2020 Camino Guides

Denys Cherniavskyi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
planning in 2019
Hi everybody! I'm planning my fist Camino visit in 2019. The thing is I'm a huge fan of France and I would like to spend more time walking thru Cote d'Azur from Nice or any nearby city/village. Do you know is it possible at all and is there any specific route with places to spend the nights?
I had this idea when saw the map of Camino on Wikipedia, and there is a marked route from Arles.
Thank you in advance!
60211
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
Welcome to the Forum. Do consider the weather. I walked from Arles to just past Toulouse in the month of August - it was unbearably hot. No politics mind you but "you don't need a weatherman to know" that it's only getting hotter.If you insist on a summer pilgrimage, consider Le Puy, higher altitude, constantly changing scenery, far more interesting churches and architecture-Le Puy, Conques, Rocamadour, the Célé valley and Pech-Merle , Cahors, Moissac. My favorite Camino in France!
 

billmclaughlin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP/Burgos 2012; Le Puy/SJPP 2013; Aumont Aubrac/Aire sur l'Adour 2014; Burgos/Santiago 2016.
I spent a few days on the Arles route a few years ago (started from Montpellier at the end of April) and I had it pretty much all to myself. I quickly abandoned it for the wonderful and far more social Le Puy route.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I think your challenge will be finding pilgrim focused accommodation, but the tourist info offices and town halls (mairies) may be able to help. Otherwise you can likely cobble together some tourist lodgings as you go.

You may find an arrow at the cathedral, as there is a coastal route that passes Nice; otherwise just keep heading west. :)
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I started out from Monaco this year, and I walked through Nice -- I'd actually advise starting at Saint-Raphaël or Fréjus, as the walk out from towards Nice either makes some lengthy detours through mostly uninteresting woodland hillsides, whilst the traditional route takes you through the very extensive suburbs and dormitory towns between Nice and Mandelieu.

Having said that, Vence would be a good place to start as an alternative -- it's a lovely town, and the walk down from there towards Mandelieu isn't so bad.

I'd advise following the coast between Mandelieu and Saint-Raphaël -- it's tarmac, but the Estérel coastline is extremely beautiful, and in season you should be able to easily find yourself a place to sleep at campsites or wherever

There is actually a fair amount of pilgrim accommodation available on the route, but it can often be a little bit hard to get the info -- but there's a partial list on the local association web site : http://www.compostelle-paca-corse.i...info/files/page/318/gr653amaj19-05-2019-1.pdf --- I have a more detailed list than this, but due to multiple problems with some people who have abused people's trust, that list has to be kept confidential, and I cannot abuse it either by sharing it (truth is, I'm not even supposed to have it myself) ; BUT, once you're on the way and people can see you're trustworthy, you can get the information at least piecemeal -- this pdf list as you can see mainly gives addresses mainly for the more commercial possibilities available to all, not just pilgrims.

The one commercial pilgrim's lodging that I can recommend is the Hotel du Parc at Lorgues, especially if the morning after is a market day -- I slept there in unusual conditions, but normally there's a pilgrim price for those with their credencial including the evening meal, and their beds are most comfortable

So what I'd advise is contacting the various parishes locally, and there's even some pilgrim accommodations available that are not on ANY list, public or private. It does help a lot in this respect if you are a practising Catholic. The tourist offices will tend to direct you towards youth hostels.

There are two actual pilgrim refugios between Menton and Arles -- the one at Puget sur Argens is a truly excellent one -- so that would definitely be a place you'd want to stop for the night ; and then a little out of the way, there's another at La Fare les Oliviers, a bit more old school and so a little less comfortable, but the hospitaleros there are wonderful people and the village itself is very pleasant, and with many useful shops and &c, and I would unhesitatingly recommend making the detour via La Fare

It's generally a good idea to finish your daily walking before 4 PM for sleeping purposes, as volunteers who help pilgrims out down here are nearly always the sorts of retired French pilgrims who keep those sorts of habits, and they can get confused and even annoyed by people arriving "late".

--

The route from Arles onwards is well frequented, and so from that point on you should have little trouble finding refugios.
 
Last edited:

Denys Cherniavskyi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
planning in 2019
I started out from Monaco this year, and I walked through Nice -- I'd actually advise starting at Saint-Raphaël or Fréjus, as the walk out from towards Nice either makes some lengthy detours through mostly uninteresting woodland hillsides, whilst the traditional route takes you through the very extensive suburbs and dormitory towns between Nice and Mandelieu.

Having said that, Vence would be a good place to start as an alternative -- it's a lovely town, and the walk down from there towards Mandelieu isn't so bad.

I'd advise following the coast between Mandelieu and Saint-Raphaël -- it's tarmac, but the Estérel coastline is extremely beautiful, and in season you should be able to easily find yourself a place to sleep at campsites or wherever

There is actually a fair amount of pilgrim accommodation available on the route, but it can often be a little bit hard to get the info -- but there's a partial list on the local association web site : http://www.compostelle-paca-corse.i...info/files/page/318/gr653amaj19-05-2019-1.pdf --- I have a more detailed list than this, but due to multiple problems with some people who have abused people's trust, that list has to be kept confidential, and I cannot abuse it either by sharing it (truth is, I'm not even supposed to have it myself) ; BUT, once you're on the way and people can see you're trustworthy, you can get the information at least piecemeal -- this pdf list as you can see mainly gives addresses mainly for the more commercial possibilities available to all, not just pilgrims.

The one commercial pilgrim's lodging that I can recommend is the Hotel du Parc at Lorgues, especially if the morning after is a market day -- I slept there in unusual conditions, but normally there's a pilgrim price for those with their credencial including the evening meal, and their beds are most comfortable

So what I'd advise is contacting the various parishes locally, and there's even some pilgrim accommodations available that are not on ANY list, public or private. It does help a lot in this respect if you are a practising Catholic. The tourist offices will tend to direct you towards youth hostels.

There are two actual pilgrim refugios between Menton and Arles -- the one at Puget sur Argens is a truly excellent one -- so that would definitely be a place you'd want to stop for the night ; and then a little out of the way, there's another at La Fare les Oliviers, a bit more old school and so a little less comfortable, but the hospitaleros there are wonderful people and the village itself is very pleasant, and with many useful shops and &c, and I would unhesitatingly recommend making the detour via La Fare

It's generally a good idea to finish your daily walking before 4 PM for sleeping purposes, as volunteers who help pilgrims out down here are nearly always the sorts of retired French pilgrims who keep those sorts of habits, and they can get confused and even annoyed by people arriving "late".

--

The route from Arles onwards is well frequented, and so from that point on you should have little trouble finding refugios.
Thank you sooooo much for such detailed response! Will consider everything you said and try to build my own route. Might get back to you some time later for a piece of advice)
 

Denys Cherniavskyi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
planning in 2019
Welcome to the Forum. Do consider the weather. I walked from Arles to just past Toulouse in the month of August - it was unbearably hot. No politics mind you but "you don't need a weatherman to know" that it's only getting hotter.If you insist on a summer pilgrimage, consider Le Puy, higher altitude, constantly changing scenery, far more interesting churches and architecture-Le Puy, Conques, Rocamadour, the Célé valley and Pech-Merle , Cahors, Moissac. My favorite Camino in France!
Thank you! Did you left the route at Moissac? How did you get back to the city, the nearest is Toulouse.
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
Thank you! Did you left the route at Moissac? How did you get back to the city, the nearest is Toulouse.
I left the route at SdC six weeks later. Should you wish to leave, Moissac is a good choice, the train station is right across the street from the Ultreia Albergue of Rom and Aideen, warm Irish welcome and expect lots of potatoes for dinner!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I was thinking about very similar route. But I'm not sure how to get back to "civilization" from Auvillar or Moissac or Lauzerte. Can I take the bus to Toulouse?
I had an extra two days, so walked along the canal from Moissac to Auvillar, then back to Moissac. Took the train from Moissac, transferred in Bordeaux to go back to Paris for my flight to USA...very easy!
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
You can take the train from Moissac to Toulouse also.
 

Simon Shum

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Oct 2013, Porto, San Salvador & Primitivo 2014. Norte 2016, VdLP & Via Francigena 2017
Couple months ago we took blablacar from Moissac to Toulouse, then we found out there are almost hourly or every couple hours trains to Toulouse at less than 10 euros. very convenient. We then took the train to Lourdes, a very enjoyable stay there in the pilgrim gite!
 

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