Circuit de Bausson
by Judy Churchill
Gorbio is one of those villages just a stone’s throw away from Monaco that immediately makes you feel as if you’ve entered another world. Nestled on a hill and surrounded by mountains and beautiful scenery, it is a secret local haunt for Sunday lunch and the start point for several beautiful trails. Gorbio is a picturesque medieval village with a pretty fountain in the village square and is always worth a visit whether you are hiking or not.
Today we are going to do a Happy Hiker blue trail on the Circuit de Bausson. This hike is still called a ‘circuit’ despite the fact that the route changed a couple of years ago and it’s now a ‘there and back’ up to St Sebastien Chapel and not a loop as before. One of the advantages of this lower altitude trail is that it can be done all year round when other areas are covered in snow.
This beautiful trail is 7.9km long and will take you around 4 hours to complete with 540 m of positive gain. The halfway point is at the foot of the beautiful village of Saint Agnes which is a great place to have lunch while visiting its quaint streets, artisanal boutiques and historic castle (if you have the energy for the final climb). Otherwise, the hillside opposite the chapel is a good place to have a picnic before going back down to Gorbio.
From the car park in Gorbio take the wide path (GR51) to St Lazare Chapel and the bridge over the torrent du Ray. Take the paved path on the left and walk up between an olive grove and vegetable allotments. The path becomes steeper as you climb up the ravine. You will eventually arrive at a flatter part in the old abandoned Bausson area with its ruins and abandoned plots (I love this part). The path then goes up right and you will come out onto the RD 22, the road that links Peille and St Agnes. Walk down for 50 m and you will see the continuation of the pathway on your left taking you up to the Col de Bausson (791m). Go down eastwards towards St Agnes enjoying the beautiful views on a pathway that crosses over another track at one point. You will soon arrive at the St Sebastien chapel at the foot of St Agnes. Go back the way you came up.
When walking, I advise taking hiking sticks, as they will help you with both the ascents and the way down. They also guarantee you get a full body work out. You’ll need a cap and sunglasses to keep the sun off your face (the sun is a lot stronger in the hills and mountains so don’t forget the sunscreen). Remember to take more water than you think you’ll need (at least a litre and a half per person) and enough protein bars for during and after the hike. I always have a high fibre, high protein breakfast before I set off which means that I don’t need to carry a large picnic with me as good protein bars are sufficient (always take a couple of extra ones). Purpose-made hiking boots/shoes, a roll-up rain jacket, first aid kit and a rucksack are a must and you will need lighter wear for the Spring/Summer season and heavier/warmer for Autumn and Winter. I have a Bogner zip-up, long-sleeved, light-weight golfing jacket from One Eagle Monaco which not only enables full range of movement but is also great for cooler Spring/Autumn walks as it keeps you at the perfect body temperature. In the winter months, you will need extra layers of clothing, gloves, a warm hat and thicker socks. Last but not least, you will need the IGN TOP 25 map n° 3742 OT map (Nice-Menton) to mark out your trail before you set off.
If you are a French speaker you can also find the hike on this link: https://randoxygene.departement06.fr/pays-mentonnais/circuit-de-bausson-9259.htmlbut you will still need your IGN map as these online guides are only approximate. There are also hiking specific apps such as Visorando, which have both free and purchasable versions and can be very useful guides and even have GPS options https://www.visorando.comhttps://www.visorando.comwhic.
If you have Strava you can record your walk on this app and it will give you lots of fascinating statistics at the end as well as totalling up the number of km/altitude you do in any given year.
When you’re done, I strongly recommend a foot massage using Young Living Essential Foot Oil (a combo of Rosemary, Peppermint and Lavender) – your feet will thank you later!
Enjoy your hike and don’t forget your camera!
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