La Chapelle Sainte –Anne
by Judy Churchill
This time I’m taking you to one of the lesser known but extremely scenic valleys in the hinterland of Nice.
This hike in the beautiful, unspoilt Moyenne Tinée Valley starts in the picturesque village of Clans. Everything about this hike will capture your heart. The views just get better and better as around each bend the scenery becomes more and more spectacular. It would be difficult to find a hike with so many surprises. The Saint Anne chapel is the site of many miracles that have taken place in Clans and a pilgrimage is organised by the villagers every year on 26th July. It’s not hard to understand why, as the beauty of this hike is a miracle in itself and the area around the chapel a perfect place for a picnic.
The hike is fairly long, 4 1/2 hours excluding stops. We completed it in 4 hours 45 minutes with a stop at the chapel. However, the 570m gradient is steady with no difficulties so this is a medium level hike. The way markers (yellow rectangles) are easy to follow and there are no orientation difficulties as it’s just one path all the way up and then the same one to come down again.
To reach Clans which is 48 km from Nice airport, take the A8 motorway and exit to take the N.202 Var Valley road until you reach la Mescla. Here you turn right into the Tinée valley D.2205 and follow this until you reach Pont-de-Clans. Take a right onto the D.55 and drive up to the village on a windy road and park your car in the village car park which is at 680m. From the car park walk up towards the cemetery to the start of the hike at way marker 44. You will need the Moyenne Tinée map TOP 25 n° 3641 ET and if you can read French you can also find the itinerary on: https://randoxygene.departement06.fr/moyenne-tinee/chapelle-sainte-anne-9248.html
The recommended period of the year for doing this walk is March to November.
Always remember to check the local weather before setting off and take hiking sticks as they will help you on the ascents and 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 mountains) and several layers of clothing that you can shed or put on as your temperature changes. Remember to take more water than you think you’ll need (at least a litre per person) and 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 high quality protein bars are sufficient (always take a couple of extra ones). Purpose made hiking gear, boots and rucksack are a must and you will need lighter wear for the Spring/Summer season and heavier/warmer for the Autumn/Winter period.
Enjoy your hike!
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