The Vésubie Valley – Duranus
by Judy Churchill
This time I’m taking you hiking in one of Nice’s most beautiful valleys and a great favourite with the locals themselves; the timelessly beautiful Vésubie Valley.
This valley is where many Niçois natives have their second homes and I was introduced it many moons ago when I was a student at Nice University. It quickly captured my heart and it is one of my all time favourite valleys to explore time and time again, as it is full of secret beauty spots.
On this hike we are starting at the entrance to the Vésubie valley just outside the village of Duranus and I’m taking you on a circuit called the Mine de L’Eguisse.
From Monaco, it’s about 1 hour’s drive (53 km) taking the A8 motorway and then the Var valley via the N.202 and finally turn right onto the Vésubie route (D. 2565). Just before St-Jean-la-Rivière, turn right to reach Duranus via the D.19. This is not the only approach to but is the most straightforward. For the hike you will need the TOP 25 n° 3741 OT Vallée de la Vésubie map. For those of you who read French, you can find this circuit on the link https://randoxygene.departement06.fr/vesubie/mine-de-l-eguisse-9374.html
This is a medium level hike with 580m of gradient and took us 3h 15 minutes to complete; however it’s best to allow 4 hours depending on your pace and the number of times you stop.
The walk starts outside the village so you’ll need to drive through (in the direction of Levens) and come down the hill and park the car on the side of the road near the bridge over the Duranus valley (430m). You’ll see the way marker 461 on the left and this is where the hike begins. Follow the circuit on your map via way markers 459, 458, 462 until you finish back at the start 461. The views are stunning and there is an ideal place to stop for your picnic on the plateau of the former Eguisse mine. On the way down you’ll alternate stunning rock faces and beautiful forest paths. It’s a world away from town life and a good introduction to this vast valley that we will explore in more detail on subsequent hikes. You can do this walk from April to December but remember in December the days are short so make sure you start the walk before lunchtime.
Don’t forget to take extra layers of clothing as the weather becomes cooler, including gloves and hat. You’ll need plenty of water and your protein bars to keep your energy up. Make sure your have proper hiking boots to keep your feet protected and stable, a ruck sack and professional hiking gear that allows you to adapt your clothing to the season.
Walking sticks are really important. Not only do they help you on the ascents and descents but also enable you to have a more complete workout by exercising the upper body and your core muscles. Sunglasses are a must and never forget to apply sun cream to your face all year round. You will find the mountain sunshine surprisingly strong.
Happy hiking and see you next time ☺
Inspiring international lifestyles based on the French Riviera