Exploring Roquebrune will take about an hour. You can stroll through its colorful streets, which retain their authentic feel. Château de Roquebrune (tel. 04-93-35-07-22), was originally a 10th-century Carolingian castle; the present structure dates in part from the 13th century, although it was jazzed up by its wealthy British owner, Sir William Ingram, nearly a century ago. From the towers, there’s a panoramic view along the coast. The interior is open in February to May daily 10am to 12:30pm and 2 to 6pm; June to September daily 10am to 1pm and 2:30 to 7pm; and October to January daily 10am to 12:30pm and 2 to 5pm. Admission is 5€ for adults, 4€ for children aged 16 and under.
Rue du Château leads to place William-Ingram. Cross this square to rue de la Fontaine and take a left. This leads you to the Olivier millénaire (millenary olive tree), one of the oldest in the world—it’s at least 1,000 years old. The tree allegedly exudes a peaceful aura. Why not give it a light hug for yourself?
Roquebrune and Cap-Martin have some truly exceptional guided walking tours. Each uncovers an attraction that few visitors will see. The most popular of the three is a 90-minute guided tour of the old town and castle, priced at 8€ for adults and 4€ for children ages 7 to 18, and free for children 6 and under. Tours depart whenever there are enough (at least five) participants to justify it. More esoteric (and conducted for the most part exclusively in French) are tours of the municipality’s wealth of public buildings, one of them a rather humble cabin, Le Cabanon, designed by world-famous architect Le Corbusier. It’s offered every Tuesday and Friday at 9:30am. Prices are 10€ for adults and 6€ for children aged between 13 and 18, and free for children 12 and under. Call the Tourist Office to book your place.
The Sentier le Corbusier Coastal Trail
Cap Martin is the fabulously rich spit of land between Monaco and Menton. Not as glitzy as Cap Ferrat or as fabled as Cap d’Antibes, its beauty lies in a 2-hour-long coastal trail that loops past the gardens of countless billionaires. This seaside path is as historical as it is beautiful. It was named after Le Corbusier, the zany French architect who built an urban utopia in Marseille (Unité d'Habitation) before constructing a coastal retreat here.
The Sentier le Corbusier path extends between Pointe du Cap-Martin to the eastern frontier of Monaco. If you have a car, you can park it in the lot at avenue Winston-Churchill, and begin your stroll. A sign labeled PROMENADE LE CORBUSIER marks the path. As you hike along, you’ll take in a view of Monaco set in a natural amphitheater. In the distance, you’ll see Cap-Ferrat and, high above, Roquebrune village.
The final stages of the path run past Corbusier’s Cabanon log cabin, which was created by the architect to showcase his love of low-impact, prefabricated living spaces. Guided visits can be arranged with the Roquebrune Tourist Office (www.roquebrune-cap-martin.com; tel. 04-93-35-62-87, admission 10€ adults, 6€ children ages 12–18, free for children 11 and under). Almost next door is the Villa E-1027. This modernist beach home was designed in 1924 by the famed Irish architect Eileen Gray and is due to reopen to the public in 2015.
The scenic path ends at Monte-Carlo Beach and passes several secret sandy coves en-route. Walkers may then take the line no. 100 bus back to their rough starting point. An alternative is to return on foot from either Monte-Carlo Beach or Roquebrune-Cap-Martin train station, following the walking signs back through the Parc des Oliviers, which occupies the central spine of Cap Martin.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.