Time: 8h. Up: 1270m. Down: 1220m.
Distance: 17.5km. Difficulty: easy.

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Stage 73: Sospel (350m) to Peillon (400m)

Click and drag on map above to see area around trail. Click here for large zoomable map.

One last ridge to cross today on an up and down hike that sets you up for a short and easy descent into Monaco tomorrow. After all, you should try to look reasonably fresh when you walk into the Principality, synonymous with wealth and luxury, and home to some of the richest people and a couple of the finest hotels in the world.

Perhaps even more so than Montreux and Chamonix, if your budget allows for a splurge, this is the place to do it. Imagine the scene: having walked there all the way from Munich, you proudly stride with your hiking boots and backpacks into the lobby of one of these oh-so-elegant hotels, walk up to the reception desk and say, "Bonjour, je viens d'arriver à pied de l'Allemagne. Je m'appelle <your name here> et j'ai une reservation...." ("Good day. I have just come on foot from Germany. My name is <> and I have a reservation....").

Of course, you will probably have to talk your way past the doorman first: you won't look like their typical guests! I wonder how many trans-Alpine hikers they have welcomed... you'll have to ask them. But that is all for tomorrow... today's hike takes you through some more lovely countryside and a classic medieval village, Peille, before leaving you for the night in Peillon: reputed to be the loveliest village perché (perched village) of Provence.

Today's hike uses the same trails as the Via Alpina, and goes along the GR510 until the Baisse du Pape. From Sospel, cross the river and start climbing around the western side of Mont Barbonnet, southwest via the Baisse du Pape (1022m) and then south over the Col du Farguet (1083m). Descend now via the hamlet of St.-Siméon (610m) to the Pas d'Ongrand (410m), then climb back over the Col du St.-Bernard (736m -- a poor relation of the Swiss pass of the same name) to get to the village of Peille (630m). Leave here first to the east, but quickly curving around to the southwest, climbing at first, then descending through the delightfully named settlement of Bompin (650m) before finally arriving at Peillon.

Alternatives: you can catch a taxi (4km as the crow flies, but 11km as the road winds, contact information here) from Peille to Peillon (saving 1.75h, +190m, -420m, 4.5km).
Maps: IGN-3741ET Vallées de la Bévéra et des Paillons, IGN-3742OT Nice / Menton.

The House to House blog... stage 73.

<A couple of representative photos from this stage will be added here after the hike>
In the meantime, click here to go to all of the H2H photos on Flickr.

GPS Track
<To be added during or after hike>

Room and Board Options
Lunch: picnic.
Dinner and overnight: there are two places to stay in Peillon: the Auberge de la Madone (+33-(0), 17 rooms whose restaurant has a Michelin star), and the Auberge Lou Pourtail (+33-(0), 6 rooms). If both are full, there are a couple of places to stay in Peille (for information, see here) thereby shifting 1.75h of walking from this stage to the next.

Getting There and Back
Sospel: there is a railway station here (for train schedule information, see the SNCF).
Peillon: walk (40 minutes, -220m, 2.5km) down the hill to the village of Sainte-Thècle (180m), where there is a railway station.
ViaMichelin Road Map and Driving Directions: centered on Sospel, centered on Peillon.

Background Information and Links
Many and various...

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