This 16th century hilltop fort was built in 1557 and is almost perfectly preserved, it looks out over the coastline of the French Riviera all the way to the Italian border. Mont Alban is located in the east of Nice in the Mont Boron National Park area, with Nice on one side and Villefranche-sur-Mer on the other - you can hike up to the fort from either town. The castle was built on the orders of the Duke of Savoy in response to the siege of Nice; when you get up there you’ll understand why he chose this spot - the view in all directions couldn’t be any better.
The scale of the scenery up here is just breathtaking; looking out from the front of the castle you can see the peninsula of Cap Ferrat jutting out to your far left with the bay of Villefranche-Sur-Mer curving round below the cliffs, just a few strides to the other side of the castle and the city of Nice unfolds beneath you. The fabulous views of the coastline stretch from Cap d’Antibes in the west all the way to Bordighera (Italy) in the east and on a clear day you can just about make out Corsica in the distance.
The condition of the fort is really very impressive - we’re not talking about a ruin here, it is a fully intact building where you can literally walk up the steps to the massive wooden front-door (although you are advised not to stand on the drawbridge). Look up to the turrets and you’ll see the sun glinting off the beautiful coloured tiles that overlap like fish scales, then stroll all around the fort to see the towers and crenellations.
- Chemin du Fort du Mont Alban - 06032