From the top of the Mont Vinaigrier, the small park of Le Vinaigrier overlooks the seaside metropolis of Nice, the Bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer, the Baie des Anges.
On the southern flank of the Vinaigrier mountain, men carved terraces and propped them up with short walls of limestone rocks hauled from the fields. To irrigate the terraces, they built an elaborate system of water funnels, fountains and underground connecting canals. Then on the leveled fields, they planted olive and almond trees, patches of tomato plants and vines that grew over a trellis over the Mediterranean.
Today, the little park is owned by the Conservatoire du Littoral and managed by the Département. You can visit and walk around the open park freely during the day.
Follow the winding footpath down the hill among olive and almond trees. On your gentle hike, you'll find a handful of stone wells on the southern side of Mont Vinaigrier.
From its rustic footpaths, to the west and below, you peer into the bustling city of Nice and its jumble of highways below. To the west, the promenade des Anglais, the sea with its patches of fluorescent blues, the bay of Cannes, the Estérel.
"Le Vinaigrier, c'est un poumon pour la ville de Nice et tous ceux qui y habitent," said the enthusiastic nature guide I met on the trails this weekend - The Vinaigrier is a puff of fresh air for a bustling city of Nice.
Another little detour to remind us that the region is not only rich in history and culture, but in natural beauty as well.
From Nice, take the Grande Corniche road (D 2564). Notice the Observatoire de Nice, on your right, after the restaurant La Foret. Immediately after the road that leads to the Observatory, take the Rue de Brès. Continue a few meters beyond the public school to the trailhead.