GR5 – DAY25, to NICE

DAY 25, ST. ANTOINE CHAPEL to NICE (airport)

Ascent: 1029 m

Descent: 1618 m

Distance: 40 km

Time on trail: 4:30 – 15:30+


The night went all wrong. It was too hot to be inside of my sleeping bag but fierce mosquitos took any chance they had to suck my blood. Hours passed by slowly.


At 4am I got fed up and packed my stuff. In half an hour I was on the move, walking carefully with the light of my headtorch along the path of loose stones. The red moon was disappearing behind the mountain line and the morning began finally  to reveal itself.



I passed by villages and hills before I began to see the sea more and more. As a final test the sun tried to scorch me making the midday insanely hot.




There it was, lying just beneath me, the legendary Nice, where many trails and stories end and begin. I had done it and connected the dots; in 2009 I had walked through the Swiss Alps finishing the hike to Lake Geneva, in 2011 I had began the GR20 from Nice and now I had walked the trail between. It was time to raise the hands in the air!



As my airline charged me extra 40eur for the walking poles, I couln’t take them back home anymore. Instead, I left them leaning to a tree where the trail finishes and street walking begins. It was funny how I felt so sad leaving the loyal companions behind. I hope someone in the need will find them.


Smile on my face I went straight down to the heart of a big city and tried to navigate my way to the shore. I can’t really express the feeling when there was no more to walk, just a blue flat horizon. After a while I went to swim and tried to wash myself after a sweaty day.



It was late afternoon and I still wanted to walk until the airport. I followed the sea side boulevard about 6 km before reaching the terminal. I cooked outside the rest of my food before going inside to sleep the last nigth on the hard terminal floor. My flight would leave home the following morning, after an unforgettable one month adventure.

Big thanks to everyone for your support before, during and after the hike! I will write some general thoughts about the GR5 after Xmas but now it’s time to wish Happy Holidays to all of you!


7 thoughts on “GR5 – DAY25, to NICE

    • Hiiii Mike!

      Thanks a lot!
      Really a great and enjoyable adventure. But do you know the Grande Traversata delle Alpi? I have the guidebook and it looks very similar and exciting although I might not be able to do this year that long hike.

      All the best for this year!

    • The Grande Traversata delle Alpi that spans across the Piedmont region (55 days), was very much in demand in the 80s. Lately fewer and fewer people were interested in it and most of its walkers these days come from Germany and other countries. Unfortunately I don’t know it personally (to my ashame) so I don’t know its current conditions. It should be walked in summer.

      Best luck with your excellent mountaneering curriculum!


  1. Wow. I ended up reading your story after stumbling onto a link on Facebook. The pics are awesome! At the moment my condition and experience levels are somewhere between a couch potato and dog walker but reading about this journey was quite inspiring and I would like to do something similar some day. So, it seems I’ve got a new dream. I just need to find patience and courage to gather all the skills required, maybe start with a short hike next summer on some nearby route where I live and build from there.

    • Hello Reiska,
      Thanks for your comment! Dream big and go for it, one step at a time! And as I mentioned in my book, these long hikes can be done if just having enough time for your own fitness level.
      All the best,

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