© Nice Matin - ERIC DULIERE

Bicentennial of the death of Napoleon: the story of a famous route

On the bicentennial of the death of Napoleon Bonaparte on 5 May 2021, set off in the footsteps of the Emperor. Discover the famous Napoleon Route that left a historic footprint on the Côte d’Azur.

Disembarkation at Golfe-Juan

After being forced to abdicate, Napoleon Bonaparte, exiled to the island of Elba, had only one aim: escape and overthrow the monarchy of Louis XVIII. Accompanied by his grenadiers, on 1 March 1815 he disembarked on the golden sandy beach at Golfe-Juan. A stele commemorating this event can be found in the port, near the seawall. The Emperor then decided to retake Grenoble from inside the country, in order to avoid Royalist troops. He thus began to take back power; the Napoleon Route was born.

The Emperor continues his saga from Antibes to Cannes

Napoleon reached Antibes, a choice that was not made at random. The Emperor had stayed here with his family and knew the town by heart. Homage is paid to his Imperial Guard at the Saint-Esprit chapel. In fact, his soldiers stopped here to regain their strength. In Cannes, the troop paused at the foot of the Church of Notre Dame de Bon Voyage [Our Lady of Good Travels] to resupply. The following morning, Napoléon and his soldiers left for the North, after a stop in the village of Mouans-Sartoux.

Learn more

In search of Grasse and Escragnolles

The mountain landscapes presented themselves to the servicemen when they headed towards the Roccavignon plateau while skirting Grasse. A stele at the foot of the huge wash house in the land of roses and jasmine, on Place de la Foux, marks the spot where Napoleon and his soldiers took a break. The triumphal march to the capital continued by winding through the steep paths of Saint-Vallier-de-Thiey. On Place de la Libération, where the Emperor once sat, a stone bench proudly takes centre stage beneath a bust of the latter. The Eagle and his troops moved up towards Escragnolles, where the old Napoleon Inn still stands today.

Learn more

The Eagle flies towards Séranon

The journey through the Alpes-Maritimes ended in the Valferrière Pass. To the west is the village of Séranon, where the route taken by Napoleon passes below the Gratemoine chapel. The Chateau of Broundet, now in ruins, served as the Emperor’s dormitory despite having crossed the department in a single day. This saga led him to Paris and allowed him to retake power during the “hundred-day” period, before being defeated at the Battle of Waterloo and exiled to the island of Saint Helena.

Enthusiasts re-enact the disembarkation in Golfe-Juan every year. A rich cultural heritage and several hiking routes now allow you to follow in the footsteps of Napoleon and discover a variety of Côte d’Azur landscapes. Exceptional natural sites, nestled between the sea and the mountains.

Learn more

Our suggestions