Napoleon Bonaparte, having been exiled since 1814, left the island of Elba on February 26, 1815, to reclaim his crown.
On March 1, he landed at Golfe-Juan and set off for Cannes. The next day, he headed for Grasse. He stopped for lunch beneath an oak tree north of Grasse on the Roquevignon plateau, now referred to as the “Napoléon plateau.”
Though the site has since been partially cleared and developed, the tree known as “the Emperor’s Oak” (le Chêne de l’Empereur) is still there.
As the roadworks ordered in 1802 to improve the imperial road were not yet complete, Napoléon left on foot toward the first foothills of the Alps, making stops along the way that would become historic, particularly in Saint-Vallier-de-Thiey, Escragnolles, and Séranon.
Today, the Aire du Chêne de l’Empereur rest area offers a breathtaking view of the City of Grasse and the French Riviera and hosts many tourists traveling along the Route Napoléon at the gateway to the City of Perfumes.
This booklet details four hikes that start from this rest area:
- the “Roquevignon” Loop
- the “Tour de la Marbrière” Loop
- Saint-Christophe/La Marbrière,
- In the Footsteps of Napoléon