La Route Napoléon, the legendary road followed by the Emperor during the Hundred Days (Cent-Jours)

Overview

Let’s go back in time in 1815: Napoléon Ier is exiled in Elba after being defeated by the Sixth Coalition the year before. The conditions of the Treaty of Fontainebleau where Napoléon agreed to abdicate are not respected and above all he’s informed of the infidelity of his wife Marie-Louise. That’s too much for the emperor who decides to return to France.

On March 1st 1815 Napoléon lands in broad daylight in Golfe-Juan (Antibes) with 600 men and sets to reach Grenoble. His troops quickly expand as soldiers sent for his arrest welcome him as a hero. This is illustrated by the scene at Laffrey famously narrated by Stendhal where Napoléon rips his coat open and shouts to royal soldiers: “If any of you will shoot your Emperor, shoot him now.”

This epic adventure unfortunately ended with Waterloo but left us with a beautiful road in the south of France from Antibes to Grenoble through the French Riviera, Haute Provence and Alps. On the way: typical southern villages, mountain roads and, of course, the omnipresent shadow of the man who once conquered Europe and beyond: Napoléon Ier.

Trip route