Coastal path :

The must-do walks in the South

Head for the coastal trails of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur for a walk beside the sea! Along the cliffs, deep in the creeks or under the pine trees, the sentiers des douaniers (customs trails) are always a good bet. Get an eyeful. The best time to enjoy them is out of season!


Jump off at Les Goudes!

Let’s drive along the Corniche Kennedy to get to the ‘end of the world’ as they say in Marseille! You’ve got it? Yup, we’re heading for Les Goudes on the limestone paths where only pine trees can stand up to the mistral wind. At a stone’s throw from downtown Marseille, this little bit of paradise is a delight for the Marseillais and the curious who’ve ventured this far. Well-known as one of the starting points of the Calanques de Marseille, swap your colourful flip-flops for your favourite sneakers before you begin your hike from Callelongue. For the less daring, stay in Les Goudes, the life is good there and you’ll be sure to get a magnificent view. You can also head for Cap Croisette, opposite l’Ile Maire to get to the Baie des Singes where fisherman’s cottages and white rocks overlook the turquoise water. Back in the village, make the most of the authentic spirit of this little fisherman’s harbour with a coffee or a Ricard!

Off to the Côte Bleue

In the distance, you can see the discreet and secret Côte Bleue with its absolutely unmissable trails. The Grand Sentier de la Côte Bleue is 62 km long and goes through no less than 5 villages: La Couronne and Carro in Martigues, Sausset-les-Pins, Carry-le-Rouet and Ensuès-la-Redonne. The hikes on the Côte Bleue are always a good bet! And for the more athletic, we have our little favourite: the Calanque de l’Everine, nicknamed the gem of the Côte Bleu. You’re at home on steep paths, you love vertiginous views and crystal-clear water, this hike along the cliffs is up your street! To get to the creek, you have to go under the arches of the famous Chemin de Fer de la Côte Bleue and continue until you come face to face with the little lighthouse of L’Everine: no, you aren’t dreaming, this little Mexican-looking beach will make you forget the uncleared path to get there!

A hike in the Marais du Vigueirat

The Bouches-du-Rhône is also the Camargue and its out-of-the-ordinary coastline. To discover all the wealth of the Mediterranean landscapes, join us near Arles, more precisely in the natural reserve of the Marais du Vigueirat. Welcome to one of the largest properties of the Conservatoire du Littoral which is home to many species: coypu, dragonflies, bulls and birds have found themselves a little paradise here. And you can switch off to make the most of the peace and quiet in communion with nature. We recommend the Sentier de l’Etourneau which winds through the reed beds. Its added bonus? It’s a boardwalk trail through the marshes for total immersion in the wilds of the Camargue. And the little wooden huts you can see are bird hides where you can watch the surrounding wildlife. Get out your binoculars!


Head for the Îles d’Or !

And now, we’re off to sea and heading for the Iles d’Or. On the menu, there are three islands right in the heart of a national park. They each have their own special identity and trail, and there are rules that you must obey. For a family ramble, Porquerolles is the best: from the Tour Fondue in Giens, climb aboard the shuttles which will take you to the charming harbour of Porquerolles. Why not rent a bike from the wharf and ride off to la Plage de Notre de Dame for a postcard view or to la Plage d’Argent and lay your towel down on the sparkling sand? After a day’s pedalling around, you’ll be tempted by a waffle on the village square. For a hike to get your cardio rhythm going, head for Port-Cros, the wildest of the three islands. This national park has managed to preserve the beauty of the island, and there aren’t even any bikes. Put on your sneakers and choose from one of the 3 trails which, however difficult they may be, are absolutely amazing! Added bonus: don’t forget to take your goggles and snorkel with you so that you can try the underwater trail of La Palud, a real heartthrob! For a hike in the nude, head for l’Ile du Levant. This is the cradle of naturism, the atmosphere is friendly and uninhibited and you can make the most of the most rebellious and beautiful of the three islands. From the hilltop village of Héliopolis, you can see the sea and below you the rocky creeks and their bushy garrigue.

Head for the Fort de Brégançon

Off to the Fort de Brégançon from the Plage de l’Argentière in La Londe les Maures. This easy ramble offers a good 9-kilometre walk in the footsteps of our French presidents. The landscapes are real picture postcards and vary between crystal-clear water and the vineyards of the AOC Côte de Provence! After having walked uphill, take a break to observe the Iles d’Or on the horizon. And as you walk along, it’s one beach after another and they’ve all got a little something which makes you want to go there. La Plage de Pellegrin and its pine forest which stretches almost into the sea, la Plage de l’Estagnol and its translucent water where you’ll be in your depth right out to the open sea before reaching la Plage de Cabasson where charming colourful little cottages watch over the Fort de Brégançon.

Le Cap Taillat, a lost paradise

When on holiday in Ramatuelle, there’s one hike you just have to do and that’s Cap Taillat. From la Plage de l’Escalet, this magnificent ramble starts under the deep blue sky and colourful parasols with tourists paddling in the water. The vegetation along the rocks offers a clear path even though it is sometimes steep. Be careful where you put your feet even if the call of this azure blue sea makes you want to dive in at each creek you come to. Go over a little wooden bridge which makes this walk look like something out of a lost paradise and takes you straight to the Seychelles of the Var. The nearer you get to the Cap, the more there is to discover on this still-lush peninsula before the extreme heat of summer. You’ve arrived so now you can lay your towel on the sand and improvise the building of a makeshift hut with driftwood collected on the beach!

Cap Dramont on the horizon

On this hike at the foot of the Massif de l’Estérel, you’ll set off to discover one of the largest semaphores on the Côte d’Azur. You’ll plunge straight into the atmosphere with the ever-present red rock which sets the tone for this 1½-hour walk from la Plage du Camp Long. Full of colour, this coastal trail is a real picture postcard as you go from the blue of the Mediterranean to the red of the Estérel and the green of the surrounding vegetation. The path rises steeply for wide views from the clifftop: take a break and enjoy the breathtaking panorama. Added bonus: we recommend you do this little detour through the little Poussaï harbour, which is so typical with its multicoloured boats.


Millionaires and turquoise water at the Cap d’Antibes

An absolute must on the Côte d’Azur, the Cap d’Antibes circuit is well worth doing. This little peninsula, both lushly green and rocky, deserves a visit for several reasons. This rather unusual trail has cut itself a path among prestigious villas and steep limestone cliffs. Along the walk, on one side boundary walls protect vast grounds filled with olive trees and tall Aleppo pines and on the other side, jagged rocks advance towards the open sea. You won’t be able to stop yourself from looking over the gates of the beautiful period houses and particularly at Eilen Roc. And, even if you don’t have an oversized swimming pool yourself, make the most of the clear water of the Millionaires’ bay for a quick dip.

The beauty of the Cap d’Ail

After an outing to Nice and the absolute must of a stop in the exotic gardens of Eze, drive on towards the Cap d’Ail. Ideal in the spring when the temperatures are rising or in autumn and the Indian summer set off on the coastal trail from la Plage de la Mala towards Menton. You can do this walk with the family and make the most of the seaside for a walk in the footsteps of the celebrities who set their hearts on this heavenly Mediterranean coast. In a protected setting where exotism, dream villas and curiosity blend on this interpretive trail, get yourselves an eyeful! Steep in places with its cottages nestling at the foot of the cliffs of Les Pissarelles, in others clear with a view of its monumental villas dating back to the early 20th century, the variety of landscapes will take you off on a journey. The most foresighted will have taken a picnic and without a doubt will find the perfect spot to try the local speciality, pan bagnat!

In the footsteps of Le Corbusier

Nestling between Menton and Monaco, the charming village of Roquebrune Cap-Martin has a wealth of pretty views to offer. Start with its coastal trail and you’re sure to fall head over heels in love. In spring, summer, autumn and winter, each season offers its share of beauty and Le Corbusier would agree with you on this. Start off on the trail outside the Le Cabanon restaurant and walk along la Plage de la Buse to the Cabanon Le Corbusier and Eileen Gray’s Villa E-1027. A shrine to architecture known as the Cap Moderne plunges you into the world of the 1930s. Between the turquoise sea and period architectural work, this is an unavoidable stop in Roquebrune Cap-Martin. In a blend of coastal trail and cultural visit, it’s the perfect combination for a day of discovery!