Around St Jean Cap Ferrat
Very quickly accessible from the city of Nice and starting from the town of Beaulieu sur Mer, this coastal walking path around St Jean Cap Ferrat peninsula is a short and pleasant getaway from the agitation of the French Riviera resorts. Walking all the way as closely as possible to the sea, you will marvell at the contrasts between the blues of water and of the sky, the whites of the rocks and the greens of the Aleppo pines and garrigue shrubs.
If you start from the town of Beaulieu sur Mer accessible by train (10 minutes away from downtown Nice) rather than from St Jean Cap Ferrat marina, your will walk one more hour.
Walking time : 3.5 hours
Rating : leisurely
The Estérel red rocks near Cannes
10 kilometers from the Promenade de la Croisette, you can start a hike to take on the Pic de l’Ours (1,627ft), one of the summits of the Estérel. This is a volcanic range charac- terized by gorgeous red rock formations that are covered by oaks and pines whose dark colors sharply contrast with. From the heights, you will enjoy a beautiful panorama over the colorful summits all around and, in the distance, over the Golfe de La Napoule and the city of Cannes, to the east, and the Golfe de Fréjus, to the west.
Walking time : 4.5 hours
Rating : moderate
Vence, St Jeannet and the Baous
After a first stunning view from the Baou des Blancs above the town of Vence and overlooking the Baie des Anges, Cap d’Antibes peninsula and Golfe Juan, you will forget for a few hours the glamourous Riviera, hiking through a land once used for agriculture and today devoted to winter pasture : the Plan des Noves. You will then walk down into the Gorge de la Cagne, cross the river and proceed above the valley floor before climbing to the plateau towards the Baou de St Jeannet.
Walking time : 7 hours
Rating : challenging (2,800 feet elevation gain)
The calanques of Port-Pin and Port-Miou
from the picturesque town of Cassis
Rich in heritage, this colorful walking path allows a soft approach of the eastern calanques : an ideal cocktail to discover and appreciate all peculiarities of Calanques National Park, while being fond of the beauty of Provence seascapes. Starting from the charming fishing port of Cassis, from where you will enjoy the scenic view on the towering cliffs of Cap Canaille, you will reach the pebble little beach of Calanque de Port-Pin, this rocky inlet surrounded by pine trees. On your way back, you will walk along the natural marina of Calanque de Port-Miou.
Walking time : 3 hours
Rating : leisurely (stony ground)
Discovering Sormiou and Morgiou
This leisurely hike will allow you to get some beautiful views over the two largest inlets that are called calanques on the Provence coast : Sormiou and Morgiou, amphitheaters of limestone hills and cliffs, with the sea as orchestra and, each one, a little port as stage. Starting from a southern district of Marseille, you find yourself after 45 minutes walking, in the heart of Calanques National Park, staring down to the turquoise blue of Calanque de Sormiou‘s waters, 250 meters below, and gazing at the red roofs of its ‘cabanons’, these little fishermen’s cottages.
Walking time : 4 hours
Rating : leisurely (stony ground)
Crossing the Calanques
This day hike is unrivalled for its land and seascapes. From the University district of Marseille to the village of Cassis, you will walk, through the Calanques massif, 12 miles over stony paths, enjoying several dozens of breathtaking views, from at least three levels : the sea level, the top of the bluffs, and, in-between, the balcony trail. Within 7 hours, you will have the chance to watch all the most famous calanques pass before your eyes : Sormiou, Morgiou, Sugiton, Calanque du Devenson, En Vau, Port Pin and Port Miou. Nothing more needs saying.
Walking time : 6.5 hours
Rating : difficult (steep ascents and descents, rocky sections)