The Estérel red rocks near Cannes
Ten 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 peaks of the Estérel. This is a volcanic range characterized 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 hills 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
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)
Walking in the footsteps of Cézanne
Nature landmark of the countryside around Aix en Provence, with its white limestone cliffs, 10 kilometers in length, and a drop over 1,500 feet (470 meters) on its south-facing side, Mont Sainte Victoire has not ceased to inspire artists, before and after Paul Cézanne. This painter is probably the one who has the most intensely immortalized the rocky mount. Trying to capture the ever changing contours, he painted more than 80 pictures of the mountain. Along this backcountry trail, with your local guide, you too will have the opportunity to admire the different views of Mont Sainte Victoire, like the famous painter used to.
Walking time : 3 hours
Rating : leisurely (rugged terrain)
Season calendar : year-round (summer : 8am – 11am only, not allowed on fire risk days)