Home » Multiday tours » Hiking near Aix-en-Provence, St-Remy & Marseille

 

Select your trails among 12 near Aix-en-Provence, St Remy & Marseille

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mont Sainte Victoire

 

Half-day tours from St. Remy, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille

 

 

 A nature walk en route to Les Baux de Provence

 

During most of this scenic walk, starting 2 miles south of St. Remy, from a small pass on the road that crosses the Alpilles range, you keep all along the ridge, enjoying vistas in all directions. Suddenly, on the horizon, as you emerge from a thicket of pines, appears before you, among the jagged peaks, the rock of Les Baux de Provence : a ruined medieval castle and the numerous small roof tiles of the village’s stone housesPerched on a bluff facing the Alpilles crest, the citadel, that has been abandoned since the 1630s, had been the symbol of the power and of the independence of the lords of Baux, Princes of Orange, for four centuries, almost until Provence was incorporated into the Kingdom of France in 1482. The castle entrance and the few streets in the village are worthwile. An additional visit to Les Carrières de Lumières, a son et lumière projected onto the walls of a former quarry at the foot of the village, might be of interest for you.

 

Walking time : 2.5 hours
Rating : easy (rugged terrain)
Season calendar : year-round (summer : 8am – 11am only, not allowed on fire risk days)

 

 

The Côte Bleue,  such a beautiful seaside

 

The twenty miles of coast west of Marseille is called Côte Bleue (Blue Coast) due to the colour of the sea. It is a preserved marine area called the Parc Régional Marin de la Côte Bleue. It is also the area where the Chaine de l’Estaque, a dramatic range of limestone hills, meets the Mediterranean. Even if this massif is not elevated, its numerous escarpments and arid appearance give the landscape its unique features, particularly its beautiful inlets. The trail, called the Sentier du Douanier (coast guard footpath), which was built to allow the watching of potential invaders or smugglers, offers numerous panoramic views of the sea, with the large city of Marseille in the background. 

 

Walking time : 3 hours 
Rating : challenging (stony and craggy terrain)
Season calendar : 1/1 – 6/15  &  9/15 – 12/31

 

 

 

 

The lakes walk in Cézanne’s footsteps

 

This 3-hour nature walk takes place halfway between the city of Aix-en-Provence and Mont Sainte Victoire, this iconic natural landmark in Provence. You will visit the trails that were done by Cézanne 120 years ago. The hiking route allows you to enjoy beautiful views of the man-made lakes Zola and Bimont. From the last one, it follows the bottom of the beautiful gorges downstream. The trail passes through a mixed vegetation of pine grove and of “garrigue”, this low scrubland so typical of Provence. On your way back, you walk with the imposing mountain located only 2 miles east.
One detail should not be overlooked : the lack of shade along the backcountry trails makes the hike a perfect one on cool, sunny days of spring, autumn and winter.

 

Walking time : 3 hours
Rating : moderate (rugged terrain / steep slopes)
Season calendar : year-round (summer : 8am – 11am only, not allowed on fire risk days)

 

 

 

Walking in van Gogh’s footsteps near St. Remy

 

During his five years in France, Vincent van Gogh spent one year in St. Remy de Provence, that lies only 12.5 miles from Avignon. It is in the old town that this beautiful hike begins and gets its name from the fact that it takes you to many of the places where the Dutch painter set up his easel ; he painted here more than 70 works, transfixed by the luminous nature sceneries. You leave the town through plains where vineyards and olive groves carpet the landscape, before walking amidst a vegetation and surrounded by an avifauna both typical of Mediterranean nature. As you climb up to the Alpilles crest, in the middle of a pine grove, you can soon enjoy outstanding 360° views. This hike could also have been called the Rocher des Deux Trous (Rock with two holes), due to a cliff at the base of which two big circular holes, invisible for long, suddenly appear, as you are getting closer. Before the end of the walk, you pass near the site of Glanum, Greco-Roman remains of a settlement that developed 2,200 years ago.


Walking time
 : 3 hours
Rating : moderate (steep and rugged sections of terrain)
Season calendar : year-round (summer : 8am – 11am only, not allowed on fire risk days)
Visits of Saint-Paul de Mausole and Glanum non included

Van Gogh’s Provence : photographs of sceneries that could have inspired the Dutch painter

 

 

 

 

Calanque de Sormiou,
the most spectacular day trip from Marseille

 

This easy trail will allow you to get some beautiful views over one of the largest steep-walled inlets that are called calanques along the Provence coastline : Sormiou, an amphitheater, with white limestone cliffs as terrace seats, the sea as stage and the little port and its cottages as orchestra. After 30 minutes walking from a South Marseille district, your local guide has led you into the heart of Calanques National Park. And from a vantage point, you can stare down to Calanque de Sormiou‘s turquoise waters, 250 meters below. You can see the hamlet with the red roofs of its ‘cabanons’, the fishermen’s cottages built near the two coves and towered over by rocky headlands.

 

Walking time : 2 hours 
Rating : leisurely (rugged terrain)
Season calendar : year-round (summer : 8am – 11am only, not allowed on fire risk days)

 

 

 

 

Climbing Mont Sainte Victoire via the easiest route

 

If you are not an athlete or if you only have one morning to climb Mont Saint Victoire, this hike is for you. The road from Aix en Provence to the starting point of the hike is a little bit longer (15 miles), but you only need to walk one hour to reach the ridge of the mountain and 45 minutes more to be on the Pic des Mouches (1,011m), its summit. This climb up the northern side of the mountain to the top mainly takes place through an oak grove, but as you walk along and approach the crest, nature around you changes and the landscape becomes barren. You then enjoy a panoramic view of all the surroundings.

 

Walking time : 3 hours
Rating : leisurely (rugged terrain)
Season calendar : year-round (summer : 8am – 11am only, not allowed on fire risk days)

 

 

 

 

Half-day tours from St. Remy, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calanque d’En Vau

 

Day tours from St. Remy, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille

 

 

 

Calanque de Sugiton : a little jewel, so close, so far

 

This hike is just 4 hours and a half long but you will surely need the entire day to get the full benefit of it : when sitting on its little pebble beach or on a rock towering over its turquoise-blue waters, it is so hard to leave Calanque de Sugiton, located in the heart of Calanques National Park. You can first see it in the distance from atop the rocks, a viewpoint from where the panorama opens up to the bay. And what a breathtaking view over Calanque de Morgiou, on the other side ! After this first vista, you then can walk down to the sea and take a closer look at the two-cove calanque. One of Provence’s nature treasures.

 

Walking time : 4.5 hours
Rating : moderate (rugged terrain)
Season calendar : 1/1 – 6/15  &  9/15 – 12/31

 

 

 

 

A day trip from St. Remy de Provence to Les Baux

 

Here is one of our many hikes that reach places of historical interest as well as natural beauty. Leaving the medieval streets in St. Remy, you head to an even older quarter : Les Antiques. These are two Roman monuments among the best preserved : the Mausoleum and the Triumphal Arch that used to mark the entrance to the city of Glanum. Walking through pines, on back roads and forest tracks, you gently climb to the Alpilles ridge’s path. Up there, you enjoy a great scenery all around. Following the main ridge, you gradually approach Les Baux de Provence. Built on a rocky spur, the ruined medieval castle suddenly appear. Once the fief of lords among the most powerful in South of France, this site is something unique. The castle entrance and the few streets in the village are worthwile. An additional visit to Les Carrieres de Lumieres, a son et lumière projected onto the walls of a former quarry, at the foot of the village, might be of interest for you.

 

Walking time : 4 hours
Rating : moderate (rugged sections of terrain)

 

 

 

 

Hiking to the Croix de Provence

 

Symbolic peak of Mont Sainte-Victoire, though not the highest, the Croix de Provence, a giant metal and stone cross, overlooks Aix-en-Provence and its vicinity, rising to 946 meters. This hike, starting 6 miles from the city, is not long ; but it is challenging because of the elevation gain and some rocky stretches with demanding gradients on the way. It is pure delight though, especially when you take time, a natural Provence walking dream. And as you reach the crest around sunrise, the emotion is at its peak. The breakfast snacks that you eat up there remain definitely engraved in your memory for a long time.

 

Walking time : 4.5 hours
Rating : challenging

 

 

 

 

En-Vau : the pearl of Calanques National Park

 

Calanque d’En-Vau, with its brilliant-turquoise waters surrounded by sheer white cliffs, is a paradise for hikers and rock climbers. On this walking day, you will have the opportunity to admire this Provence natural wonder from three different viewpoints : two from the heights, the first one being located directly in line with En-Vau, as shown on the picture, allowing a view of the whole ; the second, right above, offers a view from the side, quite different but very scenic as well ; the third is from the bottom, as you lie on the beach, where the scene of natural beauty is different again. On your way to the small, bustling fishing port of Cassis, you will discover two other beautiful calanques: Port-Pin and Port-Miou, the last one being a natural marina, home to sailboats on half of its length.

 

Walking time : 4.5 hours
Rating : challenging

 

 

 

The amazing panorama from La Caume

 

This day hike starts in the old town of St. Remy de Provence too. After one hour of gentle climbing, you will be allowed to spend the following two hours walking on the Alpilles ridge, up to the top of Plateau de La Caume. On the way, in addition to the vast panorama, you can discover the great variety of Mediterranean nature, in particular flora : not only the famous rosemary, thyme and lavender, but also dozens of other species that blossom early in the year. Back to the plain, and before reaching the pretty village of Eygalières, it is worth going out of the way to visit the Château Romanin. Your local guide can organize a guided tour of the cellar and a tasting of the wines if you are interested.

 

Walking time : 5 hours
Rating : challenging
Season calendar : 1/1 – 6/15  &  9/15 – 12/31 

Guided tour of Château Romanin non included.

 

Climbing Montagne de Régagnas

 

Along this scenic trail you will walk up Montagne de Régagnas, a small mountain that offers a great panorama over an underlating landscape of farming and nature, 15 miles southeast of Aix-en-Provence : all around, incised valleys covered with fruit orchards and vineyards are enclosed by steep rocky hills, that are themselves dominated by the two major ridges of the area : Mont Sainte Victoire and the Sainte Baume mountains. The Ermitage de Saint-Jean du Puy will be one of the spots of the day : occupied by monks between the 5th and 15th centuries, this hermitage overlooks the Arc valley.

 

Walking time : 5 hours
Rating : challenging
Season calendar : 1/1 – 6/15  &  9/15 – 12/31

 

 

 

CONTACT

Click map of Provence
to get an overall view of the region

Top