Some great running trails

 

 

Climbing Mont Sainte Victoire
and running down the opposite slope
Half Day

 

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. You will reach it after climbing the south-facing mountainside. Then, after following the ridge almost one mile, you will jump on the descent trail on the north-facing slope in the direction of Vauvenargues, village which is famous for having been Picasso’s place of residence during his last fifteen years.

 

Walking/Running time : 3 hours
Rating : challenging (rugged terrain / elevation gain)

Crossing the eastern half of the Calanques massif
Half Day

 

This half-day route is unrivaled for its land- and seascapes. It is quite a long traverse, from the university campus in Marseille to the charming port town of Cassis : through a protected natural area, Calanques National Park, you will be walking and running 12 miles over stony paths. During this trip, you will enjoy countless breathtaking views, from at least 3 marked levels : the shoreline, the top of the bluffs, and, at midway up, the balcony trail. Within 3.5 hours, you will have the chance to watch all the most spectacular Provence’s calanques pass before your eyes : SormiouMorgiouSugitonEn-VauPort-Pin and Port-Miou.

 

Walking/Running time : 3.5 hours
Rating : challenging (steep ascents/descents, rock scrambles)

 

A circular trail running from St. Remy de Provence
to Les Baux, including 3 km on the Alpilles ridge
Half-day

 

Leaving the medieval streets in St. Remy, you head to an even older quarter featuring 2,000 years old Roman monuments:  Les Antiques and Glanum. Walking and jogging through pines, on back roads and forest tracks, you gently climb to the Alpilles ridge’s trail, reached after a detour to the Rock with two holes, immortalized by Vincent van Gogh. 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 entrance of the ruined citadel and the few streets in the village are worthwile. The trail back to St. Rémy passes the Alpilles crest at a point further west.

 

Walking time : 3 hours
Rating : moderate (rugged sections of terrain)

The full crossing of the Calanques massif
Full Day

 

This route allows you to run and scramble all the way from the Marseille bay to the little port of Cassis. Starting from the fishing village of Les Goudes, you then leave the tiny cove of Callelongue and run along the shoreline, passing four calanques, among which Podestat ; you climb the pass of Sormiou and run down into the calanque of the same name. After a look at the small fishing village and its one hundred cabanons, you attack the uphill slope towards the crags, 700 feet higher. From up there, what a terrific view of the Calanque de Sormiou ! Later, you descend into the Calanque de Morgiou with its pretty little village. Once you have admired the next calanque, Sugiton, you climb up to a balcony trail (halfway point), then to a higher one : you won’t be at sea level for 2 hours now, enjoying magnificent views, more than 1,000 feet above the sea. After taking joy in this incredible beach in Calanque d’En Vau, a final ascent leads you to an amazing viewpoint over that nature’s gem. During the last hour, you delight in the beauty of the calanques near Cassis : Port Pin and Port Miou

 

Walking/Running time : 6 – 7 hours
Rating : challenging (steep ascents/descents, rock scrambles, elevation gain, length)