Sunset over Calanque de Sormiou,
30 minutes from south Marseille
Within half an hour’s walk from the Baumettes district, you can enjoy beautiful views over Calanque de Sormiou, one of the largest calanques¹: a natural amphitheater with white limestone cliffs as terrace seats, the sea as stage and the little port and its cottages as orchestra. From this first viewpoint located behind the calanque, 200 meters (600 feet) high, a slight climb will bring you within another half-hour to another setting overlooking Sormiou from the left side when watching the open sea. Seeing the changing colours of sunset above Mount Sormiou and Riou island will make it difficult to tear yourself away from the spot … But there is no point in bringing your sleeping bag : wild camping is forbidden in the Calanques National Park !
Walking time : 2 hours
Rating : leisurely (stony ground)
¹ calanque : a narrow inlet of the seacoast, being a drowned canyon
Sunrise and sunset hiking tours
from the summit of Mont Sainte-Victoire
On the northern side of Mont Sainte-Victoire, 15 miles from Aix-en-Provence, on a short trail near the village of Vauvenargues, you can reach the crest of the mountain within an hour. A few minutes later, you will be standing on the Pic des Mouches, top of the mountain, that offers a 360-degree panoramic view. Around sunrise, emotion is at its peak. The sky colours are different but very beautiful too, in the last two hours of the day, as the sun sets.
Walking time : 2.5 hours
Rating : moderate
Sunrise or sunset at Mont Ventoux
World famous thanks to the ascent by racing cyclists at the Tour de France, Mont Ventoux, 1,910 m (6,265 ft), is also an attractive mountain for hikers who are eager to climb its slopes. The so called “Giant of Provence” rises high above the surrounding plains, valleys and plateaus. Here, we propose to you a circular hike, not long but presenting 1,400 feet gain/loss. Starting from the road, on the south-facing slopes of the mountain, you will reach the crest within a quarter of an hour and then will follow it up to the top, for which one more hour walk will be necessary. Needless to say, the panoramic view from up there rewards the effort !
Walking time : 3 hours
Rating : moderate (stony ground)