La Côte Bleue, de Marseille à Martigues, est touristique mais moins envahie. Entre Ensuès-la-Redonne et Niolon, un sentier littoral épouse le trait de côte - DR : J.-F.R.

France: ten secret walks to discover Provence differently …


Along the secret creeks of the Côte Bleue

On one side, the Calanques massif and its very popular national park.
The other the Blue Coast, from Marseille to Martigues, touristy but less invaded.
Between Ensuès-la-Redonne and Niolon, a coastal path hugs the coastline.
A magnificent route, of ports sheltered in micro creeks and islets (Anthénors, Figuières, Méjean…).
3 hours of balancing act, with return to Ensuès, from Niolon, in TER.

On foot, in the gorges of Régalon

South side of the Luberon, in the town of Mérindol, the gorges of Régalon, this needle eye carved into the limestone is the opportunity for a beautiful shaded stroll.
A dry, narrow valley traced at the foot of high walls, where light penetrates filtered by a few balancing plants. At the exit, it is the plateau of the Petit Luberon, its vineyards and its blazing sun. Return via the GR6 then the Vallon de la Galère track. 2h30 of unusual!

Freewheeling the Camargue

Get on your bike and pedal on the sea wall to the Gacholle lighthouse. From Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, this flat route (not recommended by mistral) runs along ponds and marshes.
Beyond the lighthouse, after 12 km, the path continues and reaches the pond of Fangassier.
In the middle, the artificial island was for a long time the main European nesting site for flamingos. Superb show! Count a full day in the middle of nature.

Walk in La Treille and in the hills of Pagnol

You are in the 11th arrondissement of Marseille but it is already the countryside.
In La Treille, a village hamlet in the city, a pedestrian loop escapes into the Garlaban massif, towards Aubagne.
4 hours of a hike in the scrubland celebrated by Marcel Pagnol, who owned a house in La Treille. From dry valleys to lofty ridges, the route recalls the author’s cult novels and reveals splendid panoramas.

Hike in the gorges of Véroncle

Very close to Gordes the “socialite”, in the Luberon, hides an unrecognized and wild rocky corridor.

Between white cliffs and azure sky remain mills, vestiges of a time when pastoral activity occupied nooks and crannies of the Luberon.
The secret ravine cuts the Vaucluse plateau to the north. Along the way, surprises: metal ladders to cross delicate passages. Allow 4 hours to complete the loop.

The Petite Camargue on foot, in Saint-Chamas

The Etang de Berre deserves better than its reputation and hides areas that are still preserved.
This is the case in Saint-Chamas with this marsh, owned by the Conservatoire du Littoral, where ducks, cormorants, egrets … bask around huts of hunters on the water’s edge.
At the mouth of the Touloubre, the 85 ha site is home to natural environments varied and belies the degraded image of this pond with its contours, here and there, still wild.

Nature “Trek” between Alpilles and Luberon, in the Massif des Costes

The relief of Massif des Costes near Salon-de-Provence three charming villages forgotten by tourists, Alleins, Vernègues and Aurons.
From 1st to 2nd, a long loop (departure: GR6) reveals oak groves, views of the Luberon, scrubland, agricultural plots, TGV line (!), Romanesque chapel (Saint-Symphorien), Aix bastide (Pavillon de Victoire), wine estate organic (Château Bas), sheep and finally a ruined village (old Vernègues). Provence in splendor!

In Roquefavour, in front of the major arch of the Pays d’Aix

Set in the Arc Valley near Aix-en-Provence, this aqueduct bridge is one of the largest, made of stone, in the world.
Built in the 19th century. to provide Marseille with water, we reach it, at the height of its apron, after a nice walk in the scrubland, from the village of Ventabren.
2 km of walking is enough to reach the nearly 400 m long arched viaduct, still in operation and looking like the Roman Pont du Gard.

By canoe on the Sorgue

Between Fontaine-de-Vaucluse and Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, the river winds calmly for 8 km, an easy walk for the family.
Top of the course: its freshness. Planted with alder trees, weeping willows and beech trees, the banks provide beneficial shade.
And the banks, in the morning, are teeming with animal life. Gray herons, kingfishers, beavers and birds bustle about in the grasses.
2 hours of zen paddling thanks to kayak rental companies from Fontaine-de-Vaucluse.

In the footsteps of Jean-Henri Fabre, at Mont Ventoux

The famous French entomologist is the alibi of this naturalistic walking loop traced under the summit of Ventoux.
6 km and about fifteen thematic desks reveal the riches of the Giant of Provence.
Fauna, flora, climate, peasant memory … nothing escapes your knowledge as you follow a course in the forest and on high-altitude lawns, from the Mont Serein resort. 2 hours of stroll, ideal for families.