Provence – Mountains to deep blue sea

France

Holiday overview

Destination

France


Type

Self Guided


Difficulty

Moderate


Month

Jan - Dec


Price

£ 659 pp


Duration

7 nights


Sainte Baume to Calanques de Cassis.

An exceptional self-guided walking route, from the Provence hinterland down to the Mediterranean; from Sainte Baume, where a limestone escarpment offers an extensive panorama over the sea and where peaceful Provencal villages hide in its folds, to Cassis and La Ciotat Calanques, with their fjord-like landscapes and vertical cliffs and idyllic sites for bathing.

A singular walk for its huge variety of landscapes and colours. And, furthermore, good hotels and typical provencal food.

 

Price:

£659 per person based on 2 people sharing (less £65 per person if 7th night omitted).

 

Single room supplement:

£169. For person travelling alone, further supplement of £55 for cost of luggage transfer.

 

Included:

7 nights half board (bed, dinner and breakfast), luggage transportation, route notes and emergency back-up.

 

Not Included:

Arrival and departure to/from Provence. Drinks and lunches. Local bus and boat journeys where required (probable total cost about 40 euro). Insurance. Anything not specifially mentioned in the programme.

 

Departures:

1 January until 31 May and 1 October until 30 November (other dates may be possible, depending on weather and fire risk).

Average daily distance:

18kms/10 miles

Day 1:

Meeting point at 6pm at your Hotel in Pont de l’Etoile (2 km from Aubagne). At the foot of Mont Sainte Baume, your hotel is a real haven, right in the middle of cicada country.

Day 2:

Aubagne to Pland’Aups (Mont Sainte Baume)
Splendid route to reach Plan d’Aups – lots of flowers as you climb to Bertagne and Espigoulier passes.
Walking through woodland you reach Plan d’Aups, a lovely village in the Varoise, perched at 682 m, complete with Roman remains. Dinner and overnight in Plan d’Aups.

Time: 05h30. Up 594 m down 164 m

Day 3:

Plan d’Aups to Plan d’Aups (Mont Sainte Baume)
Today’s walk takes you to the northern and western slopes of Mont Sainte Baume, one of the symbols of Provence. Following the crest line at about 1000m, magnificent walking to the Marie-Madeleine Cave, a well-known pilgrimage shrine, passing by Grotte aux Oeufs (“eggs cave”).

Time: 04h00 to 05h00. Up 516 m down 516 m

Day 4:

Plan d’Aups to Gemenos / bus to Cassis
Walk across Sainte Baume from north to south, breathing in all the perfumes of wild Provence. From the top a magnificent panorama over the sea and islands, towards Mont Ventoux and to the Pre-Alps. Walks down to Gemenos via “La Glaciaire” (used in the XVII and XIX centuries to make ice) and Saint Pons Parc offering shade and fresh air even during the summer, thanks to the waterfalls of Sainte Baume. Pass a chapel and a Cistercian abbey dating back to the XIII century and then take a public bus for the 30 minute drive to Cassis and your hotel near the sea.

Time: 05h00. Up 184 m down 722 m

Day 5:

Cassis/La Ciotat to Cassis
Take a bus to La Ciotat and then a walk along the hills overlooking the sea: passage via “La Grande Tête” (Great Head) and Semaphore du Bec del’Aigle (Eagle Beak), at Cap Canaille, before going down to the lovely port of Cassis. The arrival in Cassis is spectacular. Overnight in Cassis.

Time: 05h00. Up 580 m down 580 m

Day 6:

Calanques de Cassis
Boat (approx. 20 euro, not included) to Morgiou Calanque. Then a beautiful walk in wild Provence towards Sugiton creek, then either to Gineste pass and back to Cassis by bus, or else up to Candelle pass, then En-Vau calanque (the most spectacular and vertiginous) and back to Cassis. In the event that the boat service is not functioning, an alternative walk is provided. Dinner in local restaurant. Overnight in Cassis.

Time: 05h00 to 07h00. Up 400 or 700 m down 200 or 700 m

Day 7:

Calanques de Cassis
A beautiful walk up to the Port-Pin Calanque. Back to Cassis in the afternoon. Overnight Cassis.

Time: 03h00. Up 200m down 200 m.

Day 8:

departure after breakfast