Provence: Mountains to the Mediterranean

7 Days & 6 Nights 4.7 Read 7 reviews
  • Walk from the holy Sainte Baume mountains to the French Riviera
  • Enjoy beautiful views from the Cap Canaille; the highest sea-cliff in Europe
  • Relax by the azure blue waters of the Calanques National Park
  • Feast on freshly caught seafood and 'Boullabaisse', a rich fish stew
  • Soak up the Mediterranean atmosphere with an apéritif by the port of Cassis
This inn to inn walking holiday takes you from the tranquil Sainte Baume mountains to the unique landscapes of the Calanques de Cassis on the glamorous French Riviera. Your adventure starts in the quaint provençal town of Pont d’Etoile. Follow peaceful mountain trails to the Roman village of Plan d’Aups, passing pre-historic caves and pilgrimage sites before descending to the glistening waters of the Mediterranean. Immerse yourself in the real French Riviera with three nights in the authentic port town of Cassis. Explore the Calanques; a national park filled with dramatic cliffs, clear blue waters and coves; some only accessible on foot or by boat. After a day on the trails, relax in one of the many port-side restaurants with a pastis or a refreshing white wine de Cassis.

What To Expect

This self-guided walking tour in France’s Provence region is perfect for those looking for a combination of mountains and coast and to experience a different side to the French Riviera. Rated moderate, you will be walking on a mixture of mountain trails and coastal paths. The ascent can be significant on some days, so it’s ideal for those looking to work up an appetite! Stay in comfortable family run 3* hotels along the way.

Tour Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.

Activity:

Multi Center Walking | You will spend multiple nights in one or more of the locations on this walking tour

Ideal if you have an interest in:

Coastal & Island, National Parks & Trails, Alpine & Mountains

Activity Level & Terrain

This trip is graded ‘moderate’ with average daily distance being  14km. Ascent and descent can be significant on this trip, so you should have a good level of fitness and be used to walking in hilly terrain to really get the most of this trip. You will be on a mixture of mountain trails and coastal paths. Provence can be rugged underfoot, so you need to be sure footed.

Navigation

Some trails are waymarked and you will be provided with maps and route notes. You will also have access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App enabling you to follow the route using your phone's GPS so you will have no problems finding the way.

Accommodations

You will be staying in comfortable  3* hotels. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers and traditional hospitality. Please see below for an example of the accommodation used on this tour.

Alternate accommodation

During the high season you might be booked into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the main daily description. If those listed here are unavailable the alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard than those described.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. This trip is available to solo walkers but a supplement is payable to cover the extra costs that are not shared.

Meals

Breakfasts are included each day and tend to be a buffet selection with lots of sweet treats like home made jams and pastries. Savoury tastes are also catered for with cheeses, ham, eggs and bread available.

Packed lunch items can be bought locally from supermarkets or the local boulangerie (bakery). In France,  boulangeries are still an important part of everyday life and can be found on most streets.  In Pont d’Etoile and Plan d’Aups, you can also ask your accommodation to prepare a packed lunch for you (payable locally).

2 dinners are included in Plan d’Aups. Other dinners can be purchased in each town, with several options available in Cassis, you will be spoilt for choice! Provençal specialities that shouldn’t be missed include, Bouillabaisse, a rich fish stew made up of a minimum of three different kinds of fish, Soupe au Pistou, a summer vegetable soup, typically served with a dollop of tasty pesto sauce, and Moules Marinière, ’sailor mussels’ served with lots of garlic, onion and herbes de Provence.  Wash it all down with a glass of pastis de Marseille or a glass of refreshing vin blanc de Cassis.

Included
  • 6 Nights accommodation in 3* hotels
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • 2 Dinners (in Plan d'Aups)
  • Transfer from Marseille Saint Charles train station to first hotel
  • Luggage transfers
  • Maps, route notes, pre-departure information pack
  • GPS tracks and access to the Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app
  • 24 hour emergency telephone support
Excluded
  • Travel to Marseille
  • Travel from Cassis
  • Lunches & 4 Dinners
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Bus transportation on Day 4
  • Taxi transfer to beginning of walk on Day 5
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses or equipment
Extras
  • Additional nights

When To Go

This trip is available to start any day of the week between March and May and between October to November. Any time within these dates are ideal for walking, with March, April & November being the cooler of the available months with average temperatures being around 15 degrees Celsius. May and October are warmer with temperatures between 15- 25 degrees.  We do not offer this tour in June, July, August or September due to high temperatures and many trails are closed due to a high risk of wild fires. Even outside of these dates there may be closures due to unusually high temperatures. Please take advice of local authorities and do not walk on closed trails, contact us if you are ever in doubt.

Getting to the Start

Fly: into Marseille-Provence airport. From here there is a shuttle bus approximately every 20 minutes to the SNCF Marseille Saint-Charles train station which takes about 25 minutes. Details of the shuttle bus can be found here.  A transfer from the train station to your first hotel is included.  You may prefer to fly into one of the Paris airports, from where you can make your way into the city centre (Paris Gare de Lyon) to take a direct TGV to Marseille (3.5 hours). For train details please check www.sncf.com 

Train: Eurostar from London St-Pancras International to Paris (Gard du Nord). Change here and travel to Paris Gare de Lyon, from here take a direct TGV train to Marseille. The whole trip takes about 8 hours and can be booked at www.eurostar.com.

Getting from the End

From Cassis train station you can take a train back to Marseille (about 20 mins). Train details can be found at www.sncf.com. From Marseille you can take a TGV train to many locations in France and Europe, or continue home via one of the methods mentioned in the ‘Getting to’ section. 

Luggage Transfer

All your belongings will be transferred between accommodations. We do ask you keep your baggage to one bag per person (maximum weight 20kg).

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Marseille and transfer to Pont d’Etoile Day 2 Walk to Plan d’Aups 10 miles / 16 km Day 3 Loop Walk in the Saint Baume Mountains 9 miles / 14 km Day 4 Walk to Gemenos 7 miles / 11 km Day 5 Cassis Loop Walk 7 miles / 11 km Day 6 Walk the Calanques de Cassis 9 miles / 15 km Day 7 Onward Travel

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