Many coastal trails on the French Riviera require half a day to one day of traveling time. During my trips I have discovered several stunning coastal trails on the French Riviera, which can be done around one hour. In my case, I have combined the hiking trails with the visit of a city or a town nearby. These short coastal trails on French Riviera are:
Cap Du Dramont
Where is Cap du Dramont
Cape du Dramont is a 3.5-kilometre loop trail located near Saint-Raphael, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France. The parking place is at the Plage de Camp Long or near the Rue Lin Robinson.
Hike the Cap du Dramont
The start is near Rue Lin Robinson. The path heads up and down the rocks that plunge into the sea and the forested hills of du cap du Dramont. At some points, the trail runs along the cliff tops. Therefore, hikers would have magnificent views of the coast along the way.
The main sights are such as the ‘Golden Island’ – Ile d’Or and the picturesque port of Poussaï. The port of Poussaï is pretty small but has some bars and restaurants. It is a perfect place to take a break before turning back.
How to get there
By car: Take the coastal road towards Agay until you get to the Dramont. Turn right when you see the sign “Tiki Plage” and park in the car park at the end of Allée Robinson.
By bus: No. 8 and get off at Camp Long stop.
Mandeliu-La-Napoule Beach Walk
Mandelieu-la-Napoule Beach Walk is a pretty short trail only along the waterfront. The town of Mandelieu-la-Napoule is frequent by locals in the summertime due to its superior public beaches.
Where is Mandelieu-la-Napoule Beach Walk trail
Mandelieu-la-Napoule Beach Walk starts at the Port of La Rague and ends at the Port Mandelieu-la-Napoule, including two ports, two castles, three beaches, and a rock tunnel.
Mandelieu-la-Napoule Beach Walk trail
From the Port of La Rague, you pass the beach Plage de la Rague. The Agecraft Castle is on the hill on the left side. Walkthrough a short rocky path, you will reach the second beach, Plage de la Raguette. After that, at the foot of the Chateau la Napoule, you walk through a small rock tunnel. Along with the castle, the coastal path leads you to another little beach, Château Beach.
How to get there
Mandelieu-la-Napoule is reachable from Cannes via A8 highway. From Cannes Train Station it takes 20 minutes to the city.
If you arrive at airports, It takes 20 minutes from Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport and 5 minutes from Cannes Mandelieu Airport to Mandelieu-La-Napoule.
Calanques de Cassis
A Calanque is a narrow, steep-walled inlet that is developed in limestone or dolomite. Shaped by wind and rain over a million years, the white rocks have become a unique part of the coastal scenery.
Where is Calanque de Cassis
Calanques de Cassis lies along the Mediterranean coast south-east of Marseille. It refers to Calanque de Port-Miou, Calanque de Port Pin, and Calanque de En-Vau.
Hike the Calanque de Cassis
The Calanque de Port Miou is the only Calanque accessible by car. It is also the starting point for the hiking trail of the three Calanques. It only takes 15 minutes from the parking place to the Calanques de Port Miou.
Continue following the same way you will reach the Calanque de Port-Pin in 20 minutes. Calanque de Port-Pin is the smallest and most intimate of the three Calanques of Cassis, surrounded by the pine trees. The small inlet boasts a pretty sandy and shingle beach, which is a perfect place for swimming after hiking in the high summer.
Most visitors walk back the same path to the parking place. But you could also continue hiking to Calanque de En-Vau. According to the information board, Calanque de En Vau is the most spectacular and beautiful of the three Calanques. It takes up to 90 minutes to complete this part of the trail. There is also a little beach at the end to reward your efforts.
How to get there
The best way to get there is by car. The large parking area is the Parking de la Presqu’île at Avenue Notre Dame, sheltered by trees. The parking fee has a day-rate.
There are alternative ways to visit the Calanques. Especially during the summer months, you can join cruise tours operated by some companies. I have picked some popular choices below.
Routes des Cretes
Route des Crêtes is one of the scenic coastal trails on the French Riviera. Being one of the steepest roads of the country, the scenic road has parts up to 30% and climbs up to an elevation of 380 meters above the sea level.
Where is Route des Cretes
Driving along the Route des Cretes
This route is best suitable for driving. There are four major viewpoints:
- 1st viewpoint – Semaphore du Bec de I’Aigle
- 2ed viewpoint – Parking Du Belvedre
- 3rd viewpoint – Falaises Soubeyranes
- 4th viewpoint – Falaises de Cassis
Parking is available near each viewpoint along the trail. Visitors can also walk along the footpath that follows the cliffs to have more views.
How to get there
The Route des Crêtes is road number D141. From Cassis, take the route Pierre Imbert (D559) and turn south to the Route des Crêtes.
From La Ciotat, take the D141, which is Avenue Marcel Camusso, but then Route des Cretes.
You could also join a trip from Marseille which would include such as the scenic crest road and a visit to the ancient fishing port of Cassis.
Travel tips for Coastal Trails on the French Riviera
Plan more time to take the picture and have a break. Some places along the trails have stunning views. Don’t be in a hurry and enjoy the moment.
Check the opening time at the local tourist offices. When the weather condition is bad or other situation pops up, some places could be closed to the public.
Always take extra precautions when walking along the trails. Some places, for example, along Route des Crêtes, has dramatic steep rocks. They could cause potential dangers.
Make sure to wear proper shoes to hike around. Even the Mandelieu-La-Napoule beach trail has a partially rocky path.
In the hot summer, bring enough water and protect yourself from sunburn.