Stunning Coastal Trails on the French Riviera: One Hour Journeys

Many coastal trails along the French Riviera typically demand half a day to a full day of travel. Through my experiences, I’ve come across several breathtaking coastal trails that can be comfortably completed in around an hour. Personally, I’ve paired these scenic hikes with visits to nearby cities or towns, saving significant traveling time. The following are some short coastal trails on the French Riviera:

Cap du Dramont;Coastal Trails on French Riviera
Cap du Dramont;Cote d'Azur Hiking Trails

Cap Du Dramont

Where is Cap du Dramont

Nestled near Saint-Raphael in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France, Cape du Dramont is a 3.5-kilometre loop trail.

Hike the Cap du Dramont

Commencing near Rue Lin Robinson, the trail meanders through rocky terrains that plunge into the sea and ascend forested hills surrounding Cap du Dramont. Certain sections offer stunning cliff-top views, providing hikers with magnificent coastal panoramas.

Noteworthy sights include the enchanting ‘Golden Island’ – Ile d’Or and the charming port of Poussaï. While Poussaï’s port may be modest, it offers bars and restaurants, creating an ideal spot for a rejuvenating break before the return journey.

How to get there

By Car: Follow the coastal road towards Agay until you reach Dramont. Turn right at the sign “Tiki Plage” and convenient parking is available at Plage de Camp Long or near Rue Lin Robinson.

By Bus: Opt for Bus No. 8 and alight at the Camp Long stop for easy access to this picturesque trail.

Mandeliu-La-Napoule Beach Walk

Mandelieu-la-Napoule;Coastal Trails on French Riviera
Mandelieu-la-Napoule;Cote d'Azur Hiking Trails

Where is Mandelieu-la-Napoule Beach Walk trail

Starting at the Port of La Rague and ending at Port Mandelieu-la-Napoule, this scenic trail encompasses two ports, two castles, three beaches, and a charming rock tunnel.

Mandelieu-la-Napoule Beach Walking trail

From the Port of La Rague, you’ll stroll past the inviting Plage de la Rague beach, with the Agecraft Castle gracing the left hillside. A brief rocky path leads to the second beach, Plage de la Raguette. Continuing on, beneath Chateau la Napoule, a small rock tunnel adds a touch of adventure, guiding you to Château Beach.

How to get there

Mandelieu-la-Napoule is easily accessible from Cannes via the A8 highway.

If travelling from Cannes Train Station, a short 20-minute journey will get you to this delightful city.

For those arriving by air, it’s a mere 20 minutes from Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport and just 5 minutes from Cannes Mandelieu Airport to reach the enchanting Mandelieu-La-Napoule.

Calanques de Cassis

Calanques de Cassis;Coastal Trails on French Riviera
Calanques de Cassis;Cote d'Azur Hiking Trails

Where is Calanque de Cassis

Situated along the Mediterranean coast southeast of Marseille, Calanques de Cassis comprises three inlets: Calanque de Port-Miou, Calanque de Port Pin, and Calanque de En-Vau. These narrow, steep-walled inlets, shaped by wind and rain over a million years, showcase unique white rocks that have become an integral part of the coastal landscape.

Hike the Calanque de Cassis

Accessible by car, Calanque de Port Miou serves as the starting point for the hiking trail of the three Calanques. A mere 15-minute walk from the parking area leads you to Calanque de Port Miou. Continuing along the same path, discover the Calanque de Port-Pin in 20 minutes—a picturesque inlet surrounded by pine trees, offering a secluded sandy and shingle beach, perfect for a refreshing swim in the height of summer.

While many visitors opt to return along the same trail, adventurous hikers can extend their journey to Calanque de En-Vau. Regarded as the most spectacular of the three Calanques, this stretch takes around 90 minutes to complete.

How to get there

The most convenient way is by car, with ample parking available at Parking de la Presqu’île on Avenue Notre Dame, surrounded by trees. A day-rate parking fee applies.

Alternatively, especially during the summer months, you can explore the Calanques via cruise tours offered by various companies. Check out some popular choices below for alternative ways to experience these captivating coastal wonders.

Routes des Cretes

Route des Cretes;Cote d'Azur Hiking Trails
Route des Cretes; Coastal Trails on French Riviera

Where is Route des Cretes

The breathtaking clifftop drive unfolds from La Ciotat to Cassis, stretching 13 kilometers along the French Riviera. Renowned for its dramatic cliffs, Route des Crêtes stands out as one of the most scenic coastal trails in the region. This winding road, among the steepest in the country, features segments with gradients of up to 30% and ascends to an elevation of 380 meters above sea level.

Driving along the Route des Cretes

This route is ideally experienced by car, offering four prominent viewpoints:

  • Semaphore du Bec de l’Aigle
  • Parking Du Belvedere
  • Falaises Soubeyranes
  • Falaises de Cassis

Ample parking facilities are available at each viewpoint, providing visitors with the option to stroll along footpaths that trace the cliffs, offering additional panoramic views.

How to get there

Accessing the Route des Crêtes is straightforward. If starting from Cassis, follow route Pierre Imbert (D559) and head south towards the Route des Crêtes.

For those beginning in La Ciotat, take the D141, initially known as Avenue Marcel Camusso, which later transforms into Route des Crêtes.

Alternatively, consider joining a trip from Marseille, offering the opportunity to experience the scenic crest road along with a visit to the historic fishing port of Cassis.

Travel tips for Coastal Trails on the French Riviera

Allow ample time for photography and relaxation along the trails, as some spots unveil truly stunning views. Take a leisurely approach, savoring the moments.

Be sure to check the opening hours at local tourist offices, as adverse weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances may lead to the closure of certain areas.

Exercise extra caution while navigating the trails, especially in locations like Route des Crêtes, where dramatic steep rocks pose potential hazards.

Wear suitable footwear for hiking, even on trails like Mandelieu-La-Napoule beach, which may feature partially rocky paths.

In the scorching summer heat, ensure you carry sufficient water and shield yourself from sunburn for a comfortable and safe hiking experience.

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