3 Family-Friendly French Riviera Hikes
French Riviera Hikes
Hikes near Saint-Raphael: There are many reasons why we love the Cote d’Azur. One of them is because of the hiking possibilities. Part of our family loves the mountains, and part of our family loves the sea. On the French Rivièra, and particularly near Saint-Raphael, these two are combined in a breathtaking way! Continue reading here for the Let’s Explore contributor blog post. Enjoy her photos from these three (3) family-friendly hikes along the French Riviera coastline. The Lakes of Villepey in Saint-Aygulf, the Sentier du Littoral along the coastline in Saint-Raphael, and the hike towards the ‘Pont des Tuves’ the Pays de Fayence countryside.
Les Etangs de Villepey
The Lakes of Villepey in Saint-Aygulf is a protected natural area that is wonderful for exploring. The Argens River joins the Mediterranean near Fréjus creating a brackish water zone. Similar to the marshlands of the Camargue this 260-hectare area is home to many species of birds and coastal flora. The walk is flat, with some sections along a boardwalk.
The Coastal Path (Sentier du Littoral) Saint-Raphael
Pathways along the coastline in France date back hundreds if not thousands of years. However, only in more recent history staring on December 31, 1976, did the French State institute a program of mandating the ability of public access the coastline and beaches.
Historically in the 18th and 19th centuries, these trails were the sentiers des douaniers. Begining in 1791, the French government set up a coastal surveillance system along to monitor contraband goods and those who were attempting to avoid import duties.
Today, these trails are hiking paths with fabulous views.
The trailhead starts at Port Santa Lucia in Saint-Raphael. If you walk the whole way to Agay it is 11km and should take roughly 4 1/2 hours. Laura recommends a shorter version (roughly two hours) for families with young kids. Discover the beautiful coast, sandy beaches and some private coves.
Pont des Tuves
The starting point for this hike is Montauroux, about a 40-minute drive from Saint-Raphaël. Laura says, “This is quite a steep hike, but one you will not regret!” Park at the Stade du Défens. This walk is not without a few challenges but delivers a variety of terrain, a bit of shade, beautiful views and the chance to swim. Although, Laura confirms that the water is cold. Constructed in 1802, the Pont des Tuves crosses the Siagne River.
The Estrel Randonée website rates this hike as a medium for difficulty.
Whether you are hiking near the French Riviera or elsewhere, always take the appropriate safety precautions. Carry water, snacks, sunscreen, hats, wear proper shoes, and take extra layers. Never hike alone, or if you must advise someone of your departure and expected return time.