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Estérel: Hiking the Cap-Roux

AzurAlive: To the St Pilon This week was the Semaine de la Randonnée Pedestre in the Var on the French Riviera. Towns and communes of the Var organized guided hikes for any and all.

The drizzly weather mid-week canceled some of the interesting hikes such as the climb up the Rocher de Roquebrune by Roquebrune-sur-Argens or the trek across the Mont Vinaigre in the Estérel.

But today, the sun allowed us to lace our hiking shoes. We hiked with organizer Stéphane at the Adrets-de-l'Esterel tourism board and Hélène to visit old Estérel friends: the Sainte-Baume, the Saint Pilon and the Cap Roux.

On a clear day, this is my favorite short walk (2 hrs) in the Estérel Mountains.

AzurAlive: St Pilon You begin with a climb up to the humbling sides of the sheered St Pilon rocks. There, a stage of red volcanic pitons rise over the sea like pipes on a pipe organ.

A few steps up to the Cap Roux lead you to an old viewing table gifted by the Touring Club de France. You peer over the Bay of La Napoule to the north-east, the islands of St Honorat and Ste Marguerite, Le Trayas, Agay, St Raphael further south, les Issambres and its finger of land pointing into the sea and the cape of St Tropez in the southern most distance. No views of Corsica today...

Cap Roux Map My usual trek back forms a loop around the Cap Roux, but the group decided to turn on our heels and enjoy the more bushy and more shaded trail on the northern side of the hill that lead us up here.No one complained. We were having a ball.

"This has got to be my favorite hiking loop in the Estérel; I've trekked it a dozen times over the years, and never tire of its over-arching views over sea and mountains," I told Hélène, our hiking lead.

"Tiens," said Helène "my favorite is the Ecureuil hike down belowin the gorge. Perhaps it's a thing with domination."

Never looked at it that way, I said as we laughed. Hiking never fails to bring a new point de vue.

We returned replenished to our starting point at the base of the Ste Baume mountain.

AzurAlive: Esterel Hikes For directions, click here.

For more hikes in the Estérel Mountains, take a look at our Esterel selection of articles on

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And check out our guide below for some great hikes on the western French Riviera, with maps and photos.

Interested in more half-day hikes on the French Riviera? Check out our highly-acclaimed hiking guide below on (and too!)

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