The weather started on the damp side for this week's group hike on the French Riviera. We had a serious rainfall Monday morning around 3AM, a tropical shower with buckets falling all at once, the kind that pounds rooftops and pavements and wakes up a sound sleeper. By 5AM, all was quiet.
So we hesitated to head out to the Maures Mountains for a trek, but the pull of the wild won out...
From Sainte-Maxime, we headed up the N98 coastal road to the D8 street by San Peire that makes it way by the Hameau des Issambres to the Col du Bougnon. Parking is plentiful at the Col du Bougnon, right by the archery range.
Note: In our hiking guidebook to the French Riviera, we describe hike #15 on page 88 as "Col du Bougnon." Due to the intense rainfall of early November, we don't currently recommend this hike as the F35 footpaths up and down Cabasse have been eroded and deeply furrowed. Try this hike instead.
We followed the F232 footpath alongside the flanks of the hills, leaving the F35 footpath on our left. The footpath makes it easy to walk: it's wide, sandy and makes it way over gently rolling hills. In about 20 minutes, we reached a major intersection of the F232 path with the F120, with a water cistern marked RAG9 at the hilltop.
Rather than take the F232 and then the F35 to Cabasse currently deeply ravined, we continued straight on the F120 footpath, the larger path that heads North-West. After another 20-30 minutes of country walk in the Maures, we spotted the green water cistern marked RAG8 on the left at the top of a hill and in the bushes.
Note: If you're just looking for a 6km hike (about 1hour 45 minutes), turn back here.
We continued all the way down to the next major intersection and turned on our happy heels to head back before nightfall. Night time comes a little quicker in the hills in Winter. We wanted to be back by 5PM.
The city scape to the east is not Roquebrune-sur-Argens, but Puget-sur-Argens with its industrial base. And out to sea, we spotted the Dramont semaphore. T'was another inspiring walk in the Maures Mountains of southern France.
Looking for more on-foot adventures in France? Take a look at this latest English-language hiking guidebook to the western French Riviera.
Google Map to situate the hike's starting point: