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Hiking by St Tropez: Closer to the sea

The coastal path that leads you by gently gurgling Mediterranean waves along the shore of the French Riviera (actually, through a portion of coastal France altogether), also meanders through human squabbles.

Much of the time, the coastal path or "sentier des douaniers" sits on private property. According to French law, a path must be maintained by property owners all along the coast. The original idea was protective in nature: coast guards had to be able to patrol on foot all along this giant stretch of seaside land. The law remains today, albeit with a more democratic interpretation: seaviews belong to everyone, especially hikers (ok, that last part is mine).

Problem is, in some areas private properties want more privacy.

Take St Tropez, for example. For years now, some seaside property owners have tried to chop off the coastal path from their land. They've encountered resistance from local groups. As of recently, a tall gate stretches across the path between the Canoubiers and the Graniers bay. You can still get to the other side, by heading down towards the sea and getting your feet wet.

This affects hike #11 in the hiking guidebook: 26 Gorgeous Hikes on the Western Côte d'Azur.


If this latest path restriction makes you feel like walking the plank as is does for us, keep in mind that the port of St Tropez includes some of the longest plushest planks to walk from. All is not lost :)




Hiking Guide Gift



A new year is about to roll in and we want to wish you a happy hiking one!

As a gift, we're offering a free hiking guide to the French Riviera to the first person to sign up for our Newsletter! See our Azur Newsletter sign-up field on the right of this site.

It may not yet be perfect hiking weather here on the French Riviera, but it won't be long...


Esterel's Magic Tricks

If you have hiked around the Esterel mountains of south eastern France recently (the mountainous back-drop to Cannes on the Côte d'Azur), you may have noticed a change. Like magic, one of the main lakes of the Esterel has disappeared. The Esterel's "Squirrel lake" or Lac de l'Ecureuil is dry.

Why? One of the foresters working in the Esterel noticed a crack in the man-made lake's barrage about a year ago. The lake was thus drained for safety reasons.


True, hiking that side of the Estérel doesn't feel quite the same. And fewer animals stroll in the evening as they did to take a drink, but the reddish cliffs that surround the hiking path still glow like flames in the setting sun. I continue to recommend this hike to anyone visiting the region behind Agay, Cannes, St Raphael in southern France.

The Lac de l'Ecureuil hike is hike #3 in the hiking guidebook "26 Gorgeous Hikes on the Western Cote d'Azur", available on all Amazon sites (US, UK, France, German, Japanese).

Plans are under way to restore a small dam to capture rain water. We're expecting to hear more about these plans in 2011.