Walks and hikes
For nature lovers, long hikes or short walks are the best way to discover the one of the oldest massifs which is the pride of our region.
L’Estérel is one of the largest Permian massifs in Europe (dating from the end of the Paleozoic Era, 260-225 million years ago). Spread over almost 97 000 hectares, with dozens of peaks such as that of Mont Vinaigre (614m), Les Suvières (558m), Pic de l’Ours (492m), Dramont (136m)…
The red and brown volcanic rock of the massif de l’Estérel offer a striking contrast with the green and silver flora and vegetation: cork oaks (green and black), pines (stone, aleppo, cluster), chestnuts, almonds, mimosas
... the maquis made up of cane-apple bushes, juniper-berries, genets, bay-trees...
... scrubland with its heathers, cistus, myrtles, thyme...
... and its many grasses and flowers: poppies, lavenders, maritime cinerarias, ice plants as well as the stunning agaves as your approach the coast.
Fauna is also extremely diverse, many insects, including the famous cicada, crickets, grasshoppers, butterflies, but also tortoises (Hermann’s tortoise, a protected species), lizards, wild boars, hares, wild rabbits, birds of all kinds (the migratory birds would stop off here: herons, Flemish pinks, ducks, woodcocks...).
When walking along the paths you may be interested in knowing more about the winds that sometimes batter the countryside: the Mistral, which comes down the Rhone valley and sweeps the clouds from the sky bringing good weather with it, whereas the East winds brings grey clouds and rain. The Sirocco hot wind from the Sahara covers everything with sand while the Ponant comes from the west and the sea: a light breeze, it is more than welcome on a hot summer’s day.
Overwhelmed by different scents, don’t forget to walk to the Saint-Raphaël lighthouse where the Massif de l’Estérel plunges into the Mediterranean in a blast of colour: the red, brown and lilac tones of the rhyolite rock are reflect in the deep blue of the sea, from here until Mandelieu la Napoule, you’re on the Côte d’Azur.
73% of the land of the Var department is forest. In Fréjus over 4000 hectares of the Massif de l’Estérel is forest and it is a wonderful environment to explore by foot or by bike.
Above all, don’t forget: fire is our worst enemy: wild and forest fires destroy people, animals, and plants, so please be careful. Also, please respect the environment by not leaving any rubbish.
The best walking routes can be found on the site: http://perso.wanadoo.fr/massifdelestrel
We would like to praise this website and its creators for their passion for the Estérel, something we share.