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Esterel: one of the most beautiful coastal routes on the Côte d’Azur

This article is also available in: Italian

The Esterel massif is a relief of volcanic origin located near the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between the towns of Saint-Raphaël and Mandelieu-la-Napoule, near Cannes. Mount Vinaigre, 618 meters high, is the culminating point of the massif, the Esterel is formed by porphyry, volcanic rocks, which give it its typical and suggestive reddish colour.

Esterel is a very beautiful state park, with Mediterranean scrub, lots of wildlife (deer, wild boar, lizards, turtles, butterflies, partridges, pheasants, hares) and beautiful views, all with the backdrop of the remarkable red colored rocky outcrops. In the Esterel hills, there are many kilometers of footpaths and nature trails where you can contemplate majestic panoramas.

We suggest you follow the coastal road N 98 from Frejus-Saint Raphael to Cannes, called corniche d’Or or corniche de l’Esterel, you will see beautiful scenery of the coast dominated by the red rocks of the Esterel massif. Starting from Cannes, take the panoramic road at La Napoule, from here starts a 32 km route made up of curves and a majestic and scenic landscape with the blue sea dominated by the red rocks of the mountains.

After La Napoule there are the centers of Théoule-sur-Mer, Port la Galère and Miramar-de-l’Esterel. After Miramar-de-l’Esterel and the Pointe de l’Esquillon the protected and most intact stretch of coast begins, along the road you can admire the gullies of Maupas, d’Aurelle and Maubois until you reach the pointe de Maubois, du Cap Roux at the Pointe de l’Observatoire. From the Pointe de l’Observatoire it is possible to detour into the interior of the Esterel massif to visit the panoramic points of the Casp Roux belvedere, the Col del l’Eveque, the Pic de l’Aurelle and the Pic de l’Ours.

Continuing along the coast you pass the Calanque de Saint-Barthelemy, the Calanque du Petit Caneiret and the Calanque d’Anthéor. You then reach the seaside resort of Anthéor with the islet of Île des Vieilles in front of it, then beyond the Calanque des Anglais and the Pointe de la Baumette the Agay harbor opens up. From Agay it is possible to enter the interior of the Esterel massif reaching the Cole Belle-Barbe and then the Col du Mistral from it is possible to visit the Perthus Gorges (Ravin du Perthus) and the Mal Infernet Gorges (Ravin du Mal hellnet).

Another very beautiful point on the coast is at Le Dramont with the promontory of Cap du Dramont, where in front of the Pointe de l’Esquine de l’Ay there is Île d’Or with a 1912 medieval-style tower. A little beyond Le Dramont you reach the famous seaside resort of Saint-Raphaël which is the end of the coastal itinerary. Equally beautiful is the internal itinerary which along the N 7 road crosses the Esterel massif passing by the auberge des Adrets, near the highest point of the Esterel, Mount Vinaigre.


This article is also available in: Italian


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