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Outdoors & Hiking

The Grand Canyon de Verdon

Provence can boast several world renowned natural areas, from the Camargue on the Rhône Delta in the West with its semi-wild horses, bulls and flamingos to the majestic Vaucluse Plateau further the North. Further East, the huge gash of the Grand Canyon de Verdon and eventually to the wilderness of the Mercantour in the East.

In between there are numerous smaller Parks like the Luberon Natural Park, the Alpilles and the magnficent Esterel between Fréjus and Cannes.

Gearing up

Despite being in the South of France many of these National Parks are located on very high ground, especially the Mercantour, so appropriate clothing is essential.

If you are intending to do some hiking in summer you’ll need

  • A day bag with a plastic liner:
  • lightweight waterproof clothing:
  • hiking pants and shorts;
  • base layer and a fleece garment;
  • hat and gloves;
  • mountain shoes and socks

In winter you’ll also need:

  • hiking poles with snow baskets;
  • well-insulated mountain shoes;
  • a torch or headlamp;
  • sun glasses;
  • thermos for hot drinks;
  • sun lotion and lip balm.

Thanks to Mel and Liz at Space-Between for the above clothing and equipment suggestions.

Dentelles de Montmirail

Lacy hills of Provence

La Camargue

The Camargue Regional Nature Park

Luberon Natural Park

Mont Ventoux

The Bald Mountain of Provence

Mercantour National Park

Parc National du Mercantour

Vaucluse Plateau

High plain drifting


The Marvellous Valley

Text © Paul Shawcross

Image by © Paul Shawcross