The "CÔTE BLEUE" and PICTURESQUE VILLAGES OF PROVENCE
The Côte Bleue is a coast of the Mediterranean Sea, stretching from West of Marseille to Martigues.
Along its 30 km, the landscape is full of surprises : rocky coves in which are nestled tiny little fishing ports, small seaside resorts, white, shingly beaches, pine forests, scrubland...
Let's begin by a walk following a former customs and excise path which winds along the coast. This is easily accessible and will give you superb panoramas over the bay of Marseille and its islands.
This area of exceptional natural beauty is reputed for its clears waters and its preserved submarine fauna : a real paradise, at just 40 mn from the big city of Marseille !
We will continue by Carry le Rouet, a charming seaside resort set at the foot of pine covered hills. It was well known during the thirties because of the French actor Fernandel who used to spend his vacations here.
Sausset les Pins is another village surrounded by the aromatic garrigue (scrubland) and pine forests. It has developed from a small fishing village with scarcely 200 inhabitants to become a small, family seaside resort. Little by little, the number of houses has increased and extensive building has taken place on the hills facing the port… Beautiful, sea-facing houses lie along the coast road. True to its traditions, fishing provides Sausset’s main focus, from highly competitive tuna fishing on the high seas to traditional coastal fishing for rock fish. You will like its little pedestrian streets, its outdoor cafés with views over the harbour and its air of simplicity, far from the busy French Riviera.
La Couronne is a small hamlet where you will have a typical Provençal lunch
We will now leave the Blue Coast, and head North towards Martigues (panoramic view), the "Provençal Venise", crossed by several channels joining the sea to the Berre Lagoon and reach Miramas le Vieux, perched on a hilltop overlooking the Berre Lagoon.
The village is very well restored, with everything in the native orange-yellow stone among which some medieval houses and the ruins of a fortress. You will feel there a relaxing and authentic atmosphere, with very few tourists and shops.
Cornillon Confoux is another example of one of these peaceful perched villages where everything seems to be perfect. Walking through the little lanes of the village you will find rows of little cottages, among them some lovely old stone houses. The Place de l’Eglise is particularly charming, with the 12th-century church on one side and the Beffroi (Belfry)
The spot boasts an outstanding panoramic view, which stretches as far as the Alpilles in the west (with les Baux de Provence) and Sainte Victoire in the east. Opposite is the Luberon mountain range and in good weather Mont Ventoux (the highest mountain of Provence) can be seen beyond.
On the way back, we can stop at a wine property.
Except during July and August, this tour enables you to see beautiful villages, far from the touristic movement (so don't expect to find many souvenir shops in these locations).
Between the sites, your driver-guide will explain you
many things about the history, the tradition, the natural environment...
You will be able to stop as much as you want to take pictures, or just
to breathe the fabulous scents of the provencal plants...
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