A magnificent sea and mountain hike in the Calanques National Park.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Park in the Col de la Gineste car park.
From the car park, follow the red-marked route that starts from the right-hand side of the D559, in the direction of Marseille/Cassis (alt. 326 m). Walk towards Col de la Candelle. The trail rises initially to Butte du Pain de Sucre, then back down through scree to Col Ricard.
50 metres before reaching the pass (1), leave the red-marked route onto a wide path opposite via a footpath. It rises steadily skirting Mont Puget on the right overlooking Luminy.
In the descent, at the first hairpin turn (2), continue left on Chemin du Centaure which goes to the cliff foot of Mont Puget. At around 200 metres near a grove of trees, join the GR98-51 (3) and follow to the left on Sentier des Treize Contours, then on Promontoire des Américains.
This portion of cliff path overlooking the Falaise des Toits cliff, meets up with Col de la Candelle, which offers superb views to enjoy with your lunch (4).
Start on the green-marked route due north along the ridge path, slightly to the right. Pass two successive trails leading off on your right and go straight to the pass.
Take the trail on the left that leads to the summit of Mont Puget (563 metres) (6). After the ascent to the summit, retrace your steps.
100 metres before the pass, turn left onto the path of Vallon Sainte Marthe (green markings), which quickly descends into a scree, then winds along to Puits de Cancel (7). Alternatively, take Cheming du Vallon de l'Herbe which starts on the left 50 metres higher up and avoids delicate passages of Vallon de Sainte Marthe leading to Puits de Cancel.
Continue the path on the left as far as a junction (8). Follow the path to the left that quickly climbs up Col de Ricard.
Then take the path on the right back to the Col de la Gineste.
D/A : km 0 - alt. 326m - Col de la Gineste (326m)
1 : km 1.44 - alt. 356m - Col Ricard (352m)
2 : km 3.55 - alt. 303m
3 : km 4.07 - alt. 278m
4 : km 5.76 - alt. 404m - Col de la Candelle (400m)
5 : km 6.67 - alt. 522m
6 : km 7.4 - alt. 539m - Mont Puget
7 : km 8.99 - alt. 318m
8 : km 9.17 - alt. 309m
D/A : km 11.07 - alt. 326m
Free car park on either side of the D559 (Marseille/Cassis) at Col de la Gineste or public transport on the “La Marcouline" transport network, line M8 Marseille-Cassis via La Gineste.
Bring very good hiking boots for the scree.
Some open-air passages without difficulty (Promontoire des Américains) and rocky escarpments to cross in the Valley of St. Martha (avoid in wet weather).
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.