Pointe de l'Observatoire Barthelemy - Cap Roux

This is a magnificent hike through the red rocks of Estérel, looking over the blue of the Mediterranean with extraordinary viewing points.

Technical sheet
No. 4098530
A Saint-Raphaël (Var) walk posted on 04/05/14 by djhoward. Update : 05/03/20
Calculated time Calculated time: 5h00[?]
Distance Distance : 10.86km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 658m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 651m
Highest point Highest point : 429m
Lowest point Lowest point : 27m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Esterel
Location Location : Saint-Raphaël (Var) (83700)
Starting point Starting point : N 43.449446° / E 6.918229°
Download : -


By car, from Saint Raphaël in the direction of Anthéor, take the Corniche de l'Estérel (D5559) by the coast. You need to park in the large car park just after the SNCF bridge in a place called La Pointe de l'Observatoire. This is the starting point of this Esterel walk.

(D/A) With your back to the sea, take the road to the left and cross the SNCF bridge. Then leave the road and take a right onto the tarmac track H32 (Cap Roux). There is also a large sign at this point (Forêt Domaniale de l'Estérel (Estérel National Forest)).

Remain on the track (with a beautiful view of the Rocher Barthélémy) ignoring stairs which go off to the right(1) and, further on, a path from the right. 30 minutes after starting you arrive at the foot of the Rocher Barthélémy.

(2) At this specific place, leave the tarmac track and take a small stony path on the right with yellow markers. Climb up the side to the Col du Saint Pilon(3).

Turn right (northeast) after the cairn (a mound of stones) on the trail marked with yellow and blue (enjoy a beautiful view over the Mediterranean Sea and the Pic de l'Ours). At a fork, follow the trail on the left marked in yellow which descends towards the Sainte Baume (the path to the right would lead you directly to the Cap Roux).

(4) Once at the bottom of the Sainte-Baume, you pass in front of a spring. Continue upwards on the left (north). N.B. At this point you can go up to the Chapelle de Saint Honorât and back again (30min).

(5) At the fork, turn right. After a long upward section, you arrive at the sign for the Plateau de Anthéor. Go directly to the orientation table (6) which offers a magnificent panoramic view of Cannes and the Lerins Islands on one side and the Estérel on the other. This is the high point.

Return to the main trail and follow it to the right. The path is very stony and descends to the Col du Cap Roux(7). Then take the path that descends to the left.

At the next intersection, keep going on the left-hand track with yellow markers. Descend a narrow track lined with bushes. At the next intersection turn left again and ignore the yellow and blue-striped markers on the right.

After a long descent through the rocks you arrive at a new crossroads (in front of you is the sea and a large rock). Take the left and ignore the yellow markers on the right. At the end of a long descent, you arrive at the cairn(8), take the first path on the right.

This is a cliff-side dirt path that brings you back on the lower point. At the end you need to cut left in the direction of the small wood where a final concrete staircase leads to the tarmac track you took from the start point(1).

Rejoin the car park at the Pointe de l'Observatoire via the same path as the outward path.

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 27m
1 : km 0.5 - alt. 63m - Staircase
2 : km 2.05 - alt. 147m - Trail start - Rocher Barthélémy
3 : km 2.99 - alt. 266m - Col du Saint-Pilon
4 : km 3.83 - alt. 194m - Sainte-Baume - Spring
5 : km 4.55 - alt. 279m - Crossroads
6 : km 5.38 - alt. 429m - Pic du Cap Roux - Pic du Cap Roux (453m)
7 : km 5.85 - alt. 352m - Col du Cap Roux - Col du Cap Roux (400m)
8 : km 8.99 - alt. 59m - Cairn
D/A : km 10.86 - alt. 27m

Useful Information

A very rocky trail requiring good hiking shoes.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 4.33/5
Number of opinions : 2
Description quality : 4.5/5
Routemap quality : 4.5/5
Walk interest : 4/5

on Tue 04 Sep 2018 13:06:49 CEST

Global average : 4.33 / 5

Date of walk : 04/09/18
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Good

Did part of this walk starting about 10:00am on 07/08/2018. It was rather steep and very hot. At that time of year, it is obviously necessary to set out early morning on a hot day, because there is very limited shade. The views of the rocks and out to sea are spectacular, so would do the walk again when it is cooler.

on Mon 30 Jul 2018 09:23:35 CEST

Global average : 4.33 / 5

Date of walk : 07/03/20
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Good

I did this walk last week in July-start early since it gets hot! I started at 7am. Easy walk to follow-some
Great views from Pic de Cap Roux. For info with a reasonable pace it takes just over 2 hours rather than 4+ hours on the website.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.