A hike along the balcony with superb views of the Etang de Berre (a small inland sea called Lake Berre).
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 at the Gouin car park opposite No 596 Avenue de Massane.
(D) From the car park, with your back to the lake, take the left on to Avenue de Massane (D52) towards the east (yellow waymarkers).
Go along a small beach, then turn left (Allée de la Plage d’Arthur).
(1) On approaching a small beach, take the stairs which lead to the beach and then cross the 'Place' until you reach a wooden sign indicating the start of the path for discovering the Etang de Berre.
The path goes along the lakeside, then leaves it at the next beach and heads to the right.
(2) At the top of the steep path, don't go to the right, but instead head downwards slightly and then climb upwards again. The path winds upwards and downwards like this.
At an intersection, carry straight on towards a small rocky escarpment. At the top of the plateau, under the shadows of the large pine trees, head to the left.
The path crosses a large path, take the route which heads downwards.
The path alternates again between climbing uphill and then back downhill. On arriving at a track, continue towards the south, ignoring the small path to the right.
50 metres later, the path coming from the right re-joins the track, continue straight on.
(3) The route continues through the pine trees and leads you back downhill towards the lake. At a fork, take the left (still following the yellow waymarkers).
After having reached the bottom of the hill, next take the left heading to the lakeside.
(4) Go along the lakeside, where you will walk across beach after beach full of shells.
After having walked along the beach on one side and a cultivated field on the other side, on approaching a clump of pine trees, the trail leaves to the right and, 50 metres after, to the right again until you reach a wooden sign.
(5) Take the left on to the path which heads towards the hill in the direction of Saint-Mitre. The trail is joined by the GR path (red and white waymarking).
Go around the ruins of Figuerolles and follow the main path.
When the trail bends to the left, don't take the path leaving to the right, instead head to the left (attention - there is no waymarking at this point).
Pass in front of a very pretty centuries-old oak tree.
(6) At the T-junction, turn to the right and follow a very pretty, large path through the pines.
At the 'citerne de la Loubière' (Loubière cistern) (No 358), take the left. 50 metres later you will reach a fork in the path, take the path to the left (a cement path) for 50 metres, then leave it and head to the right.
When the waymarkers appear again on the path, head to the left and at the next fork, take the path which goes downhill to the right.
At the bottom of the hill, take the right towards the herd. The path crosses a cypress hedge and joins a path which leads to a private property, take the left along the cypresses.
(7) At the end of the lane, on approaching the wood, turn to the right to go alongside the herd.
At the fork, take the left on to the tarmacked route and follow it up to the D52.
(8) Cross the D52 and continue on the path straight ahead, which turns into a 'calade' (a Provençal paved street with stones laid edgewise). When the path climbs again, continue first of all towards the left and then after a sharp bend, veer towards the right.
(9) At the next fork, 100 metres later, continue straight on and leave the yellow waymarked trail.
Follow the path with the blue waymarking - it's not very clear. The path goes downhill and then joins another path, follow it to the left. Continue on this path, always heading to the left, in order to finally climb uphill again for a few metres until you reach another path.
(10) Take the right on to the path with the yellow waymarking again, as well as the red and white waymarking of the GR.
Follow it downhill and after a fairly steep slope, ignore the paths to the right and left and continue straight onwards.
When the path comes to the first lot of houses, go past the high voltage cabinet, and continue straight on down Allée Léonard de Vinci which goes downhill to Avenue de Massane. Turn right after 150 metres to return to the car park.
D/A : km 0 - alt. 7m
1 : km 0.93 - alt. 1m - To the left towards the beach
2 : km 1.82 - alt. 58m - To the left at the top of the steep slope
3 : km 3.6 - alt. 112m - To the left to go back downhill
4 : km 4.87 - alt. 2m - Lakeside
5 : km 6.01 - alt. 6m - To the left in the direction of Saint-Mitre
6 : km 6.64 - alt. 52m - To the right on the track
7 : km 9.19 - alt. 39m - To the right through the pine trees
8 : km 10.26 - alt. 13m - Cross the D52
9 : km 10.78 - alt. 54m - To the right on the path
10 : km 11.55 - alt. 68m - To the right on the track
D/A : km 12.19 - alt. 7m
The path can become muddy after it's been raining.
From the departure point (D) to point (6), the route is waymarked in the terrain, but it does not appear on the map.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
A pleasant little walk. Take a picnic and make a day of it.
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Access to the Grottes de Calès site is forbidden.
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__Caution! Because of the nature of the rock (mollasse sandstone, and therefore friable) and the cliffs, parts of the site are dangerous.
A municipal order prohibiting access to these areas is currently in force. Take great care.__
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.