Hiking and Mountain Biking in the Estérels

Summer is officially here!  As the weather starts heating up, the options for outdoor activities expand as attractions and sightseeing operators open for the season.

However, some of the best family-friendly activities are free and right on our doorstep!

Around 40 minutes’ drive from where I live is the start of the Massif de l’Estérels, a coastal region sculpted by rust red porphyry rock, scrubby vegetation, inland lakes, valleys, pebbly coves with clear water and a vineyard here and there.


The area roughly falls between Mandelieu in the east and Fréjus in the west and has one of the most scenic driving routes – the Corniche d’Or – as well as many excellent hiking and mountain biking trails.

The Estérels Côte d’Azur website is a great multi-lingual website for finding out more about the various walks (balades & randonnées) and mountain biking (VTT) itineraries you can do, as well as information about the local beaches and coves.

I also find Plages.tv super useful for photos and descriptions of the facilities at beaches in France; simply choose your region, choose the language option and search!

Three family-friendly walks you’ll find on the Estérels Côte d’Azur website include:

  • Cap Dramont with the Île d’Or which is said to have been the inspiration for Hergé’s ‘L’île Noire (The Black Island)‘ in The Adventures of Tin Tin
  • The Sentier Découverte de 25 ponts (Discovery Trail for 25 bridges)
  • L’Étang Aubert


The VTT trail that is easiest for families is the Mal Infernet-Lac de L’écureuil path with low elevation.

Hiking website link:  http://circuits.esterel-cotedazur.com/balades-randonnees

Mountain biking website link:  http://circuits.esterel-cotedazur.com/parcours-vtt/

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