Summer is finally here

Summer is here and with the temperature shooting skywards it is refreshing and relaxing to take a swim in a river, in one of the many beautiful spots the region has to offer for nature swimmers.

I went to my favourite haunt: the Sign river near Tanneron (drop me a line if you want to know the exact spot, we’ve got to keep it a secret!).

Siagne river, near Tanneron
Siagne river, near Tanneron
Siagne river, near Tanneron
Siagne river, near Tanneron

(some of the comments got accidentally deleted , due to the large amounts of spam any blog receives these days; if you had a genuine comment or question recently, please let me know and I’ll be happy to respond! )

An easy and beautiful coastal walk between Monaco and Menton

Between Monaco and the Menton, very close to the Italian border, lies Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.
You can walk around the entire perimeter, enjoying beautiful views over the Mediterranean, and, in this case, on the city of Monaco.
The most recent time I did this walk was in late April; weather was a bit blustery, not too hot, so perfect weather for a relatively easy walk.
This walk takes about an hour, although you can go as slow as you like, soaking up the views, enjoying the panoramas as you go along.
On the western side you have splendid views of Monaco, on the easter side you’ll be able to see the city of Menton.

View east, with Menton across the water
An impressive view of Monaco
Several places have steps leading down to the water – be careful though when the sea is rough!

Cold snap!

Hi !

We have not escaped the current cold spell. Snow happens here about once every 5 years.

When it does, it makes for some beautiful pictures!

This is a picture of my orange tree, yesterday
Snow started to fall yesterday, with overnight lows well below freezing!
The trees are not used to carrying such a heavy load, and many trees got damaged after heavy snowfall in January 2012.

Infernet: scenic streams, ancient rocks and forest fires

Close to Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, a large  forested area north of  Les-Pennes-Mirabeau went up in flames during the summer of 2016, destroying trees as well as several houses.

Today, January 2018, the scars from that fire are still very visible ; at the same time, nature shows its resilience : new seedlings are starting to grow , and existing shrubs and trees start turning green again.

There is an easy and pretty walk through the area, leading to the source of the (tiny) river Infernet.

Thanks to recent rains there are  various little streams in the area, seeming to appear from nowhere out of the orange rocks.

Source of the river Infernet
Scorched trees
Ravine through which the Infernet river flows

Winter storms: a different face of the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean Sea is mostly a very calm sea, with average wave and swell heights rarely exceeding 1m.

Sometimes however, swells can grow to 2-3 meter, sometimes more!

Today there was a 2.5m easterly swell, really impressive. I went to Cap d’Antibes, on the easter side to take some pictures, and then on to the Esterel, near Trayas, als very exposed.

Rough seas , Cap d’Antibes
Cap d’Antibes

Calanque d’Aurelle, Esterel

 

 

Winter has arrived on the Côte d’Azur!

It seemed only such a short while ago that summer was still here, the sea was still warm and evening dinners were enjoyed outside… now however, after a short autumn , winter is here.
Away from the coast , night time temperatures are dropping way down into the single digits. And yesterday, on the 1st of December, snow started to fall as far down as 300m altitude.
It’s cold! But it’s very pretty too, take a look at the pictures below:

Gréolières village
Gréolières village
Snow at Gréolières
Snow at Gréolières
Cipières and surrounding mountains
View on Cipières and surrounding mountains
View on the Cheiron mountain range, on the way to Gréolières
View on the Cheiron mountain range, on the way to Gréolières

Autumn colours on the French Riviera

Below a few pictures I shot while on a Sunday morning walk a few days ago, near Coursegoules, not far from Greolières.

Recommended as a relatively easy walk (from the village of Coursegoules up to the “Col de Coursegoules”, from where you have a nice view on the Alps in the north, about 1 hour up hill); or for a picnic, or just to sit down, enjoy the views and warm October sunshine…

Canyoning in the Esteron river

Near the beautiful village of Gillette (some 20 minutes from Nice, an authentic village with beautiful views on the river delta of the river Var,  worth a stop-over) , is the Pont de la Cerise, an old stone bridge across the Esteron river, just where it takes a sharp right turn and just before beautiful gorges that run for several hundreds meters.

Very popular in summer, it is a great place for a picnic, a swim , or some some canyoning!

Park around here [43.856026 N, 7.136795E], and walk for about 25 minutes down the rocky track winding its way down to the river and the bridge.

Once at the bridge, walk down the rocky slope, get into the water and swim / walk / clamber across the rocks downstream to appreciate the beautifully sculpted white rock walls.
Strange rock formations provide a clue as to how these gorges where formed.

When we were there yesterday (August 17th) the water was not cold at all, a perfect temperature actually, given the heat of the summer sun.

Enjoy!

ps. For more pictures of the Esteron river, take a look at this page on the main web site.