Two days ago me and my son went camping, out in the wild… somewhere along the Loup river, about 40 mins drive from our home. It was a beautiful afternoon, still 25 degrees at 7pm (at an altitude of about 900 m). Great for a swim (the water is quite refreshing, some would even say cold 😉 ).
Absolute silence, except for the sound of the river.. also, very dark once the sun has set… perfect views of the night sky.
And in the morning, everything feels peaceful as the sun shines on the beautiful surroundings, announcing a brand new day.
Leave your worries at home and give it a try, recommended!
Yesterday I made a roadtrip through the pre-Alpes hinterland. Turned out to be quite a lenghty trip, passing through Pont-du-Loup, Greolieres, Thorenc and then east to Aiglun.
Aiglun is a tiny village, tucked away in the pre-Alpes hills, and has some beautiful canyoning opportunities, in the Esteron river. Unfortunately during this trip I was not able to take pictures of the best canyoning (and swimming) spots, as I got there too late in the day.
The road towards Aiglun is stunning; also very winding and in many places too narrow for two cars to pass each other. But that is never a problem, there’s always a point with a little bit more space and locals are very friendly.
As part of a family celebration, we (my children and I) went to see one of the Îles de Lérins, the smaller of two, called Saint Honorat.
The Îles de Lérins are two islands just off the coast of Cannes, and reachable by ferry, taking just about 15mins.
Saint Honorat is the smaller of the two, less busy and closer to its natural wild state. Key words are; crystal clear waters, rocky coastline, beautiful views on Cannes and the mountains beyond.. and of course the cigales.
There is no better place for a picnic, a swim and a gentle stroll through the native pine forest…
Saint Honorat is inhabited by monks, who have lived there since about the year 400.. they produce local wines from their vineyards.
Last night the wind picked up, and the Mistral started to blow. And when it does, it clears the sky and sweeps it clean, clean from dust, clean from humidity.. the result is a deep blue sky and fantastic visibility…
Which is why I decided to go and visit the tiny village of Sainte-Agnès, a village tucked away in the hills behind Menton, north-east of Nice.
The village itself is very picturesque; and above it, on top of a hill , are the ruins of an old castle. Walking up from the village, through a beautiful garden, one has splendid views on the Mediterranean Sea, and the towns of Menton to the left, and Roquebrune-Cap-Martin to the right.
Once the Mistral has been flowing for a bit longer, 2 -3 days, visibility will further improve and you may be able to spot the silhouettes of the mountains of Corsica at the horizon…
On top of the hill lie the ruins of an old castle; this is the highest point of the hill that Sainte-Agnès sits on, and you’ll be able to enjoy 360 degree views…
Yesterday we wanted to go to the beach; an undertaking which is, as every French Riviera resident knows, a tricky business in July and August. Even the fact that it’s a week-day (Friday), and not in the weekend, does not make much of a difference during the peak season.
So we headed out a bit further, to the Esterel – a very old mountain range, right on the coast, just to the west of Cannes. The winding road that hugs the coast line provides magnificent views across the sea and red volcanic rocks.
We ended up a a little rocky inlet, with pebble beach, lined with Pine trees. And luckily there weren’t too many people.. the sea was a warm 25 degrees, sound of the crickets all around, the beautiful colour of the Mediterranean… ended up swimming for hours. Very relaxing, very much away from the hustle and bustle of the busy Côte d’Azur.
Summer is here! The weather is stable, sunny, warm, but not too warm… Unlike more northern regions where one day it’s 18 degrees, then 32 the next, falling back to 18 or lower the day after…
Sea water temperature is around 25 degrees now, which means that directly on the coast night-time temperatures don’t fall below that .. which is a bit warm to sleep. However, further inland, nights are cooler and people sleep better !
Occasionally there is a thunderstorm, not impossible but rare in July, sometimes in the second half of August, but overall there is very little rainfall from mid-June to the end of September.
When it gets all a bit much, the heat, the crowds, why not head into the arriere-pays (hinterland) and discover some beautiful walks ?
September is a beautiful month, it’s not as hot anymore, the light is beautiful and everything is still very warm from the hot summer sun… tourists will mostly have gone home by now, so there is less congestion everywhere…