Côte bleue

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Côte bleue


The Côte Bleue is situated between Marseille, Estaque and Martigues and consists of several small, rocky inlets which provide an ideal environment for hiking. Taking the coastal path will enable you to discover the entire city of Marseille, as well as the port of Niolon, which is the starting point for many well-known walks in the region. A stroll along the path lining the rocky inlets of the Côte Bleue will begin at Ensuès-la-Redonne and go as far as Niolon; on one side, you will discover a series of rocky inlets and land features and on the other, you will have a panoramic view of the azure sea.

A description of the Côte Bleue

The Côte Bleue is spread across 25 km between Marseille harbour and the Gulf of Fos. This previously little known area in the region today brings pleasure to many tourists who want to enjoy camping in a picturesque haven. The coast is made up of white sandy beaches, small seaside resorts, and little cabins which make the rocky inlets idyllic. From the hilltops which overlook the bay, you can admire its string of islands surrounded by an azure sea, alongside the limestone heights: a contrast which gives the landscape its whole character. Furthermore, beaches such as Establon, Niolon, Méjean and La Redonne situated in these coves are surrounded by uplands which are home to a broad range of plant life, such as pine trees and oaks. The Côte Bleue forms part of a region which offers nature lovers many open spaces, such as the coves, plateaus and cliffs, where they can go walking in a magnificent setting.

Protected land and areas of the Côte Bleue

Following the appearance of the first marinas, the Côte Bleue and its subaquatic rim have become a protected zone. Therefore, only moderate levels of construction and port development have been permitted, creating a site within a fairy-tale setting. Despite the town and its industry, the excessive number of tourists and fire hazard, the Côte Bleue has managed to hold out against being destroyed. These days, the Côte Bleue site is one of the most extensive in France. The entire mainland part of this site is henceforth conserved by the Protection Agency, which has managed to purchase the entire maritime area bit by bit, and is looked after by a Marine Park. Consequently, thanks to the construction of tunnels and viaducts, many routes have been created, bringing visitors to the heights. Following the increase in sailing, the developers have had the notion of constructing marinas around the rocky inlets and bays of the Côte Bleue, maintaining the natural landscape of its subaquatic rim.

Activities on the Côte Bleue

This coastline is an area which offers walkers extraordinary views; the landscape is slowly and gradually opened out as you pass though the Bay of Laurons on the beach at Verdon, or even through the little port of Tamaris and the village of Carro. These wild corners provide original attractions, such as the Botanical Circuit, the Fitness Route or even the Fossil Display. The Grand Parc de Figuerolles [Figuerolles Great Park] extends over 130 hectares and hosts many activities to be experienced with one’s family, such as an assault course, a farm and an equestrian centre offering long distance pony trekking, another way to see the region. Furthermore, it must be known that the history of Martigues can be discovered on visiting monuments and cultural amenities, like the Ziem museum, the archaeological showcase, the Bird Mirror or even the Fort of Bouc. Every summer, there are guided tours organised in the marine reserve of Carry-le-Rouet. This activity aims to let people discover the riches of the realm of the sea, as well as to raise awareness of the importance of respecting nature, and of a protected marine zone such as the Côte Bleue.

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