Bienvenue en Provence..

Provence offers a range of landscapes for many activities: hiking paths, rivers and canyons and brilliant sun all year long. Go kayaking, surprise a carp jumping in the translucent waters or brave a few rapids. Descending the Sorgue to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, or the Rhône under the Avignon Bridge in a kayak, is above all a shared moment of pleasure and a way to stay cool in Provence.

We had chance to try a kayak trip down the Sorgue River. The Sorgue divides into two river courses at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (originally known as “Insula”), at a point on the river called the Partage des Eaux, then further downstream it divides into dozens of separate waterways with different names, such as Sorgue de l’Isle, Sorgue de Velleron, Sorgue de Monclar, Sorgue de la Faible.

The best moment of this trip…? Stopping for a bath in the cold water (13′ C degrees..) and having a lunch break with local cheese and wine. Along the waterways you can see several water wheels still working, to stop to take amazing pictures and to ejnoy the local nature and landscapes.

Opportunity of guided canoe trips also, between Fontaine de Vaucluse and Isle sur la Sorgue. Family trip lasts 8 km, takes about 2 hours. Departure every 30 minutes from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm.

We also tried kayak in Cassis, a commune situated east of Marseille but also a popular tourist destination, famous for its cliffs (falaises) and the sheltered inlets called calanques. Geographical heart of the future National Park of the Calanques, Cassis wanted to give this preserved land a strong and innovative engagement in favor of its inhabitants, by developing and implementing an innovative concept, that of “sustainable territory “. In Cassis, nature is soverign.

Magical and enchanting coves, the Calanques are limestone cliffs that plunge into the Mediterranean and connects Marseille to Cassis with almost 20 km of marked trails. The calanques are classified for their scenery; that’s a fragile area that contains quantities of protected plant and animal species.

We started our trip from the Calanque de Port-Miou is one of the three big Cassis calanques. It is very long and narrow, and thus was very suitable for establishing a marina.

The name Port-Miou is an approximative transcripcion in french orthography of the occitan Pòrt-Melhor (the “best port”); in fact it is a natural harbour hosting more than 600 boats.

By kayak we reached Calanque de Port-Pin, an attractive small creek on the way to En Vau creek. Pines, white rock, clear water… Ideal to cool before continuing on the sloping trails of the massif des Calanques, or to stop and take advantage of the sun and the peace all day long, or going on kayaking to reach the other creeks.

Of course we decided to stop for eating and having a bath in the crystalline water..

The creek of Port Pin gets its name from the Aleppo pines; this dream location features a sandy beach backed by the same pine trees. A curiosity about this site is the blowhole, a sot of cave in which waves rush in chasing the air with force. This air escapes through a pipe and on very windy days you can hear it blowing also far from it.

Walking around the peninsula of Port Miou, you can also find the Path of “The Little Prince” [courtesy of succession Antoine de Saint-Exupery] a route dedicated to the memory of the famous writer, who died for France.

Read the full article on OutdoorUAE, the first outdoor magazine for the UAE and the Middle East.

Prêt à voyager

Hiking, swimming, kayaking... in Provence, there are countless opportunities to get outdoors, recharge your batteries, explore nature and have a great time..

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