Over the Easter weekend I met Laura at Heathrow airport and we continued on towards Marseille, the biggest city in the Provence region of southern France. We had plans to visit my cousin Viktor who currently works in the city, and we wanted to get in a few days of cycling and hiking.
We began our trip with a day in Marseille, then three days of cycling, hiking and canoeing further north near the Verdon gorges, and then returned for a final day of hiking near Marseille.
After a full day of exploring Marseille, we took a train to the town of Manosque, rented some bicycles and headed towards the Verdon Gorge. We hadn’t done much route planning, and after a few hours of cycling on roads with steep climbs and more traffic than we had hoped for, we decided to stop in the Lower Verdon Gorges area.
This decision proved to be an excellent one as we discovered the village of Esparron de Verdon. I imagine the area is very busy in the summer, but when we arrived the local campground had only just opened for the season, and everyone was extremely friendly.
After our brief three day adventure we returned to Marseille and embarked on a long day hike through the Parc national des Calanques. A calanque is a narrow rocky inlet specific to the geology of the Mediterranean – perhaps comparable to a small fjord.
This was some of the most spectacular hiking I had ever done. There was a large variety of terrain all accessible by public transport from the city. A section of hiking between the Calanque de Morgiou and the Calanque de Sugiton was especially dramatic and well worth a trip. I imagine these areas can get quite busy on the weekends, but we had good fortune of visiting on a slightly rainy Tuesday. My camera battery infuriatingly died just as we started this hike – but fortunately Laura had her phone so we are still able to bring you some pictures: