The Great Blue Coast Trail

Great Path of the Blue Coast Martigues
The 62km Grand Sentier de la Côte Bleue runs through the villages of La Couronne and Carro in Martigues, Sausset-les-Pins, Carry-le-Rouet and Ensuès-la-Redonne. It takes 4 days to complete and consists of 17 inner loops that can be walked individually. The trail is thus very accessible to families, lovers of beautiful walks and slow tourism enthusiasts. 

Also known as the "Station to Station" trail, the starting point of the Grand Sentier de la Côte Bleue can start at any station and be walked in either direction. All the more reason to take the Côte Bleue train from one loop to the other! In its entirety or step by step, the Grand Sentier de la Côte Bleue offers exceptional landscapes. From cliffs to villages, from creeks to hills, explore this unsuspected natural heritage and discover all the wealth of its coastline. 



Step by step the entire Grand Sentier de la Côte Bleue from Ensuès-la-Redonne to La Couronne (Martigues). 

 Departure from La Redonne station, 62km, 96 hours. Download the GPX file of the Grand Sentier de la Côte Bleue

The route starts as soon as you get off the train. Go down the road to the port of La Redonne. At the port, turn left into Avenue du Cap Fabien Lieutier and then right into Chemin de Méjan. Go down by the alley of the port towards the Calanque de Figuières. At the Calanque de Figuières, take the stairs on the left at the quay (signposted "Méjean"). Follow the small path on the balcony, then in view of a cove go up the large stairs that join the "Allées de la Falaise" that you will follow until its intersection with the "Chemin de Méjan" leading to the ports of Petit Méjean and Grand Méjean. At the port of Grand Méjean, follow the Tir Cul path which leads you, passing under the viaduct, to a car park. Continue for another 100 m on this path. Then turn left onto the track. Follow it for about 1km. You will come to a cistern. Here turn left and follow the path to Caucarrières. Stay on this track for about 800m, then take the path to Vallon de la Violette.

At the crossroads with the Chemin de Bourgailles turn left to the D48d (Avenue du Vallon de la Graffiane). Cross the road and turn left on the pavement towards the centre of Ensuès-la-Redonne. Leave the first road (chemin de Gourgettes). Take the avenue de la Roche and go down towards the church. Go around the church and turn left onto the chemin des Rompides. At the next roundabout, after the cemetery, turn left onto the chemin de Besquen. Pass a DFCI barrier and continue on this road for about 1 km. You will see some ruined buildings on your left. At the crossroads with another track go straight on for another 250 m. Leave the track and turn right onto a path that joins the D5. Take the road to the left for 150m and cross it with care. At the signpost, plunge into the small valley of the Plaine du Bon Jean ravaged by the fire in July 2016. It winds for more than 1 hour between cliffs and then joins the expressway. Pass under a tunnel. Follow the blue markings for 1km300 leaving various paths to the right and left. Go towards an EDF pylon to reach a yellow marked track. At the hairpin bend, before the tank, turn right. Follow the track for about 2 km. You will come to a fork in the road. Take the one on your left.

After a pylon, take the track on the right which continues flat on the Valprête path. Follow the small yellow posts of the gas line for 20 minutes to arrive near a tank. Take the path around the cistern and down into a very wide valley facing north. A valley covered by a scrubland of kermes oaks and young Aleppo pines. A few ruined buildings and uncultivated fields are evidence of agricultural practice. After about 800m the valley turns west, narrows and widens again. You arrive in the plain of Saint-Julien-les-Martigues. The track continues between olive trees and vineyards. At the first house (on your right), the track is tarmacked. Continue for about 500m and turn left after the fence of the first house on your left. Continue along this track, round the Escalette farm and continue to the RD5. Cross the RD5 with care. You will arrive at a small car park where a track begins which allows you to visit the Martigues communal forest. After passing a DFCI barrier, the track climbs in two large twists and turns towards a viewpoint where a lookout post (now gone) was installed.

After this viewpoint, you leave the track to take a path that winds through the pine trees. After 100 m, you will come across a track on your left. Follow the track in the direction of "Les Laurons" until you reach a cistern. After the cistern turn right. At a crossroads of tracks, turn left, pass near the watchtower and near a cistern (viewpoint). Continue on the track, still heading west, until you reach the RD49. Cross the road, follow it to the right behind the safety wall, then on the side of the road. Keep left on the small road. Go through a barrier on the left, past a tank. Continue on the main track. Go along properties and olive groves. Go under the railway and join a road. Follow it on the side of the road. Cross it in front of the EDF factory. Take the path alongside the power station, then the Rue des Laurons. Go along the beach, then the port of Laurons. At the roundabout turn left. Take the track on the right to follow the seafront until you reach a small road. After a car park, continue on the track. Go past the naturist centre and join the seafront. Follow it to Carro.

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Go along the port, the quai du Grand Large, the beach. Stay on the road to the right towards the Anse du Verdon, cross the beach of the Couronne. Join the plateau of the Cap Couronne and the lighthouse. Continue along the GR51 to the beach of La Saulce, which you cross to go up the stairs overhanging the beach of Sainte-Croix. Head towards the clearly visible chapel. Continue along the coastal path which leads to the Tamaris cove, with its small port, which you will walk around. Do not continue along the road that goes up, but take the path on the right along the sea and then up towards the Cap des Tamaris. Then go down to the Boumandariel cove, which you will walk along until you reach the reed bed. Then the coastal walk takes you to the port of Sausset. Walk around the port. Continue your walk along the promenade de la corniche for about 1.5km, until its junction with the RD5. On this section it is impossible to walk along the sea because the houses built on the edge of it forbid the passage. Follow the road in the direction of Carry until you reach the Sausset/Carry boundary. The GR leaves the road and bends right along the coast. Then follow the coastline to the port of Carry, passing by La Tuilière with its nautical centre. You arrive at the port of Carry via Fernandel beach, where the famous actor had direct access via a staircase from his property, still visible today.

At the port, follow the red and white signs (GR 51). Go up the Route Bleue and at the top of the hill, on your right, the Avenue Gérard Montus which leads you to the beach of Cap Rousset. At the end of the beach, cross the barrier of the Barqueroute housing estate. Be careful to spot the GR markings. Follow the Barqueroute path for 50m. At the bend in the road, leave it to take a path that joins the allée de la Vigie. Turn left and at the next left-hand bend, take the impasse du Cap. Continue straight ahead to reach the seafront. Go around the beach and up to the Barqueroute lane. Turn right and follow the allée des Marines. At the car park a small path joins the RD5. Follow it for 205m. A staircase on your right allows you to join the Avenue Jean Bart below the RD5 and then the seaside. Go along the beach then take the avenue Blanche Calvet and the chemin des Eaux Salées. Before the entrance of the Vacanciel centre, turn right to reach the Chapelle du Rouet. Come back on the same path to join the small road. At the top of the climb, before the entrance to the holiday village, on the left you can see a bridge over the railway. Do not cross the bridge, but take a passage on the right between 2 wire fences, along the railway. Go straight on until you find a small bench where you can enjoy the view. Take the stairs down into the Eaux Salées cove. Cross the beach, go under the viaduct and take the stairs on the other side. At the top of the stairs, go under an arch of the viaduct to join the path of the calanque du Puits. Follow this road for about 1km, until it joins the Madrague de Gignac road. Take this road to the right for about 100 metres, then turn left onto the Chemin de la Redonne until its junction with the Chemin de la Dugué, which you take to the right, then leave it quickly to turn left onto the Chemin du Pebraire which leads to the Calanque de la Redonne. At the Port de la Redonne take the RD48E road (Chemin de la Gare) which will take you to the station located above the calanque.

 
 
Great Path of the Blue Coast Martigues
First loop of the route from Marseille, Le Fort Niolon is located in the commune of Le Rove.

Loop Le Fort de Niolon - Departure from Niolon station, 6km, 200m difference in altitude.
Download the GPX file.
At an altitude of 190 m, the Niolon fort offers walkers a superb view of the Frioul and the harbour of Marseille. After the war of 1870 lost against the Prussians, the French government wanted to reinforce the coastal defences and set up a commission to evaluate the new needs of the territory in terms of fortifications and to replace the old strongholds which had been overtaken by the evolution of artillery. More than 160 forts were built between 1874 and 1885, the Fort of Niolon dates from the late 1880s.
 

1. Walk along the railway line to the south-west for 150m.
2. Continue to the right. Go over a small stone bridge and stay on the path which climbs towards the fort to reach a track. Follow it to the left.
3. To reach the forts, go left. On the way back from the forts, continue between the rocky bars and the valley on the right to the first crossroads.
4. Fork right, follow the path for 500m and then go straight down the valley. The path passes rocky cliffs, overlooks the RD48, bypasses a water tower. Go through a barrier to reach the RD48. Go down to the right.


Ensuès-la-Redonne, the village with 5 creeks 


Ensuès-la-Redonne, with its surface area of more than 25 km², enjoys an exceptional setting between land and sea. Its village is nestled in a large valley surrounded by hills which allow a magnificent panorama of the Etang de Berre on the one hand, and a 180° view of the Mediterranean and the harbour of Marseille on the other. Its coastline is made up of 5 creeks which are all pretty little ports: the Madrague de Gignac, la Redonne, Figuières, Petit Méjean and Grand Méjean. The Redonne cove is accessible by train on the Côte Bleue SNCF line.

Loop of Bourgailles Caucarières - Departure parking Bourgailles, 4km, 80m of difference in altitude.  Download the GPX file.
This route allows you to make an easy and nice family walk in the heart of our forest while having an unobstructed view on the sea. In the middle of the route, an orientation table allows you to find your bearings and take a lunch break at the end of the route with a dedicated area.
 

1. The course starts at the end of the Chemin des Bourgailles. A car park is available for parking. Near the information panel, pass a DFCI barrier and follow the Chemin des Caucarières.
2. Stay on this track for about 1km600. You will come to a fork in the road. Take the track on the left. The one on the right goes down to the Port du Grand Méjean.
3. Follow the track for about 800m. Turn left, a path leads you to the orientation table of Caucarrières.
4. Go back and continue for about 700m on the Caucarrières path. Turn left to reach the starting point. Here you will find an area dedicated to lunch.


Boucle des calanques - Departure from the Ensuès-la-Redonne train station car park, 6.5km, 350m difference in altitude.  Download the GPX file.
All along the descent a view is impregnable on the harbour of Marseille. Once at the seaside, you will discover the 5 creeks under the majestic stone viaducts of the century-old SNCF line: Grand Méjean, Petit Méjean, Figuières, la Redonne and the Madrague de Gignac. 
 

1. From the railway station of la Redonne, turn right on the very steep road which passes under the impressive viaduct. Before arriving at the port (option), take the Chemin de Pébraïre on the right, you are on the customs path (PR: yellow). Just before the tunnel, take the stairs on the left (GR: red and white) and climb the old path of Redonne in the pine forest (nice view on the creeks and the harbour of Marseille but also on the "madrague" of Gignac). Follow the signs to the Eaux Salées cove via the path to the Puits cove.
2. Leave the beach by the steep stairs that go up to the left of the viaduct, along the railway. At the next crossroads, go straight on to the Notre Dame du Rouet chapel (option), on the right the GR continues towards the Calanque du Rouet. Cross the beach of Tamaris, take on the right the lane which goes down on the port, in 150m go up the stairs of the bridge and follow on the left the Blue street (D5) on 300m. Leave the road, the path goes behind the villas on the left, to get back to the allée des Marines. At the next crossroads, go straight ahead along the Barqueroute path (250m from the Carry marine reserve option) until you reach the Cap Rousset cove.
3. Continue on the GR which follows the avenue Gerard Montus, take on the left a small part of the D5 and on the left the rue Jérôme Chapuis. On the port of Carry (option towards the station of Carry by Av Aristide Briand, yellow line). Continue by the quay of Malleville (beginning of the path of the lizard) until the light Pain de sucre. Follow the seaside path to the Tuilière cove. The route is marked out with descriptive boards on the natural environment...
4. The Tuilière cove collects a maximum of posidonia residue (aquatic plant), which forms whole banks of this plant on the beach, which protects the coastline. Continue along the seafront to the beach of Les Baumettes, cross the beach, continue on the D5 to the road "promenade de la Corniche" (Optionally, you can go from the beach of Les Baumettes along the seafront and join the D5 250m further by stairs on the right). Next point: the Pointe Rouveau, viewpoint on the open sea.
5. From this magnificent viewpoint, the walk follows the seafront along the road known as the "promenade de la corniche". Pass in front of the numerous beaches of Sausset. The shortest way to the station of Sausset: before the port, turn right on the Bvd Armand Audibert and then on the Bvd Charles Roux, the station is at the top left. Otherwise through the village (30 min extra), continue on the quays of the port, before the wooden footbridge, turn right. Pass in front of the tourist office, go up in the middle of the traverse des Pêcheurs then continue straight on Av de la Gare. Go past the Mairie and the Salle des Arts et de la Culture, a little further up you will see the station.

Great Path of the Blue Coast Martigues

Carry-le-Rouet, a port at the foot of pine hills 


This family seaside resort is located between Marseille, Martigues and the Etang de Berre. In the summer months, it attracts tourists thanks to its small wild creeks, its beaches, its nautical and underwater activities (a dozen diving clubs), its hiking trails and its 200 summer events.

In February, Carry-le-Rouet celebrates the sea urchin: tastings are organised on the port. You can accompany your plate of shellfish with good local wines. Folk dances, flea markets, painting and craft exhibitions enliven this national event.



Loop Between Sea and Hill - Departure from the SNCF station, 12 km, 210 m of ascent.  Download the GPX file.
This hike allows you to discover the Estaque mountain range. This route alternates between paths at the bottom of valleys and wide tracks. A low scrubland has developed on this white limestone rock. The return journey follows the coastline along the "sentier du lézard", a path along the seafront.
 

1. Go down Avenue Pierre Semard for about 200 m then turn right into Rue des Ecoles, passing over a small white bridge. At the bottom of the street, turn right onto the chemin du Jas Vieux which you will follow to its end.
2. 2. Go through a barrier and into the cylindrical tunnel under the D9 Côte Bleue expressway. At the old quarry, go straight on and climb the path lined with rockroses, valerian, kermes oaks and rosemary. It winds through a valley that was ravaged by fire 30 years ago. On the ground, notice the ruts dug by cart wheels which testify to an industrial past (transport of large blocks of stone). You enter the hill.
3. Leave the yellow line and continue on the right-hand path which follows another valley. Then take the 2nd path on the left (between 2 rows of pine trees). It slopes to the left, arrives at a small pass and then joins the ridge path marked out in blue. View of the sea and the village of Ensuès-la-Redonne. Follow the ridge in a flat direction N-W. Pass under the high voltage line (to the right of a pylon).
4. You arrive at a crossroads (stele of Marcel le chasseur and old rusty fence). Turn left onto a wide dirt track (yellow and blue lines). After a pylon, take the right track which continues flat on the Valprête path. Follow the small yellow gas line posts for 20 minutes and come to a rusty tank. At the crossroads of the rusty cistern and 4 paths, take the small path on the left at the corner of a beautiful pine tree which descends for 25 minutes in a stony valley with pine trees. It joins a path coming from the left. Continue straight downhill (blue line). Then pass under another cylindrical tunnel of the D9 Côte Bleue expressway (be careful as it can be wet and very slippery!), walk along it on the left for 100m, then turn right on a good path due south. You will arrive on a dirt track that you will follow on the left and that goes up along a telephone line (wooden poles). Stay on this main track until you reach a fork in the road, where you can see 2 telephone masts.
5. At the fork in the road, in sight of the 2 telephone masts, follow the wooden telephone poles to the right onto a wide blue track below. Follow the Club Canin Saussetois. Cross the tarmac road and the level crossing. Continue on the Avenue de Lariano, Sausset-les-Pins commune, which joins the seaside and the GR which you will follow on the left on the Avenue de l'Europe D5 until the Carry-le-Rouet entrance sign.
6. Leave the D5 at the Carry-le-Rouet entrance sign and the Baumettes beach. Still on the GR, follow the coastal path along the "piste du Lézard" which runs pleasantly alongside the sea to the port of Carry. This is an educational trail, set up in the Côte Bleue regional marine park, with 10 information points on different themes (aquatic fauna and flora, plants, shrubs, erosion, fossils, cicadas and green lizards), enough to amaze you! Magnificent views over the Côte Bleue to Marseille.
7. After the pretty little red and white lighthouse and the welcoming sandy coves suitable for swimming, arrive at the port of Carry via the Quai Malleville and pass the Casino Municipal. Turn left onto Avenue Aristide Briand and walk past the Espace Fernandel (cinema). Join the SNCF station by the walk along the boulodrome following the yellow route.



Le Tour du Romaron loop - Departure Tourist Office, 8km, 210m of ascent.  Download the GPX file.
Discovery of ancient caves inhabited until the early 1900s. The orientation table gives a wide view of the Chaîne de l'Etoile, the coastal massifs around Marseille as well as its islands and as far as the Phare de la Couronne. There are some nice little cabins maintained by the hunters. 
 

1. Go down the Route Bleue towards the Port. At the roundabout go up Avenue Aristide-Briand (RD5c). Opposite the boulodrome car park, take the chemin du Jas Vieux and pass under the SNCF tunnel. Continue straight on.
2. Go through a barrier and, after the tunnel which passes under the expressway, turn right. Go along the dual carriageway for 100m, take a path on your left and walk up the valley for 300m. Turn right on the small path that climbs to 2 caves that form an owl's head. After visiting them, continue the ascent to reach the plateau. At the crossroads turn right to reach the orientation table.
3. Beautiful view from east to west: La Chaîne de l'Etoile - Marseille and the Iles du Frioul - Le Phare de Planier and that of La Couronne. Continue along the main path and watch out for the signs which split 300m further on.
4. Leave the path on the right (alternative) and continue straight on to the next crossroads. Go down the small path on the right to the Réganas valley.
5. Leave the Réganas valley on the right and the path that rises opposite to take the left-hand path that goes into a valley. At the next crossroads turn right and go up the track.
6. Pass over a pretty little hut surrounded by greenery above a cultivated field, which invites you to rest and why not take a picnic break. Continue on the track north along a field to the next crossroads.
7. When you come to a fork in the road, ignore the path that climbs to the right. Continue into the Romaron plain. Go past a shed with the pretty name of "Pétoulier".
8. Then make a diversion to the right to see the ruins of an old sheepfold with the remains of beautiful vaults, signs of an important pastoral activity at one time in the region. Return to the main path and turn left. Walk along an orchard, a small fenced shed and a well. Go around the property into a pine forest to the next junction with a gate on the left.
9. Go through the gate and progress down a fairly winding valley and after 900m reach a crossroads.
10. Turn right into the valley for about 200m. Watch out for the blue markings which go up to the left on a small path to join a small ridge where another blue markings come from the right.
11. Take a steep, stony path down into the valley. Admire the multitude of small pine trees that are coming back to life after the devastating fire of 2010. Continue downhill, ignoring the paths on the left and right, until you reach the next signpost.
12. Turn left down the valley to reach the tunnel which passes under the dual carriageway. Continue straight ahead to find your starting point.

Great Path of the Blue Coast Martigues
Loop Le Vallon de Jaume par les Grottes - Departure Tourist Office, 10km, 166m difference in altitude.  Download the GPX file.
The Vallon de Jaume is a beautiful wooded valley. This easy hike alternates between paths at the bottom of the valley and tracks with beautiful views towards the sea. Behind the orientation table, the view extends to the massifs around Marseille and its islands as far as the Phare de La Couronne. 
 

1. Go down the Route Bleue towards the Port. At the roundabout go up Avenue Aristide-Briand (RD5c). Opposite the boulodrome car park, take the chemin du Jas Vieux.
2. Pass under the SNCF tunnel. Continue straight on. Go through a barrier and, after the tunnel which passes under the expressway, turn right. Go along the expressway for 100m, take a path on your left and go up the valley for 300m. Turn right onto the small path that climbs to 2 caves that form an owl's head. After visiting them, continue the ascent to reach the plateau. At the crossroads turn right to reach the orientation table.
3. Beautiful view from east to west: La Chaîne de l'Etoile - Marseille and the Iles du Frioul - Le Phare de Planier and that of La Couronne. Continue along the main path and watch out for the signs which split 300m further on.
4. Leave the path on the right (alternative) and continue straight on to the next crossroads. Go down the small path on the right to the Réganas valley.
5. Leave the Réganas valley on the right and the path that rises opposite to take the left-hand path that goes into a valley. At the next crossroads turn right and go up the track.
6. Pass over a pretty little hut surrounded by greenery above a cultivated field, which invites you to rest and why not take a picnic break. Go up the track opposite and continue for 750 m with the blue markings and leaving the various paths on the right and left while admiring the view of the sea and Marseille. Leave the track to go down to the left on a small path that arrives in the Jaume valley.
7. Pass under the tunnel of the expressway. Go back up the hill following the track. Go straight on. Go along the dual carriageway. Go through a barrier. When you reach the road, cross it, always staying on the left-hand pavement. Pass the roundabout of the gendarmerie. Drive along the school car park. Leave the station opposite and take the footpath to the boulodrome. Return to the starting point.



La calanque des Eaux Salées loop - Departure from Rouet beach, 4 km, 100m difference in altitude.  Download the GPX file.
This family walk combines the architectural discovery of the viaduct and the beauty of the Eaux Salées cove, carved out of the limestone. Going up the stairs under the viaduct, the Escalayolle valley offers a view of the big blue. However, be careful not to venture onto the railway tracks.
 

1. From the car park, head towards the beach and take the small road (Avenue Blanche-Calvet) to the east. Turn left into the impasse des Eaux-Salées in the direction of the chapel of Rouet).
2. Go towards the chapel. Go back on your steps. Before the CD111 barrier, turn right between two fences onto the path along the railway. Go down the stairs towards the cove.
3. Go up the stairs, under the viaduct and head towards the Escalayolle valley. Leave the GR and the stairs and follow the yellow line on the left, on a balcony path to the bottom of the valley. Walk along it and then leave it to the left towards the north.
4. At the track junction, turn left and follow the path to the railway bridge. You arrive again at the path that leads you to the Rouet chapel, turn right and return to the car park by the same route.



Loop Notre Dame du Rouet by the plain - Departure beach of Rouet, 12,4km, 200m of difference in height. Download the GPX file.
Walk towards the superb Notre Dame du Rouet Chapel situated on the promontory with a beautiful view of the Rouet cove and its viaduct on one side, and the Rouet bay with its beach on the other. The Plaine du Bon Jean was the prey of flames on 15 July 2016. The ridge route reveals Marseille and its islands.
 

1. From the car park, head towards the beach and take the small road (Avenue Blanche-Calvet) to the east. Turn left into the impasse des Eaux-Salées in the direction of the chapel of Rouet).
2. Go towards the chapel. Go back on your steps. Pass a fence and the railway. Go up a winding track. After 300m you come to a hairpin in the track. There is a beautiful view of the Vallon de l'Aigle viaduct, the Rouet beach and the Couronne lighthouse. Continue along the track to the next junction.
3. Leave the 2 paths on the right and take the main path on the left.
4. After 300m, watch out for the signs, leave the track and take a path on your left which joins the D5 500m further on. Take the road on your left for 150m and cross it with care.
5. At the signpost head into the small valley of the Plaine du Bon Jean ravaged by the fire in July 2016. It winds for over 1 hour between cliffs and then joins the dual carriageway.
6. Pass under a tunnel. Continue with the blue markings for 1 km300 leaving various paths to the right and left. Go towards an EDF pylon and reach a track with yellow markings.
7. Go left to the hairpin bend in the track. Go straight past a cistern and down to the Plaine de Romaron. Turn left along a field and reach a large track junction just above a small cottage and its cypress tree.
8. Go up the track on the left and continue for 750 m with the blue markings and leaving the various paths on the right and left while admiring the view of the sea and Marseille. Leave the track to go down a small path on the left which arrives in the Jaume valley.
9. Pass under the tunnel of the expressway. Go back up the hill following the track. At the next crossroads turn left. Go under the SNCF culvert, then a DFCI barrier. Continue to the Chemin du Rouet. On the left this road goes down towards the sea. Turn right into Avenue Jean Bart and find your starting point.

Great Path of the Blue Coast Martigues

Sausset-les-Pins, a village committed to biodiversity 


Sausset-les-Pins offers a variety of landscapes and sites combining sea, hills and old village. The commune is known for its rich heritage and biodiversity: there are many high-quality plant and animal species, some of which are protected.

On these characteristic areas of the Côte Bleue is a jewel: the "reed bed", the only wetland in the area. Initially exploited for water supply, breeding and the collection of rushes, it is a wild, natural site, very attractive in particular for the birds which play a major role all year round.



Sea and Hill loop Valestéloué - Departure Tourist Office, 6.5km, 120m difference in altitude. Download the GPX file.
Hike along the seaside then through the reed bed and the botanical path, climb through the scrubland and along the pine forests to the top of the hill. Crossing an old large agricultural estate (ruins). At the top, discover a breathtaking panorama of the Côte Bleue combining the hill and the sea.
 

1. In the port, near the riding school, turn left onto the footbridge. Go around the port. At the end of the walkway, you will notice a reconstructed marine anchor from the 1st century BC, a testimony to the important maritime activity along our coasts in Roman times. Follow the coastal walk.
2. A blockhouse converted into a holiday home. A drinking water point near the fig tree (on the car park side) will allow you to quench your thirst (it is the only water point on the route).
3. Near the Anse du Four à Chaux, note the remains of the defensive wall built by the German army in 1943, as well as the bottom of an old quarry, probably dating from Roman times. Opposite the restaurant "La Calanque Bleue", turn left onto the old road running along the seafront.
4. Before the bridge of the reed bed, cross the safety barrier (be careful when crossing the road). This path, which you will follow for 500 m, borders the reed bed, whose ecosystem is a unique place on the Côte Bleue of great heritage value. This part of the circuit, which is shared with the botanical trail, has interpretation panels.
5. After crossing the ford and the railway bridge, go straight on towards the bridge under the expressway. This joins the tarmac road which you follow until you reach the intersection with the RD5.
6. Turn right and follow the RD5 for approximately 200m.
7. Here, cross the RD5 and take the track opposite. Follow it for 2km leaving the tracks and paths up the hill on your left.
8. Leave this track to take a path across the valley of Valestéloué, with a cross at the top of the hill in front of you. You soon reach a path which you take on the left.
9. At a fork in the road, take the path on the left which leads to the ruins of Valetéloué which was once a large agricultural estate.
10. Turn right onto a gullied track which joins a track which you take to the right to climb to the top of the hill.
11. After about 2h15 of walking, you reach the top. A magnificent panorama over Carry and the bay of Marseille awaits you. Continue on the track until you reach the cross. Beautiful panorama on Sausset and the Cap Couronne. After the cross start the descent by the track, and quickly, at the limit of the concreted part, take a path on the left. Follow this path which allows you to go down into the valley to cross the expressway by a tunnel.
12. At the end of the tunnel, take the track on the right. Then take the second track on the left. The track is now marked with concrete posts indicating a gas pipeline. This track leads to the road along the railway line, which you take on the right. Cross the bridge under the railway and immediately turn left onto Boulevard de la Paix. After the bend in the road, after 50m, turn right onto the Chemin des Bastides. After the Eolienne housing estate, take the Montesquieu crossing. Turn left to join Rue Pasteur and Avenue de la Côte Bleue. To the right of the butcher's shop, take the Bellon crossroads which leads to the seafront. Walk along the sea, around the port to reach the starting point.



Grand Vallat Littoral loop - Departure Tourist Office, 5km, 100m difference in altitude. Download the GPX file.
A walk by the sea which follows the path of the reed bed and reveals the remains of the old water supply of the Charles-Roux castle. Discovering the former park of the castle, the dam and the reserve now filled. View of the castle.
 

1. On the harbour, near the riding school, turn left onto the footbridge. Walk around the harbour.
2. At the end of the walkway, you will notice a reconstructed marine anchor from the 1st century BC, a testimony to the important maritime activity along our coasts in Roman times. Follow the coastal walk.
3. A blockhouse converted into a holiday home. A drinking water point near the fig tree (on the car park side) will allow you to quench your thirst (it is the only water point on the route).
4. Near the Anse du Four à Chaux, note the remains of the defensive wall built by the German army in 1943, as well as the bottom of an old quarry, probably dating from Roman times. Opposite the restaurant "La Calanque Bleue", turn left onto the old road running along the seafront.
5. Before the bridge of the reed bed, cross the safety barrier (be careful when crossing the road). This path, which you will follow for 500 m, borders the reed bed, whose ecosystem is a unique place on the Côte Bleue of great heritage value. This part of the circuit, which is shared with the botanical trail, has interpretation panels.
6. After about 400m, leave the track to go up to the right, on a fairly steep and stony path, onto the Grand Vallat plateau. Before reaching the plateau, in the last bend on the left, notice a small calcite geode. A little further on, the magnificent stone basin marks the start of the canal which supplied water to the Charles-Roux castle from a pump installed in the pond below. Walk around the basin and follow the remains of the canal.
7. After about 250m the path splits in 2, turn right and go through the pine forest to get closer to the houses.
8. Leave the picnic area on your left and look for the narrow passage between the houses that leads to the Avenue des Belges, which you take on the left for 100m, then turn right into the allée des arbousiers.
9. Take a passage to the right of the gate of villa n6 which leads to a large wooded area, a vestige of the former château park. Walk along this area until you reach a dead end leading to the castle grounds. Go up the stairs on the left to reach the Avenue du Frioul.
10. At the junction with Avenue Jean Moulin, go down the path to the right onto the median formed by the filling in of the former water reserve of the château. Cross this median to the old dam from where you can admire the Charles-Roux castle. Go down the stairs on the left to reach the Avenue Jean Moulin which allows you to return to the Port.

Great Path of the Blue Coast Martigues
Sea and Pinéde Valapoux loop - Departure Tourist Office, 10,5km, 240m of difference in altitude. Download the GPX file.
A route on the corniche, very popular with surfers, with a superb landscape towards the open sea and the islands of Marseille. Discovering the old districts of Sausset and then a hike in the hillside alternating between scrubland and pine forest in a preserved area of great wealth.

1. From the port car park, follow the quay past the restaurants, then follow the Corniche promenade along the Avenue du Général Leclerc for about 1500m.
2. When you reach the RD5 (Avenue de la Côte Bleue), turn right. Cross the RD5 200m further and go up Avenue Lariano. Follow this road until you reach the railway. Pass under a tunnel and follow the Chemin de Valapoux, which goes deep into the garrigue. Ignore the various paths to the right or left, follow the blue markings for about 600m to a crow's foot.
3. Continue on the main path on your left for 250m, then leave this path and continue straight on through the pine forest. Continue on this path until you reach the dual carriageway tunnel.
4. Do not cross the dual carriageway, walk along it and take the second track on the left. The track is now marked with concrete posts indicating a gas pipeline. This track leads to the road alongside the railway, which you should take on the right. Cross the bridge under the railway and immediately turn left onto Boulevard de la Paix. After the bend in the road, after 50m, turn right onto the Chemin des Bastides. After the Eolienne housing estate, take the Montesquieu crossing. Turn left to join Rue Pasteur and Avenue de la Côte Bleue. To the right of the butcher's shop, take the Bellon crossroads which leads to the seafront. Walk along the sea, around the port to reach the starting point.



Botanical Path Roselière loop - Departure RD49 in the direction of La Couronne, parking of the reed bed, 2,3km, 60m of difference in height.  Download the GPX file.
This route runs alongside the reed bed, which is home to many species of birds, and allows you to discover the botanical trail with its many species of Mediterranean plants and trees presented on descriptive panels. Start of the trail accessible to all.

1. Departure from the car park. Follow the path bordering the reed bed. Look out for the marsh area on your left. You may see a shoveler, a turtle or a coypu... On your right, the ruins are those of the pumping station which supplied the fountains of the Charles Roux castle.
2. Leave the path which continues along the reed bed to take the path on the right which climbs into the scrubland. Stop to read the explanatory panel on the garrigue, then continue. Read the sign about the orchids. Continue a little further, the path joins the railway line, which you will follow for about 500m. The path passes over the railway tunnel.
3. In sight of the college, you join another path which you take to the right to reach a housing estate. Turn right to reach a shaded picnic area which may tempt you. The path runs alongside the remains of the aqueduct that carried water to the castle. At the end of the path is a large round pool which was the arrival point for the pipe from the pumping station below. As you walk around the pond, take the path in front of you which takes you back down to the reed bed. When you arrive near the reed bed, turn left to reach the car park at the start.

Great Path of the Blue Coast Martigues

Martigues, a city of art and history


The Martigues coastline of the Côte Bleue offers lovers of Provence preserved natural landscapes, creeks and beaches, and authentic village centres: La Couronne and Carro.

From this coastal fringe to the foothills, hikers can discover the beauty of the landscape and the ancestral link between nature and human activity by following the developed paths.

With this project on the scale of the Côte Bleue, Martigues, a classified tourist resort and a Town of Art and History, is further developing its outdoor activities and its tourist assets.

Great loop of Cap Couronne - Departure from La Couronne station, 24km, 100m difference in altitude. Download the GPX file.
This great loop offers an exceptional natural and historical heritage. From the still wild coastline, one can appreciate a floristic and faunistic environment of national interest, as well as geological, archaeological and historical curiosities.

1. From the Couronne SNCF station, go up and turn right into rue Olivier Griscelli towards the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church. Follow the chemin du Sémaphore. Then take the chemin du Phare.
2. From the lighthouse, continue to the left towards the coastal path. You will arrive at the Couronne-Vieille cove and its ancient quarry of Couronne stone. Go around the beach and up the stairs. You will discover the remains of a Gallic village dating from the 6th century BC on the point of Arquet (in front of you). Follow the path, taking care not to get too close to the edge of the cliff (risk of landslide), you will see submerged stone quarries when you reach the Beaumaderie cove.
3. Continue to the beach of La Saulce and cross the beach to go up the stairs overhanging the beach of Sainte-Croix. Go towards the chapel of Sainte-Croix from the 17th century BC. Continue your way through a pine forest.
4. Pass by the radar station (German military remains) before arriving at the Tamaris cove, with its small port, which you will walk around. Take the path on the right along the sea and go up to the Pointe des Tamaris and its Gallic village from the 6th century BC.
5. Go down to the Boumandariel cove, continue to the Four à Chaux cove and then to the Grand-Vallat beach. Follow the path along the reed bed. Pass by the botanical path and in front of the Boumandariel pond, then take on your left the path which goes up towards "les Rouges".
6. At the roundabout, cross the road, and at the signpost for "les Rouges", turn left onto a path marked in yellow, then right onto the Chemin des Roussures. Go over the railway bridge and immediately after a second small bridge, turn right and climb northwards into the pine forest. Go through the culvert under the RD9, cross a barrier and continue into the Vallon d'Artou. At a fork in the pine forest, turn right and follow the yellow markings.
7. At the next fork in the road, turn left before the underground cistern. At a crossroads of tracks, turn left and follow the sign "les Laurons" which will take you to the Tour de la Vigie and near a cistern. The track passes underneath the Vigie. Pass a cistern and walk (yellow markings) on the plateau which will take you to the Gatasse pass (altitude 110 m).
8. Cross the RD49 carefully and follow it to the right for 200 m behind the safety wall. Leave the road to take a track towards the building that serves as the headquarters of the Société de Chasse "La Loutre". Further on, turn left onto the CB 101 track and at the cistern, join the GR. Continue west on the main track and descend the Vallon de Crapaou. Go along properties and olive groves. Pass under the railway and join the road to Les Laurons. Take the path on the side of the road.
9. Cross the road in front of the EDF factory. Take the path along the power station to the beach of Les Laurons. Then take the Rue des Laurons and its cornice to the Port des Laurons. After the small roundabout, turn left and take the path between the villas. Pass by a German military relic from the Second World War and continue along the path to the left until you reach the Bonnieu Nord car park. Go around the car park and follow the path to the right. Go past the naturist centre, the Pointe de la Donnelle and continue along the Carro greenway, through the Bonnieu plain and its wealth of flora and fauna
10. Passing through the Arnettes creek, you arrive at the Pointe de Carro. Go around the caravan park, past the Croix de Carro, the fishing port, the quai du vent large and the beach. After the small beach of Carro, follow the coastline to the quarry of Baou Tailla. Continue to the right on the Chemin de la Douane before reaching the Verdon beach by stairs, cross it and go up to the right on the rich point by carved stone stairs, turn left to the north towards the Chemin du Sémaphore and return to the Couronne station, by the Rue Olivier Griscelli.



Botanical loop of the Carro plain - Departure from the Arnettes car park, 4km, 50m difference in height. Download the GPX file.
This loop located between Carro and Bonnieu goes to the meeting of the various biotopes which develop in this sector. The site concerned is of major floristic interest in France, largely due to the existence of an original substratum and particular climatic conditions. 

1. Leave the car park. Follow the path along the reed bed. Look to your left for the marsh area. You may see a shoveler, a turtle or a coypu... On your right, the ruins are those of the pumping station which supplied the fountains of the Charles Roux castle.
2. Leave the path which continues along the reed bed to take the path on the right which climbs into the scrubland. Stop to read the explanatory panel on the garrigue, then continue. Read the sign about the orchids. Continue a little further, the path joins the railway line, which you will follow for about 500m. The path passes over the railway tunnel.
3. In sight of the college, you join another path which you take to the right to reach a housing estate. Turn right to reach a shaded picnic area which may tempt you. The path runs alongside the remains of the aqueduct that carried water to the castle. At the end of the path is a large round pool which was the arrival point for the pipe from the pumping station below. As you walk around the pond, take the path in front of you which takes you back down to the reed bed. When you arrive near the reed bed, turn left to reach the car park at the start.

Great Path of the Blue Coast Martigues
Boumandariel local loop - Departure from the Boumandariel car park, 5.5km, 50m difference in altitude. Download the GPX file.
The Boumandariel loop, located between Martigues and Sausset-les-Pins, allows you to discover breathtaking landscapes: a preserved natural coastline and the only wetland of the entire blue coast located between the communes of Martigues and Sausset-les-Pins.
 

1. From the Boumandariel boat launch, take the stairs on your right that lead to the Tamaris plateau.
2. Follow the blue marked path towards the Port des Tamaris. Turn left onto the Chemin des Tamaris and walk along the Anse des Tamaris and its small port. Go up the stairs to the Sainte-Croix plateau, where you will come across a German radar station dating from the Second World War.
3. Go down on your right towards the chapels.
4. At the end of the plateau, turn right towards the footpath. Drive along the car park, leaving it on your right, until you reach a roundabout. Go straight on and take the green lane. Go up the footpath which borders the pine forest.
5. At the roundabout, cross the RD49 road carefully and take the direction of "les Rouges". Turn right near the D.F.C.I. barrier and follow the blue marked path on your right. The following descent should be approached slowly.
6. Then, on your right, go along the reedbed of the Grand Vallat and the Boumandariel pond.
7. At the end of the path, carefully cross the RD49 road and then head towards the Grand Vallat beach on your right. Go past the edge of the quarry and take the stairs which will take you to the quarry of the Boumandariel cove. Then, on your right, walk along the seafront and the Four à Chaux cove to return to your starting point.



La Couronne stone quarries loop - Departure from the Ragues car park, 12km, 50m difference in altitude. Download the GPX file.
From Carro to La Couronne, 8 of the 18 stone quarries (continental and coastal) are revealed. This loop allows you to measure the work of the quarrymen, to detect the exploitations, to distinguish the differences in extraction strategy and the periods of activity from antiquity to the present day.
 

1. From the small fishing port of Carro. Turn right onto the Vérandy quay, pass in front of the Carro Cross, built as a tribute to sailors who died at sea. Then, follow the seaside until you reach the car park of the green lane, enter the car park and take the blue marked path which will lead you to the old water treatment plant by crossing the burnt area (fire of 26 July 2017).
2. At the first crossroads, keep to the right and at the second crossroads turn slightly left towards the old station. Go around it on the right and take the DFCI track of Bonnieu. After 50 metres, take the small path on the right and follow the path bordered in places by rutted tracks which leads to the quarry and the Sémaphore d'Arnettes. Continue on the straight path (marked in blue) towards the railway line and then follow the path on your right to discover the old quarry faces of the Soubrats and the bories. Go along the railway line, on your right is the Arqueirons quarry.
3. Then cross the small bridge towards the Vallon de la Marrane. Follow the dead-end road to the right and then turn right again before the next dead-end road sign. Then turn right again towards the Auffans quarry. Take the quarry road on the right.
4. Carefully cross the departmental road, then go up the Vallon de l'Eurré. Turn right in the direction of the village of La Couronne, and you can admire the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church built in 1859. Take the direction of the chemin du Phare, then on the left the chemin du Petit Mas, follow on your left the allée Bernard Nicolas, upstream of the multipurpose hall.
5. Then take on your left the impasse de la Batterie, you will arrive in front of a D.F.C.I. barrier where you will have to take the path near the German blockhouse dating from the Second World War. Continue towards the Beaumaderie plateau, head towards the sea, taking care not to get too close to the edge of the cliff (risk of a landslide), you will be able to admire the submerged quarry of the Beaumaderie.
6. Take the coastal path to your right towards the Gallic village of l'Arquet dating from the 6th century. Take on your right the path which goes along the beach of l'Arquet, go up towards the point of l'Arquet, and follow it in the direction of the beach of la Couronne Vieille. Go along it then turn left and you will discover the Couronne-Vieille submerged quarry and its rutted tracks. At the top of the path, turn left and cross the road to take the green lane on the right, on the chemin de la Batterie. Follow the path along the Estanié beach towards the Couronne lighthouse erected in 1960, head towards the cliff.
7. Take the stairs on your left that go down to the Verdon quarries. Continue towards the Couronne beach, walk along the dune and the esplanade, take the stairs on your left towards the chemin de la Douane. Go straight on towards the Baou Tailla path which runs alongside the ancient quarry. Continue towards the Carro beach, and take on your left the pedestrian path which runs along the Rabeton esplanade. Continue towards the quai du Vent Large and walk along the port to the Ragues car park.



Loop of the military remains - Departure Chemin de Cavalas, 10km, 50m difference in altitude. Download the GPX file.
Most of these German remains (artillery platforms, ammunition bunkers, tobrouks...) dating from 1943-44, are more or less strategically placed on the ridge line and in a coastal position. Beyond the historical interest, a panorama on the sea and the coastal landscapes is revealed.
 

1. From the car park, take the climb towards the mill. Follow the D.F.C.I. track (barrier L23) on your right towards the military works including the Cavalas battery.
2. On the path leading to the lookout post, you will find the cannon tanks and the fire direction post on your left. Then to the right you will see the DCA (Defence Against Aircraft) gun emplacement and the Flack gun emplacements, again on your left. Follow the D.F.C.I. path from the Vallon de Cavalas to Les Laurons.
3. At the D.F.C.I. L1 barrier, turn right and follow the road for about 50 metres towards Les Laurons. Cross the road and take the path through the groves towards the Laurons blockhouse. Then turn left and follow the coastal path to the Bonnieu nord car park. Go along the car park on the left, take the track on the left and take the path on the right to enter the site.
4. Take the path where you will come across the Bonnieu position with its casemate. Go around the casemate and take the path on your right marked in blue.
5. Go down to the old sewage treatment plant, go around it, and take the path on the right, which in places is lined with rutted tracks. It leads to the quarry used by the Germans during the Second World War and to the Arnette semaphore. Continue on the straight path (marked in blue) in the direction of the railway line, then follow the path on your right to discover the working faces of the old Soubrats quarries and the bories. Go along the railway line. Cross the small bridge in the direction of the Vallon de la Marrane, on your right is the Arqueirons quarry. Follow the dead-end road to the right and then turn right again before the next dead-end road sign. Turn right again towards the Auffans quarry and its quarry faces, then continue on to the mill.

Practical information

  1. The Grand Sentier de la Côte Bleue can be hiked in 4 days and 3 nights. But then, where do we sleep? The FFRandonnée 13 is part of the Compagnons de Route movement, which lists the accommodations located near the major hiking trails, including the one on the Côte Bleue. And if you prefer to go off the beaten track, we have listed for you the accommodations located near the trail. Be careful, the accommodations are located on the seaside only. The other part of the trail is in the middle of nature and wild camping is strictly forbidden. 
  2. There is also an itinerary "From station to station" starting from Martigues (city centre) in the direction of Estaque (entrance to Marseille). The route takes you to the stations of Martigues, La Couronne, Sausset-les-Pins, Carry-le-Rouet, Ensuès-la-Redonne, Niolon and l'Estaque. The Côte Bleue train, which runs along the coast all year round from Marseille to Miramas via Martigues, is highlighted. 
  3. Paper versions of the hiking guide are rare, so we advise you to print them out before you leave. And for the more eco-friendly among us, we can provide you with GPX files so that you can follow your route on your smartphone. What is a GPX? We explain it all to you via this procedure. You won't be able to do without it anymore! Some circuits do not offer a hiking guide. Nevertheless, a route is available for download, it is proposed by Rando Passion. All the GPX files are also from Rando Passion except those concerning the hikes in Martigues. 
  4. Our hikes are also on Visorando. You can download a PDF to take with you or download the application to follow the GPX on your mobile.
  5. The Grand Sentier de la Côte Bleue is subject to forestry regulations from June 1st to September 30th. Make sure you have the green light to go out on the trails. Be prepared in case of strong heat (cap, water bottle, sun cream, good shoes, picnic, rubbish bag, portable ashtray, etc...). There are no water fountains or rubbish bins on the different loops except near the beaches (toilets, showers, rubbish bins and mini-markets). 
  6. The Grand Sentier de la Côte Bleue can be done on foot or by bike (VTT), although there are places with stairs that require you to carry your bike. You will not be able to go down to the beaches and cross them, but you will be able to go around them on the heights. Cycle paths and greenways are identified on the coast.