L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

10 November 2006 Blog Home : November 2006 : Permalink

Friday Olive Tree Blogging

Yesterday, when I wrote about the excellent Auberge St Donat, I mentioned a pleasant walk that can be taken to work up an appetite or walk off the meal. Since the walk passes by lots of olive trees I thought I'd make that my effort for this week. There are rather more pictures than usual so enjoy and as always you can click on the images to see them enlarged and see the entire series here.

The walk begins with a gentle descent along the Chemin de Masseboeuf going past a very neat olive orchard. Then on the other side you see what is (currently) a rather less trimmed one.

Despite the odd villa here and there it is clear that this olive tree dominated hillside remains much as it was before the Riviera became quite such a popular place for retirees and the owners of holiday homes. After a couple of winds you reach the Canal de la Siagne which flows under the road. Turn left and follow the canal.

This section of the walk is the best. Although you are just a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the main roads, villages and towns you enter a wonderfully peaceful and rustic place where you can walk along the canal and pretend the modern world has disappeared. Eventually the real world intrudes as you cross over the Corniche Bénard going down to Mouans Sartoux. Thereafter, although pretty, the canal's surroundings are rather more built up.
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 After a short while you arrive at the Chemin de Gipières. Now is where you really work up the appetite because you have to do a really steep ascent for a couple of hundred metres. You can pause at one to see trees that have featured in previous olive tree blog episodes and also to look back downhill towards the sea, the Massif de l'Esterel and so on.
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At the T junction you turn left again and now ascend more gently past a few other trees that have featured in past olive tree blog episodes before arriving at a roundabout. Turn left and after a couple of hundred metres you are back at the start.

For curious locals the walk starts here and approximately follows the trail marked on the image below.
Map of walk near Plascassier
You can actually walk along the Canal all the way past Mougins in one direction and (although I think it gets tricky around Grasse) you can also walk quite a lot of the upper canal as it winds out of the Siagne valley below Cabris / Spéracèdes and above Peymeinade. It is a very pleasant gentle grade with many picturesque features including at least one dramatic aquaduct near Grasse St Mathieu. One of these days I ought to try and walk its whole length...

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin