Located in the south of France, roughly 90km from the beautiful city of Marseille lays the Alpilles Natural Regional Park. Comparatively small to other national and regional parks in the country, the region’s surface area is 510km squared, smaller than both Écrins and Mercantour National Parks, to the north and east respectively.
Although small, Alpilles is a real delight for those who take the journey to visit it, offering a wide range of outdoor activities. In this article, we’ll be looking at how you can spend your time in the area and which outdoor pursuits you can enjoy during your visit:
Because of the location of the park, getting there can be a little tricky. If you’re planning on making the journey, you’ll need to go by car as there are minimal, if any, public transport routes available. You could book onto an organised trip for one of the activities such as hiking or cycling, but this would leave you with less flexibility to explore for yourself.
The nearest airport is Marseille which is roughly one hour away, depending on where in the park you’ll be visiting. The Alpilles is home to a number of small towns and villages so you could park in one of those and start your adventure there. We have a number of luxury villas in the South of France that are conveniently located for both access to the cities, and to the beautiful Alpilles Natural Regional Park, you can check them out here.
The diverse terrain offered by the park is perfect for lacing up your walking boots and heading off with a picnic, along one of the many walking trails available in the area. With a selection of rugged, mountainous trails, gorgeous green meadows and tree-sheltered pathways, the Alpilles Park will be able to offer a route for all abilities and preferences. Routes can range from anything between a couple of miles up to 12 or 15, depending on how far into the park you venture.
Cycling or Mountain Biking
The variety of the park will cater to both casual cycle rides that use mostly flat and even surfaces and for those looking for more of an adrenaline rush, with plenty of suitable mountain bike routes. Ranging from short rides of up to 20km or longer routes of over 100km, the park’s cycle trails are brilliantly diverse. Chances are, you’ll encounter vineyards, olive groves and natural wildlife on your journey, all of which will really make the experience special.
If you’re looking to explore Les Alpilles but don’t fancy walking or cycling, why not hire a four-legged companion that can take you on your very own journey. We are, of course, referring to horseback riding, a great way to get out into the natural beauty of the park and to potentially learn a new skill (if you’ve not ridden horses before). There are a few stables in the area; we’d suggest checking out Le Petit Roman who offer tours for both children and adults of all abilities. They have a range of horses and will strive to match suitable horses for beginners. A great way to see the park without having to do too much of the work!
The park is home to two excellent golf courses, one in the centre of the park called Golf de Servanes and the other slightly west of this located on the grounds of Domaine de Manville. Both courses offer a beautiful and challenging spectacle, suitable for beginners and more experienced players. Even if you don’t have a great game, you’ll still be able to bask in the sun and enjoy the gorgeous views of the course.
Taking their name from the Alps mountain range, it’s no surprise really that rock climbing is an extremely popular outdoor pursuit offered in the area. Presenting a slightly more scalable selection of peaks and ridges than the real deal of the Alps, the various climbing routes offered can test even the most seasoned of climbers. The Roc’Alpilles climbing club offers outings for both beginners and more experienced climbers and will provide all equipment necessary.
The Alpilles Natural Regional Park is a beautiful region in the South of France and a must if you visit the area! Make sure you let us know how you spend your time there by commenting on our Facebook or Twitter!
Cover photo credit: Puffin11k
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