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Sport and leisure activities


Beaches

The cleanliness of beaches can be consulted online: baignades.sante.gouv.fr (in English)


Climbing

With over 200km of equipped ascents, the Bouches-du-Rhône is ranked as France’s best-equipped climbing département. The calanques and Sainte-Victoire mountain are two of the region’s most famous climbing sites, without forgetting other exceptional locations, such as the Sainte-Baume range, Alpilles and Garlaban. In Vaucluse, the Dentelles de Montmirail, cliffs of Buoux, Venasque, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse and Oppède-le-Vieux are also popular with climbers.

Marseille-Provence Mountaineering Club – t 04 91 54 25 84 - cafmarseille.free.fr.


Cruises

River cruises

Les Grands Bateaux de Provence – At Avignon - t 04 90 85 62 25 - www.mireio.net (in English). On the Rhône.

Tiki III Mini Croisière Camarguaise – At Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer - t 04 90 97 81 68 - www.tiki3.fr. On the canals of Petite Camargue.

Sea cruises

Croisières Marseille-Calanques – Departing from Marseille - t 0 825 136 800 - www.croisieres-marseille-calanques.com.

Les Amis des Calanques – Departing from La Ciotat - www.visite-calanques.fr (in English).

Les Bateliers de Cassis – Departing from Cassis - calanques-cassis.com.


Hiking

GR 4 – The Royan-Grasse GR stretches from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, via Mont Ventoux.

GR 42 – The Saint-Étienne-Avignon GR runs along the Rhône valley.

GR 6 – Links the Aquitaine with the Alps, running alongside the Gard as far as Beaucaire, then heading up into the Alpilles and the Luberon.

GR 9 – Stretches from the Jura to the Var, via the northern face of the Ventoux, Vaucluse plateau, Luberon, then the ranges of Sainte-Victoire and Sainte-Baume. The GR 63, 653 (Camargue), 92, 97 and 98 (calanques of Marseille to Cassis) are variations.

PACA Hiking Board – t 04 91 32 17 11 - paca.ffrandonnee.fr.


Horse trekking

The Camargue, Luberon, Montagnette and Sainte-Victoire are all ideal for horse riding.

Provence Board of Equestrian Tourism – t 04 90 73 24 63 - www.provence-equitation.com.

www.tourisme-equestre.fr – Details of signposted tracks by département..


Lavender routes

The Upper Vaucluse, Ventoux and Luberon are the main centres of lavender crops.

Lavender routes – t 04 75 26 65 91 - www.routes-lavande.com (in English).


Nautical sports and boating

Sea kayaks

Ideal means to explore the calanques.

French Federation of Canoe-kayaking – t 01 45 11 08 50 - www.ffcanoe.asso.fr.

Boating

French Federation of Marinas – t 01 43 35 26 26 - www.ffports-plaisance.com.

Scuba diving

The Provence coast, home to some 250 sites and over 80 wrecks, is one of France’s great scuba diving regions. Diving possible at Marseille, in the calanques and at La Ciotat, in the Mugel underwater nature reserve.

Divers can also explore 6 outstanding sites: wrecks such as the Chaouen (off the coast of Marseille), Drôme, the liner Liban (off Maïre island); and natural sites such as theImpériaux, Cassidaigne (4 miles from Cassis), Verte island (off the coast of La Ciotat).

French Federation of Underwater Studies and Sports – t 04 91 33 99 31 - www.ffessm.fr.

Sainling

Martigues and La Ciotat have been awarded the Nautical Resort label by virtue of their facilities. Otherwise, Marseille, and most of the other seaside resorts are home to sailing schools.

French Federation of Sailing – t 01 40 60 37 00 - www.ffvoile.org.

French Nautical Resorts – t 01 44 05 96 55 - www.station-nautique.com (in English).


Potholing

Explore the Sorgue at Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, Grand Draioun, 200m open abyss in the Cap Canaille cliff and Albion plateau (at Sault) are also very well known.

French Federation of Potholing – t 04 72 56 09 63 - www.ffspeleo.fr.


Wine

Beginner workshops

There is no shortage of wine workshops for beginners. The tourist offices of the winegrowing regions (Alpilles, Côtes du Rhône, Cassis, dentelles de Montmirail, etc.) have all the details. Other addresses:

Espace vin à Cairanne – t 04 90 30 82 05 - www.cave-cairanne.fr (in English).

Luberon Truffles and Wine – At Ménerbes - t 04 90 72 38 37 - www.vin-truffe-luberon.com (in English).

Domaine des Terres Blanches – At Saint-Rémy-de-Provence - t 04 90 95 91 66.

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