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New Côte Bleue hiking trail unveiled for summer

A new 62km coastal hiking route between Marseille and Martigues in Provence-Côte d’Azur has been unveiled by the Bouches-du-Rhône tourist department in time for summer.

The walk, named the Grand Sentier de la Côte Bleue (the Big Blue Coast Trail), takes in cliffsides, little villages, seaside coves, and hills, offering near-constant sea views.

It will begin at Le Rove (on Marseille’s eastern side) and continue until Martigues in the west, taking in communes including Ensuès-la-Redonne, Carry-le-Rouet and Sausset-les-Pins.

Although the route itself is new, it will actually include around 17 hikes that already exist, at lengths of between 6km and 24km. This makes the new trail suitable for those seeking a long, endurance trek; as well as daytrippers seeking a shorter route.

There will be some new trails and challenges, however, including the “cove loop” (“la boucle des calanques”), which is 6.5km long and offers 350m of altitude climb.

Each loop of the route will also be accessible by train, as the Grand Sentier has been designed around the existing railway tracks and stations that link the area (SNCF strikes notwithstanding).

The walks along the Grand Sentier route will be signposted with blue arrows.

A map of the entire route will be available to print from the Bouches-du-Rhône tourist information website from the beginning of May, alongside its existing maps and route suggestions.

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