Last month I showed you 5 of our favourite picnic locations near Lou Messugo (see here). As a family we love going on picnics all over the wonderful area the we call home – the Côte d’Azur. Here are 5 more great spots.
This was one of the first “picnic spots with a view” we discovered on arrival in the area in 2007 and it’s become a firm favourite. After a 20-30 minute walk from the Domaine des Courmettes – a grand old house used for seminars, events, nature groups etc – through meadows and ancient green oak forest you come to a lookout point with a million dollar view. There’s a small (locked) hut from where the fire service survey the area in summer watching for forest fires. It really does have the most amazing view of the coast. In the photo above you can see the Cap d’Antibes half way between the child and the right edge of the picture. To get there coming from Grasse, pass through the hamlet of Pont du Loup heading towards Tourrettes sur Loup and after 3 kms turn left at the sign “Courmettes”. Coming from Tourrettes follow direction Pont du Loup, after 5 kms turn right at the sign “Courmettes” shortly after the bus stop “St Antoine”. The road is not tarred all the way and is narrow, windy and steep for 4 kms. Not for the nervous driver! Continue about 300 metres after you pass a farm (which depending on the season sells delicious goat’s cheese) until you see a grand building with beautiful plane trees. Park anywhere here. The walk starts from behind the house (to the right when facing it) or from the gate at the bottom of the car park area (left if facing the sea). Follow the path until you come to a gate on your right in the shade of green oaks. There’s a sign explaining the sheep dogs who live permanently with flocks of sheep as protection from wolves and a hiking trail sign too. Go through the gate and continue straight towards the little hut. Don’t turn left in the forest. I’d be amazed if there’s anyone else there with you (except perhaps a person on look out duty in the summer).
Our nearest beach is Rosy Beach in Villeneuve-Loubet. It’s a pebble beach with a nice restaurant and board walk along the seafront. It may not be the world’s greatest beach during the day time (though it’s lovely to walk along the board walk at any time of year) but it makes a great place for a casual evening picnic. Being only 15 minutes away we often go for an evening dip and apéritif. The evening colours are subtle and calming and there are rarely many other people around. Remember to bring beach shoes or crocs if you intend to swim! You’ll find Rosy Beach at the end of l’allée de la Plage off Route du bord du Mer (the seafront boulevard) almost opposite a Géant Casino hypermarket. There are several car parks around but for guaranteed free parking use the supermarket car park.
Picnicking by the Loup river is one of our great classics. It’s another spot that’s only minutes away, after a very pleasant 15-20 minute walk along the river banks you find yourself on a stony beach under majestic limestone cliffs with the fast-flowing Loup to swim or paddle in or just skip stones. We come here in all seasons which is the subject of another post here. Park at the kayak club in la Colle sur Loup and follow the path to the end. The kayak club is off the road on the right coming from Roquefort towards la Colle just before the village starts. Look for a kayak standing on its point as a sign. It’s on the left heading out of la Colle towards Pont du Loup/Roquefort les Pins.
Plateau de Caussols
The plateau de Caussols is a vast area of semi-wilderness around 1000 metres in altitude high above Roquefort les Pins. It’s an unusual and sometimes spooky location where the weather can change fast, but it’s excellent for hiking, kite flying, picnicking and generally getting away from it all. It’s often snow-covered in winter with gorgeous wild lavender and thyme in summer. It’s composed of a rocky plain with caves and bronze age dwellings around the south and a fertile cultivated plain in the centre. Depending whether you want cliffs and views – where you can usually watch paragliders taking off – or secluded picnic spots, the drive from Lou Messugo is from 25 minutes to an hour. Just get lost on the little roads and pull up wherever you fancy. (Just try not to get too lost!) You’ll be alone (unless you’re at a paragliding site) and will have all the space in the world to play/snooze/smooch/whatever!
One of the loveliest things being a resident here is that we can go to beaches out of season. The picture above was taken in late October. As you can see the beach is empty but the weather was perfect for being on the beach and even swimming. We often go for big picnics with friends on one beach or another along the coast though Port Gallice is definitely one of our favourites. For more about this beach click here.
At Lou Messugo we can lend our guests picnic backpacks, coolbags, ice blocks, picnic rugs and most other things you might need to make the most of this perfect picnic land. Do you like picnicking? Where’s your favourite spot? Do tell!