Le Camp Romain
by Judy Churchill
The countryside around Grasse is fabulous for walking and hiking so if you are looking for an easy trail with wonderful views for all the family then this one is for you.
This hike can be done all year round and is far away enough from Monaco to give you a refreshing change of scene but close enough a drive (50mins) to allow you to set off in the morning and then have lunch in the nearby picturesque St. Paul de Vence.
This Happy Hiker Green trail will take around 2.5 hours to complete for 5.9 km. The vertical gain is 230m.
The fastest route is on the AS motorway towards Villeneuve-Loubet where you will leave the A8. Just programme your sat nav for Le Rouret and you will be guided all the way.
Once you arrive in Le Rouret turn right and park your car on the Place de L’Eglise.
From the car park behind the town hall go left (waymarker 130) up to the Chemin des Pierres du Moulin which soon becomes a trail and then join the Chemin du Castellet at way marker 131 (360m) in the St-Pons area.
Go down the chemin du Pont Romain at way marker 132 and cross over the Vallon de Baume Robert and carry on along a small road until you reach an old washhouse.
Go up a ramp on your left to reach the start of a path (waymarker 133) which carries on up northwards amongst oak and pine trees. As you exit the vallon (gorge des Trucs), turn left to pick up a track at way marker 134 (410m) and follow this to its end (479m).
The Camp Romain itself is covered in vegetation which somewhat hides its walls and ruins but from this vantage point, there is an exceptional view over the Loup basin and the villages of Bar-sur-Loup and Gourdon with the Cheiron mountain range in the distance.
The return route starts along the same path back to waymarker 134 and then goes down through the Rouret wood. Further down go through a barrier and past a large reservoir and continue left along the track (waymarker 135).
Finally, the pathway ends and you pick up the little road you took to come up which takes you back to your start point.
When walking, I advise taking hiking sticks, as they will help you on both the ascents and the way down. They also guarantee you get a full body work out. You’ll need a cap and sunglasses to keep the sun off your face (the sun is a lot stronger in the hills and mountains so don’t forget the sunscreen). Remember to take more water than you think you’ll need (at least a litre and a half per person) and enough protein bars for during and after the hike. I always have a high fibre, high protein breakfast before I set off which means that I don’t need to carry a large picnic with me as good protein bars are sufficient (always take a couple of extra ones). Purpose-made hiking boots/shoes, a roll-up rain jacket, first aid kit and a rucksack are a must and you will need lighter wear for the Spring/Summer season and heavier/warmer for Autumn and Winter. I have a Bogner zip-up, long-sleeved, lightweight golfing jacket from One Eagle Monaco that not only enables a full range of movement but is also great for cooler Spring/Autumn walks as it keeps you at the perfect body temperature. In the winter months, you will need extra layers of clothing, gloves, a warm hat and thicker socks. Last but not least, you will need the IGN TOP 25 map n° 3643 4T maps (Cannes-Grasse) to mark out your trail before you set off.
If you are a French speaker you can also find the hike on this link: https://randoxygene.departement06.fr/pays-grassois/le-camp-romain-9312.html but you will still need your IGN map as these on-line guides are only approximate. There are also hike specific apps such as Visorando, which have both free and purchasable versions and can be very useful guides and even have GPS options. https://www.visorando.com
If you have Strava you can record your walk on this app and it will give you lots of fascinating statistics at the end as well as totalling up the number of km/altitude you do in any given year.
When you’re done, I strongly recommend a foot massage using Young Living Essential Foot Oil (a combo of Rosemary, Peppermint and Lavender) – your feet will thank you later!
Enjoy your hike and don’t forget your camera!
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