Scenic Hikes around Grasse
Plateau de Caussols
If you have never visited the village of Gordon then this has to be your next stop.
By setting off early you could end this hike with lunch in this beautiful village or start with lunch and then walk it off on the hike. Either way this historic village is so picturesque that you won’t regret any time spent there and will find it hard to leave. It is filled with quaint boutiques, cafés, and restaurants and if you want to avoid the summer influx of tourists, then June is a good month to do this hike.
The distance covered is a healthy 14 km and the circuit will take you around 4 hours to complete. There is a positive gain of 420 m and this Happy Hiker Blue trail can be done all year round.
From Cagnes-sur-Mer or Grasse via Pré du Lac, drive to Gordon on the RD3. Then take the route de Caussols (RD12) and pass the col de l’Ecre. Carry on for another 3 km on the RD 12 and park in the town hall car park.
From the town hall car park, take the GR 4 which runs parallel to the RD 12 westwards. At way marker 31 turn left onto a track which then becomes a pathway winding up through pine trees and boxwood to the Chemin de la Bouissière (waymarker 32). Go steadily up the GR4 to the Col du Clapier (1257m – waymarker 33).
When you get to the col (waymarker 35) leave the GR 4 and continue going up eastwards in the direction of the Haut Montet (Civil aviation radar).
At the highest point of the circuit, the summit of the Haut Montet (1335 m) you will have the most amazing panoramic view of the Riviera coastline.
This is a good spot to picnic if you have chosen that option rather than a restaurant.
Come down via the roadway to waymarker 42, turn left to cross over the plateau, situated in the middle of the characteristic rocky landscape to the Chemin des claps (Waymarker 52).
You now go from the roadway to walking through a pine grove. At the end of the plateau, go down a windy path to the plaine central. Walk alongside the pastures until you get to the junction with the main road RD 12 via waymarker 51 and return to the village car park.
When walking, I advise taking hiking sticks, as they will help you on both the ascents and descents. 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 fiber, high protein breakfast before I set off which means that I don’t need to carry a large picnic with me as good quality 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 “Cannes- Grasse” TOP 25 n° 3643 ET map (can be purchased online or in newsagents and sports shops) to mark out your trail before you set off.
If you are a French speaker you can also find the hike on the following link:
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:
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 totaling 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