Path along the French Mediterranean: Sentier du Littoral
La belle France delivers magic again and again. This time, it is at the sea. In France, a country that is bordered on much of its northern, western and southern borders by beautiful water, there is a path that follows almost the entire coastline of the country (maintained for hikers/explorers): the Sentier du Littoral. Historically, it was a path for surveillance, for protection and defense. Since 1976, it has been cultivated and exists as a path for anyone to hike along the coastline - regardless of private property - a beautiful thing.
What does that mean? Beaches, coves and areas that are really tricky to get to are suddenly a possibility with a little commitment and a hike. The trail itself is often rocky or sometimes cuts directly through brush/thicket as tall as you are, giving you the impression someone just took giant scissors and made a tiny trail through. Some people spend months following its path along the sea, covering much of the country.
One of the very best stretches of the Sentier du Littoral is found in Antibes/Juan-les-Pins. Starting in Antibes, one can set off and follow the coastal path around the Cap d'Antibes and to Juan Les Pins.
The path will feature rough stone stairways up to thin stretches of trail, pass through stone arches and walkers will scurry across stony coves. The water along this stretch of the Côte d'Azur is indeed azure, turquoise, jewel-colored. The way the light dances on it is something to marvel at.
Perhaps the most special cove is its southern-most enclave, the Anse de l'Argent Faux. Here, one feels encircled by the sea and the dramatic cliffs around. Year-round on a sunny day, this cove is protected and the sun of southern France has special powers.