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Massif de l'Estérel's insider take:

The Côte d'Azur isn't known for its hiking and camping, but nature is just a 20-minute drive west along the coast from Cannes on the N98 road, a.k.a. the Corniche de l'Estérel. The Massif de l'Estérel itself is range of red-rock volcanic mountains that go no higher than 2,000 feet. Dedicated hikers can explore national trail routes threading through protected nature reserves, but the casual day-tripper will probably want to stick to the coast, with its semisecluded coves. Just past the town of Théoule-sur-Mer, the road rises dramatically, providing elevated views of Cannes and the coast beyond. The Parc Naturel de la Pointe de l'Aiguille offers hiking (uphill from the road) and high-altitude views of Cannes—watching private jets shoot down the bay and into Cannes's tiny airport can be a thrilling sight—while downhill lies a series of steep paths that lead down to rocky inlets where swimming and sunbathing au naturel are the norm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.