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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.

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