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3 nature walks on the banks of the Loup river

Located inland area between Grasse and Cagnes-sur-Mer, the Gorges du Loup are the perfect place to discover nature on the Côte d’Azur: swimming, canyoning, climbing, hiking… The site is particularly suitable for walking and offers visitors an exceptional natural heritage! Discover here 3 ideas for walks you on the banks of the Loup!

Rives du Loup park

A haven of peace and vegetation to experience on the Côte d’Azur!

The Rives du Loup park is one of the 19 departmental nature parks in the Alpes-Maritimes region. It covers more than 52 hectares between Colle-sur-Loup and Villeneuve-Loubet. Arriving at the kayaking centre in La-Colle-sur-Loup, walk the path that runs alongside the peacefully flowing river. It’s a very easy walk that everyone can enjoy – ideal for sharing a relaxing moment with your family. In the shade of the plane trees, you’re surrounded by unspoiled nature, perfect for picnics and swimming. A haven of peace, which also offers a range of sporting activities such as climbing and hiking.

Rives du Loup, a Natura 2000 site

Or how to protect and discover the Côte d’Azur’s biodiversity!

What is Natura 2000? It is a network of natural sites created to preserve rare or fragile wild, animal and plant species, and their inhabitants. The Antibes Sophia-Antipolis urban area is responsible for 3 sites in the department, including the Gorges du Loup. Its role is to ensure that activities are reconciled with the preservation of the natural heritage. It is not uncommon during a walk on the banks of the Loup to come across a multitude of animals: ducks, bluebirds, and even rock swallows… Good to know: dogs (on a lead) are allowed in the park.

Walk idea 1: Pont du Loup

Wild nature destination with a delicious stopover in the heart of the Gorges du Loup!

The small village of Pont du Loup was very popular with tourists in the mid-19th century, and its glory days came thanks to the Chemins de Fer de Provence. The walk starts at the foot of the Confiserie Florian and offers you a beautiful hike in the heart of wild nature. Be careful however, because the path has some ascents and descents, and is therefore not recommended for young children or elderly people. The walk will take you from one bank of the river to the other, thanks to small bridges, allowing you to climb higher and thus offering you access to the very pretty landscape of the course of the Loup river. Allow about 2h30 to complete the round trip. This walk will also be an opportunity to visit the famous Confiserie Florian. Free guided tours are available all year round that will reveal some Côte d’Azur specialities. You’ll be able to watch the best fruits and the prettiest flowers produced in the region being transformed into delicious confectionery.

Walk idea 2: the Saut du Loup waterfalls

The magic waters…

This natural site has always been popular with visitors to the region, who used to go there from Pont du Loup on the Nice-Grasse train. The site offers an impressive view of 90 metre high waterfalls. You can admire the « Cascades des Demoiselles » as well as a large natural pool called « La Grande Marmite ». The perfect place for taking some beautiful photos! As the place is privately owned, you will be charged €1 to go in – the proceeds are in particular used for the upkeep of the belvedere. Good to know: there’s a restaurant there that’s open all year round.

More about the Saut du Loup waterfalls

Walk idea 3: Distillerie du Loup

Artisanal authentic production…

There is also a lavender distillery on the car park in Saut du Loup. The shop sells essential oils and floral waters, made from plants grown in the fields right next to the waterfalls. Three generations of distillers have followed one another in Saut-du-Loup and still today make it a point of honour to continue traditional production practices, thanks to an old alembic still that dates back to 1930. The shop is open from mid-July to September. On your way to Saut du Loup, take the opportunity to stop for 5 minutes to admire the Courmes waterfall. The water here drops down about twenty meters and is well worth a visit.