Les Gorges du Loup
Rumour has it that the main road that winds through the lovely Gorges du Loup was built by workers paid by the Cycling Club of France. True or not, the area is certainly a favoured cycling route today, and being just 35 minutes (by car) from the French Riviera, it remains one of the region’s most popular all-round natural attractions.
Les Gorges du Loup is located close to Le Bar-sur-Loup, a petit medieval village with lots of lovely old houses clustered around a central 13th-century château. Perched on a rocky spur between Grasse and Vence, the village offers panoramic views of the Loup Valley. The site itself, a mile or so away, has 70 pitches (plus a few chalets and mobile homes) set on attractive terraced slopes where roses and lavender were once grown to make perfume. Though the pitches are fairly small, the site has an organic intimacy that’s perfectly suited to the region.
To wear out the kids there’s a decent-sized pool with a diving board and slide, and if you fancy a night off from cooking there’s a restaurant and bar. It’s in a prime location for all kinds of activities, from hang-gliding and climbing to cycling and hiking.
Plus there are lots of other pretty outposts to explore, such as Tourrettes-sur-Loup and the plus beaux village of Gourdon (as seen in Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief). And don’t worry – you don’t have to be a cyclist to see them all. A car will do just fine.
Two sanitary blocks, a pool, playground, TV room and on-site restaurant, serving salads, omelettes and meat dishes.
Tents, campervans, caravans, dogs (on lead and with veterniary certificate) – yes.
Marineland (0033 4 93 33 49 49) in Antibes, one of the largest marine attractions in Europe, is not far and has dolphin and sea-lion shows as well as a shark tunnel-aquarium. Fantastic. Treat yourself to some pampering at the Bastide Saint Antoine (0033 4 93 70 94 94) in Grasse, a Relais & Chateaux hotel with pool, jacuzzi, spa, boules pitch and cooking classes.
Food & Drink
In Le Bar-sur-Loup, Le Jarrerie (0033 4 93 42 92 92) has to be visited. Set in an old stone monastery, it serves great French dishes and has a fixed menu deal for €25.90. There are also markets on Saturday mornings in Le Bar-sur-Loup, and a larger one in Valbonne on Friday mornings.
Late March - late September.
Les Gorges du Loup, 965 chemin des Vergers, 06620 Le-Bar-sur-Loup, Pays de Grasse, Alpes-Maritimes, France
From Nice follow signs to Cagnes/Cannes/Aix-en-Provence, and merge onto the A8. Take exit 48 toward Cagnes-sur- Mer/Vence, and merge into the D336. Follow signs to Le Bar-sur-Loup, then signs to Camping Gorges du Loup.
Buses run from Grasse and Cannes to Le Bar-sur-Loup regularly. Local buses run right by the site several times a day and stop on request.
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