This summer, amid beach days and a bit too much Rosé, we’ve started to explore different “off the beaten track” areas in our region… on foot. In my city-days, I was never much of a walker. Besides rushing down the street to grab my morning cup o’ Joe at Starbucks in sunny SoCal, or shuffling from one English lesson to another in the bustling center of Rome, walking was simply a way to get from point A to point B… sometimes hauling a ridiculous amount of grammar books behind me.
But since our move to Provence, that’s all changed. It’s difficult not to feel motivated to go outside and get moving in such a beautiful place. Even 10 minutes from our home, there are a series of seaside walks that literally take your breath away. Makes burning off those extra pain au chocolats a whole lot easier.
So I was totally jazzed when the folks who publish Walker’s Provence (in a box) contacted me about writing a review for their walking guide that comes in, you guessed it, a box. Inside the box you’ll find 35 walks that cover everything from cruising alongside “fisherman, flamingos, and near-wild horses” in the Camargue (walk #1), to skirting along the famous Calanques of Cassis (walk #15) – the “limestone cliffs that tower above the Mediterranean in a spectacular display of pink and white stone”.
Walk #15 – Cassis and the Calanques
All of the walks are contained on laminated cards and each card features 1) the difficulty of the walk (easy/moderate/strenuous), 2) the distance, and 3) places to stay nearby. Each card gives a detailed itinerary and map, highlighting points of interest along the way. And there are also pretty snapshots of Provence to get you motivated to slip on those walking shoes. All and all, a very well-designed and accessible guide for walkers of every interest and ability.
I’ve already got three of my must-do walks picked out…Vacqueyras Vineyards (did someone say wine + pretty villages?), Le Tholonet (walking in the “footsteps of Cezanne”), and Antibes (through the “heart of the millonaires’ playground of Juan-les-Pins”… I’m a sucker for Riviera glamour).
Walker’s Provence is published by Duncan Petersen Publishing (in collaboration with Charming Small Hotels) who publish a series of guide books called Charming Small Hotel Guides (which also include various walking and cycling guides). They are 100% independent and focus on “slow, authentic, non-tourist-package travel” – love this philosophy! You can find more of their guides via their website and also catch-up with the latest in slow travel on their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.
**************************************To enter to win a copy of Walker’s Provence, please leave a comment telling us your favorite place to go walking – of course I would love for it to be in Provence, but it can be anywhere you like! One winner will be chosen randomly using random.org. Click on “replies” at the top of the post (under the title), then scroll down to the bottom to leave your comment. Deadline to enter: Thursday, August 22, 2013.