The Baou des Blancs et Noir are the backdrop to this 2 ½ walk. It’s an exhilarating walk with incredible views down to the Mediterranean Sea.
Drive to the D2 from Vence and head towards the Col de Vence. Opposite an old quarry there is a parking spot. Pull in here. The first and last part of this walk involve walking along the D2 which is busier than I would like. This is the only negative.
The walk itself is 8.22 Km (5+ miles) long with an ascent of 320m (1050 ft) and the majority of the climb takes place in one stretch. However the views are spectacular and the effort is definitely worthwhile.
From the start to the climb
This walk was inspired by a Walk in Provence by Janette Norton published in 2000. It was the 1st walk in the book. I am sure that the D2 route to Col de Vence was much quieter when the route was planned. However don’t let that put you off this circular walk.
After walking down the road and passing by former monastery, now a hotel, St Martin (although closed when we walked the route) there is a house on the corner, number 2094. Opposite the house entrance is a very small path that descends steeply and cuts off the final corner of the Avenue de Templiers. At the end of this cut through turn right and then sharp left. The route now follows the Chemin du Riou.
The Chemin du Riou follows the contour of the hill and provides some brilliant views above Vence and across the Med.
This quiet road passes underneath the Baou des Blancs and follows the contours of the hill so there is no climbing involved. If it is a day similar to the one we enjoyed then you can see for miles.
The road gets smaller and is no longer a bus route. Shortly after a sign advises against cars continuing there is a brown signpost on the left, No 122, to Baou des Noirs. Here you start climbing.
Climbing up and the descent
Now the work begins. The route is easy to follow but rises steeply. Up and up you go. The views are brilliant as you climb.
Eventually you come across this sign.
The book suggests you go left towards the Baou des Noirs. However as this required extra climbing we declined and turned right to head towards the Baou des Blancs.
The path is easy to follow all the way along and the views continue to be gorgeous.
As you descend just keep to the track that says Vence and you’ll find yourself back on the D2 walking down the road to where you parked your car.
What a great day out the Baou Des Blancs et Noir walk offers everyone.
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