Sortie Velo Evtt Provence Baie Des Singes Jootlcm 24Sortie Velo Evtt Provence Baie Des Singes Jootlcm 24

Electric mountain bike outing in the Calanques

Embark on an exceptional adventure in the heart of Marseille’s Calanques with an electric mountain bike outing! On the programme, explore breathtaking landscapes, from the Baie des Singes to the Col de Sormiou, not forgetting the pastoral charm of the Parc Pastré. Discover places steeped in history and nature, while enjoying a fun and accessible ride. It’s a unique experience that promises freedom, escape and unforgettable memories in sunny Marseille.

Published on 1 February 2024
Jade Orengo
  • Marseille in 3 words

    Wonderful, diverse, native.

  • My favourite neighbourhood

    Les Goudes, and its quiet side (in the off-season) for sipping a drink and having an aperitif facing the sunset.

Bike ride to Les Goudes

We meet at 9am in the Pointe Rouge district, on the seafront. Nicolas welcomed us to his bike shed and explained the day’s route: we’d be cycling along the coast as far as the Baie des Singes, before heading to a magnificent viewpoint from the Col de Sormiou overlooking the calanque, via the Parc Pastré.

It’s not the first time I’ve ridden an electric bike, but I’m always just as excited by the idea of discovering new places in a fun way. Once we’d put on our helmets and explained our ‘driving’ instructions, we set off for the ride to the end of the world in Marseille. One after the other, we take the splendid and arid road to Les Goudes. The first rays of sunshine appear above the calanques, and the temperature is very mild – the perfect day for this outing!

The last few metres to the Baie des Singes are more ‘off-road’ because of the many holes in the road, but the mountain bike enables us to climb all the obstacles in our path. The scenery is magnificent, and the photos speak for themselves. We stopped for Nicolas to tell us a few anecdotes about the history of Cap Croisette, where we are located, and in particular about the wreck of the Liban, located behind Ile Maïre, which faces us.

La Campagne Pastré, a green lung in the city

On our way back to Montredon, we pass through the Parc Pastré, a real piece of countryside in the city. In fact, the smell of the stables at the entrance to the park doesn’t fool us! We’re now taking more natural paths and leaving the tarmac behind.

We pedalled in the shade of the trees, a squirrel appearing over our heads! We reach a magnificent nineteenth-century Provençal bastide: Château Pastré, which until 2012 housed the Musée de la Faïence, now housed at Château Borély. I’d never been here before and it’s a superb place! As we took a break to quench our thirst, the students also seemed to be having a good time in the sun on the stairs of this beautiful building.

Then we got back on the handlebars and rode along the canal de Marseille, in a bucolic atmosphere, our little group of 10 ringing bells to warn hikers of our presence.

Did you know?

The (dry) canal that we walked along is a diversion that, from 1850 onwards, was used to irrigate the crops of the surrounding bastides with water from the Durance via the Canal de Marseille. The water was also used by the many factories at Madrague de Montredon, l’Escalette, les Goudes and Callelongue.

The Calanques in sight

Nicolas stops us for a moment to put our bikes into ‘Turbo’ mode: it’s THE moment to pick up speed to climb a fairly steep but short climb. In no time at all, we’re on our racing bikes!

It’s all about pedalling fast without stopping: thanks to electric assistance! The descents were a little more perilous, and my forearms remember how hard I had to squeeze to keep up the speed!

Once we’d made it down this thrilling slope, we got back on the pedals to take the road to the Col de Sormiou. Our next sporting challenge now lies before us! The route to the top of the Col de Sormiou is no mean feat, requiring a brief but intense effort to climb the ridge – watch out for burning thighs!

There’s a real sense of freedom when you reach the viewpoint. It was a unique moment: feeling the wind caress our faces, admiring the sun shine, feeling the good humour of the group, all while admiring the beautiful landscape before us! It was a real privilege to be able to escape the noise of the city for just a moment.

Passage over the Col des Baumettes

After following the marked path from the Col de Sormiou, we joined the valley that leads to the Baumettes district. Following the cycle path, we passed through the Roy d’Espagne condominium, remarkable for the many large pine trees in its pine forest. If you’re paying close attention, you’ll be able to see traces of the Marseille canal on your right, which we saw earlier in the Pastré countryside. On the way, we passed the Lapin Blanc roundabout, with its large plane tree, which enabled us to rejoin the cycle path and return to the EVTT Provence premises.

Arriving at the premises, we were sad to have to put our feet back on the ground… Many of them tell me they could have gone on for a long time! So how did it go? Check-up? Who’s got a sore backside? Don’t panic, if you still remember it, it passes after a few hours…

So it’s with our batteries recharged to the max that we can get back to our ‘real’ lives, but not before a good snack to perk us up! A wonderful experience that I can highly recommend!

Official website of the Tourist Office of Marseille