WHAT TO DO IN GRASSE: OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
Grasse - Pégomas - Thorenc - L'Audibergue
What can you do in Grasse and the Pays de Grasse? Just a few miles from the glitz and glamor of the Cannes Croisette, the Pays de Grasse is full of treasures that are renowned worldwide. Perfume, excellent cuisine, cultural heritage, but especially breathtaking landscapes. That was all the encouragement we needed to spend a day there with friends for some thrilling adrenaline and fantastic food. After a stroll through the market to stock up on local products for a picnic, we set off to conquer La Moulière mountain. We enjoyed lunch at the summit, immersed in the natural landscape, then let off some steam at the treetop adventure park before rewarding our efforts with a hearty meal at a charming mountain restaurant.
1 : TREAT YOUR TASTE BUDS AT THE PAYS DE GRASSE MARKETS AND VISIT A FARM
2 : ENJOY FRESH AIR AND HIKING FROM THE LA MOULIERE CHAIRLIFT
3 : LET OFF STEAM IN HIGH-ADRENALINE ACTIVITIES
4 : SAVOR FANTASTIC LOCAL FOOD AND FRIENDSHIP
WHAT TO DO IN GRASSE IN THE MORNING?
TREAT YOUR TASTE BUDS AT THE PAYS DE GRASSE MARKETS AND VISIT A FARM
« Pégomas, Thorenc »
The best in local foods
The Provencal market is one of the regional symbols of the Pays de Grasse. Not only can you buy fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, meat and cheeses, and local specialties there, but it is a central meeting place in the village. The rainbow of colors and rich smells from the stands mingle with lively talk between merchants and passers-by, bright bursts of laughter and sunny smiles. We mainly bought some fruits and vegetables and Provençal fougasse bread, before going to visit an actual farm. The breeder happily took us on a tour of her 19th-century farm, typical of the region, showing us her herds of Aubrac and Abondance cows, Préalpes du Sud sheep, chickens, and pigs. Dazzled and delighted, we topped off our picnic basket with some of the cheeses and cold cuts she had for sale.
The region’s specialties
We bought only what could be easily eaten picnic-style, meaning finger food that did not need reheating, but for a regular meal we’d have tried the region’s essential specialties, including:
- tapenade: a paste generally composed of olives, garlic, capers, and anchovy filets;
- aïoli: sauce made from olive oil, garlic, and egg;
- pissaladière: a sort of Provencal pizza topped with onion compote and pissalat sauce (a mixture of sardines and anchovies);
- bouillabaisse: chunky fish soup (weever, whiting, monkfish, sea bream) served with garlic croutons and potatoes;
- soupe au pistou: a thick soup of summer vegetables, pasta, and pistou sauce made from crushed basil, garlic, and cheese.
THINGS TO DO AROUND GRASSE: ENJOY FRESH AIR AND HIKING FROM THE LA MOULIERE CHAIRLIFT
"L’Audibergue, la Moulière"
Set out to conquer the wilderness
Equipped with a hiking GPS and excited at the prospect of an outdoor adventure, we set off to meet the guide who would lead us up L’Audibergue mountain to take part in some “geocaching” – a kind of newfangled treasure hunt. As we worked our way up the 1,200-foot ascent, we happily discovered the site’s wildflowers as our guide explained their histories and characteristics. There were also works of art subtly incorporated into the natural landscape, part of the recently established “Chemin des Arts” trail. After hiking nearly two hours, we reached the top. The Mediterranean climate can sometimes shroud the mountain crest in a persistent mist, but on this day the view was superb. This is where we decided to have lunch, near the two-sided toposcope, one side depicting the Mercantour mountain range, the Argentera mountains with the Pic de l’Aigle and the Castellaras, the other indicating the Lérins Islands, the Esterel, Saint-Cassien Lake, and the entire coast, from Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat to Cap Camarat.
Recommendations before any mountain hike
First, confirm the weather forecast to avoid disappointment. Wear appropriate clothing: a breathable t-shirt, lightweight pants or hiking shorts (avoid clothing that leaves the legs uncovered, to protect them from insect bites or prickly or stinging plants, such as nettles), as well as proper hiking shoes (or sneakers with good tread). Then, in a 20- to 30-liter backpack, bring:
- energy bars made of grains or nuts and fruit and at least 1.5 liters of water per person. It is best to carry water in a glass or stainless-steel bottle that is more eco-friendly than plastic. Never set out on a hike without food or water;
- for sun protection: sunglasses, a hat or cap, and sunscreen;
- warm and waterproof clothing. Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains;
- and, of course, a camera to capture the panoramic view!