#235. Rocher de Roquebrune. The Zion NP of Provence?

#235. Rocher de Roquebrune. The Zion NP of Provence?

Have you ever seen photographs of the Rocher de Roquebrune ?

The red rocks of Rocher de Roquebrune overlooking Draguignan, Le Muy and Puget sur Argens in Provence, France

Rocher de Roquebrune, Provence

Yesterday, my little girl passed her Karate black belt in the small town of Draguignan. Now, my son is a 2nd Dan black belt, my wife is 2nd Dan black belt and my 14 year-old little one is a 1rst Dan black belt.

Which makes me the wimpy photographer with no combat skills (or will to acquire any such skills 😉 )

The 4 hour-long examination in a hot gymnasium seemed rather unappealing, particularly being so close to an iconic monolith of Provence which local guides do not hesitate to compare with Uluru. Extending the heresy to Zion National Park in the title, I’d like to lure any photo travelers in the region to give the area a thought.

As you drive along the motorway between Marseilles/Aix-en-Provence towards Nice/Cannes and Italy, you cannot fail to notice the western-like red rocks on the right-side of the road. Few people ever stop, because leaving the motorway can seem like such a waste of time, but if you ever need to break up a long journey, this is a neat spot to do so (exit at Le Muy and just point your car towards Paiute land).

The Rocher de Roquebrune seen from the streets of Roquebrune sur Argens

Rocher de Roquebrune from Roquebrune sur Argens

While nowhere near as impressive as Ayer’s Rock, Mount Augustus or Zion, NP, the Rocher de Roquebrune is still an interesting feature in an otherwise flatter and more wooded landscape. Lakes about around its base and the seaside road from there to Cannes along the Esterel has some other exciting high-points as well (more on that topic in a future post).

Several 2-6 hour walks take you around the summit or atop of it, via a hermit’s cave, wonderful cork oak forests and other nice features.

And what really makes this 1200 foot high rock stand our from it’s more illustrious brothers is the proximity of traditional stone-walled villages of Provence such as the truly charming Roquebrune sur Argens. Where else can you see a Renault 4 and a yellow postman’s van head towards the afternoon pastis under the shade of a wisteria with John Wayne country in the background ?

Very old cork oak trees on the Rocher de Roquebrune in Provence

Gnarly, Dude (a.k.a Cork Oak forest in Roquebrune sur Argens)


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