The Etoile chaine

Roquevaire, Allauch, La Destrousse, Cadolive, Mimet, Simiane Collongue, Peypin, Bouc Bel Air, Septèmes les Vallons, Les Pennes Mirabeau, Plan de Cuques, Saint Savournin, Marseille, Aubagne - Mountains

Located in the southeastern quarter of the Bouches-du-Rhône, the Massifs de l’Etoile and Massif du Garlaban encircle a major part of the territories of Marseille and Aubagne, situated to the South. These chains are bordered by the Arbois, Montaiguet, Collines de Gardanne and Regagnas chains to the North, by the Valley of Aubagne to the East and the A7 highway to the West, which forms a barrier between the massif and the Côte Bleue coast.

The two massifs are separated by the D908 main road.

The Massif de l’Etoile forms a semi-circle comprising an East-West oriented peak of 14 km in length and 7.5 km in width: it rises to an altitude of 778 metres at Grand Puech, while its lowest point (172 metres) is located to the South of Vallon Dol. To the southeast, it extends into the Massif du Garlaban: a circular massif rising to an altitude of 729 m at Plan de l’Aigle, and descending to 120 m in the Valley of Huveaune. The many steep slopes and numerous North-South facing valleys (East-West on the western face) carving out its relief make terrestrial fire-fighting in this chain extremely difficult. It forms a genuine natural barrier, with an extremely hilly relief, at the gateway to Marseille.

The relief and general East-West orientation of the Etoile-Garlaban chain provoke a strong masking effect, with striking contrasts between the adret (South-facing) and ubac (North-facing) slopes.

The southern slopes of the Etoile and Garlaban are characterized by a typical Mediterranean climate.

The northern slopes are characterized by a cooler and wetter micro-climate, with lower temperatures, higher rainfall and shorter summer droughts. …

The Massif de l’Etoile's marked relief and high-altitude gradient lends it a highly varied character, with fairly fertile northern slopes (often-veteran Aleppo pines, Norway pines, Durmast oaks and even Austrian pines), contrasting with the rather barren southern slopes, with predominant Aleppo pines growing mainly in the bottom of valleys spared from fires. Scrubland populated with gorse or kermes oak and rosemary, covers the plateaux and shallow-soiled slopes, as a result of climatic and pedological constraints, coupled with repeated forest fires. Forests cover 12,800 acres of the Etoile chain, i.e. 58.46 % of its surface area.

The Massif de l'Etoile and Massif du Garlaban comprise a natural barrier between Marseille, Aix, Gardanne and Aubagne, and largely influence the urban dynamics of the surrounding towns. Their peri-urban location means they are the target of extensive development projects moreover, the absence of a transition zone between the highly urbanized and natural areas is extremely apparent.

In their role as a peri-urban massif and genuine green lung of Marseille, Aubagne and their neighbouring towns, the Massif de l’Etoile and Massif du Garlaban play a significant social role, with an estimated frequentation of 250,000 visitors per year, most of which are locals due to their somewhat "confidential" access routes.

The massifs are home to numerous historic and prestigious sites, including oppida (ancient fortified hilltop settlements), oratories, Notre-Dame des Anges monastery, the Pilon du Roy rock and Garlaban hills.

They form part of the Etoile-Garlaban Natura 2000 site.

Information provided byOT Pays d'Aubagne

Apps
Outings

Access to the Bouches-du-Rhône's hill chains, which are highly exposed to forest fires, is regulated according to the local weather conditions. Thanks to the mobile app 'My Provence Envie de Balade' and the special 0811 20 13 13 hotline, walkers benefit from real-time information and can set out with a peaceful mind.

Discover
  • Surrounding cities

    Allauch
    Aubagne
    Bouc Bel Air
    Cadolive
    La Destrousse
    Les Pennes Mirabeau
    Marseille
    Mimet
    Peypin
    Plan de Cuques
    Roquevaire
    Saint Savournin
    Septèmes les Vallons
    Simiane Collongue

Outings

Massif de l'Etoile - Simiane-Collongue/Mimet, from Pilon du Roi to Baou Traouqua
Walk

Massif de l'Etoile - Simiane-Collongue/Mimet, from Pilon du Roi to Baou Traouqua

Simiane Collongue

These two mountain-top itineraries both offer fabulous views over Marseille and the Mediterranean Sea on one side and the Aix area and Sainte-Victoire mountain on the other - an exclusive viewpoint owed to the Massif de l’Etoile chain, the last limestone rampart separating Marseille and the…

Topo 13 : Simiane-Collongue : la Montagne du Baou Traouqua
Walk

Topo 13 : Simiane-Collongue : la Montagne du Baou Traouqua

Mimet

Deux parcours tracés en belvédères mais un mérite unique : celui de pouvoir embrasser d'un seul regard Marseille et la mer d'un côté, le pays d'Aix et la Sainte-Victoire de l'autre. Cette exclusivité, le randonneur la doit au massif de l'Etoile, dernier rempart calcaire qui sépare la…

Allauch : les collines de Pagnol
Hike

Allauch : les collines de Pagnol

Allauch

Entre la chaîne de l’Etoile et le Garlaban, dans le vallon sauvage creusé par le Jarret, affluent de l’Huveaune, le village de La Fève, sur la commune d’Allauch, sera le point de départ de la randonnée. Vous partirez à la découverte de l’envers des collines de Pagnol par un…

Nearby

  1. Etre Aux Anges

    Holiday rental

    Read more
  2. Villa Parpaillouns

    Holiday rental

    Read more
  3. Au Toqué du Vin

    Table 13

    Read more
  4. Mas Des Bannieres

    B&B

    Read more

Where to stay

Jas De Veyran
B&B

Jas De Veyran

Allauch

Between sea and hills between the mounts of Etoile and Garlaban, a stop for nature addicts. On an organic farm (vegetables, eggs, olives, saffron), beautiful farmhouse in a green setting. Between preserved nature and landscaped garden, a family bed & breakfast with very nice indoor and outdoor…

Colibri
B&B

Colibri

Allauch

In a beautiful villa in absolute calm to the doors of the Domaine Departemental de Pichauris and hiking circuits Marcel Pagnol, large bedroom 25 m² provence host located on the 1st floor of the House of the owners. At your disposal, the room with 1 bed 2 people, 1 child bed on request, 1 room…

Villa Peissot
Holiday rental

Villa Peissot

Allauch

On the heights of Allauch, the countryside just outside Marseille, single storey house totally independent on land of 1800 m². Parking on the property, trees (oaks and pines) and garden. Entry by small enclosed porch (7 m²). Living / dining area (flat screen TV, DVD player). Kitchen (microwave…

Mme Jouandeau
B&B

Mme Jouandeau

Allauch

Sur les hauteurs des collines d’Allauch, notre maison de type provençal bénéficie d’une jolie vue, de calme et d’ensoleillement. Nous serons heureux de vous y accueillir et de mettre à votre disposition une chambre d’hôtes de 17m² avec un lit 2 personnes de 140 x 200 située à…

Etre Aux Anges
Holiday rental

Etre Aux Anges

Allauch

Authentique mas provençal en pierre, du début du 18ème siècle, situé en pleine zone forestière au milieu des pins dans les collines de Marcel Pagnol. Nous mettons en location le rez de chaussée de notre maison afin d'y passer un agréable séjour. Vous serez en Provence dans un havre de…

Le Clos D'adrien
Holiday rental

Le Clos D'adrien

Allauch

"Le clos d'Adrien" est un appartement de charme de 92m², situé au rez-de-jardin d'une maison individuelle neuve exposée Sud-Ouest avec vue dominante sur la chaîne de l'Etoile, Allauch et la rade de Marseille pour horizon. Il vous offre tout le confort moderne dans un cadre tranquille et…

Le Petit Paradou
Holiday rental

Le Petit Paradou

Allauch

A quelques minutes de la ville et de son agitation, le plus grand calme vous attend. Appartement classé 4 étoiles totalement indépendant dans villa avec jardin et grande piscine commune avec les propriétaires. Location toute l'année. Appartement de 57 m2 comprenant séjour, salon, canapé,…

Mas Des Bannieres
B&B

Mas Des Bannieres

Allauch

Located at the foot of the hills of the famous village: Allauch. On the heights, the House has a very nice view, direct access to hiking trails and Sun all year. You will have a suite non-smoking in Garden in a recent Provencal villa with independent access. The House appealed to a large closet…

Le 13 Original
B&B

Le 13 Original

Saint Savournin

Au pied de la Chaine de l'Etoile, dans le triangle d'or " Aix Marseille Cassis " le 13 Original vous propose 1 suite de 47m2 composée de 2 chambres et 1 salon/chambre à la décoration soignée. Proche d'Aubagne (14kms), Cassis (20kms), Aix en Provence (20kms) ou Marseille (25kms). A votre…

Things to do

Atelier Confections Artisanales
Craftsman

Atelier Confections Artisanales

Allauch

Furniture upholsterer, Sandrine made curtains, curtains, cushions, tablecloths, top of bed, blinds fabrics, bed linen, foam and cover of armchair and sofa, installs curtain rods and curtains... Do not hesitate to contact for a free estimate!

Sacro e Profano
Clay

Sacro e Profano

Allauch

Sculptor author, Mario offers artistic creations on all materials (plaster, paper, resin and bronze or marble), and moulds in plaster and ��lasthom��re and casts, but also to the creations of architecture of Interior and exterior (masks, columns, fountains, statues, busts, lamps...).…

Atelier Prévitera Création
Craftsman

Atelier Prévitera Création

Allauch

Artisan jeweller, jewellery, the Pr��vitera workshop is at your request any custom jewelry. Creation and manufacture of gold jewellery or fantasy, exclusive model, processing, repair, way, redemption of the old gold work. You will also find a former jewelry space. Free quote.

L'ancien castrum d'Allauch
Site

L'ancien castrum d'Allauch

Allauch

The former castrum of Allauch was built on the site of a construction of lesser importance by the canons of the Major in Marseille, lords spiritual and temporal of Allauch since 1121 approximately between 1141 and 1148.Today, this heritage is us through a path down climbing along in Pine Hill.…

Chapelle Notre Dame du Château
Monument

Chapelle Notre Dame du Château

Allauch

Formerly Chapel Notre Dame de Beauvoir, to remind the magnificent panorama you can enjoy from this location, or Belv��zer our Lady of Ch��teau date from the 12th century. It has retained its foundations and some walls of origin. Several times restored, formerly Parish Church of Allauch,…

JG Brod
Craftsman

JG Brod

Allauch

Family business, JG Brod is specialized in industrial embroidery on all materials (leather, clothing, sports equipment,...).Guillaume and Jo��lle Bugeja personalize and realize all your projects whether you are professional or special.

Le Village de Cadolive
Site

Le Village de Cadolive

Cadolive

L'histoire de Cadolive est intimement liée avec celle de Saint-Savournin car jusqu'en 1900, Cadolive n'est qu'un hameau de Saint-Savournin. L'eau de la fontaine alimente le village en eau potable depuis 1867 suivant un débit moyen de 15 litres à la minute. Comme tous les villages aux…

Le Grain de Selle
Craftsman

Le Grain de Selle

Mimet

Leather worker

Musée des symboles et du sacré
Museum

Musée des symboles et du sacré

Allauch

Au cœur du village provençal, le Musée d’Allauch accueille ses visiteurs dans l’ancien bâtiment de l’hôtel de ville, entièrement réhabilité. Le musée présente ses collections sur plusieurs niveaux d’exposition aux ambiances modernes selon trois thématiques : -…

Where to eat

Au Toqué du Vin
Table 13

Au Toqué du Vin

Allauch

Après avoir fait leurs classes dans divers étoilés de la région (notamment Le Mas des Herbes Blanches, L'Oustau de Baumanière et La Cabro d'Or), Mathieu et Julia Genre ont ouvert ce bar à vin restaurant doté de la plus belle terrasse d'Allauch. Tandis que lui propose une sélection de vins…

Le Grand Puech
Cuisine de Provence

Le Grand Puech

Mimet

Chef Annaïck Czizek got off to a flying start, when she was spotted 20 years ago by Olivier Scola - the famous Aix chef of Ze Bistro - who then trained her. The young woman lived up to expectations and took over the restaurant at the Grand Puech Hotel, in the hilltop village of Mimet. Her first…

Inspirations

Art-de-vivre

The Sun

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Tradition

Christmas in Provence and 'Santon' Figurines

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Tradition

Lavender

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More inspirations

Serving tourism

Bouches-du-Rhône Tourisme is a non-profit ‘association loi 1901’ organisation.It is entrusted by the Conseil Départemental (or regional council) to promote tourism in Bouches-du-Rhône while respecting the environment and local residents, and guaranteeing visitors a top-quality experience.

The best of the destination

So that everyone’s hopes and tastes are catered for, Bouches-du-Rhône Tourisme promotes must-see destinations which take visitors off the beaten track, using its deep understanding of the area and its neutral role as a non-profit organisation.