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 by Bouches du Rhône Tourisme

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

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…

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…

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. Garlaban

    Holiday rental

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  2. Bastide Le Temps des Secrets

    B&B

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  3. Villa Parpaillouns

    Holiday rental

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  4. A L'ombre Des Lauriers

    B&B

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Where to stay

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 Parpaillouns
Holiday rental

Villa Parpaillouns

Saint Savournin

Villa indépendante, situation dominante, dans clos résidentiel sur un terrain de 1000m² avec vue dégagée sur les collines. Grand séjour avec cheminée, cuisine équipée. 4 chambres, 2 salles de bains, 2 WC. (2lits de 160x200, 2 lits de 90x190, 1 clic-clac de 130x190). Une grande mezzanine…

A L'ombre Des Lauriers
B&B

A L'ombre Des Lauriers

Allauch

Au pied du village et des collines chères à pagnol, grande chambre provençale de 80 m² située au Rez-de-jardin de la maison des propriétaires. A votre disposition, la chambre avec 1 lit/2 pers. SdB avec baignoire et douche. WC indépendants. Séjour/salon privatif avec 1 canapé…

Garlaban
Holiday rental

Garlaban

Allauch

This lodging is located in the centre of a provencal village. Nice space, light with its small terrace full South and the view on the harbour of Marseille, the Islands, coves and "Côte bleue". 53 m 2, located on the 1st floor:-1 long room with bed 160 x 200 double.-1 Bedroom with bunk beds 90 x…

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…

New Hôtel Select
Hotel

New Hôtel Select

Marseille

Marseilles and its famous Canebière. The New Hotel SELECT is only a minute away from the Saint Charles train station and its TGV (French high-speed train), the metro (underground) and Gambetta car park. This is the perfect location, a veritable nerve centre for the business person, but also…

Etre Aux Anges
Holiday rental

Etre Aux Anges

Mimet

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 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…

Tournesol
Holiday rental

Tournesol

Cadolive

In the countryside, in a very quiet environment with hiking trails directly leaving from the house, the gite Tournesol is a haven of peace out of time. With adjoining terrace, it is located on the 1st floor and is adjoining another gîte. 3 other gites on site in total. A guard lives on the spot.…

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!

Santons de Provence Gilbert Orsini
Christmas crib figures

Santons de Provence Gilbert Orsini

Allauch

On the central square, the Church and the old town hall which today houses the Museum of Allauch, under the shade of the plane trees, Gilbert Orsini has installed its small santons dressed workshop: creation, modelling, molding, painting, dressing of santons dressed 25 and 30 cm.It offers…

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.

Domaine départemental de Pichauris
Mountains

Domaine départemental de Pichauris

Allauch

Le domaine de Pichauris, d’une superficie de plus de 1 300 hectares, où le Jarret prend sa source, est situé au nord-est de la commune d’Allauch, en position de belvédère, à 12 kilomètres au nord-est de Marseille. Il avoisine les communes de Peypin, Roquevaire, Aubagne, Cadolive, Mimet,…

Les guides des Calanques et du Verdon
Climbing instructor

Les guides des Calanques et du Verdon

Allauch

Les Guides des Calanques vous proposent de découvrir la Provence et les calanques en pratiquant le canyoning, le canyon, l'escalade, le rafting et la randonnée.

Musée des symboles et du sacré
Museum

Musée des symboles et du sacré

Allauch

Au coeur 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 : - L'anthropologie…

Le Village de Saint-Savournin
Site

Le Village de Saint-Savournin

Saint Savournin

Petit village provençal, Saint Savournin est construit sous le rocher de la chaîne de l'Etoile. Il est situé entre Aix et Marseille. Composé de plusieurs quartiers et du hameau de la Valentine, le village s'étend au milieu de terres cultivables et de forêts. Plusieurs sentiers balisés…

Luciefer
Craftsman

Luciefer

Allauch

Située à Allauch, tout près de Marseille, l'entreprise Ferronnerie Luciefer est spécialisée dans la métallerie,et la fabrication de ferronnerie sur-mesure en effet nous créons des pergolas, des rampes, des garde-corps, du mobilier,de la décoration,des portails... Pour des modèles…

Bijouterie l'écrin
Craftsman

Bijouterie l'écrin

Allauch

Creation, manufacture and repair of jewellery jewellery. Work way and free estimate. Lionel manufactures jewellery at the request of the client. No limit to its creation.

Where to eat

Le Grand Puech
Food guide restaurant

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…

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…

Inspirations

Tradition

The Three Kings Cake

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Lifestyle

Fashion

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The Thirteen Desserts

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More inspirations