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 Provence Tourisme

  • 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

Nearby

  1. Colibri

    B&B

    Read more
  2. Syndicat d'Initiative d'Allauch

    Tourist office

    Read more
  3. Tournesol

    Holiday rental

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  4. Mme Jouandeau

    B&B

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Where to stay

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.…

Mme Jouandeau
B&B

Mme Jouandeau

Allauch

Sur les hauteurs des collines d'Allauch chères à Marcel Pagnol, 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'hôte et sa tropézienne (petite terrasse) situées…

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…

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…

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…

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…

La Maison Peissot
Holiday rental

La Maison Peissot

Allauch

Villa avec jardin et piscine, située à Allauch, une commune à proximité de Marseille et de Cassis, qui a su garder son caractère et ses traditions provençales. Vous y serez à l'écart de l'agitation de la ville et du littoral, et vous apprécierez la fraîcheur des pins qui abritent…

Things to do

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…

Les guides des Calanques et du Verdon
Low mountain guide

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.

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…

Les Mines de Saint Savournin
Site

Les Mines de Saint Savournin

Saint Savournin

Saint-Savournin est une des nombreuses communes qui compose le bassin houiller de Provence dont Gardanne est peut-être la plus emblématique, avec la fermeture du dernier puits de mine en février 2003. Ce bassin s'étend de l'Étang de Berre à l'ouest jusqu'à la vallée de l'Arc vers Trets à…

Moulin Ricard
Monument

Moulin Ricard

Allauch

Le Moulin Louis Ricard, cinquième et dernier moulin construit sur l'esplanade Frédéric Mistral, fut bâti en 1729 par Louis Ricard, boulanger à Allauch. Le moulin Louis Ricard est le seul parmi les 5 situés sur l'esplanade qui possède une cave. Seuls quelques moulins en Provence sont…

Le Moulin Bleu
Greed, Greediness

Le Moulin Bleu

Allauch

As soon as you push the door of the blue mill, a "smell of Provence" invaded you.Both odors, mixtures of chocolate, Orange, flower vanilla or better still by his warm and Provencal atmosphere.You really enter deep Provence. Of authenticity, Moulin Bleu, a line of allaudiens confectioners since…

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,…

Esplanade des Moulins
Site

Esplanade des Moulins

Allauch

The mills were first was probably located within the Castle (12th century), and then North Dame Street before to find on the current place of the San Sebastian Church. The construction of cutting them wind and requires to move, once again, to the current Plaza which was then only a mound at the…

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.…

Where to eat

Le Grand Puech
Food guide restaurant

Le Grand Puech

Mimet

L'hôtel Restaurant Le Grand Puech à Mimet, village le plus haut des Bouches-du-Rhône vous propose un cadre exceptionnel, sa vue dégagée sur la chaîne de l'Etoile offre lors de vos déjeuners ou dîners d'affaires un dépaysement total. Le nouveau chef Matthieu MATHERON nous arrive tout…

Inspirations

The rap in Marseille part 1

The rap in Marseille part 1

With the successive acclaim of bands such as IAM, La Fonky Family, Psy 4 de la Rime and Jul, Marseille has earned its status as one of France's foremost rap capitals - the movement has been hoisted to heritage status in this city known for its gift of the gab. But how did rap culture become rooted in Marseille?

La Poutargue

La Poutargue

'Boutargue', an amber-coloured jewel fished on the shores of Martigues...

The 'OM'

The 'OM'

Lifestyle

The 'OM' is more than just a symbol, it's a way of life!

The accent

The accent

Art de vivre

The accent: our identity