Explore-Share logo and link to home

Sainte-Baume day hike in Provence, near Marseille

Join Fabrice, an experienced UIMLA-certified Mountain Leader, on this day hike in Provence to Sainte-Baume, the highest peak in the region. Enjoy spectacular views, visit a forest and a unique sacred cave!


1 Day

Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec




* Discover one of the most famous hikes in the area

* Enjoy wonderful wide views from the top of the mountain

* Visit a centenary forest and an impressive pilgrimage sanctuary


Sainte-Baume (meaning «holy cave» in French) is the highest mountain near Marseille, culminating at 1148 meters (3766 feet). The wide views from the top of the mountain, one of the nicest forests in the region and a spectacular cave and sanctuary are the highlights of this famous local hike near Marseille and Aix-en-Provence. 

Hiking to Sainte-Baume’s mountain top is not difficult and provide wide panoramic views over the whole region, from the Mediterranean Sea to the southern French Alps mountain range.

In Sainte-Baume we find a wonderful cave in the cliff, where Mary Magdalene is said to have retired after she was expelled by persecutions from the Holy Land. It became a sanctuary where many popes or French kings came to visit, such as Louis 14th of France.

As we start the hike, we visit one of nicest forests in the region, with centenary oaktrees, beeches, yews, among other species. Nature lovers always really enjoy this place.

We can easily adjust the lenght and level of this excursion, as we can do just an easy ascent to the sanctuary or the mountain ridge and then we can go further and higher for sporty hikers. So, depending on the group level and wishes, we can hike from 3 to 5 or 6 hours, and from 300 meters to 600 meters ascent (900 to 2000 feet).

This hike is possible during the winter, spring and fall, and it is better to avoid it in summer, from mid June to late September, due to high temperatures.

If you would like to discover this unique location near Marseille, just send me a request and book your trip! Come join me and spend a great hiking day in Provence.

You can check out my profile page for other great hiking tours in Provence, in the Verdon gorge, Calanques and in the French Riviera.

Price includes

- Guiding fee

Price details

Price per person for groups from 8 to 10 people: 35 EUR / Price per person for groups of 11people: 28 EUR / Price p/pers. for groups of 12: 25 EUR // The price includes guiding fee and a little snack. Picnic is not included./ For bigger groups, please contact us for conditions and prices.


More info

Equipment: Walking boots. Micro fleece mountain t-shirts (if possible, avoid cotton t-shirts). Cap. Water bottle (1 liter/pers). Sun protection, eye protection.

Meeting point

Plan-d'Aups-Sainte-Baume (1 hour from Aix en Provence, 1h45 min from Nice, 1h from Marseille)

About the guide

Guide profile image




Mountain Leader

I am a hiking guide (International Mountain Leader) who has been working all over France (including Provence and the Alps), Italy and Portugal since 2001. I speak fluent English due to my frequent trips to Taos Ski Valley (in New Mexico, USA where my family runs a great hotel and ski school), and my hiking trips in the American Southwest.

I live mainly in Nice (French Riviera), but I also move all over the Alps working in different alpine valleys. I often visit Martinique (French Caribbean island), where I enjoy rainforest and tropical hikes.

When I´m not guiding, I also work as a photographer, and like to climb, ski, play tennis, or kitesurf in my spare time. Additionally, I really enjoy botany and history.

I can guide you for a half day or for as many days as you like. I´ll take you to discover my favourite French Riviera alpine region, and the wild and large Mercantour National Park (counting 8 different valleys) near Nice, Monte Carlo and Cannes.

In my region we can enjoy the Mediterranean landscape at sea level. As we move into higher altitudes, we will discover alpine lakes, larch or pine forests, orchids and alpine flowers, open meadows, spectacular medieval perched villages and old baroque chapels and churches, with great historic value.

We can also discover the hiking hotspots in Provence such as Calanques National Park, Verdon gorges, Sainte Victoire and the Var region, with Saint Tropez a particular highlight.

I also love to hike in Italy in the very famous world heritage Cinque Terre (the amazing national park of the "Five Lands"), or in Liguria near San Remo.

And finally, I always enjoy taking my guests to the northern Alps: to Chamonix and Mont Blanc´s amazingly large panoramas or to the great Vanoise National Park, the largest in the heart of French Alps.


French | English



Request more information

What people are saying about Fabrice



We loved our hike with Fabrice! My family and I had the best time and he was so knowledgeable on the area we were hiking with regards to the history and flora/fauna. Afterwards he even took us through a beautiful town and local winery. This experience was the highlight of our trip in France!


We had an amazing trip, we wanted to explore the Mercantour region, reconnect with nature, and spend quality time as a couple. Fabrice understood the brief, was clear in his guidelines to prepare the trip, proposed different options, and, ultimately, adapted the hikes on a day to day basis based on the weather. For example, instead of having us hike all day in the mountains in pouring rain on the first day, he adapted the program and took us for a hike all around Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat along the riviera coast. The hikes were stunning, especially at this time of the year (fall) with amazing lights and colors. We highly recommend Fabrice as a guide, he is very knowledgeable on the fauna&flora, local history, on wolves. He also initiated us to some key principles of Nordic walking and mindful walking. Thanks Explore & Share team for connecting us. We definitely will do it again and recommend to friends.



Fabrice is a first-class guide! Taking into account last-minute weather changes and after assessing our fitness, he quickly customised an exciting itinerary that led us from the Préalpes to the beautiful hilltop villages of Gourdon, Tourettes-sur-Loup and Saint-Paul-de-Vence. He pointed out great photo opportunities, so we managed to take plenty of nicely-framed photos on our smartphones. Fabrice also introduced us to the game of pétanque and thanks to him, we were able to understand and appreciate the games as they were being played by the locals during our trip.



Fabrice was a wonderful guide with a wide knowledge of not only the history of the area but the flora and fauna of the French Mediterranean coast. The hike provided beautiful views of the cities along the coast as well as the mountains behind them. Highly recommend both the hike and the guide.



Thanks again, it was one of our favourite moments from the holiday!

You may also like

Join our newsletter!

Stay up-to-date on the best adventures.