To start 2018 with a colourful stroll, head for La Croix des Gardes and its flowering mimosas.
Less than a kilometre from La Croisette, a natural hilltop area houses one of the most beautiful mimosa forests on the Côte d’Azur. A must for your itinerary, you will discover a magical view point over the Bay of Cannes, a wide variety of Mediterranean trees, and the opportunity for a beautiful stroll away from the town’s beaten paths.
Approximately 30 minutes on foot or 10 minutes by bus (lines 7 or 10) from Vieux-Port, it is a little steep, but it’s worth the reward once you get there!
Until the start of the 20th century, la Croix des Gardes scrub-covered hill. In 1919, a wealthy industrialist built a Florentine-style château there, in the centre of a 12-hectare garden. The Croix des Gardes “trend” began and many beautiful homes resulted from the combination of the imagination of the architects and the wealth of the owners.
In 1864, the first mimosa imported from Australia to France was planted in Cannes La Bocca. Its cultivation began at La Croix-des-Gardes; the mimosa farmers then grew in number in the region, in Mandelieu, Pégomas, Tanneron and La Roquette. 500 young mimosas from five different varieties, measuring from 80 cm to 1.20 m high, were planted in 2013 at the heart of a 5000 m² area within the forest, in order to bring this activity of the past back to its former glory.
The walking trails are highly prized by locals, who come here to relax, play their favourite sport, or simply dawdle along…
There are several varieties of Mediterranean tree to be found here :
- Sweet Acacia with its yellow flowers (Acacia farnesiana), originally from Central America
- Mimosa (Acacia dealbata). The Australian tree was introduced to Europe following the journeys of Captain Cook.
- Mealy stringybark (Eucalyptus cinerea).
- Maritime pine and Stone pine
Between the pine trees, the Lérins Islands are 2 km away as the crow flies.
At the summit, the Cross!
In 1525, at the height of the Renaissance, the King who built Chambord and the Camp du Drap d’or set up a garrison of the Swiss Guards, the royal army elite, at the top of the hill where the cross stands.
Follow the rules in order to make the most of this stunning walk: do not smoke or drop litter. Do not drive around on vehicles. It is prohibited to pick the flowers, although the collection of one bouquet of mimosa per person is tolerated.
All the information on how to get there, what to do and what to see is available from the trip advisors at the Tourist Office on +33 (0)4 92 99 84 22.
You can find all the practical details and lots of other ideas for walks on : www.cannes-destination.fr
If you have questions or comments, please scroll down, I will be pleased to guide you!