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Take a run along the coast in St Tropez | © akunamatata/Flickr
Take a run along the coast in St Tropez | © akunamatata/Flickr
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10 Peaceful Running Routes in the South of France

Picture of Alex Ledsom
Updated: 17 October 2017
Whether you’re looking to stride alongside Europe’s answer to the Grand Canyon or to jog through alpine villages on the Italian border, the south of France offers a variety of peaceful running routes.

Littoral St Tropez

The coastline around the chic village of St Tropez is rugged, picturesque and can be surprisingly uncrowded in the early summer mornings – maybe because everyone has often partied too hard the night before. Follow the coastal route, marked Le Littoral.

The route along the littoral in St Tropez
The route along the littoral in St Tropez | © akunamatata/Flickr
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Lac de Peyrolles

To the north of Aix, the lake at Peyrolles (a small town packed full of roadside fruit and vegetable markets) is an old quarry that was filled with water and is now a major rowing and swimming hub on hot summer days for the locals. There are running routes around the lake, a drinks stand for water and you can finish with a dip.

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Parc de la Torse

If you’re near Aix-en-Provence, join the morning joggers skirting the river Torse – past the yoga lessons and keep fit trainers working out on the grass. The Torse park is where you’re as likely to find young lovers as families and dog walkers; it’s one of the hubs of local Aixois life.

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Sainte-Victoire Mountain

Local artist Paul Cézanne painted his beloved Sainte-Victoire mountain again and again and it’s an ideal running area, just outside Aix-en-Provence. For ideas of the many routes to take, read our guide here.

Running around the Sainte Victoire | © Andy Maguire/Flickr

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Parc National du Mercantour

The south of France has a few national parks and people love the Mercantour because it’s at the foot of the Alps, close to the border with Italy. It’s a great opportunity to try peaceful routes with a steeper ascent.

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Via Rhôna

The Via Rhôna is an 815 km route that runs down the Rhone Valley from the Alps in Switzerland to the south of France. From Geneva, it passes through Lyon, Avignon and stops west of Marseille at the sea in Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône. Plenty of opportunities to find 20 or so kilometres for a peaceful and historic run.

A peaceful forest section of the ViaRhôna | © Guilhem Vellut/Flickr

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Luberon National Park

The Luberon is the area of inland Provence, full of vineyards and hilltop villages, like Gordes and Roussillon. The town of Apt is at the centre of the National Park, where you can run along the river.

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Lac Sainte-Croix

The Verdon gorge is Europe’s answer to the Grand Canyon and it winds its way into the Sainte-Croix lake. Even though the lake gets busy in the summer, its sheer size hides the masses of people.

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Porquerolles Island

The small island of Porquerolles, off the rugged coast of Hyères, is a jogging haven. It’s a protected area, where eucalyptus trees have been planted for shade and where cars aren’t allowed. Check out our guide on when and where to go.