Roquebrune-Sur-Argens, a beautiful French village set in the charming riviera landscapes. Located near the popular tourist resorts of Frejus and Saint-Raphael this lovely little village is fairly unknown.
The most iconic spot in Roquebrune-sur-argens is its rock. Le Rocher de Roquebrune is a magnificent rocky mound situated in the heart of Roquebrune. Standing at 372meters high it towers over the local towns and can be seen for miles. With a lake at the foot and a chapel at the summit, this is one of my favourite places on the French Riviera.
The Rock of Roquebrune Sur Argens
Le Rocher de Roquebrune, also known as the sleeping woman due to its shape, can be seen across many parts of the region and runs alongside the A8 motorway. From the motorway, the formation of the rock makes it look like a reclining woman. You can see the shape of a face, bosom and even the legs. It’s a fantastic view.
History of Rocher de Roquebrune
The rock is steeped in history. Both megalithic and iron age remains have been found throughout the rock. The chapel at the summit was built in the 16th century and although partially broken, still stands today. The rock was also home to a hermit. Brother Antoine, born in 1923 was a former Cistercian novice who made his home in a cave on the rock. You’ll find many videos on Youtube of interviews however none in English https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SineRcKhCIg&ab_channel=JacquesBourgarel
But it’s not just history that makes this rock so fascinating. The red sandstone rocks and the remarkable plants that grow on it are something else. There are many rare and protected plants that grow on the rock which are forbidden to be picked.
There’s also the famous 3 crosses at the end of the hike. The current 3 steel crosses were erected in 1991 to replace the old wooden ones that disappeared over time. the crosses represent 3 famous Crucifixion painters: Giotto, Grünewald and El Greco.
The Hike up Le rocher de Roqubrune sur argens
Hiking up to the top of the rock is no easy task. Starting at the bottom we took around 2 hours to reach the top. Obviously, the time it takes will depend on your fitness levels and at the time of the hike I was of average to unfit fitness.
The routes are marked out with coloured signs. These are sometimes hard to follow and we found ourselves lost a few times. Some routes are harder than others. The route we encountered contained a few occasions where you literally had to scale rocks with a small rope to hold on to.
The first time I experienced the rock I had no idea what I was getting into. I expected a smooth hike to the top, an uncomfortable walk. But me and my flip flopped feet had to stop half way up after the realisation that this wasn’t just an uphill walk. So, for my second attempt, I remembered to wear trainers and arrived at the foot of the hill a lot better prepared.
We found parking along a road called le Rocher de palay. Here are the coordinates:43.453818, 6.612784. From the car park there is a sign with a map of the routes and from there, you can start your ascent.
The top of Le Rocher is a great place to relax, take a picnic and admire the stunning views of the Var region. Although still to be admired in the day time, the best views from the summit are, of course, to be had at sunrise and sunset, however I wouldn’t recommend climbing up or down in the dark.
Before you start your descent, remember the route you took up. We got lost. Completely lost. We ended up descending the rock on the other side and had a mammoth journey to get back to our car.
Hiking Rocher De Roquebrune Tips
- Take lots of water
- Wear sun lotion
- Wear appropriate shoes
- Plan your route in advance
- Take a picnic for the summit (and take your rubbish home with you)
- Plan in lots of time (at least 1.5 hour up and 1.5 hours down – more if you get lost).
- Remember your journey up (seriously, getting lost is not fun)
- Stick to the marked out routes – sometimes they’re hard to follow but ending up off the track could be dangerous.
- For an easier route, start in Le Muy
Our Experience and Campsite Recommendation at Roquebrune
We loved our hike up Roquebrune. In fact, it was actually the location of mine and Mike’s first date way back in 2014 and I’d love for us to do it again sometime. Getting lost on the way down was an experience neither of us will ever forget, mainly due to my bad attitude about the situation, great impression on a first date eh!
At the time we were working on different campsites in the South of France. Him on Camping Sunelia Holiday Green and I was working on Camping L’Etoile D’Argens. L’Etoile D’argens was the closer of the two campsites and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone wishing to visit Roquebrune for the day.