• Exploring Massif des Calanques (btw. Marseille and Cassis, Provence): At the old fishing port of Cassis, with its white cliffs and beaches that were a favorite of Fauvist painters, you can rent a boat and explore the calanques, small fiords along the rugged coast. Covered with gorse and heather, the white cliffs are the backdrop for this adventure. By car from Cassis, you can drive to the creek of Port Miou, with its rock quarries. To reach the Port Pin and En Vau creeks farther west, you must travel on foot (trails are well signposted). You can, however, take a boat excursion from Cassis. If you go on your own (not by boat), take a picnic and spend the day in these cool crystal waters.
  • Driving to the top of Mont Ventoux: The highest peak in Provence is the holy grail of cyclists eager to follow the tracks of Tour de France professionals. You can still see the race markings on the road as it winds its way to its barren 1,912m (6,273 ft.) peak. Along the way you'll pass cyclists doggedly tackling the twisting roads, their loved ones waiting by the side to photograph them in all their exhaustion. The views from the top make it all worthwhile.
  • Water Rambling in the Gorges (Gorges du Verdon, Western Côte): This emerald-green canyon is the largest in Europe and the second largest in the world after America's Grand Canyon. One of the most unusual ways to explore the canyon is aqua-rando (water rambling), a mixture of floating and swimming in rapids that allows adventurous travelers to reach sections of the canyon that are inaccessible to rafts or hikers.
  • Dancing with Wolves (Mercantour National Park, French Riviera): Within an hour of the French Riviera's glittering coastline lies one of Europe's largest national parks, the 70,000-hectare (173,000-acre) Mercantour. In this sparsely populated paradise of gorges, waterfalls, and wild orchid meadows, you'll find wolves. Since their reappearance in 1992, there has been fierce debate between ecologists and shepherds. Listen to the divided opinions and see the wolf packs for yourself at Scénoparc in Saint-Martin Vésubie.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.