France : Côte d’Azur

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Authors: Chris Craggs
Published: November 2010
Stock: In stock

Price: £24.95


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The cliffs of the South of France rocketed to popularity back in the 1980s when it was realised what great climbing was available and how good the weather was down there. Since then other areas have attracted the attention of travelling climbers and once-popular venues such as the cliffs of the Calanques, Sainte Victoire and even the Verdon have rather fallen off the radar in recent years.

Following from the recent well received France : Haute Provence guidebook, France : Côte d'Azur reassessed these famous cliffs and also includes some of the great venues around Toulon, the sunniest city in France. Plus there is the popular winter venue of Châteauvert, the less well-known Esterel and Châteaudouble areas, as well as the world-famous Verdon Gorge. Add in Saint Jeannet and a selection of cliffs in the Nice area and this will become an essential volume for any climber.

Presented in the universally praised Rockfax style, the book gives the reader with clear landscape photos of each crag, never-before-seen close-up photo-topos, and a wealth of action photos taken specifically for the book. Whether you're planning your trip from home, or choosing your next route at the crag, this guide has everything you're looking for.


Crags included

Sainte-Victoire
Les Calanques - Les Goudes, Sormiou, Morgiou, Luminy, En-Vau - Sample chapter
Toulon Area - Baou de Quatre Ouro, Citerne, Lierres, Mount Coudon, Fenouillet
Châteauvert
Châteaudouble - Marinouns, Baou des Prannes, Rebouillon
Verdon Gorge
Massif de l'Esterel
Gorge du Loup
Saint-Jeannet
Monaco Area - La Trinite, Peillon, Gorbio, La Turbie


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8 Reviews for France : Côte d’Azur

  1. utestit said on

    Great guide, great area.
    Please note a number of new routes have been opened in the Toulon area (Coudon). 20+ or more?
    The great Chris Craggs* may consider scheduling some updating trip / update? ;)
    * I only know him from his publications in France, but those are great… as the area is (sorry, I’m French :o)

  2. Stephane said on

    Chris Craggs has been writing guidebooks, many for Rockfax, for a long time now, mainly to interesting foreign destinations so it should come as no surprise that he’s found another. Well, when I say found, it’s always been there, but we Brits have a habit of going to a few key honey-pot venues. This 400 page monster covers the following crags, many of which I have never previously heard of, such is the wealth of amazing climbing in France. One of three Rockfax guides currently in print to the south of France (Langeudoc-Roussillon, Cote d’Azur and Haute Provence), with another on the way (Ariege), it genuinely seems unfair just how much quality limestone they have, and just how many pretty settings the limestone is to be found in!The guide itself is as inspiring as any other modern Rockfax, packed full of decent photos, clear topos, useful information such as GPS coordinates for parking areas, the standard icon-based classification system, and some intro pages in foreign languages. At the latest Banff Mountain Festival there were just three books in the mountain composition category (guidebooks to you and me) and they were all British. We ought to be very proud of our standards.

  3. Dominic Aughton - Rucksack Club said on

    After two weeks of unremitting rain and giant slugs in Lauterbrunnen, Helen and I were fed up. Finding inspiration in our newly-acquired copy of SunRock we headed south to the Promised Land: white limestone, blue sky, golden sunshine and gleaming bolts. The year was 1990 and the experience effectively put an end to our short-lived careers as Alpinists. More than twenty years later, and at least as many weeks’ climbing, we’ve grown to love the South of France; a relationship illustrated by the two feet of bookshelf which are now home to the guides we’ve collected along the way. These include the original, now dog-eared, SunRock, a bunch of other ‘selected climbs’ collections and numerous local guides: from illicit stapled downloads through photocopied pamphlets to full colour crag-fests. The trouble is that we haul these around with us on every visit: a pain in the campervan and ruinously expensive on easyJet! Until now…
    Enter the Rockfax team with these first two volumes of a three-part series. Côted’Azur includes the coastal areas around Marseille, Toulon, Nice and Monaco as well as the inland areas of Gorges du Loup and Sainte Victoire, not to mention the Verdon Gorge. All the expected Rockfax hallmarks are in evidence: familiar colour-coding and icons to assist selection of the right crag and the routes to do; clear crag shots and topos making route identification a breeze; and great action shots to inspire the visiting climber (or to keep you motivated on the wall over the winter!) A welcome enhancement is the inclusion of GPS coordinates for parking spaces (really handy when you’re rumbling along a dirt track and wondering which pullin the path will leave from). Another innovation is a mention for the definitive local guides (a useful source of reference and a great memento of a trip).
    Aside from reducing our baggage allowance by about 20kg per trip, the biggest boon from these new guides is the generally consistent treatment of grades across these diverse climbing areas. France is notorious for sandbag grading, especially on the more ‘glisée’ classics. The Rockfax team have retained the local grades where sensible but have evened-out some of the more extreme anomalies, in a welcome crutch to the easily dented Brit ego.
    This should be enhanced further by the inclusion of all these routes (almost 5,000 across the two volumes) on the rockfax.com database. On a personal level I’m especially inspired for another visit to Verdon, with the clarity of the photo-topos helping to reduce some of the uncertainty engendered by routes of up to ten pitches. It will be a busy Easter break this year to clear the decks for the 2011 publication of the final volume in the trilogy:
    Languedoc – Roussillion. Bring it on!

    • Hasan said on

      Just received my copy of the new guide and it is really inspiring. The photos are great, and me and my old fogies have started planning for May next year to road test the orange spots. The best of Xmas reading! Congratulations to all the team on setting THE standard for modern guidebooks.

  4. Steve Crowe said on

    Rockfax’s second selective guide to France is filled with inspirational ideas for your forthcoming Easter trip. Packed within its 400 pages it includes over 25 superb crags along the sunny Mediterranean Coast of France, from Marseille to Monaco. It also includes inland venues such as Sainte-Victoire, Chateauvert and the Verdon Gorge. With the usual excellent photo diagrams and clear maps it is easy to get an appreciation of the crags even before you leave home! Chris Craggs has been climbing in France since the 1980′s and this guide reflects his detailed experience and knowledge of the area. The guide seems well balanced with a good mix across grades of both single and multi pitch routes it offers something for all tastes. There is also a third edition in the Rockfax France series due out later in 2011 covering the South West from the Ardeche to Gorges du Tarn (Languedoc-Roussillon) however there is enough clear and concise information in this one volume to provide sufficient climbing for many years to come! Steve Crowe climbonline.co.uk

    • Danuta said on

      The latest book in the Rockfax series to France covers a huge area from Marseille to the Italian border and inland as far as the Verdon Gorge. With 400 pages describing over 25 crags this is a big book and seems excellent value for money (under 25 pounds).As usual (with Rockfax) the photo topos are clear and easy to use, their system of symbols and brief descriptions for each route is enough without over doing it and the maps and access details are clear and simple. Basically, Rockfax know how to make good guidebooks and their formula is now considered to be the industry standard. The first book in this series, Haute Provence, immediately led to renewed interest in crags such as Buoux, the Dentelles de Montmirail and those around Buis Les Baronnies and the increased numbers of visitors was obvious (by the numbers of climbers using the book at the crags).The Cote d’Azur guidebook is far more selective, both in the crags chosen and the number of routes described at each. If this was a conscious decision by Rockfax to avoid the same criticism (and associated backlash from locals) then the latest book should go along way to appeasing them and uphold the Rockfax philosophy.… visit for the full review.

  5. Ollie Ryall said on

    The latest book in the Rockfax series to France covers a huge area from Marseille to the Italian border and inland as far as the Verdon Gorge. With 400 pages describing over 25 crags this is a big book and seems excellent value for money (under 25 pounds).
    As usual (with Rockfax) the photo topos are clear and easy to use, their system of symbols and brief descriptions for each route is enough without over doing it and the maps and access details are clear and simple. Basically, Rockfax know how to make good guidebooks and their formula is now considered to be the industry standard.
    The first book in this series, Haute Provence, immediately led to renewed interest in crags such as Buoux, the Dentelles de Montmirail and those around Buis Les Baronnies and the increased numbers of visitors was obvious (by the numbers of climbers using the book at the crags).
    The Cote d’Azur guidebook is far more selective, both in the crags chosen and the number of routes described at each. If this was a conscious decision by Rockfax to avoid the same criticism (and associated backlash from locals) then the latest book should go along way to appeasing them and uphold the Rockfax philosophy.
    … visit www.climbapedia.com for the full review.

  6. Dave Hume said on

    Just received my copy of the new guide and it is really inspiring. The
    photos are great, and me and my old fogies have started planning for May
    next year to road test the orange spots. The best of Xmas reading!
    Congratulations to all the team on setting THE standard for modern
    guidebooks.

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