When the car is parked on the D92 main road towards Tanneron, the journey starts at 1.2 km where you will find the starting point of the hiking trails in the Mimosa forest in Mandelieu: Piste du Grand Duc, Piste des Fenouillers and Piste de Barbossi. But already at the first 1200 m, you sense the magnificent impression of the trip on the way into Europe’s largest mimosa forest.
At the starting point of the various trails, you choose which one you want to go. The trails can be combined according to how far you want to go. You can see the trails on the fine overview map located at the starting point.
The paths are wide and well laid out, and everyone can join in. There is usually plenty of sun and great views along the way, several places overlooking the Baie de Cannes and Lérins Islands.
- Length: 2 x 1.2 km + 2.5 to 6.5 km
- Difficulty degree: Easy
- Time spent: 1-3 hours
- Elevation +/- 257 m
The trail starts from the parking lot “Parking du Grand Duc” on the D92 (see map). Most will probably come from the A8 motorway, and via exit 40 (Mandelieu) you quickly enter the D92 towards Tanneron. From here, it takes only a few minutes before you arrive at the parking lot.
The walks are very popular, and especially on weekends during the high season of mimosa. There can be an unusual number of visitors. There will be a lot of cars and you will have to park along the main road.
All the way up to the car park, located on the right side, the roadsides are filled with mimosa trees.
Opposite the parking lot, the first part of the route begins. There is a sign showing that there is a starting point for the different trails 1.2 km ahead.
Piste du Grand Duc and Piste de Barbossi
At the starting point, there are 3 main routes to choose from. For example, if you choose the blue (piste de Grand Duc) and brown (piste de Barbossi) in combined with each other, it is a total of about 8.5 km including the trip from the parking lot. But there are also smaller experience trails, which are between 360 m and 1320 m long.
You walk on wide trails with amazing views and with good signage all the way. Everywhere the mimosas bloom. In the distance you can see the azure sea and the Lérins Islands off Cannes, making the view even more impressive.
It goes up and down evenly with several obvious options along the way to have a brought lunch.
A wonderful trip filled with clear signs that spring is coming.
If you want to pick some branches of mimosas, then a good place in the southernmost corner of the blue path. Usually on the routes, the mimosas hang a little out of reach, but here is a small side path where the mimosas stand all the way out to the path and at a low height.
Mimosa Festival in Mandelieu
Mandelieu-la-Napoule is known as one of the great hotbeds of celebration of the yellow mimosa. Every February, the city celebrates the mimosa with lots of colorful decorations and processions. See more info on the festival’s website: The Mimosa Festival
The Mimosa blooms from early January to sometime in March in Provence and Côte d’Azur, and are the first real spring heroes. From Bourmes-les-Mimosas to Mandelieu-la-Napoule, 130 km of hiking routes have been combined where the mimosa can be admired in its natural element.
The yellow mimosa and the “real” mimosa, also called “Sensitive plant.”
There are generally some misconceptions about the different mimosa species.
The most well-known mimosa – also called “Sensitive plant” – is the real mimosa (Mimosa pudica), which is an indoor flower in purple color. It is called the sensitive plant, as it folds its leaves together by touch.
However, it is not related to the yellow mimosa, which is part of the silver acacia trees (Acacia dealbata), and originally originated in Australia.
It is believed to have been introduced on the southern French Riviera by a wintering aristocrat in 1860. It typically grows like shrubs or trees.
By Tommy Sverre – 2022
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