Length 5.2 km (3.2 miles), terrain flat
For more running routes, see Route List
Fréjus is a city with two souls: the ancient town crowning the hilltop several kilometers from the coast, and the modern, touristic area between the two. Most tourists, of course, find themselves somewhere near the beach and the large marina. The natural place to run there is along the beach.
But after a few beach runs, you might be ready for something totally different. And the Base Nature park is just the right thing. It occupies the site of an ex French Naval Air Station, that ended operations in 1995 after a long history that began in 1911. Twelve years after the base closed, the park was born on the same site, with all the airport buildings and runways left intact.
|Running the perimeter trail in Base Nature|
|Map of the park routes near the entrance|
The park is only accessible in several spots: at the north- and south-corners along the eastern side, and at the police station, along Rue des Batteries. This route uses the south-east corner, at the beach.
The Base Nature Route
So, if you're ready to head out, let's go!
We'll start at the west mole of Port Fréjus, just to give the run an interesting send-off. The mole is located at the water end of Boulevard de la Mer. Take a look around: the yachts are waiting silently in their slips, and the Mediterranean waves are slamming into the giant rocks on the outside of the mole.
|Port Fréjus harbor mole, looking towards Base Nature|
|Trail along the west beach|
Keep running after the paved sidewalk turns into a dirt trail. You'll pass a little lagoon on the right.
|The lagoon, looking a bit dried-out in July|
|Follow that guy on the bike to stay on the trail!|
You'll come to the southern point of the park, where the trail turns northwards, to the right, at one end of the runway. The runway is mainly used by people taking a shortcut to the west end of the beach, and as an in-line skating trail.
|Passing the end of the runway|
When you reach the north edge of the park, and turn eastwards, you'll run parallel to a road that you can sometimes hear, as well as an amusement park.
|Running along the north side, with old Fréjus in the distance|
NOTE: this corner has another pedestrian entrance, and is the one to use if you're staying in the old-town area.
This stretch is paved: the old taxi-ways for the navy base. You'll pass another old French Naval Air Rescue plane, then come to the group of playing fields.
|Old French Navy plane|
|Running past the sports fields, back towards the beach|