As we mentioned in our last blog, continuing along the coast from Théoule sur Mer we kept going. There aren’t actually that many places to stop around the headland of the Esterel, and unless you get there early, you won’t find any parking in summer.
The first town of any size is Agay, which again must once have been a rather quiet fishing village. Mind you, the arrival of the railway line around the coast in the middle of the 19th century started a holiday home industry which seems to have exploded from the 1960s onwards. There isn’t much of charm in Agay now apart from a decent beach and a variety of restaurants. But you can get a splendid walk up to Cap Dramont.
Partly because of its military significance – there is still a naval observation post at the summit – Dramont has been miraculously spared the infestation of villas that has affected so much of the coast and remains a precious nature reserve. It’s spectacular at any time of the year but when we visited it recently it was particularly so with great breakers crashing over the jagged orange volcanic rocks. At the summit there are splendid views, which after the cold spell included far off snow-capped ranges of the upper part of Var.
We were also delighted that for the second time in our visits to Dramont we caught a glimpse of the spectacular, if unimaginatively named, Blue Rock Thrush. This time Chris managed to get a (poor) photo of it before it flew off into the inaccessible crags.
Exactly how beleaguered quiet, tree-covered spaces such as this are can be seen by the frankly brutal edifice of a holiday village complex that almost encircles Dramont. It is great it has been saved, but it’s a pity so much else was lost.