Day trip to Clue de la Cerise

Proximity to the alps and the sea is a major draw for those who call the French Riviera home. In just under an hour by car you can reach the mountains from the shoreline of Nice. The infamous mountain chain turns into a popular skiing destination in the winter and offers panoramic hiking trails in the summer.

Given the temperature has been in the 90s and we’ve been without AC, when Edouard’s friend and business partner, Ben, and his girlfriend Muriel suggested that we spend the day in the mountains to enjoy a cooler climate and swim at Clue de la Cerise we jumped at the chance. In French, a clue is a canyon or valley that has a river running through it and cerise literally means ‘cherry.’

The views on the way to our destination were stunning in and of themselves. Winding roads (not ideal for motion sickness) provided new angles of lush green forest at every turn.


After a 20 minute descent into the canyon on a fairly steep gravel path, the only way to walk alongside (or in) the river was to carefully hop from rock to rock. I was sure I crunched my ankle a few times, but luckily no lasting damage was done.

Looking down into the canyon from Pont de la Cerise.
Descending into the canyon.

Due to the amount of rocks in the water, we kept our sneakers on even when swimming in order to get in and out more easily. The pristine seafoam green river that flows through the canyon is a refreshing 73 degrees and was calling our names after the warmer-than-expected hike.

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Now the hike back up the steep rocks and gravel trail was quite tough. And it was hotter than usual for this time of year. But it was beautiful and worth it for such a lovely day. If you’re ever in the Côte d’Azur and are itching for the mountains, Clue de la Cerise is an unforgettable place.

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Sunbathers enjoy a picnic on the rocks