Parc du Mugel, La Ciotat

(500+ reviews on the web)
Nature / Park
The Parc du Mugel is a municipal park and botanical garden in the town of La Ciotat, in the French department of Bouches-du-Rhône, on the Mediterranean coast of France between Marseille and Toulon. It is listed among the Notable Gardens of France by the French Ministry of Culture.HistoryIn 1805 the park was divided into three properties, which were joined in 1870. In 1923 the land was purchased by Marseille coal merchant Louis Fouquet, who created the tropical garden. In 1941 the one of the buildings on the site was converted into a youth hostel. Among other notable guests was Dr S. Goldschlager and his wife Sala, refugees from Nazi Europe. In 1947 the house and park was bought by the Bonzo family, who sold thirteen hectares in 1952 to the town of La Ciotat. The town eventually bought the entire property, and, in 1982, the park was opened to the public.The siteThe park, twelve hectares in size, is located on the edge of the calanque of La Ciotat, a rocky inlet of the Mediterranean, and has a small beach on the calanque. It is at the foot of a massive rock, Le Bec d'Aigle (Eng: The Eagle's Beak), 155 meters high, which shelters the site from the wind, while the Mediterranean warms it in the winter, and keeps the temperature down in the summer.The Bec d'Aigle is composed of an unusual agglomorate called "Poudingue" ("Pudding"), which is believed to be the remnant of a former continent, the pyreneo-sardo-corse land mass, which once occupied the Mediterranean. The park is watered by several small reservoirs, which capture the rain running off the rock.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Amazingly clear water for a pebbled beach so close to a ship yard. The park is reasonably well maintained and manned by a security guard. Great views when you get up high and lots of climbers bring th...  more »
  • I was really looking forward to hiking in the park—there are so many great reviews. We got there and there was a large iron gate. The park was closed. I asked the security guard why it was closed and ...  more »
  • Very nice but quite dry and hot so didn't bother trying to get to the upper parts. Free and with toilets!!  more »
Google
  • Worth a visit. A nice place to go for a swim, a hike and just to chill. Acces to the water through pebble beaches and rocks
  • The park was closed due to high winds. We still swam at the little beaches just down from the park which were very nice rock beaches and amazing blue water.
  • Nice park with many endless possibilities to go for a swim. Suitable for all ages. The shore is quite rocky so bring some shoes for swimming.
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  • Nice park area but what is really great is the access to the Mugel cliffs and the belvedere view point.