GR 2013 Trail

Where did this come from ?


The hike is a massive sociological fact (8 million registered practitioners in France) and a historically recent activity. At the end of the 19th century, with the advent of rail transport which makes it possible to easily reach the sites of walk, the excursionism develops everywhere in France – and in a spectacular way in Marseille. The famous Société des Excursionnistes Marseillais, created in 1897 by the publisher Paul Ruat, boasts, at the beginning of the 20th century, of 11,000 members. Passionate about maps, photography, techniques and nature, these proto-ecologists are shaping a new sensibility and opening new spaces to the social practice of hiking.



Walking artists are artists who place the question of territory and the act of walking at the center of their practice. This international niche of contemporary art, very established in the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy, is also present in France and singularly in Marseille, where a dozen of them recently formed part of the collective Le Cercle des marcheurs.
Among the influences of the walking artists, there are major figures of Land Art (Robert Smithson, Long Richard, Hamish Fulton), literary influences such as the psychogeography of Guy Debord (1955) or American photographers who participated in the exhibition New Topographics in 1975.
The sensitive exploration of the territory, the relationship between public space and private space, between city and nature and a desire to get out of the white cube and the museum are all issues that are important to walking artists.

GR2013 : the beggining

The GR2013 bears in its name its date of birth and its cultural specificity.
A 365-kilometer metropolitan trail imagined and marked on the occasion of Marseille Provence, European Capital of Culture 2013, it is also a sustainable project that invites you to observe, explore, learn and tell in order to better inhabit a territory. It is a public space that traces a physical and narrative continuity in the metropolitan area.
It allows an unprecedented circulation of inhabitants and visitors through 38 municipalities, over an area of ​​3000 km2.

Initiated with artists-walkers and hikers, the GR2013 also today brings together many collectives of architects and artists-builders who develop a concrete and poetic relationship to the territory.

By proposing to survey urban or peri-urban areas, it crosses contrasting landscapes (motorways and rivers, pavilions and hills, industrial, commercial, natural zones…) and invites the inhabitants, the expert or the visitor to build a more intimate relationship with the places.



The GR2013 is the fruit of a cooperation between many actors : communities, municipalities, the French Federation of hiking (departmental committee of the Bouches-du-Rhône and regional committee), Les Excursionnistes marseillais and hiking clubs, associations, artists, tourist and cultural actors…

The steering committee :  Conseil Départemental des Bouches-du-Rhône, La Fédération Française de Randonnée Pédestre, My Provence.
Walking artists: Nicolas Memain, Hendrik Sturm, Christine Breton, Geoffroy Mathieu, Christophe Galatry, Mathias Poisson.
Collectives of artists, inhabitants and architects builders : Le Cabanon vertical, Le collectif ETC, Yes We Camp, Collectif SAFI, OPP-GR®2013, Par Ce Passage Infranchi, Le Bureau de l’Envers, La Folie Kilomètre, Les Pas Perdus, Hôtel du Nord.


The GR2013 has a double loop shape around the Étang de Berre (aka Sea of ​​Berre) and the Étoile and Garlaban massif, following the idea that « the metropolis is organized around two large voids ».



The first loop : Around the sea of ​​Berre


Sequence 1

From Aix-en-Provence TGV train station to Port-de-Bouc – 48 km

How to get off the Arbois plateau towards the shores of the Etang de Berre and the Mediterranean, by going from a TGV station to a giant petrochemical complex passing by an airport.


Sequence 2

From Port-de-Bouc to Salon-de-Provence – 48 km

From the clay zone of the ponds to the wet Crau, by way of the Istrian coast and the biggest marshalling yard in the South of France, by the Craponne canal and the EDF canal.


Sequence 3

From Salon-de-Provence to Aix-en-Provence TGV station – 56 km

From the hills of Salon-de-Provence with views of the Lubéron, the Alpilles and the Camargue – to the Arbois plateau, crossing the Aurelia way, the Arc, and along the cornice of Rognac.


The second loop : around the Étoile massif.


Sequence 4

From Aix-en-Provence TGV train station to Marseille La Valentine – 60 km

From the plateau of Arbois to the commercial area of ​​La Valentine, passing through the area of ​​Plan-de-Campagne, Marseille crosses the coast or the land.


Sequence 5

From Marseille La Valentine to Plan d’Aups – 44 km

From Marseille to Sainte-Baume, up the Huveaune valley from the heights of Mount Carpiagne over the highway, and through the agricultural plain of Aubagne, the forest of Saint-Pons and the col de Bertagne.


Sequence 6

From Plan d’Aups to Gardanne – 46 km

From the mystic Sainte-Baume to the mining valley Gardanne, following the Huveaune until it clashes with Garlaban Pont de-Joux, then the massif of Marcel Pagnol, to then find the old path of Valdonne in the mining valley of Gardanne.


Sequence 7

From Gardanne to Aix-en-Provence TGV station – 49 km

From Gardanne to l’Arbois, at the price of a detour via Sainte-Victoire : Zola dam, Cours Mirabeau, Camp des Milles, former sanatorium of Arbois, and some departmental roads leading to large departmental sites.

Order the guidebook 


The guidebook is in french but contains all the maps necessary for your itinerary.

practical informations


The GR2013 is marked in red and yellow.

It corresponds to the charter of the GR of Countries. In the Bouches-du-Rhône, 100 voluntary walkers of the County Committee of Hiking maintain nearly 3000 km of marked trails including the GR2013.


Public transport

To prepare his walks and hikes is at your disposal to identify in real time the bus routes, Cartreize, TER, TGV that you will need for your trips.   


Hiking on the GR2013, safely

In summer, forest areas are more exposed to fire hazards. Also, to protect the walkers and the sites, the access including by the sea, the circulation, the presence of the people and the work in the forest massifs are regulated by prefectural decree from June 1st to September 30th and can be by municipal by-law. Access, movement and parking of vehicles except on roads open to public traffic are prohibited throughout the year. Get informed before going on a ride and call 0811 20 13 13 (0,06 €/minute) or visit or download the MyProvence app .


The crossing of MUCEM

MuCEM is open every day except Tuesdays and schedules change depending on the time of year, checks are required at the entrance according to the rules of visits.



We offer a first set of accommodation on the GR2013 from the guidebook. Check the map.


About crossing communes

Throughout the GR2013, find all the information on the news of the communes you cross by visiting the Tourist Offices.

The charter of the hiker of the Departmental Hiking Committee

Developed with the support of GRTgaz, the hiker’s charter aims to make all users of hiking trails aware of the need to preserve this environment and respect biodiversity.


The insurance

To be covered in its GR2013 practice, the Departmental Hiking Committee offers 2 insurance packages :

– As part of a club practice : The federal license

– As part of an individual practice : The Randocarte


Help us to take care of the trail

You noticed a degradation, a problem of markup, environment, a conflict of use ? Help us to report it to the relevant authorities by providing your information on the SURICATE platform. Report the wild dumps with the application committed daily.