Alpes-Maritimes (06140) Altitude: 380 m
This little village is officially a "lieu dit" (literally "named place"), in the commune of Tourrettes-sur-Loup. Along the twisty and scenic road between Pré-du-Lac and Tourrettes, Pont-du-Loup is down in the lowest part of the valley, at the mouth of the Gorges-du-Loup.
It's a tiny place, with a couple of old hotel buildings that give it a feeling of bygone times. The tall pillars of the old railway viaduct cross the valley here, towering above the buildings. The road through Pont-du-Loup crosses high over the Loup river as it rushes down out of the gorge.
On the up-river side of the bridge, the long building of the Florian candy factory, Confiserie des Gorges-du-Loup, sits along side the rushing river. Although seemingly geographically lost down here in the valley, the "Confiserie" is widely known for its candied fruits.
The once-lovely, old hotel "La Réserve" stands derelict now (Dec 2002) and about to be put on the auction block. The public auction notice does point out that, after being dynamited a couple of times, some major work will be required on the walls and foundations to obtain the required stabililty. Local speculation has it that the two late-night bombings (nobody injured) were late-payment notices from irregular (hopefully) institutions.
In days past, a mid-day meal on the sunny terrace would be followed by a walk across a footbridge below the hotel, and a stroll on the wooded island in the middle of the river that was part of the hotel grounds.
Tel : 04 93 24 18 93
• GPS: 43.718388, 6.99297
IGN (1/25,000) #3643 ET "Cannes, Grasse, Côte d'Azur"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #26 "Pay d'Azur"
The best-known hiking trail here goes south along the old railway line (towards Bar-sur-Loup), then strikes out up towards Gourdon, about 650 meters vertical difference. The trail crosses the aqueduct about halfway up, and there you'll find a nicely level trail going along the aqueduct to Bar-sur-Loup. There a couple of long, dark tunnels on this part, so a flashlight could come in handy.
Another beautiful walk is along the trail that goes from the candy factory up the right-hand side of the river. The river level can rise suddenly, so one is warned not to linger in the river bed, but most of the trail is well above the flood line. Hiking up here in December, we startled a commorant fishing in the river.
Auberge du Pont du Loup
"Rooms from 57 euro !!, not the acme of comfort, but I have stayed there. Quite good food." (comments from our friend Francis Farley)
An older email comment mentioned: "... stayed at a great place - Auberge des Gorges du Loup, in Pont du Loup. The rooms were comfortable, and the demi-pension food was great. (The a la carte offerings looked even better) A very clean double room with private bath, shower, phone and T.V is 240 ff!"