The "Big Brain" comes from the Provençal "Lou Gro Cervo", which means "the Big Stag", a legendary creature that would have lived in this massif in the 18th century.

he Gros Cerveau massif, classified as a natural area of ecological, faunal and floristic interest, culminates at an altitude of 446 metres. It offers breathtaking views over the Mediterranean, from the Gien peninsula to the islands off Marseille, via the splendid Sanary Bay. The massif, accessible by car (D2020) depending on the period, is used by many walkers, hikers (marked trails + GR51), joggers or climbers (10 sport climbing sectors).

On the ridge, two defensive fortifications built between 1890 and 1900 are still standing: the Pointe structure and the Gros Cerveau fort.

At the bend in the paths, it is not uncommon to come across Rove goats, recognisable by their triangular and twisted horns. These goats accompanied the transhumance of the sheep and in particular provided their milk to the shepherds and the lambs that their mothers could not feed. They are still of great help today, particularly in clearing and maintaining inaccessible areas, which need to be cleared to fight fires.

2 walking circuits to discover:

The Belvedere path :
From valleys to balconies through the Gros Cerveau fort and the La Pointe fort.
Distance: 13 km, positive difference in height: 700 m. Duration: from 5h30. to 6h.
Departure from Chemin Sainte Trinide, parking in front of the Olive Garden, near the Zoa Animal Park.

The Nerthes Trail :
Between Drailles and crests. Family walk.
Distance: 8 km, positive difference in height: 300m. Duration: 3h30 and 4h.
Departure point: Chemin Sainte Trinide, parkng in front of the Olive Garden, near the Zoa Animal Park.

It is forbidden to smoke in the forest areas.
Precaution: Remember to bring sufficient water and food.
Make sure you have good walking shoes.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Pets allowed : yes

  • Close to a motorway
  • Town outskirts


Opening dates
All year round.
Attention as every year during the summer, from June 21 to the September 30, the Préfecture du Var regulates penetration, traffic and parking on certain roads serving the 9 Var forest massifs.
The Gros Cerveau massif is inaccessible by car during this period.
Information: updated at 7pm each evening on 04 89 96 43 43

Website: http://www.var.gouv.fr/acces-aux-massifsforestiers.
Comfort & equipment


  • Parking


  • Pets welcome
Free access.