1 week in the Gorges du Verdon= 2 campsites to discover the richness of this incredible site
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1 week in the Gorges du Verdon= 2 campsites to discover the richness of this incredible site
Find out more
From the Col of Turini to Lake Allos
Walk 12: Top of the ArpihaDistance: 9km / 5.6 mi. 2 h 40
Difficulty: easy-moderate, with ascents/descents on 280 m / 920 ft; good tracks and paths. The rush to the top of the Arpiha requires some agility. Yellow PR. IGN map 3741 markup and.
Turini! Surrounded by magnificent forests of fir trees, this Eagle's nest is also quiet and refreshing as snowfall Christmas morning... except when there is a rally car on the road to the famous hairpin! Nearby are the mountains of the Authion, the backdrop for this walk.
• Start at the Col de Turini: walk north on the D68 (the Authion road). After 700 m/yds (15 min), turn left. Follow this road track until the Mantegas barn. From July to September, you can taste and buy local cheeses here.
• The dairy farm continue in the direction of the Arpiha on the big track. When you arrive at a clearing in the 1648 Terminal (30 min), some signs point to the Arpiha. But we take the junction half left. This path grassy and shady undulates along the South shore of Scoubayoun Ridge.
• Don't forget to keep the right uphill at the next junction. Then go right to the Arpiha.
• Arrive at a second grassy pass. Here, hurry up to the tops of the Arpiha to take advantage of the stunning views. Return to the first junction met earlier this time turn left. Turn left after some climbs in the shade to retrace your steps to the Col de Turini (2 h 40).
Walk 13: Lake of Trecolpas and the Cougourde refugeDistance: 10km / 6.2 mi. 4h20min
Difficulty: moderate-strenuous, with a climb/descent of 520 m / 500 metres. PR yellow, red and white GR markup. IGN map: 3741 OT.
It is one of the most rewarding walks of the Mercantour National Park - especially considering the little effort involved. There is shade on the lower slopes, and a large part of the Walk follows a watercourse. But the two highlights are the blue of the Lake of Trecolpas and the bastion of magnificent rock of the Cougourde. Throughout the walk, be careful: you can perhaps see chamois.
• We begin the upper parking lot of Boréon. From here, head towards the stony path (to the East, continuation of the track on which you parked). He climbs gently through the Valley of the high Boréon. Skip a track right in the direction of the "Crown of Pisset" and, at a junction where the oblique track right, continue straight on a stony path. Soon the summits where we are visible.
• Cross a bridge and arrive at Chalet Vidron (30 min), a stone hut near a small lake. It's a lovely place for a picnic, and late spring, you will find violets and gentians nearby.
• From here, follow 'Refuge de Cougourde, no the Ladres'. There is no markup of painting, and it is easy to stray off the road, so keep a close eye on the cairns you see while climbing through Rocky chaos.
• Cross the bridge of Peirastreche and then follow the 'Lake of Trecolpas, the Cougourde hut, Pas des Ladres'. Now you have joined the continuing and soon start to climb seriously. Ten minutes from the Peirastreche bridge, cross a bridge of fortune over a tributary (bridge of Log), and a few minutes later cross another bridge.
• Always follow the Lake of Trecolpas (right), Pas des Ladres, where a road goes on the left towards les Bessons Lakes. In another five minutes you approaching a bridge on the right and = 425 (1h25min).
• The ' road of the "(direct jusqu'àle refuge que nous visiterons plus tard) Cougourde is on the left but we ride right on the competitors for the Ladres no and Lake of Trecolpas." Don't worry if you feel you away. The path obliquera later. For the moment it rises abruptly. A few minutes later, you reach the highest point of the hike (2187 m / 7175 ft; 2h20min). The beautiful Trecolpas Lake is just below you here, and you might be surprised to find frozen, even in June! If you attack to climb the steps of the Ladres the competitors continue on the north side of the Lake.
• Back at the Lake, go right to the Cougourde Refuge. This level path first traverses a gigantic "scree" rocks. A stream is crossed on a makeshift bridge, and another went to Ford before finally reaching the hut of Cougourde (2h50min).
Perched next to the impetuous torrent, the refuge has a restaurant (in summer)! Walk up to the terrace of the hut, oriented South and you will see your way. Good trail descended steeply, sometimes on stone steps and ignores many streams. Beyond a grassy plateau, follow le Boréon now, to get back on your outbound route.
• Iron bridge of Peirastreche remember to take the lowest path on the right. The road is most easily visible in this direction. Back before the Chalet of Vidron, higher Parking le Boréon (4h20min).
Walk 14: Col de Fenestre and Pas des LadresDistance: 8km / MI; 3h40min
Difficulty: fairly intense, with a climb/descent of 600 m/2000 ft stony ground. Beyond the Col de Fenestre the trail requires some agility. No shadow. Red and white GR, yellow markup of PR. IGN map: 3741 OT.
This classic walk is steeped in history. It is believed that a Roman temple already existed near the spot where now stands the Chapel to the Madone de Fenestre. But the path that we follow to the Col de Fenestre predates even in Roman times. For a thousand years, until the end of the second world war, this road was often a battle field. Even in the 16th century, when both sides of the neck belonged to the House of Savoy. The detritus of the second world war, the barbed wire, the rubble and dormitories, still threaten the Col de Fenestre, which today marks the border with the Italy.
• We start the walk at the Madone de Fenestre: climb the stairs on the left of the grand CAF hut. For not the Ladres, turn right onto the wide, very stony trail (signal red and white of the competitors). The flow roared far below to the right, next to the barn of the Madonna. A beautiful circus stands before you, dominated by the peak of Mont Gélas. At a junction just after (25 min), go right to the Fenestre Lake (continuing, our way back, monte to left here).
Fifteen minutes later nice grassy slope allows you to make a stop, where you look at Southeast to small pointed Cairo and the greater Cairo of the Madonna. Arrival at the sparkling Lake of Fenestre (1h05min). Some 10 minutes from the Lake, stay to the right (where a road goes left to the crenellated silhouette of the West Summit of Fenestre (Crown West).
• On your right, you go in a bunker, then a second. They were built by the Italians during the second world war. In a passage-way (1 h 45 min), go right in the climb to the Col de Fenestre (2471 m / 8105 ft; 1h50min), where there is an another bunker, a cross and a border of stones. Return and continue straight to the Cougourde hut, Trecolpas Lake, and the Ladres pitch.
• This narrow way, requiring a certain skill, offers beautiful views of Lake de Fenestre, and in clear weather, towards the Mediterranean. On the last part of the ascent, just at the point where the Lake de Fenestre is no longer visible, move to the top of Mount Agnelliere, with mount Pelago behind him.
Notice the steps of Ladres (2h20min) wooden cross.
Turn left onto a narrow path before a huge cairn (GR; Fenestre Madonna). Very quickly, to turn back left downhill, where the path to the Agnelliere just goes right. Return to Cairo Petit then starting point.
Walk 15: Top of the PissetDistance: 9km / 5.6 mi. 3h40min
FIX: intense, with a 580 m/1900 ft climb/descent. You must be prudent and agile. Little shadow. Yellow markup of PR. IGN map: 3741 OT.
This beautiful walk offers a maximum of views "balcony" for minimum effort compared to other hiking in the mercantour Park. The tops of the Pisset, le Boréon and the Madone de Fenestre valleys thrive below you.
Start the walk under the Puncha picnic table, on the north side of the road. After the Summit of the Pisset, ignore a path on the right (the Madone de Fenestre, return journey). The path emerges on the flanks of the bare mountain and rises to the Northwest. Climbing is less steep. After jeans of effort you are almost at the highest point. From there, it is just a short detour west to the point of view on the tops of the Pisset (2 h).
Walk 16: Waterfall of the EstrechDistance: 5.5km/3.4mi; 2h35min
FIX: mounted moderate 340 m / 1115 ft on stony paths; required agility. No shadow. Yellow markup of PR. IGN map: 3741 OT.
If you do not market the Gordolasque (in the Valley of marvels), this short is a treat. It takes you over a magnificent waterfall, in a setting where you might be tempted to linger throughout the day.
• Departing on the parking: walk through the open gate. Do not cross the Countet bridge; Take the stony track to the left (climbing school). Not far from the chaos of high rocks, used by climbing school, starts a narrow trail. Right, a rocky cliff (wall of Italians) seems to close the Valley. Just after, (25 min) a path goes straight on the River, Lake Autier and the wall of the Italians.
• You will return to this bridge at the end of the market, but for now go up left in the first of the hairpin hair on the lower slopes of Mount Neiglier. Cairns mark the route. When you reach the last hairpin left (1 h), cross to the right for a good view of the delimitation of the Cascade of the Estreche.
• When the path flattens (1h10min), you will see a different path on the far side of the River, downstream from the wall of the Italians.
Soon, you can cross the stream and join the wall of the Italians. Now, walk towards the fortifications in ruins, passing a massive cairn which overlooks a river. 10 minutes later, ignore the dirt road that climbs towards the Lake Autier, go straight down on the stony path to the river. When you reach the old road electricians, cross Gordolasque Creek on the bridge spotted earlier and resume your route to the bridge of Countet. Parking (2h35min).
Walk 17: circuit of GourdonDistance: 9km / 5.6 mi. 3 h. fix: easy enough, with a downhill steep, very rocky 200 m / 200 metres at the beginning and a gradual ascent of less 300 m / 1000 ft towards the end. red and white GR, yellow PR. IGN markup map 3643 and.
The first part of this walk, a descent on the aptly named 'paradise trail', is a spectacle of a panoramic view on the Green Valley of the Wolf and the coast. We then follow a stream of water channelled through the aromatic pines, in the company of butterflies and dark red squirrels.
• Departure on the parking/bus under Gourdon; go up to the Castle, but at the junction turn left onto a path to the WC (before the centre of the village). Past the toilet, at the end of this path, your steps take you in Gourdon Valley on an old mule, the paradise path. The Courmettes mountain rises on the hidden face of the Gorges du Loup (where you can see gliders).
When you encounter the old rusty pipe (aqueduct of the Foulon; 30 min), turn to the right (Grasse). The route continues straight downhill here. You will follow this pipe, in the company of the signals red and white the GR51, for less than an hour (keep your flashlight handy for tunnels). Whenever there is a break between trees, enjoy the beautiful perspective on the coast (the apartments wedge to the Bay of angels can serve as a reference point: they are just to the West of Cagnes and East of Antibes).
• Arriving at a "crossroads" (1h25min). Turn right a steep concrete alley. On your left, olive trees adorn a deep basin. Four minutes later, ignore the left fork towards the canal; follow the GR uphill to the right on the concrete track. But six minutes later, when the GR goes left, continue straight on a paved road (Gourdon wood).
• After five minutes turn left on this road: go up by steps (bois de Gourdon; 1h40min). Now, carefully follow the yellow signs along a narrow path through the Oaks. Almost immediately, at a crossroads, turn right. Passage road (1h50min), follow to the left. Another track curve before you at a crossroads: turn left here, on rough concrete track. Pass a huge gap and then cross the D3 (1 h 53 min). On the far side of the road, continue behind a barrier on a trail of gravel to the left of a tank. Five minutes later, go left on a rocky trail.
You ride this nice wooded trail, skip two paths to the left. This forest was once the hunting grounds of the counts of Gourdon... and the scene of violent clashes between the residents of Gourdon and Le Bar, since both claimed the right to collect these woods. Arriving at a stony path (2h15min), go straight, even if there is no markup before. Five minutes later cross right on a path. Continue to the right, towards the Gorge du Loup. On the gravel track, turn right.
• Now, the market again in full sun, gradually descends on a plateau with spectacular views - of Gourdon, the fault of the Wolf and the coast. You pass a cross on the left near a career and then cross a bridge.
Now, visit Gourdon which is really worth a visit.
Walk 18: Source of the SiagnoleDistance: 10.5km/6.5mi; 2h25min
Difficulty: easy ascent/descent of 100 m / 330 ft, but requiring a certain agility on the narrow paths. Markup red and white GR. IGN map 3543 and.
This beautiful walk above the gorges of the Siagnole, especially in the shade of the Oaks, is perfect for a hot day. Before leaving, check the table of orientation in Mons, to identify all the points in the region.
• Start "mills". Cross the bridge over the Siagnole and walk south along the D56 to 500 m/yds, then turn left on the road, on a trail (markup GR, caution here). Follow the GR49 along a path in the land at the top of the aqueduct, in the shade of the Oaks. When the GR goes uphill to the right (less), go right (the GR path is the way back).
• Four minutes later ignore another path to the wide to the right. Finally (35 min) the way balance away from the Siagnole and you join a grassed runway. Continue straight. Two minutes later, arriving at a junction with a dirt track, turn left. The Chapelle St-Peïre is more far away (40 min).
• Back to the intersection and go right (West), follow the electrical lines ignoring the paths to the left and then right.
• When you reach a fork (55 min), take right at the D37 then right again. Turn again to the right on a path. This path takes you to the D56, where you turn right to resume the GR, on your right. When the GR falls back to the aqueduct, turn left.
Trace your route out through the rock cut of the D56 (1 h 20 min). Cross the road and continue on the GR49. You are always at the top of the aqueduct, on a nice shaded path. Discard all trails on the left and right. Cross a first barrier (jeans) and shortly, a second barrier. The visit ends before the Source of the Siagnole (1h50min). To reach the source, return to the barrier with the Shack and turn left downhill on a steep and slippery path just behind it. This takes you to a Ford which is easily crossed. Turn left on the dirt track.
• The source, retrace your steps beyond the barrier with the hut to the next dam, then turn left at the junction of railways (always on the GR; get off the path on the right here). You are now on the lower aqueduct and the path is equally attractive. Back to the mills.
Walk 19: Gorges du BlavetDistance: 7.5km/4.7mi; 2 h. fix: easy descent/ascent 170 m/560 ft PR white, red and white GR markup. IGN map 3544 and.
This walk is memorable for its beautiful views of the cliffs of Red Rock, gently scented scrub and lovely pools in the Gorges du Blavet. Weather permitting, you'll also get a splendid view of the Rocher de Roquebrune rising in the South.
• Start the Castel of Bayonne: take the path downhill (the one by which you came). A few meters after the end of the fence surrounding the property, turn left downhill on a narrow but clear trail (white point markup). The path descends gently.
Later the path widens in the middle of the pines; Bayonne Summit stands on the left. Follow the stony path to the right (the left is your way back). Three minutes later, you reach the 1st tank, right. Here, take the stony path to the left (the Blavet Gorge). Take a left at the fork (the path to the right may be marked with an 'X'). Less than 10 minutes from the tank you will encounter a wide path marked in red and white of the GR51 (45 min).
• Follow it to the left, towards the River in the Gorge of the river Blavet (50 min). From there the GR crosses the River, but retrace your steps to the 1st tank (1h10min) and turn right onto the stony path. Rising gently, in four minutes you pass the path you came down earlier in the market.
Ignore a path on the left top of Bayonne (1h25min). Five minutes after to keep left at the fork (GR markup). Ten minutes later, go left again (always on the GR). Go right at the next junction (eight minutes later). Just another climb of 10 minutes, you are back at the Castel de Bayonne (2 h).
Walk 20: Gorges of the SiagneDistance: 9.5 km/6 mi. 3 h
Difficulty: moderate-intense, with gradients/downhill 440 m/1445 global ft. Some of the Rocky paths require agility. Yellow PR, markup GR red/white. IGN map 3543 and.
• The walk begins at the beautiful chapel Romanesque Notre-Dame of Sardinia in St-Cezaire. Take the lane on the South side of the building, the path of the wells by Chandra. After 500 m/yds, turn right onto another track, the path of Courbon. Bifurcation to 700 m/yds, keep right downhill, pass the set of beautiful homes in terraces of olive trees. (20 min), and then continue right on the forest path.
• Almost immediately, at another junction, keep to the left. Leave the track to take a path on the right. Ignoring a wide path to the left signposted to Tuves, crossing the Canal of the Siagne, where you join the GR510.
• Follow the GR left for 200 m. then, down to the chapel Saint-Saturnin (1 h). Now follow the GR to the Valley and back channel. The path of the shortcut comes in from the right. Keep left downhill, leaving the GR and following the yellow signs. Cross the canal once again and down to the beautiful bridge of the Tuves (jeans).
• Turn left towards St-Cezaire. It takes still nearly an hour to get up to the centre of St-Cezaire (3 h). Stroll through the charming village, admire the views from the orientation table and then return to the chapel N - D of Sardinia.
Walk 21: Séranon and the crest of the BaurouxDistance: 13km / 8 MI. 4h45min
FIX: intense, with ascents/descents of 650 m / 2130 ft. The path of descent requires agility and confidence; the less experienced walkers should retrace their steps from the top. Red and white GR, yellow markup of PR. IGN map 3542 and.
• The walk begins instead Seranon village: follow the GR signs to the north side of the village (old Séranon ruins). Ignoring the way, take the grassy climb here, just to the right of some houses.
• Pass some ruins on the left, then join a cart path and continue in the same direction. At the cemetery, turn right, keeping the cemetery on your left. Reach a road and follow it uphill to the right over the old cemetery.
• At the hamlet of Curnier, stay left on a path (Chapelle Ste-Brigitte). A minute later, a fork, you can either take the grassy road on the GR path at the left or right. They meet just before the chapel Ste-Brigitte (45 min). After the Chapel, follow Bauroux. Three minutes from the Control Panel, you arrive at the first ruins of old Séranon.
• The trail goes on the left of the Church and continues in steep slope to the top of the crest of Bauroux (1 h). Follow the straight path in the direction of Valderoure, but turn right to Bauroux immediately. This trail, just below the northern side of the Ridge, slowly rises for more than 3 km through the densely-wooded Woods of the Defens. It is a long way to go without views, but the mossy trail, with soft pine needles underfoot is cool and pleasant. Finally, you can see the top of the Bauroux (1644 m / 5392 ft; 2h45min).
The real fun starts now. The path to the bottom of the northeast side of the mountain is marked in yellow. Wait until you see the village of curd directly below you on the edge of the Ridge! Soon the trail descends just through a chaos of rock, where you will spend a lot of time on all fours (and probably in vain look for markup). Just continue down, and you will return to the main track, which finally descends gently under the pine trees. Two water tanks, go around and take the right path. Junction of the D80 to Col Bas (4 h), turn left and there, take a right onto a track to quail. Just before a property curve to the left, down to the D79. Turn right on this road and after 150 m/yds, turn left onto a concrete road.
• Bifurcation, stay left on a track that passes left a House. Before arriving at the House, take a left onto a path. Take to the right until a road and turn left. Then turn right uphill opposite the Town Hall and pass on the left of the Church.
• At a junction, join the D79 and go straight ahead on the right (4h15min) post office. Col cross iron on your right and 300 m/yds, take a cart path on the right.
• All junctions along this trail are well marked. The trail descends gently in the middle of the landscape of the Valley of Séranon (4h45min).
Walk 22: Allos LakeDistance: 8km / MI; 2h35min
FIX: up/down easy of200m/650 ft yellow/green PR markup. IGN map 3540 and.
Beautifully landscaped, this walk in the Valley more West of the Mercantour National Park is a fascinating introduction to the Alpine geology. But do not immediately go to the Lake. Mount first on the high plateau where you will see marmots for sure and can admire the breathtaking view.
• Departing on the parking lot of Laus/Lac d'Allos: follow the stony path (Allos Lake) before a forest House. Chadoulin Creek rushes on the right. Beyond a grove of willows, planted to prevent erosion of the banks of the Creek, cross a tributary, the Meouille and join a track.
• Soon an Info Panel draws your attention to a few rocks lichen-encrusted (15 min). A minute later, turn left on a path (Mont Pelat). (The track, your way back, continuing straight onto the Lake).
• This shady path climbs quickly above the ravine of Meouille seen at the bottom left, and arrives on a beautiful Amphitheater - a meadow surrounded by high mountains. If you look right, you can see the towers of Lake on the far side of the Lake of Allos.
• Walk through the prairie, straight to the pyramids of the hole of the Eagle and the Mont Pelat. Arriving at a signpost (height 2259 m; 40 min), turn right for the Lac d'Allos and right again halfway up to the Col de la Cayolle.
• When the grassy path approaches a chaos of rock with a sheepfold, follow the yellow and green signs: you must keep this moraine (rocks upwards and deposited by the glacier) on your left.
Soon you enjoy a first glimpse of the Lake, visit the chapel of Notre-Dame-des-Monts (1h05min) stone. Then descent to the refuge and restaurant around the Lake. Beyond a way left at the head of Valplane, you get to a table of orientation with views of the mountains and Alpine vegetation. From there it descends through forests of larch (Tamarack). Go back to the forest House above the parking lot (2h35min).
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