Version FrançaiseEnglish VersionNederlandse versieDeutsch Version
1 week in the Gorges du Verdon= 2 campsites to discover the richness of this incredible site

Find out more

Haut-Verdon by bike

​Circuit 11: Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

Departure from Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, loop 61 km, medium, from les Salles-sur-Verdon, Bauduen, Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon and Moustiers return.
•    Moustiers-Sainte-Marie: small town nestled in a site of great beauty, tucked away in a cliff where escapes a torrent: Le Riou which deeply notched the Cretaceous limestone. A string with a star in its Center is suspended above the ravine.
•    The legend claims that this string was reportedly stretched across the throat and sealed to the roc in the 13th s. by a Knight of Blacas of Aups, which made the vow if he returns living of his long captivity in the Holy land. Church (M.H.) of the 12th century bell tower square in plan. Superb piece in Lombard inspiration Tuff.
•    Three floors of gemel windows and blind arches fall on pillars or thin columns. Chorus of Gothic reconstruction.
•    Nice intertwining plots and alleys. On the old houses, some Corbels and partitions (partitions in brick) indicate a tradition of use of plaster in masonry. This practice corresponds to a geographical area that extends in Provence in the East of the Durance.
•    City Hall in a former convent converted into a mansion in 1716.
•    Museum of earthenware: presents some specimens of parts produced by Moustiers faïence for three centuries.
•    Chapel Notre-Dame de Beauvoir (M.H.): 30 minutes of ascent on foot by a path staked oratories. Big work of the 12th century, modified in the 16th century.The first two spans are Romanesque, the other Gothic. Porch doors of 16th century votive offerings inside including a dated 1702.
•    Pyramidal tower built in the 16th century.

The Lake of Sainte Croix du Verdon

Color changing the seasons according to the quantity of minerals in suspension in the water, it is surrounded by peeled or Rocky Mountains: the Montdenier greenhouse, the margins and the Plan de Canjuers mountain.
The presence of a huge reserve of water with a neighbouring capacity of Lake Annecy is almost insolent in this arid and bare landscape.
The 2200 ha. Lake have overwhelmed the plain of rooms when the water in 1974 and done away with the resurgence of Fontaine-l ' Evêque. This dam of Keystone type high of 95 m, thick 6 m at the base and 3 m to sub-formation constitutes the major hydro-electric equipment of the Verdon. It supplies three plants; canals carry water to Marseille and Toulon.

Special Offers

Chalet on campsite at Castellane Mobile-home
Starting from 301 €/Week

Mobile-home at Castellane Chalet
Starting from 350 €/Week

Camping pitches at Castellane Gorges du Verdon Pitches Gorges du Verdon
Starting from 18 €/Night

The earthenware of Moustiers

The manufacture of usual pottery at Moustiers could go back to the origins of the city. The clay is of extreme finesse, water is abundant. The first Faïencerie following this pottery tradition is reported in 1679. The Clerissy family, associated with the painter François Viry introduced at Moustiers faience which quickly acquired an honorable place in the market of fine earthenware.
Several decorations were used according to the artistic currents of the time. Thus from 1680 to 1740, the blue camaieu dominates. Figure with border issues and style ornaments abound.
From 1740 to 1770: introduction of the polychromy 72 large firearms. The decorations of fine chains, medallions are often decorated with mythological scenes.
From 1770 to the 1780s: the mastery of cooking at "small fire" corresponds to the emergence of a new range of colours and decors characterised by a dominant production red green and Carmine. Decorations with flowers, baskets, Chinese, hot-air balloons.
1780s in 1874: long period of decline. Among the causes, one can note the development of the road network, the exhaustion of raw materials and the English competition that facilitate the importation of foreign production, but above all the mode is porcelain.
Commercialization of the earthenware of Moustiers is made until the 19th century on the back of mules or carts on good roads up to the Durance where packages were loaded on rafts to be transported by water to Beaucaire and Marseille.
19th s. only white tiles are still made. The last oven died in 1874.
After half a century of eclipse, earthenware will be reborn thanks to the challenge set by Marcel Provence that back on oven and raise production.
Today a dozen workshops make prestige and ease at Moustiers.

Circuit 12: Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

Departure from Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, loop 91.5 km difficult, passing by Aiguines, Trigance, Point Sublime, La Palud-sur-Verdon and Moustiers return.
•    Aiguines: linear habitat of harmonious composition stands on a flat part of the mountain. Castle: delightful Manor House of 17th century (private). Access by an arched portal. Four turrets topped roofs pepper covered tiles with a polychrome glaze, from ovens of faïence mousterains. Church reported in 1084: Romanesque Bay. The current building dates back to the 17th-18th s.
•    In the village: the 19th century clock tower. The dervishes Museum celebrates with happiness an artisanal activity that made the reputation of Aiguines to 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century: the manufacture of turned wood objects and especially boxwood balls studded, first generation of bocce ball.
•    Chapel Saint-Pierre - chains, grasped at the roc, in the Romanesque style. Orientation table and panoramic view of the Lake. Aiguines was the second commune of France for its scope. But 7500 ha have been absorbed into the military camp of Canjuers and 150 ha by the Lake.
A strong ascent leads to the pass of D'illoire, which controls the Vaumale circus, door of the canyon. Several hairpin hair deliver a spectacular view on the deeply banked Verdon before flowing into the Lake of Sainte-Croix. Air route offers to start the magnificent beauty of the site. It runs along the extreme edge of the cliff.
Close to the restaurant of the riders is a medallion of Xavier Bagarry, promoter of the construction of the left bank of the Verdon and a memorial to the explorers of the gorges. The road crosses the two le Fayet tunnels drilled 500 m above the bed of the Verdon. Since the managed areas: point of view on the river which describes an elbow cramped riders.
•    The Artuby Bridge: reinforced concrete built in 1947.
•    Balcony of the Mescla which means 'mixed waters": dizzying perspective on the precipice at the confluence of the Verdon and the Artuby.

The gastronomy

Traditionally every terroir, every Valley has culinary habits that are largely determined by its geographical location and its climatic conditions.
The Provencal, until the advent of the refrigerator, fed mainly lean or rich soups which formed the basis of power and who were accommodated according to the seasons, means, needs and events.
Today the terroir of Haute-Provence provides quality products. Each season offers a delight for the mouth: olive oil, tapenade. wine, honey, nougat, almonds and fruit engorged with Sun. Locally there is to enjoy or to accommodate a tasty menu specialties: truffles, trout, game, pasta, Deli mountain, goats cheese, ravioli at ovens or Bayasse and tomme of cow of the Verdon.
•    Trigance: old village roofs tangled around a rocky beak that fits subtly with the silhouette of the Castle.
•    At the entrance to the village: Saint-Roch Chapel. As many buildings dedicated to this Saint, built after the plague of 1630. Porch with great development. Castle: round towers of the 16th c., (converted to hostellerie) vaulted rooms. 12th century church s. partially restored in the 14th century and enlarged in the 17th century furniture interesting: retable of the Rosary of 17th s. (M.H.) and altar.
A single three-arched bridge spans the Jabron. The road is spawning a passage at the bottom of the Gorge and then rises strongly to the Sublime Point (lookout).
•    Rougon: small village perched in Eagle's nest. Ruins of the castle on the rocky outcrop. Lowlands, Chapel to large porch. The village architecture sober but homogeneous is the ungrateful local image of the lean Earth. Lavender, almond trees and orchards are now grown. Farming remains the main activity. Beautiful beads on the Samson corridor.
•    La Palud-sur-Verdon: spans a basin suspended from the side of the gorges du Verdon.
Former core clustered around the castle: beautiful proportions of the 15th-17th century building, on the North Wing mullioned windows. South Portal to entablature overcoming a 2 pilasters. Being restored, it will house a centre of initiation to the environment and a pottery Museum utility featuring a traditional activity. Church rebuilt in 1870 against the Bell Tower of the Llth s. m.h. work in tuf the patina coloured shimmering shades from ochre to earthy Brown under the Sun's rays.
Rougon and La Palud mark the ends of the famous Martel Trail (hiking route in the gorges).

Circuit 13: Castellane

At the beginning of Castellane, loop 25.8 km, easy, passing through Pont-du-Soleil, Jabron, le Bourguet, Saint-Thyrse-de-Robion and return Castellane.
This circuit crosses little villages but is a mosaic of landscapes: deep gorges carved by the rivers, Underwood scented by pine trees and clumps of thyme, trays lined with tufts of boxwood. The road weaves through the narrow valley of the Jabron.
•    Trigance: worth a visit.
•    Jabron: plated hamlet against the rock downstream a parade dug by the river. Church several times moved. High to its present location at the beginning of the 19th c. 77 loft under the gable of a House, attested by a frame of glazed tiles.
•    Le Bourguet: founded in the 16th century in a chaotic site of stubby mounds, by splaying inhabitants from their primitive village, destroyed by a fire. Church of the 18th century. 18th century castle today bears the sign of an Inn. At the exit of the Bourguet: Saint-Anne Chapel: (M.H.). Work of Romanesque art in beautiful stone device. Its construction is attributed to the Templars. It is adjacent to the cemetery.
•    Chapel Sainte-Thyrse: (M.H.) along the old road from Castellane to Comps. Sanctuary rural 12th s. very simple plan with a single nave extended a semicircular apse. The building hides an Interior composed of small blind arches of Lombard inspiration. Facing of stone in a small unit. Steeple roughly squared rubble. The top-level arrays seem to be changes in the 18th century. The cemetery confirms that Sainte-Thyrse served as parish church.
A narrow road, starts a steep descent with tight laces and rushes into a fracture of the rock. The road, old Mule rock-hewn or stabilized by a ballast, demonstrates the tenacity of old.

Circuit 14: Comps-sur-Artuby

At the beginning of Comps-sur-Artuby, loop 40km, easy, passing by Jabron, Brenon-Châteauvieux, La Martre, Col de Clavel, Bastide, Bargème, and return to Comps.
•    Comps-sur-Artuby: command a panorama spread on the gorges du Verdon and the Artuby.
•    Wilderness area of Highlands specialized in sheep farming. Formerly crossroads of transhumance routes. Church of St. Andrew (M.1 - 1): robust work from the s 10th, with a single nave with 2 spans, vaulted with warheads. Bell Tower pierced by bays semicircular upstairs. Building erected by the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem (keys to the Town Hall). Chapel Saint John: construction of the s 10th.
Along the road: many specimens of houses from the second half of the 18th century and 19th century.
•    Brenon: some houses are back-to-back in a rocky brec. Remains of the castle: the corps de logis seems to date from the late 16th century or the beginning of the 17th century Church of the XVII century.
•    Châteauvieux: two groups of houses range on the hillside. It is the old village at the top and the extension of the 17th century at the foot of the site perched.Church: modest sanctuary that bears on the porch a cross of Malta dated 1615. Some houses of the 17th century including the Town Hall. At the bottom of the village: sobre bastide of a Castellan of the 18th century.
•    La Martre : décor mountainous, this small village to the sunny land, dedicated to the production of vegetables (cabbage, salads) for the markets of the coastal towns of the Alpes-Maritimes. Church of the XVII century.
•    La Bastide: village stuck to the side of the mountain of Lichens, climax of the Var at 1715 m above the road, in the historic core: a 17th century church was the subject of work in 1859. The Castle, building quadrangular 16th s., very processed, hosts the Town Hall.
•    Bargème: medieval ensemble perched, Flying Dutchman belonged to the dynasty of the Pontevès. Look beautiful 13th century castle: quadrilateral flanked by slender round towers dominated by a Dungeon. The rest of the building is ruined. The castle was mutilated during the wars of religion (16th century). Into this mess of Duskwood floors, collapsed walls, it still sees the limestone slabs that covered the ground, and the departure of the vaults of the chapel. There are still two doors of enclosure. Church: building of Romanesque origin, beautiful stone device. Furniture of the 17th s., altar and altarpiece in 3 wood panels.
•    To the West of the village: chapel Notre-Dame des Sept - Douleurs, completed in 1608. Expiatory sanctuary raised by residents to redeem himself of the murder of a Lord of the Pontevès. Passage capped next to the Town Hall. Abandoned in the aftermath of the Second World War, the village and the Castle are the subject of work and find life.
Hamlet of strain: bridge with arches on the Artuby, with two imposing beaks. Said «Roman bridge», it is most likely a late work by the 18th century.

Circuit 15: Castellane

At the beginning of Castellane, 26km, easy, Chaudanne, Demandolx, Lac de Castillon and return Castellane-through loop.
•    Castellane: tourist center picked up at the foot of a massive limestone outcrop. Step on the Napoleon road in the heart of the country of the Verdon. Our Lady of the rock: building consecrated in 1700. Possible access by 2 ways; that part left of the Church is bordered by oratories. Medieval relics: sections of walls, ruins of "Petra Castellana» of the 11th-12th century, original site of the village.
•    Pentagonal belfry in 14th century to spur and machicolations. Door of the Petardiers: ceiling with exposed beams.
•    Door of the clock (M.H.): arch outdoors and semicircular arches on the inside. Equipped with a campanile. Church Saint - Victor (M.H.): Romanesque, the stocky white limestone building is adjacent to a big square dating from 1445 three-storey Bell Tower.
•    Building partly built with stones taken from the walls of the ancient city, unit boss on the first floor, wooden doors. North aisles of the 15th c. concentric traces of medieval times can still be seen. Venelles (narrow passages). Fontaine ' the lions '. On the left of the old City Hall: former convent of the visitation (1789-1940 hospice).
•    Current parish church built between 1869 and 1873. Bridge of the rock of the 15th c. by bumps on the Verdon.

Chaudanne Lake

Arch dam of type obstructing the bottleneck of the Valley of the Verdon. Site spotted in 1919. First work in respect of repairs in kind of the First World War by a German company who leaves the unfinished construction in 1932. Construction resumed after the Second World War and ended in 1948. The deduction allows an annual production of 67 million kWh. Landscape of Northern atmosphere.
•    Demandolx: village clamped on the slopes peeled the Cremon bar. Sober village architecture in the image of its terroir. City: location original Demandolx, abandoned following the killings and the burning of places by troops Huguenot (1560).
•    Ruins of the Castle and the fortified village, suspended from a rock. Real natural lookout embracing a grand panorama limited by mountainous chains to the tormented tectonics overlooking Castillon and Chaudanne Lakes to deep green.
•    Demandolx Œuf: geo-morphological characteristic training. Church Notre-Dame - les Conches from the 12th - 14th century.

The Route Napoléon

Napoleon's return from Elba, decided to take over the Government that he had abdicated in 1814, landed on the continent to Golfe Juan on 1 March 1815, with 1100 men. To join the Dauphine which is favourable and assemble an army, he chooses to avoid major cities and the garrisons of the South because Provence is hostile to her.
He goes to Cannes and crosses the plateau of Roque Velasco before attacking the climb towards Castellane. The pitiful state of the Mule forced him to abandon heavy equipment: guns, carts. The emperor made a stop in Castellane on 3 March. After crossing Digne, Sisteron and Gap safely, Napoleon between Grenoble six days after its landing and arrives at the Tuileries on 20 March.
The inhabitants of the Hautes-Alpes him having reserved a warm, he remembered in his exile in St. Helena and bequeathed 50,000 francs in the Department who built shelters.
Panels bearing the imperial Eagle and one "N" crowned, placed at the entrance of the communities recall the passage of shipping.

Circuit 16: Saint-André-les-Alpes

At the beginning of Saint-André-les-Alpes, 68km loop, average, passing by the Colle-Saint-Michel, le Fugeret, Annot, Vergons, Saint-Julien-du-Verdon, and return Saint-André.
•    Saint-André-Les-Alpes: market town located in a circus of mountains at the confluence of the Issole and Verdon.
•    Church Saint-André relieved at the 19th century's classical style, portal to triangular pediment. On the square, old Castle: become Manor House hotel in the 19th century.
•    The Colle Saint-Michel: the pass separates the valleys of the Verdon and the Vairy. The 18th century St. Michael's Church.
•    Peyrescq: its shadow is immutable since the 18th century Church of 14th century fully restored in the original vein.
•    Méailles: perched on a bar overlooking the Valley of the Vairy.
Descent through the chestnut until le Fugeret. These pluri trees were exploited for their fruit until the beginning of the century.
•    Le Fugeret: nestled in the adret of a Glue formed by the Vairy in a conch shell of greenery.
•    Medieval bridge at bumps and oratory dedicated to Saint - Joseph (M.H.). Very narrow alleys, lintels to braces, windows frames of 17th-18th s. Church nave late, highlights pilasters to moldings fanlights, Romanesque apse.
•    Annot: big village located at the foot of a cliff in a chaotic site of sandstone blocks.
•    The Annot sandstone are formations of silicates of calcium, similar to those in the region of Fontainebleau. These sandstones have borrowed the name from the village of Annot because it is here that they have been identified.
•    It should be noted the facades in sandstone, local material used in the construction.
•    Very medieval appearance. Discovery from the lower Street; left, speaker of the middle ages portal, walkways, corbelled half-timbered. Notre-Dame Street: houses with arcades, lintel etched in Gothic letters dated 1484; face-to-face: 1533 bearing lintel the pot of the innkeeper, later: plate of Hôtel-Dieu in 1656.
•    Romanesque church: apse in resumption of the former Dungeon. Nave 89 with three spans, barrel-vaulted broken, later. North aisles in sandstone. Steeple renaissance flanked by the statues of the 4 evangelists.
•    Bridge of the 14th century on the Vairy 4 arches with spouts, shelters for pedestrians arranged to the right of each cell.
•    Way of the cross 14 oratories in sandstone on the track that leads to the chapel Notre-Dame de worms-la-Ville.
2 km out of the village to the left, curious covered cross.
•    Rouaine: tiny village upstream from the Gorge of Galange.
•    Notre-Dame de Valvert: Romanesque chapel (12th century) to the choir with an apse flanked by two apses. Abandoned in the 16th century, repaired in the 17th century and in the first third of the 20th c. (M.H.).
•    Vergons: nestling at the foot of a rocky spur at the top of which stands a chapel.
•    Church of the 17th s., Portal arch with a wooden tympanum. Paved lane.
•    Julien du Verdon: the two steeples village pattern in the waters of the dam of Castillon.
•    Fountain in the circular stone basin. Church at Chapel of the 17th century, restored in 1982. Bell Tower square to the polychrome tile roof.

Castillon Lake

The construction of this dam on the Verdon works have started in 1926, the repair of war damage, have been abandoned in 1933 and taken over from 1942 to 1947.
The artificial lake of 500 ha created stretches 10 km. D 955 crosses the dam in Crown that reaches a maximum height of 100 m.
The tranquil waters of the Lake host the Centre for studies and research for the sound Discretion of the Navy. Two types of experiments are carried out on mock-ups to scale, of the order of 20 metres in length, filled with measuring instruments. The first is to make possible the most discreet submarines, acoustically, by improving their insensitivity to the sonar. The second aims to constantly improve the sensitivity of submarine detection devices.

The train des Pignes

This intrepid chenille leaves Nice train station at an altitude of 12 m, sneaks into narrow valleys along streams, crosses canyons with vertical walls, culminates at 1012 m. after Méailles station, book a grandiose nature, allows to approach the typical villages and descends on worthy 594 m.
Real tortillard from the Mediterranean to the Alps in the South, its history is turbulent.
The installation of this line of railway from 1892 to 1911 is considered a technical achievement. To accommodate an ungrateful natural environment needed to build impressive structures (bridges, viaducts) and tunnels which some are fitted with doors for protection against ice in winter. The opening of the line désenclava the high valleys and promoted the movement of people and goods. Provence railway company went bankrupt in 1933. The State immediately resets the line in service. Today its maintenance is again called into question.
Two hypotheses are competing the etymology of the word attributed to this train: one claims that its low speed allowed travellers to descend on and make provision of pine (pine cones), other than because of the shortage of coal during the war, drivers fed the boiler with the pine nuts.
If one crosses more hawkers in the cars the landscape that scrolls worth the trip.

Circuit 17: Saint-André-les-Alpes

At the beginning of Saint-André-les-Alpes, 39km loop, easy, passing by Château-Garnier, Thorame-Basse, Thorame-Haute, La Mure, and return Saint-André.
Four arches of the aqueduct that spans the Valley can be seen on the Issole out of Saint-andre-les-alpes. Arches in arches of device size resting on pillars to the rectangular bases.
•    Château Garnier: statue in wood from the 16th century on the facade of the Church. St. Thomas and adjacent to the cemetery, restored chapel in the 16th century, preserves a Romanesque apse in ass of oven of the 13th century remarkable frescoes of the 16th century representing the 4 evangelists and christ in Majesty. Lake of Sagnes: hilly Lake of watering. Nautical base.
•    Thorame-Basse: common Habitat burst into several hamlets over the left bank of the Issole with their church. The inhabitants in the 18th century and 19th century arguing the difficulties of traffic in winter had been the construction of a building by hamlet. To the capital: Classic style 16th century Church. A monumental altarpiece of the 17th-18th century occupies all the choir (M.H.). Table referring to the destruction of the Church by the Huguenots (16th century). Modest Manor House of the 18th century.
•    Thorame: village conveniently grouped on a slope at the foot of the mountain of Chamatte.
•    Parish Church rebuilt in the 17th century Gothic look. Bell Tower with pinnacles of angle, characteristic of Alpine art stone. Classic style nave added in 1777 to replace the razed during the wars of religion in 1574. Very beautiful retable of the Rosary (M.H.) and statue of the Virgin and child (17th century).
•    The traditional architecture of mountain village: balconies in wood with turned balusters. Place du lavoir: sundials to ancient Latin inscriptions. Walkways, carved lintels of 18th century decorations painted in the 19th s. in facades of houses. Small steeple tiles scales in the presbytery.
•    Thorame-high-station: Provence railway station.
•    Our Lady of the flower: high on the site of a wooden chapel from the 17th s. repeatedly reduced to ashes. Work textured stone from a nearby vein, built from 1936 by cure Pellissier helped some workers and his followers.
•    La Mure: village hung above the Verdon. Village architecture of beautiful unit.
•    Church with a square Tower in steeple tiles scales. Facades, doors and lintels of the 18th century.
Sawmill at the exit of the village. Exploitation of wood for framing, carpentry, or heating is in the Verdon a non negligible economic activity.

The transhumance

In Provence, was thus named sheep movement that uses seasonally two grazing areas separated by a region that must be crossed. There are two types of transhumance.
They correspond to a practice of farming and allow better use of the space.
One leaves the lowlands and monte to the mountain pastures in the Saint Jean way down before the first snow, the other sees the high valleys of the Verdon and Ubaye herds flee the harsh winter and fetching food in Basse-Provence. Geographers call this movement: transhumance reverse.
The Merino is most suited to the transhumance race for its hardiness and resistance. It is equipped with a thick fleece covering her cheeks and forehead. The Merino Wool is very much appreciated.
Transhumant walk borrow some carraires or drayes created for the sheep Caravan is confined on these paths without gut waterfront lands. Drayes them tending to disappear, the convoys use more and more roads.

Circuit 18 : Beauzever

At the beginning of Beauzever, 135km loop, difficult, through Villars-Colmars, Colmars, Allos, Col d'Allos, Barcelonnette, Bayasse, Col de la Cayolle, D'entraunes, Saint-Martin-D'entraunes, Col des Champs, Colmars and return Beauzever.
•    Beauvezer: sunny architectural ensemble of harmonious invoice that unfolds on a balcony above the Verdon. Chapel of the 17th s., retable of Saint - Joseph of 18th century in gilded wood and canvas to the Angel musicians of 1656. It is separated from the Church of the 19th century by a tower on the roof dressed larch shingles. Narrow staked high facades that keep track of their agricultural function passed: pulleys and granaries. Friezes painted under Genoese in the 19th century in the main street and on the village square. Country home: Museum, exhibitions and tourist information.
•    Villars-Colmars: stands on a ridge of the mountain of Chalufy. Chapelle Saint-Blaise of 17th - 18th century, enlarged in the first half of the 19th century, contains an altarpiece from the 17th century. The Town Hall: Sundial of 1699. Houses with wooden balconies, steep and narrow alleys where fountains and stone wash facilities are housed in tiny abandoned.
•    Colmars-les-Alpes: located at 1250 m altitude on the road to the col d'Allos, stronghold for the defense of the franco-savoyarde border until 1713. Village surrounded by walls, alleys framed by high façades, roofs covered with larch shingles in the traditional way of the upper Valley of the Verdon. A first defensive system was François 1er. Niquet, head of the work of Vauban ordered the construction of forts (Fort de France and Fort de Savoie), built on glacial locks. The beautiful towers to strongholds, today equipped with essendoles roofs are connected by the chemin de ronde.
•    Savoie fort communicated with the city by a walkway, called caponier (acapon"meaning coward). Church recorded in the 17th century, after the fire that destroyed most of the city in 1672. Altarpiece of the interesting Rosary.
Allos Lake: This mirror of water surrounded by Rocky towers, in the heart of the Mercantour National Park, is the largest lake of altitude of Europe (2250 m). Access on foot in 30 minutes from the parking lot.
•    Allos: In a decidedly Alpine site, the village has preserved its architecture typical of high mountain.
•    Roofs with steep slopes and large eaves, windows fenieres where sleeps the hoist which was used to haul bales of Hay, long balconies running along the facade used secondarily as dryers. Bell Tower high on a tower of Rampart shingle roof. Church of Saint Sebastian of the 17th century, frescoes of the 19th century. At the entrance of Allos: Notre Dame de Valvert (M.H.) of 12th century Church. Of great sobriety, this building is a jewel of Romanesque art Alpine Lombard influence. Apse apse underscored outside a lombard band cord. Nave of three bays in broken cradle. Portal with capitals carved with stylized figurines. Roofing shingles.
•    La Foux d'Allos: the old village, Church of the 17th century an ex voto in leather and a sundial from 1757. Large ski resort of the Southern Alps.
•    Col d'Allos (2240 m): made famous by the Tour de France cyclist. The road was opened at the end of the last century. Under the collar: refuge, formerly stage coach relay. Orientation table. Panorama on the Valley of Ubaye and the massif de Chambeyron, which culminates at 3389 m.
•    Agneliers: the hut is, with the Chapel, the last evidence of the village where lived until 1924 fifteen families.
The route then resumes its allure of corniche dug in the rock and overlooks a precipice until the turn of the Malune where an old mine of lead ore.
•    Uvernet-Fours: the commune is composed of hamlets stacked on the slopes. Church of the XVII century. The gorges collected of the Corbiere open onto long closed the Bachelard, known worldwide under the name of Valley of ovens. Indeed, the road that replaces a Bridleway, reached ovens until 1903, Bayasse in 1914 and the col de la Cayolle in 1920.
•    Ovens: hamlet known for its signature dish: ravioli. Church of 17th century flanked by a Bell Tower and covered in part with larch shingles. Side chapel decorated with paintings of the 18th s. and polygonal pulpit from the 17th century houses flysch, local building stone blocks. Sprockets and mantelage in pine and larch. A few narrow balconies, that formerly housed the beehives.
Of beautiful works of art hanging cross the waterfalls of the Bachelard. 1 km downstream of the pass: refuge of the National Park of Mercantour who once played the same role as that of the col d'Allos.
•    The cayolle pass (2327 m): door North of the Alpes-Maritimes.
The road sweeps in the upper Valley of the Var, an unexpected freshness at two o'clock in the Mediterranean.
•    Esteng: hamlet located on a glacial lock in a natural garden. Sources of the stone houses Var. covered with larch shingles.
•    D'entraunes: established in a tightening of the Valley protected from the floods and the ramblings of the impetuous torrent. Church of the Nativity: paintings of the 17th century, whose feast in Simon de J. André inspired by Rubens.
•    Saint Martin D'entraunes: village located on a hillock. Church with Romanesque portal of Miss s. altarpiece of François Brea.
At the crossroads towards the pass of fields: beautiful Maisonette to whitewash trompe l'oeil with friezes and bos-sages.
•    Col of fields (2091 m): formerly border between the County of Nice and Provence, then between the France and Savoy, this pass to the strategic position was built by the armed forces.

The traditional mountain architecture

In the alpine zone, climatic constraints are essential in the choice of architecture. The nuances in the use of the materials are secondary. The habitat is characterized by his group in hamlets or villages. Its location is at length calculated to be protected from floods, avalanches and the wind to benefit from maximum sunshine and have land and water nearby.
The "block House" leans to the slope: all functions are grouped under one roof. It is very steep to quickly evacuate snow. The two slopes roof sometimes ends with an everything.
In the Verdon top traditional architecture uses larch on the cover and gable shingle. In Ubaye are also found in slate roofs.
Wooden, used as dryers, balconies are on the front side under a large roof overflow.
The lower parts of the houses are stone, left exposed because the plaster was expensive and rare. In the former border regions (Valley of Bachelard) windows have defensive bars iron and tiles of medium size (three per leaf in general).

The National Park of Mercantour

There are spaces forming a biological capital not exceptional but exemplary... Concealing the most precious heritage for men of today and tomorrow, they were put in the custody of the nation, under the heading of national parks. The fauna, flora and natural sites there are protected, as well as the landscapes marked by the millennial activity of men.
Established in 1979, the Mercantour National Park is the latest of six french national parks, which represent 0.7% of the territory. It expands its area of protection over 68 500 hectares of which 22% are located in the Department of Alpes de Haute-Provence. Between the col de Larche to the North and its southern end, at 20 km from Nice, landscapes are of the most diverse, ranging from the olive grove to 400 m altitude up to the high mountain at 3143 m at the Garcia. Its geographical situation (high mountain on the edge of the Mediterranean) gives it originality and richness. The flora of the Park contains 2000 4200 species known in France, including a quarantine of species specific to that area of the Alps.
Mammals of the Alps are well represented:
•    Chamois
•    Ibex: 100 comes in summer in France since the Italy. A reintroduction carried out by national park operation resulted in the implantation of a small population on the massif de la Cayolle.
•    sheep: reintroduced successfully 20 years ago. The avifauna is remarkable: black grouse, Ptarmigan, Partridge, Eagle, owl, Tengmalm's OWL...
The Mercantour insects are more brightly coloured than elsewhere. Here is nearly a hundred endemic species. The Mercantour has finally the richest set of carvings in the open air in Europe: 100,000 of these drawings dating from the bronze age found in the Valley of wonders and cirque Fontanalbe. Genetic conservatories or evidence of rural life, national parks will not offer you an easy consumption of animals, plants and landscapes. Learn slowly to see, to understand, to feel and to contemplate, that is the experience they d available.

Saint-Pancrace - Digne
Bléone Valley - Digne

Back to questions on Gorges du Verdon by bike

Other information
Other categories