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

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From Bléone to the Verdon - Riez

​Starting from Riez La Romaine

Upon the entry of the city, Riez announces color: portico with Corinthian columns, remains of a temple probably dedicated to Apollo; Merovingian baptistery of the better preserved of France; ramparts of the 13th ' century. renaissance hotels; Campanile of the 18th. Riez, Gallic, Roman, medieval and modern is historical city. Its museums 'Lapidary' and "nature in Pro-vence" are there to prove it. This town, nestled at the confluence of 2 rivers striating the Va-lensole plateau in the centre, is an excellent base for hikes to the four corners of this land of lavender where there are so many beautiful things to discover.

Colostre Gorge

Saint-Martin-de-Brômes this tour may extend or precede a visit to this village. Castellaras, Gallo-Roman Villa on the road to Riez in Gréoux, Merovingian Hamlet, commandery of the Knights Templar and now village hosting which breached no appointment history then it is worth the visit and its archaeological museum. The gorges of the Colostre, have no claim to match those of the Verdon, but they reserve the hiker to many good times with the Scots edu-cational path of the O.N.F. In addition it is good even in high summer and a little NAP under the trees at the edge of the water after the meal is not to be despised.
Easy. Attention to a delicate passage. Altitude departure: 350 m. top Point: 501 m. total eleva-tion gain: 250 m. duration: 2 h 45. Parking: City Hall of Saint-Martin-de-Brômes.
•    Town Hall starting on the D 952 towards Riez Northeast. At the intersection with the D82, cross the bridge and engage right at its output following an O.N.F "Gorges du Colostre" arrow, yellow tag. Fork, stay right onto the nearly horizontal path. New fork, turn left.
•    The trail disappears follow the footsteps on the ground. Pass a stream bed often dry and cast opposite shore, at the same time during the Colostre. Lead to a cavalier track. In a hairpin thereof, from the right.
•    PIN hook, also called Pine Mountain, reported by the O.N.C., noted the form of ap-ples and their scales in hook who made them give this name of "hooks". Come in the bed of a Creek, the trail descends right to join the Colostre flowing right into a Birch wood. Journey to the edge of the Woods along a fence the Colostre left bank South-west. The pre above, return to the river. Pass another electric fence. In the bed of the watercourse spruce stands next to its identification Panel. Spruce cones are pendulous, while those of the FIR are erect.
•    And Hazel are reported in a clearing, followed by field Maple tufted. At the exit of the Glade, take the cavalier aisle a southwesterly direction to a shelter in boards, the track branches off, keep to the left and pass at the foot of a magnificent pine. New clearing along on the right down to the level of the river.
•    Passing a little tricky overhang. Gateway to move the Colostre right bank at the foot of a White Poplar. After a rocky chaos to sink into the canyon of the Colostre passing near a chestnut tree. Arriving at lock, pass on the left bank of the river and continue to follow its course with a lime posted by O.N.F.
•    In a space of flat and smooth rocks trail abandoned bed of the Colostre to mount left and bypassing the high vertical cliffs. Always follow the yellow a southeasterly direc-tion tags
•    Move to the T.H.T power line 5-wire. Pass under a 3-wire line to the tune of a Phoeni-cian Juniper, these sheets in "scales" distinguishes it from the cade Juniper because their fruits are very similar.
•    The climb is tough, but short. Abandon the electric line followed so far, to continue to right perpendicularly to it. Exit on a cavalier to turn right, Avenue southbound.
•    Red tags Mingle with yellow at the moment where the track is tangent to the power line. In a hairpin of the gangway, abandon the latter, to take a small yellow trail that goes to the right electricity pylon south-westerly direction.
View of the dam of Gréoux-les-Bains.
•    Pass under the tower and follow the trail under the 4-wire power line descending along a Rocky Ridge. Passages delicate but not dangerous to approach everything the same with caution.
•    Metal down scale. Right leave a ruin, followed a bit more far from mountain ash ber-ries of Rowan, not to be confused with ash or (locust).
•    Take the aqueduct side ramp, overlooking the Inn and get off on D 315. Follow her on some two hundred and fifty metres. Turn right following the directions of a Panel and the yellow tags. Leave a track adjacent to the left and pass under the viaduct.
•    Junction, turn right uphill towards the D 952. Two or three metres before the road, climbing left on the northbound rump and head towards the Powerline 4-wire. Reach the tower. Continue to mount following the yellow marks. Pass under a power line 3 wire. Lead to a forest to take the right path. Beautiful views of the dam of Gréoux-les-Bains, behind which spreads Esparron Lake.
•    Take right in the slightly downhill. Go under the 5-wire line. The forest trail continues parallel to the line 3 wire. Meeting of a Roman road on which we must commit to the left.
•    Far and away, on the edge right of the carriageway are embedded stones stand-ing. These are "chasse-roues" which were used to prevent heavy trucks to slip into the vacuum. Small source flowing across the bypass a large excavation by South. Junction, continue to the left.
•    Exceed a post processing E.D.F. first houses. The road is paved. Intersection, go left to cross the village of Saint Martin de Brômes. Meeting with red white tags of the GR 4 rising left in the path of the Templar, whereas it is necessary to go right to reach the Town Hall.
Starting point.

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The forest of Repentance

Slopes leading to the Valensole plateau perspectives on Ste-Croix Lake extend to the edges of the great Canjuers plans South. In front, the barriers of the ferment Montdenier the horizon is their jagged ridges. Their foot, sleeps Moustier-Sainte-Marie and the constricted mouth of the canyon of the Verdon devine in the limestone wall. When you arrive on the plateau, it is the infinite greatness of the lavender ocean that takes the breath away. Easy, accessible to all, this hike is very pleasant and passable in all weathers, even the hottest, because it takes place in a beautiful pine forest. Caution, do not turn on fire and do not smoke, pine trees emit volatile species by high heat and fire risks are very big.
Easy. Altitude departure: 490 Mr. top Point: 770 m. total elevation gain: 280 m. duration: 2 h 15. Parking: side 490, crossroads of the D957.
•    Cross the bridge on the Mayor, and turn left into wood, walk in the direction of the ar-row on a cart path. Continue straight at the intersection of Cavalier driveway lined with plane trees. Cross the E.D.F. barrier left leave a trail that descends to Lake.
•    Fork, take right on the edge of the wood. Shortly after engaging in the Woods by a forest track. Arrived almost at the foot power lines to T.H.T. turn left, parallel amount to them by the forest path.
•    Pass under the first line T.H.T. Walk amount between the two lines. Stay on the wid-est runway neglecting smaller lateral primers. O.N.F. barrier height of tree no. 101. Fork, go right. At the next, stay on the left lane that runs along the line T.H.T.
•    Always mount between the 2 lines T.H.T., describing laces. Leave a ruin on the left. Pass under the second line T.H.T. When ironing under this line, beautiful breaka-way on the Lake. To the overhang of a deep ravine, nice glance at Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. New barrier O.N.F. tree numbered 101, Terminal I.G.N. side 766, locality: campaign FÉRAUD.
•    Go right and follow the GR 4 red white tags quite infrequent. Direction the radio-communication Tower. Pylon. Continue on the road, now.
•    Left spreads, boundless, the sea of lavender. Sometimes a field of grain interrupts, his vague Blondes, the lavandins purple sheet. The GR tags are more frequent. Junction with the 111 D.
•    Height of the "forest of Montdenier" sign down right by following the GR 4. Exceptional panorama on the North and East. Overlook the adjacent slopes and de-scend on the stony path.
•    Boundary of parcel forest green white tags. Road field, keep the tags of the GR walk-ing towards the Northeast. At the junction, turn right direction Southeast. In the Crow, start on the left and cross the culvert.
•    Soon after, abandon the road along the course of the Mayor. Beginner on the fence of the Campsite, longer it left to go on the D 957, to turn right heading south.
•    Leave on the left the road of gorges du Verdon (D 952) and continue South.
Return starting point.

Around Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

Famous for its majolica since the 17th century, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie deserves much more than these few lines. Rich in monuments and vestiges of the beginning of the Christianization of Provence, located since Roman times at a crossroads of routes in a particularly tourist site, perpetuating a four times art centenary, this city, one of the most beautiful of the Haute Pro-vence, dominated by its bell tower Lombard has endless attractions. General architecture, re-vealing how to build regional, in fact the archetype of the Provençal urbanisation, with its crooked streets, abundant fountains, shaded plazas, and enthroned in the centre, the Rom-anesque church in the proud Tower Lombard. No less original, the star clinging to the iron chain, which connects the two lips of the breach where flows the Riou at the foot of Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir, object of a vow of a Knight returning from the Crusades and maintained with fervor by successive generations to this day. The tour proposed here, very easy, lets see Moustiers-Sainte-Marie from three different sides in all its beauty.
Easy. Departure altitude: 650 m. top Point: 992. Total elevation gain: 450 m. duration: 3 h. Parking: Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.
•    Mount 'The Clappe' Street in the direction of "The cascade" and "Cave Ste – Made-leine". Front of the oratory, go to the waterfall yellow tags. After the passage of the porch, the coating of street stops and a jewelled path continues track.
•    Cross the medieval bridge on the Riou at height of the waterfall. One hundred steps after the bridge the road forks, take right following the yellow on the way to Majastre, signposted tags also white, amount a calade through terraces planted with olive trees.
•    Along a pine wood which is followed by a beautiful stand of young Cedars. New junction, take the direction "Vincel", on the right, yellow and orange tags.Enter under cover, neglecting a small path starting in right. Left spreads widely Lavender plateau, with the village of Puimoisson very visible in the foreground.
•    To the South stretches lazily Ste-Croix Lake. Switchbacks climb takes place on the edge of the wood so that left, the Provencal garrigue lining the Hill. The horizon, helmed by the mountain of Lure and the Lubéron, emerges the pyramid of Mont Ventoux.
•    Becoming almost horizontal in the tall pine forest, the path enters a combe wooded pi-tons side 1004 and 1068.
•    A cairn marks a fork. From left, by following the yellow tags in the middle of the pile of stones. The trail meets a motorable road. Get off to the right. 150 or 200 steps from the edge of a pine Spinney, do not miss the narrow trail, barely charted, which de-scends to the left.
•    (By a 35-minute hook AR. you can descend into a bowl grass to the edge of the RIOU under shade of willows, conducive to the picnic.) To do this, continue to go down the road and back then, here, to continue the journey towards Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. But, above all, once in the bowl, do not attempt to reach Moustiers-Sainte-Marie by another way. Hand, are bars, impassable without climbing equipment, to the East, difficult ter-rain interspersed with multiple small bars or little ravine. Retrace your steps).
•    Take this trail yellow, in a sling and on the edge of pine woods, towards the bottom of the ravine. Passing on a 1 meter high rock which bar the way, not venturing to the right directly to the bottom, but back left 2 or 3 steps, to find the yellow trail North-east. Crossing the Riou Ford, follow it left shore up its course about 200 metres. 50 not before a small kiosk serving barbecue, turn right following the yellow marks on a wide path which rises on the plateau of Charrière. Being attentive to the tags painted on the floor. After the passage of a dry Creek, branch bends South. Spiral laces the cart path and lead on the plateau. Leave right a scrap, followed of a sheepfold.
•    On the left rises the important Vincel farm built on a hillside. After an isolated Elm, the way stings a stony road that is perpendicular. Take this last right, following the tel-ephone and electric lines. Fork. Go right on the narrow track. New junction, veer to the right, due west by abandoning the way lined with electrical and telephone lines.
•    The Ste Croix Lake shines. The dirt road heads towards an indentation of the Western Ridge. Amount to indentation can be seen below, the remains of the Roman road which will soon merge with the path followed. Ridge line. Beautiful panoramic 180 °. Moustiers-Sainte-Marie huddles against the right cliff.
Down by the Roman road many switchbacks. A rock bears an inscription: "the chain" and a drawn track, the same color across the rocks, led the famous link anchor point.

Baudinard-sur-Verdon: the rock to the coats of arms

Tourist guides are little verbose on this demi-perche village of Haut Var. Yet, for who knows see in looking, it reveals, in secret, pretty good things: its Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde where the view is exceptional on Lake St. Croix and the Hautes-Alpes, its opulent houses, its shrines to both sides, the novel of Valmogne Priory and its early Christian baptistery, finally the stone to the three coats of arms (from 18th) at the junction of the three seigneuries: Baudi-nard, Artignosc and Ste-Croix. All these things cannot contemplate travelling at 60 km hour, but only by going on foot, eyes, ears, nostrils and heart wide open.
Easy. Altitude departure: 526 m. top Point: 712 Mr. total elevation gain: 400 m. duration: 4 h 20
•    Fit in the Palm of the thalweg which faces the E.D.F. Road, follow the yellow tags. After the slope on a small platform mount left in the undergrowth of Oaks al-ways keeping brands yellow. In turning, the trail reappears and progresses almost hori-zontally. On a flat area, beautiful view over the Lake of St. Croix, with background curtain bars Rockies Montdenier.
•    The direction is South, uphill along the line of the watershed of the Croup. In the clearing, go right to find the yellow tags. Fork, stay right on the trail best traced which becomes laie forest. Crossing with another track that descends to the right, continue to the left.
Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde.
•    Work around the building and take the Road South. Left to right the Oratory of Notre-Dame-de-L'esperance. New fork, go right towards Calvary which the cross door, East side, the Blessed Virgin and Christ, on the West side.
•    GR 99 red white tags appear. Follow them. At the junction, go left. Longer the tennis, then pass over the cemetery.
•    Baudinard. Abandon the 99 GR. Turn right Street who joined D 71 after the monu-ment to the dead. Continue on the provincial road.
•    After a cross planted on the left of the road junction. Abandon the D71 and take the left lane. Pass between the farm buildings, a northwesterly direction avoiding the de-scending path left. A covered well stands in the right field. The cover of wells in Pro-vence meets two concerns: limit the evaporation of water and avoid to the thirsty beasts to precipitate. Neglecting the right road, stay on the left lined lines electric and telephone poles wood.
•    Fork, go right. Exceed a transformer. It is the station stops at height of the Abbey of Valmogne (Vaumouge on the map). Beautiful novel remains partly restored and well maintained by its current owners. Comprising a flanked apse of an apse. Ask the occu-pants, very courteous, the authority to go around (private property). North side, an ear-ly Christian baptistery of the 4th or 5th century is particularly noteworthy: Bowl bur-ied, accessible by 3 stands for the baptism by total immersion of the catechumen ac-cording to the rites of the primitive Church; It is a monument rarely also well preserved.
•    As soon as the outdated Abbey, turn right into the hollow, the fields of lavender by the dirt road, passing under a power line pole concrete. Find the yellow tags leading on a road to turn left track. Exit on D 211 to follow left on 150 metres about then, turn again left to the Arbitelle farm onto the logging road.The Arbitelle. The left stands the ruins of an old windmill. Work around the farm by Northwest by following the edge of the cultivated field to find the edge of the Woods and across the farm a forest track sinking under cover.
•    After a few steps on this road in the junction, turn right (yellow tag). The village of Montpezat sprawls in front on the Hill. In a vast clearing of flat slabs, the path disap-pears, follow yellow marks on the ground. Barrier O.N.F. track is passable, yellow markup contains gaps, do not worry, stay on the forest trail.
•    Lead to a road whose surface stops at this location. Left take the paved Lane, exceed a very pronounced bend, after which it is necessary to leave the road to engage on a wide path left.
•    He quickly turns into narrow path winding through the Oaks and results shortly after in the "rock to the coats of arms': 3 beautiful coats of arms are carved in relief on the North, West and South sides. The date of 1743 appears on top. Retracing his steps, re-assemble the way paved until the end of the tarmac.Continue on the Causeway Road, ignoring any adjacent trail to this path. In describing a loop, followed by a small climb, she joined D 211. Down left on the latter. Cross bridge Sylvestre sur Verdon, at the entrance to the "low gorges". Drop D 211, right onto Causeway Road.
•    Crossroads, remain on the direction middle way is. At the fork that follows, go left.
•    Down along the shore of the Lake. Be up to a plateau.
•    Fork, go right. Go under the H.T. line on metal pylons. The power line T.H.T. 5-wire passes over the road to the ruins of Auchier height. At big pine, turn right. Pass again under the line T.H.T. A 3 wire on concrete pylon H.T. line crosses above the road. View on the Lake of Ste - Croix du Verdon.
•    Hundred steps further down everything right by the path. Then go right at the junction following.
•    D 111, to follow on the right. Bridge of the dam. View this book and, in its exit on the right, an array of explanations on this very beautiful realization of E.D.F.

The lower Verdon Gorges

Of course, the low gorges are not as prestigious as the Grand Canyon, but the proposed hike leads to a different view of this stream. Throughput slower, more spread, encouraged to linger, or even to idleness. Tracking in balcony above the Verdon takes place in the shade of a gud any Provençale limestone terrain. This accessible to all hiking has only a steep steep. A flash-light will be useful for a tunnel crossing mid-term.
Easy. Departure altitude: 370 m. top Point: 549 m. total elevation gain: 200 meters journey time: 3 h. Parking auto: Quinson.
•    Down by the 1 D to the Verdon. Cross the bridge. Exceed a balm and immediately af-ter mount on the yellow marked trail with a plaque: "Chapel of St-Maximin 190 minutes".
•    Arrive at a wall forming right foot of the old canal. Along it on his way to round, right bank. Fork, take on the right the path with railing overlooking the Verdon.
•    Pass on the bridge of wood. Follow the path of the canal. Double the vestiges of a metal bridge across the canal. Down from the wall and along its foot. A little tricky passage on the river where the greatest risk is to take a sitz bath if it misses its not. Cast iron staircase.
•    Abutting the right foot of the canal, at height of an arc of discharge of the wall mount to the left on the latter, the trail from the bottom ends in dead-end.After falling of the wall the yellow tag in curve can be confusing, it seems to invite to go up on the wall, whereas it is necessary to continue right. Lying back on the wall, a small house adja-cent to the tunnel ends the chemin de ronde. The longer its left side using the edge of the roof steel as handrail and staircase markets engraved in the wall down on the bed of the old canal. Go through the tunnel. Leaving, 20 meters farther, climb the left wall of the channel, should be definitively abandoned now, to dig into the wood of box-wood lining the bottom of the ravine of St-Maximin.
•    Fork, go left in the yellow marked stony path which rises in laces. Old chapel of St - Maximin, which is backed by a newer sanctuary dedicated to Ste-Vierge.
•    Starting in the East, passing near a pilaster, base of a former calvary. The trail over-looks the Gorge and is the ancient pilgrimage route. Meeting with 99 GR red white tags.
•    To the left from following these tags that must not leave until the arrival. After a slight climb, the path runs under a fresh shade of oak. In a cross, at height of the base of a former oratory, turn right by neglecting any adjacent departure. Orange tags of eques-trian course join those of GR. ruins left. Fork, stay on the left lane. Side 549.
•    The garrigue spreads on the plateau bristling cades and developed especially juni-pers. Crossing. Take right between 2 walls of dry stones. New fork, go left. On the left to notice the remains of 2 wells (single resource in this shelf water when it was busy). Another cross from still left. Wide panorama on the lower course of the Verdon and the dam of Quinson. At the edge of the very rocky road, which descends laces. D 13 to turn left. Bridge on the Verdon.
Return Quinson.


The Lake of Esparron

Gréoux-les-Bains, Spa known since ancient times, and even before the Roman occupation, grouped at the foot of the castle of the Knights Templar. A surrounding, the modern city is dispersed in hotels buildings and villas. Following the GR 4, very easy hike leads to St-Martin-de-Brômes. Escaping to the lavender fields, it brings by the ridges of the hills of the Defends starting point, offering magnificent prospects on the Lake of Esparron and dam mass of Gréoux-les-Bains. A mass dam consists of an accumulation of materials (Earth in general) that the resistance to pressure by decreasing the height of water level of the dam while ex-panding the most possible the basis of it with a very large ratio between the width of the work and its height. Here we have 260 m. in thickness at the base for 67 m. of elevation on founda-tions. Conversely in the arch dam compressive strength strength lies in the transmission of this pressure, rocky shores in which anchored the dam. This is the case of Castillon and Chaudanne dams; Ste Croix and Quinson.
Easy. Altitude departure: 326 Mr. top Point: 517 m. total elevation gain: 390 m. duration: 3 h 55.
•    Take GR 4 direction AV amount to the electric line 5-wire, following the white red tags. Go under the power line T.H.T. 5-wire at the foot of a red white marked concrete pylon. Leave on the left the ruins of Pujol, and on the edge of the wood, bypass the pre from the East, passing twice successively, under the power line 3 wire.
•    Take the wide path forest amount right. Always stay on the wider track. Pass under a power line T.H.T. leave left a forest road. Fork. Tags of all colors "decorate" the tree. Take to the right slightly uphill.
•    In a roundabout in the middle of which stands a big pine tree, turn left and join a track marked in different colors. Take this route starting in right. Cote 492.Pretty discreet, GR-red white marks are found sometimes. Leaving the forest, continue on a plate of diverse cultures. Crossing with a perpendicular dirt road. Engage in assuming right. A tag is painted on a concrete pole, it indicates to continue on the road and do not devi-ate.
•    Fork, go left. Keep to the left at the next.
•    The village of St-Martin-de-Brômes spreads on a hillside under its old Castle. Exceed the subdivision on the right. At the crossing of 2 paved streets, on the edge of the vil-lage, left abandon GR. down right and win the D 952 to follow to the left in the direc-tion of Riez.
•    Along the foot of the village until the crossing with the D 82. Cross the bridge on the Colostre and take the direction of Esparron-Sur-Verdon. Bifurcation, avoid the road left. In the hairpin turn, take left into the path of Red lands. Junction, turn right up-hill. When the Earth is tangent to the 82 D, veer left onto a road. Follow the edge of forest tags marked wood, almost on the ridge line. Crossroads. Starting on the right. (Continuing straight instead of turn 5 or 6 yards away, under the power line, a rock planted on the edge of the track is engraved cross on its top surface, that can bring to mind a megalithic menhir which would have been Christianized).
•    Pass under the power line T.H.T. leave a ruined right in the fields of lavender.
•    Exit on the 82 D cross it and continue on the forest laie parallel line T.H.T. following ridges, in a wood of Oaks: Greens, kermes and pubescent, as well as Juniper, cades and Phoenicia (the latter species differs from the previous arrays are similar, leaves in "scales", while cade(, as the common, prickly needles). Avoid the right track. Passing under the line T.H.T. continue in crete at the same time angling T.H.T. new passage under the power line 3 wire.Then, shortly after, under another line 3 wire that cross-es. Electric fence by the roadside. Last passage under the power line. The cart path goes left.Follow it to the paved road of the dam of Gréoux-les-Bains.
•    Fork, go left. Same thing to the next, then the third, and the fourth, always follow the Red tags. Panoramic view of the Lake of Esparron. Right down the road. D 315 over-looks the dam 'land' of Gréoux-les-Bains. Bridge over the Colostre. Hostel. Junction with a dirt road, on the left, which runs along the course of Verdon, right bank. Follow this path.
•    The meeting of a Causeway Road, climb right on this road. Lead at the crossing of the departmental 952 and 315. Go left on the first.
Starting point.

hiking - Verdon Gorge
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hiking - Verdon gorge
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