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

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Verdon

​The Verdon

A river in France could be told by the character of its banks, the name of the fish that inhabit it and the history of the villages she decorates, provided that it is not the Verdon. This 175km long river so quickly from one extreme to the other, raises so much passion and poetry, breaks, use and assailed of such masses of rocks, protects so rare life and hide if fragile secrets that it is impossible to portray it in a few lines. How to describe it without the passion of the people who love him and who make share, and otherwise that quoting them? How to feel the freshness that a pocket of air, miraculously saved by the uncertain depths of the canyon, reserve you at the bend of a trail? E so much life excitement of diversity, of imposing fragility and eternal contrast? Here the contrast of the quiet horizontality of the trays on the impressive verticality of the gorges of the greenness tender leaves and water on the colourful explosion of fall, the summer furnace on the relentless winter between Var and Alpes de Haute Provence. Man, the early thirties, has tempered the nature of the various gorges that trace the Verdon, by the construction of hydroelectric deductions. The tone is set from entering the area of the Verdon Middle South of Castellane: lac de Castillon is the first "polished Jade" winding in the setting of the muck of the arc of Castellane. The Lake of Castillon is followed by the Chaudanne dam, just before Castellane. On the other side a large Gorge, the largest of them, St. Croix du Verdon (2,200 hectares, 14 km long), above a series of small lakes punctuating low Gorge, South of the Valensole plateau: Montpezat, St-Laurent, Quinson, and finally Lake of Esparron, thousand coves and creeks, to definitively provencal character.
From Castellane, the nature of the bed of the Verdon is already installed: small and medium-sized gorges with pools and verdant, full of life, islets that make it bypass the mountainous promontories of the Montdenier greenhouse and the Chiran, Mourre de Chanier. Security guards of the relief of the Verdon, these foothills report the "abyssal nest" to tens of kilometres around. visible from the Centre Var and the axes of the Val de Durance to the crests of the Ventoux and Lure, they are a point of reference in the regional orientation. Past the great gorges, Verdon seems spread and, under the Provençal star from the village of Moustiers, definitively leave the Alps.The karst plateau of Canjuers which bordered, to the South of the canyon, was replaced by Valensole, less severe, to the North. The low gorges are reminiscent in many places the calanques of Cassis, that Val de Durance, now very close, may be invited to join in an hour's drive...

The natural environment


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Powerful forces of erosion

It seems that here more that elsewhere, nature and tectonic forces have taken their time, to the point that man strays into the complexity of the meanders and faults, folds and the due. The sea was 200 million years ago, and shells, waste, marine animals, from the smallest to the largest, have largely had the time line the bottom with a thick layer over a period equivalent to about 80 000 times the Christian era... At the end of this long period of the secondary era, the figurines-Provençal folding gently from East to West, raises these very rich (Cretaceous) fossils in limestone layers. During the tertiary period (minus 65 to less 20 million years), the alpine uplift imposes the great upheaval: the ocean of the fact of the orogeny withdrew southward: bottom marine, transformed into atolls and hills became mountains, becoming fissured in large limestone plateaus, such as the Canjuers plateau. During the pliocene, up to the formation of the alpine foothills, the Great Northeast folding Southwest drain in thrust sheets, such as big waves crashing on the side of the Alps. The image of these folds overlap, here is the arc de Castellane defining the entrance of the great tectonic construction, and its ridges topped with rafts of hard limestone.
During this time, powerful earthquakes should compete with horrific storms to heavy rains: erosion is so intense that cracks in the limestone widen by dissolution, of immense caves, networks and underground rivers is put in place... Verdon has surely been underground before collapsing the arch by the incredible power of throughput, carrier of enormous blocks capable of user, grinding, rolling, forcing again and before rock dams, increasingly transforming them into as many due...
Witness these unimaginable flood periods, here is the huge fan of all material transported by water in a fury: the Valensole plateau, conglomerate pebbles and silt with cemented all on more than 1,200 metres in thickness! Suddenly, in less than a million years, floods have become extinct. The waves of intense cold periods of the Quaternary glaciation contribute to polishing and finishing of all...

A strange climate

Between the Mediterranean and the Alps, his heart balance... Despite a hypothetical influence of artificial lakes on the ambient humidity, throughout the area keeps a very dry air, with the famous luminosities arising therefrom. The transparency of air, given by the mistral and the montagniere, particularly frozen in winter, is the great climate characteristic of low and average Verdon. In winter, exceptionally generous sunshine and orientation of reliefs (South face) contribute to mild days preceded jellies moderate; the rains are rare and scarce, snow made its appearance in a remarkable way sometimes, but never long.
Autumn highlights microclimate, especially in the Gorge where the fog patches Nestle in a conducive very stable air to increase a very localized, unexpected oasis greenhouse effect at the bottom of the Gorge, in the ubacs where winter settles faster than elsewhere and where moisture survives in the spring.
Disturbances come mostly from Southeast Southwest: usually in autumn and spring. The condensation of sea breezes on the flanks of the mountains causes often in the summer's thunderstorms: it may be the main weather phenomenon to watch and that we must learn to predict.

A great diversity of species

The forest covers much the larger part of the Verdon River basin; green oak for the lower section to the image of nearby Provence; pubescent oak covering pre-Alpine upstairs from 800 to 1,300 m altitude, undoubtedly King of the landscape, often hiding the whiteness of the large limestone plateaus and the outskirts of sinkholes.
About beech silver, dressing the montane from 1 300 to 1 700 m, and especially in the most (7,000 hectares planted on the Serre du Mont-denier), it leaves its "place in the Sun" in Scots pine to Orange bark and some black pines.
On the fringes of this if contrasting region, human cultures have transformed their golden checkerboard and purplish the Valensole plateau, while the lawn alpine, much higher, punctuates multicolored myriads of flowers of mountain during the month of June.
Lavender, scrubland, olive trees, almond trees, thyme, Rosemary, oregano, confront their essences to the Otherworld most Alpine larches, fayards, arnicas, and other gentians. Their relative abundance hides a multitude of rare species of ferns and other flora to stay. Weakened by the excesses of tourism, many plants are protected.
Wildlife, severely disturbed by the activities of "human curious and noisy", is still a rare diversity: in addition to conventional species (including dozens of species of nesting birds), it is possible to meet the Golden Eagle, short-toed eagle, the Peregrine Falcon, the Dukes, the black grouse, the kestrel... and many others.
Also hosts of places, wild boar, roe deer, chamois, hares, weasels, woodchucks, bats and even a rare species of snail... hairy! This if diversified life breaks down of course depending on the floors of altitude. The narrowness of the Gorge and the rapid increase in altitude are to succeed those floors at an extraordinary pace; do not be surprised therefore to meet the chamois and marmot to two hours walk from the song of the cicada...

The human environment

The first men

The perimeter included between Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and Vinon-sur-Verdon was probably the first sector of Provence inhabited by humans. The traces of the most ancient human settlement found at La Baume Bonne at Quinson date back to more than 300 000 years BC Flints, animal bones and flooring pebbles testify to the presence of a rock habitat from the stone age.

The Gallo-Roman footprint

In the 1950s before BC the Romans begin the conquest of the haute Provence and settled at Riez. This choice of Riez is due to several factors: ancient capital of probably the most powerful tribe in the region, prosperous terroir, presence of water making it possible the installation of the thermal baths, road node. From this city of Rei bathed by the Colostre whose name comes colostrum (first milk), the Romans radiate and build cities linked by a new communications network. Accordingly, the Verdon is especially favored and three important routes through and a multitude of drailles (one of them, Causeway, is still visible near Gréoux-les-Bains) necessary for crossings transhumant sheep allows the Gallo-Romans of the Verdon to circulate easily. Only the grand canyon, wild area by excellence, escapes the Roman footprint somewhat. Monks and Lords
After the collapse of the Roman empire in the 4th and 5th centuries, the Church is organized and is growing rapidly. In addition to the power of the Church, a stately family "holds" almost throughout the country: Castellane with the first two sons are traditionally named Boniface. Their castles stand throughout the Verdon, Castellane to Germany-en-Provence, vigorous guardians of their Earth erected in Barony by the comte de Provence. But the spirit of independence of Boniface V will not be tolerated long by the Catalan princes who abolished the barony in 1262 and grant many freedoms to small cities which then erect their ramparts and give consular authorities.
In the middle of the 16th century, Provence plunges into the wars of Religion. The first disturbances broke out at... Castellane. The fights are particularly cruel in the Verdon. The 17th century marked the beginning of an era of depletion of the communities, consequence of bleeding of the wars of religion but also of the increase in the cost of life and major epidemics like the plague of 1628. This movement will go on increasing, emptying the countries of the Verdon. The great migrations have attracted to the cities of basse Provence the son of peasant farmers tired of see their fields periodically flooded by the waters. The Valensole plateau, yet one of the richest territories of the zone, and which has 3 117 inhabitants in 1765, had more than 1,721 in 1971.

The traditional economy

As in the massif of the Southern Alps, the traditional economy of the countries of the Verdon was based mainly, and this even in the 1940s, on agriculture and livestock.Everywhere, the "saltus" (forest) was associated with agriculture. The exploitation of the forest provided the material first for many artisanal trades: carpenters, Coopers... The big trunks were used for dikes, Apex beams. But the forest was used mainly by peasants who in this dry region were a substitution for animals food: la feuillée for sheep, the glanded for pigs. Large wooded areas were also land hunting and gathering sometimes sold on the markets of the neighbouring villages (Morels, truffles, medicinal plants). Boxwood was a shrub of base in the local economy. It used its leaves to feed the sheep, its branches to make manure and its roots as wood turning. Most of the good land was planted with cereals, on the Valensole plateau, in the Valley of Riez, in the vicinity of Moustiers Ste. Marie.
Sheep farming was important until the end of the 19th century. All families had a herd, and yet the revenue limited to the wool was low. To the West, sedentary, large herds had little heads. At the end of the 18th century, estimated approximately 36,400 heads the population for the region Gréoux-Valensole-Riez. On the other hand, the pastures of the most mountainous area around Castellane welcomed important herds transhumant bass Provence. Revenues were then the lease of grazing, rather than the exploitation of livestock. In all the towns of the low and average Verdon, numerous small artisan factories existed: Mills linens and hats in Castellane, pottery in La Palud (30 potters in 1660)..., all needed in local life. In 1679, at Moustiers come to settle a new Potter: painter and Pierre Clérissy: François Viry. Both, very to the fact patterns of the time, create a first workshop around which will come join other small factories. They use local clay and ochres of the Vaucluse. Quickly, business is booming and at the end of the century, there are 30 potters from Moustiers. It is that since the installation of Pierre Clérissy, for economic reasons, Louis XIV forbade the use of gold and silver dishes. Also, shades of blue coins out of the factory of Pierre Clérissy and his son have a big hit with the high aristocracy. Twice a year, all enterprises in Moustiers send their production to bump up the Beaucaire fair. But at the end of XVIII., century, the first signs of recession appear, Moustiers factories will not bear industrial competition of the 19th century. In 1874, the last oven turns off (the production will resume as in 1926).

Life today

Agriculture has experienced profound changes since the beginning of the century. In the 1920s, lavenders have replaced des amandiers on the Valensole plateau and acres of land disappeared, buried under the waters of the artificial lakes. For the rest, all of the landscapes of the Verdon is still very wild, as across the forest is present. The forest, once the source of wealth, has become a burden on communities. The population is not large (about 20 inhabitants per km2) and in summer, the influx of tourists mainly concentrated on the months of July and August, requires many actions: management, fire prevention, information...
One of the causes of the increase in tourist numbers since 30 years of course is the creation of a kind of cascade of established dams on the course of the Verdon, Castillon in Vinon. The domestic torrent can thus produce energy and become recreation (160 hectares). All these dams have greatly changed the economy (drowned land and irrigated land), but also the landscape. Who today would imagine the Verdon without its lakes?

Nature recreation

The lakes and gorges du Verdon and the Valensole plateau sector presents an extraordinary asset by its geographical location. Located south of the Department of the Alpes de Haute Provence, it benefits from the influence of the Mediterranean climate and the low altitude excludes from heavy early snowfalls. Also, most of the outdoor activities can be enjoyed three quarters of the year, and for some of them, throughout the year.
Most of them are also friendlier to the shoulder seasons: world, a lower temperature, than most beautiful lights... But do not believe that nature is asleep, whatever the season, be careful:
•    avoid extreme heat of midday in summer,
•    fire, Wild camping, nor waste...
•    do not park anywhere and stick to farmers and other landowners.

Hiking

The arrival of the beautiful days (and the bottom Verdon, even in winter, if the days are sunny) hiking is the best way to discover the amazing landscapes of the Verdon.The trips can be very family, almost relaxing, in the Valley of the Colostre, on the plateau of Valensole or near Castellane. They may be also more sports, more "engaged" in the vicinity of the grand canyon or in the Chiran massif. Dark faults to the arid plateaus, passing by the laughing valleys or the meagre forests of Oaks, hiking presents multifaceted. Vertical drop are to halfway between those of the Plains and the mountains. In addition, the hiking trails are marked and well-maintained.Carry water: sources are rare and the water of the Verdon is not safe. GR 4 any crosses the gorges area, from Castellane to Manosque. On the var side, GR 99 comes from Aups to the vicinity of the Gorge.

Horse riding

What better to discover the vast landscapes of countries of the Verdon, as a companion who will take you away on the dominant Highlands canyon, surrounded by lavender and aromatic plants of the garrigue. But beware, your horses must be accustomed to stony and mountainous land. Some hiking or biking routes can be made on horseback. There is also a big circuit departing from Valensole which will lead you to Montdenier, the gorges, Castellane and loop back towards Moustiers and the Colostre Valley. You will find each step an equestrian Gîte or a farm-Inn to welcome you.

Mountain biking

The Valley of the Verdon, is the Kingdom of the ATV without concession, it is better to appreciate the climbs. But the reward is at the height of the effort, and you will reach fragrant and wild landscapes that make you forget your pains. The most beautiful circuits are in the sector of Castellane. They have the scale necessary for a nice day of VIT. Around the Gorge, from beautiful balconies circuits are to be discovered, but the practice is hardly favored.

Climbing

The gorges du Verdon are globally known climbers of high level, and the small village of La Palud-sur-Verdon is a bit the "Mecca" of the climbers. Track, long and many, usually begin with a reminder to get to the bottom of the canyon, and the very nature of the rock (limestone cliffs) induced approach techniques that have nothing to do with mountaineering. In the 1980s, the gorges du Verdon had a pioneering role in the history of climbing and there is the full range of the "climbs" modern since short technical pathways to large multi-day artificial climbing walls. The described routes are at all levels, but in all the climbing in the Gorge is rather difficult: 3 to 8 c, over a thousand of tracks from 10 to 300 meters high! If you are unsure, just observe the ballet of climbers on the vertical walls and keep an eye: all 'large' this sport regularly in the Verdon. The routes described in the guide are among the most classic gorges. They will allow you a smooth approach as to the level and depth in their magnitude, their status, their isolation... but novice refrain off-site school Valaute or Quinson, a site you are talking about also and found in another area, the lower Valley of the Verdon.

The whitewater and the descent of canyons

Whitewater activities are distinguished by their nature committed due to terrain. Here the thickness of limestone is 500 meters, water could there cut all beauty flaws.But the medal has its reverse side, water continues to dig sometimes way underground and produces cavities in dangerous bottlenecks. A good technical level is therefore necessary for the great adventure that is the descent of the Verdon (read description). Think that the Verdon remains a capricious torrent and that when one is in trouble, it is neither simple nor quick, preventing relief.
Limestone dissolves in water, the faults are here, more than in any other type of rock, carved with a knife... But water down where man does not go... and the canyons are sometimes dry, and in any case little aquatic. However beautiful vertical await you, and arrivals in the grand canyon are able to satisfy your needs of aquatic antics.Within an average of difficult level in general, described canyons allow an initiation for children (on certain sections) up to much more difficult things to the attention of knowledgeable practitioners.

Watersports

If you don't have the soul of an adventurer, you can nevertheless enjoy water in country of the Verdon, because fast Canyon, Kingdom of the specialist, follow the Lakes, homeland of the careless tourist who will prefer the pedal boat or windsurfing sailing: activities that can be practiced safely on Lakes St. Croix, Esparron, and to a lesser extent on that of Castillon.
Here walks by canoe, kayak or other, are family walks because they involve less commitment than at sea. Everyone can enjoy the Sun and calm, as motor boats are prohibited on the Lake of Sainte-Croix and downstream traffic is regulated by areas of Castillon.

Aerial sports

The sector of the Southern Alps is one of the best aerologies of the world. These special conditions have earned in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and Saint-André-les-Alpes to be part of the sites selected for the Organization of the paragliding World Championship. Summer breezes are reinforced by the midday sun and the nearby sea and mountain. The "muscular" aerology resulting however requires great care, especially among beginners: some sites are strongly discouraged - or even prohibited at certain hours and certain times of the year. Cover up before taking off, even if it's 30 ° C because ceilings flirt often with the 3,000 meters. Monitor the evolution of the clouds because cumulonimbus clouds are not uncommon, and even if they seem distant, stay on Earth! One can also, using aeronautical structures conventional, heavier, but also much more efficient, practicing some of the most beautiful flights in veil of Puimoisson or Vinon-sur-Verdon worldwide with the largest gliding club of France.

Winter recreation

Most of the time, the activities of the "dry seasons" are passable, the hikes are quieter, but somewhat less favourable terms (days shorter, snappier cold). We must adapt, choose rather dry canyons, little muddy mountain biking routes, which generally is the case of those described here. But if the snow is at the rendezvous, a new variety of activities is offered to you.
•    Snowshoe hiking: as trappers discover of wild spaces. Solitude warranty in slumbering nature. Technical affordable by all.
•    Nordic skiing: dozens of kilometres of forest tracks lend themselves beautifully to this practice. Terrain "medium mountain" is also well suited (the Chiran massif).The conditions are generally annually correct for an admittedly short period but that clever people will be able to take flight.
•    ski mountaineering: the area where the ski mountaineering is practicable is reduced, but since the chain of the Mourres (Chiran), can be 1 000 metres of ascent and the days of great weather, see Corsica, Oisans or the Mont-Blanc. The conditions are rarer... snow turns very quickly and it is often encrusted appearance.
•    mountaineering: quite exceptional (the exception actually charm). A race in the north face of the Grand Mourre (1 898 m) had to wait 7 years for the correct conditions are met. Toughest sector are the 'real Alps' easy races.

Quiet cycling along rivers

Benchmark: loop from Saint-André-les-Alpes, 2 h, 39km, low altitude. Map IGN 1/100000 Nice Barcelonnette n ° 61.

This bike ride is ideal departing from St-André-les-Alpes if you are looking for calmness and freshness through beautiful varied forests where hardwoods and softwoods abound in a subtle blend. The Valley of the Issole is really to be discovered with its beautiful balsam fir stands by the roadside. When you 140.00 on the built-Thorame, you will see a broad agricultural valley where sheep farming is very active and where all fields are cultivated. The tradition of transhumance remained very strong in these valleys of the high Verdon and the Issole.
Saint-André, go north in the direction of Château-Garnier by the 955 D and D 2. Win Thorame-Basse and Thorame-Haute by D 2 (it will then take pleasure, between these two villages, to cut the ride by a stop swimming at the Lake of Sagnes, equipped of beautiful corners picnic).
Thorame-high return on Saint-André-les-Alpes by D 955, along the Verdon.
•    Do more: you can leave Saint-André in the direction of worthy until Barrême (13 km on the No. 202), then go up the Valley of Clumanc and Tartonne, the Col of the grazing after a long climb of 320 m of height difference, and descend on Lambruisse before going by the above circuit (the distance is then more than double(, but the loop is even more varied...).
•    Living otherwise: the country of Saint-André-les-Alpes also lends itself to an original activity, taking into account its situation in the heart of the Southern Alps: Boating hiking. The thermal breeze, appeal of air between the mountains and the Lake, makes this intermediate space between sea and mountain, between warmth and softness, indeed for most common activities on the shores of the Mediterranean! The framework of these nautical rejoicing is quite exceptional, shared between Provence and Alps, between Castellane (and plane trees that shade a place where we play petanque in drinking of pastis) and Saint-André (20 km to the North and gateway to the mountain with its majestic surrounding forests and proximity to the sources of the Verdon). The practical opportunities offered locally are many:-the nautical club of Castillon is reached from the village of Saint-Julien-du-Verdon (by N 202 direction Nice then at the first crossroads, turn right by the 555 D like to earn Castellane; the suite is nearby and arrow).
If you head South, don't miss "bird island" (4 h E/R for this ride). If you whisked away to the North, you need 6 hours to reach the vicinity of Saint-André and back.

Free flight capital Saint-André

In the small world of free flight, there are a few mythical places. Saint-André-les-Alpes is one and not the least. Site performance and record recognised, it hosts almost every year from international competitions. Here, fly is combined with duration, easy elevation gains and pleasure of the eyes, since off looming summits with prestigious names (Mont Pelat, horse bench, Grand Coyer) that can approach.
•    D1: Southwest Chalvet Site. Take-off: Southwest (1,540 m altitude). Conditions: takeoff from 11 h, this takeoff departure serves all triangles and distance flights.Dangers and difficulties: very strong aerology in the afternoon, or even dangerous turbulent site by mistral (North, Northwest). Access: by car, from the roundabout of Saint-André, take the road to Digne (N 202), do 300 m then turn right in the direction of the train station. An arrow indicates the takeoffs. Follow the arrows to the top (road about 7 miles and parking). Foot, either by the above road or by the trail from the village of Moriez. Landings: Delta, ground of the Lake of St-André (A2). Paragliding, official landing of Moriez (A1).
•    D2: Chalvet South Site. Take-off: South (elevation 1,530 m). Conditions: southern wind. Dangers and difficulties: paragliding from less than 4 of finesse, never launch. Access: idem Southwest landing: land of the Lake only.
•    D3: Site of Chalvet Southeast takeoff: Southeast (1,520 m altitude). Conditions: the morning or by wind. Dangers and difficulties: turbulent by mistral (North, Northwest). Access: idem Southwest landing: land of the Lake only. Paragliding over 4.5 minimum to steal is finesse.
•    A1: the Lake at Saint-André-les-Alpes Altitude: 800 m. Conditions: calm by South wind. Dangers and difficulties: turbulent in the afternoon and by North wind.Overview of the railway must be done in compliance with air rules. Access: from St-André roundabout, take the road to Nice, 1.5 km and turn left after the supermarket. Note: only official land on Saint-André-les-Alpes.
•    2: Landing of Moriez Altitude: 910 m. Dangers and difficulties: high voltage along the takeoff line, Southwest (very low) landing. Attention to SAR ground receipts. Access: from the Saint-André-les-Alpes roundabout, take the road of Digne. Pass the Robines pass and make another 1.5 km. Land on your right (first House before Moriez).
•    The otherwise live: mountain biking, it is friendly mount take-off (or to be fit in vehicle), then follow the ridges northward to the Auragnier where a track allows you to down to D 2 and easily returned to Saint-André by the Valley of the Issole. Passable route on foot, horse... and Nordic skis well cold years.
•    Walkers will carry a small tower above Saint-André, in a forest with very varied species (many text panels written by the school's high school). The departure of this pleasant walk an hour and a half takes place the church square. Follow the path that climbs to the Saint-Jean chapel above the train station. Then take the road on a few hundred metres and left left (signposted "La Dindière") to follow good almost flat trail that reaches the neck of the Robines. Cross N 202 and take the forest track which serves the former nursery of the suffered in front. A path then a communal road can then reach easily Saint-André, a village that it had hardly had an opportunity of losing sight of.

The ride of the lost villages

Benchmark: Departure: from St-Julien-du-Verdon, follow South D 955 Castellane direction for about 2 km until a picnic area from where you will depart. Duration: 4 h. period: it is best to avoid the hottest hours in summer. The descent of the mountain biking course can be snowy on the first 200 meters in March or April. Difference in altitude: 500 m. fix: little difficult passages in the descent. Map: IGN series blue Castellane 3542 West.

A nice course downhill for mountain biking. The proximity of the infamous the Mandarom sect is a curiosity. Castillon Lake tends the arms for a restorative dip late in the day.
It will follow for this ride a yellow ATV markup that is performed by the ADRI. From the picnic area, continue along the Lake southward by the 955 D on 3,5 km. At the city level EDF (first met carrefour), mount left towards Demandolx, by D 102 on 3,5 km. At an altitude of 1040 m, turn left by a more narrow road climbing towards "the Clue". It comes in a beautiful wilderness area and the hamlet of the Clue is worth a peaceful break (detour). At an altitude of 1030 m, turn left (sign) and follow the trail that winds through the broom for 1.5 km. You will reach a small collar (Panel). Go left down a small path that zigzags between the pines in the forest of Fontfreye.
At the bottom of the descent, the markup is damaged, we recommend that you follow the described route here: cross a wide first track (km 4 approximately from the Clue), leave it immediately left to find the path which joined again a track that one down left on approximately 500 m to the exit in the second lace (front Tower) for a path right (tag wheeled ATV) which leads to the picnic area equipped of departure.
•    Living otherwise: you can make climbing an adventurous strand around the hamlet of the town (located to the West of the Clue). It is around this beautiful village, but unfortunately dropped, some nice pieces of rocks which invite to wild escalation. Beware, there is no official authorization, but no prohibition either. Behave unimpeachably, sheep owners who share the tranquillity of this place with you there.
•    Slab school: 15 m high with 6-ch 4 c to 6a fitted with 8 spit (unfortunately some are lacking; take plates of diameter 8 and 10).
•    Pillar two lengths in 6 has partial equipment (carry nuts and straps).
•    Three-way rated slab 5 sup 6a and equipped in spits of 8 (height 40 m).
•    Large pillar: a 90 m "Drizzle on the pillar of time" track, 5 sup / 6a, equipped (rappelling on chains); Next we find Papiloup, a shorter length (30 m, 7a mandatory, relay on channel) and on the right another 40 m line equipped with 8 spits.
•    Red pillar: at the edge of the track. 30 m 6a / 6B; equipment in 8 spits.

The Red of Guillaume

Guillaume, Peone are names of villages on the border of the Alpes-Maritimes and Provence. There was born "mourerous" red-faced sheep rustic is, particularly adapted to the dry mountains of haute Provence. Threatened with disappearance, she finds through the eyes of technicians in research on biodiversity. Our genetic heritage is narrowing and it is urgent to preserve what can it be still, such sheep breeds in the country. You'll find: head and red legs like that, it not wrong.

The balcony of the Castillon Lake

Offset: Saint-André-les-Alpes (exit south of the village). Duration: 4 to 6 p.m. length: 12 km minimum, if one does that the round of Courchons, more than 20 miles if it is more outward and return, very advisable, to the village of la Baume. Difference in altitude: 450 m for the shorter loop. Maps: IGN blue Saint-André-les-Alpes 3541 West and Castellane 3542 West series.
 
Hiking to mountain biking that we offer, even though no particular technical difficulty, includes a long climb at the beginning which will no doubt discourage beginners.On the other hand, for the cyclist used to pedalling regularly, it is an exceptional panoramic route in a landscape of forests and lakes.
St-André, take the Nice direction for 1 km and turn right immediately after the 'Lake and forest' hotel. Take right onto the Causeway track amount to Courchons (Panel). The climb is long, 7 km, but rolling on a well stony track which is not muddy even after rain. At the level of an oratory, is a ridge (elevation 1,310 m) and the track descends slightly to the hamlet of Courchons. Before the sheepfolds of barns, turn uphill to the left and pass a lavoir source where a short portage is necessary.Achieve a ruined Chapel, and follow the direction is to go down a small path which is moving rapidly to the North and joined in 2 km downhill, steep, Rouchas farm.There it joined the track borrowed to go. Attention on descents.
•    Do more: this circuit, known as the "Courchons tour", deserves to be complemented by an and return to the village of la Baume. From Courchons, it suffices to follow a path very well maintained and signposted, well attended by the local mountain bikers. At the beginning, about 1 km, the trail follows a penstock. After having crossed the ravine of Teil, a steep but short climb requires to carry a few minutes biking; It then manages a small pass, where there is a beautiful small stone shelter.

The Blaches and Verdon Lakes circuit

This mountain bike circuit, around the top of the Blaches dominating Castellane, you will also visit the chapel of Notre-Dame-du-Roc, guardian of the gorges.Sometimes athletic course as the practice of mountain biking is generally in this area. The point of view that one has on the surrounding area however justifies only the displacement. In the fall, he there adds color, and the indefinable charm of the larch...
From the Centre of Castellane, take the direction of worthy northward. 700 m further, turn right towards "Cebiere", and 1 km uphill more far, leave this new route uphill to the left. 300 m after the rise fades then succeeds, 1.5 km more far, D 955 and Cheiron pass. The 3.2 km, turn right on D 955, which climbs slightly down to 5.5 km.There should be monitored a steep climb on a track starting in right. Follow it to achieve a replat. Mount a little, the road crosses a steep wall before down winding in an Oak Grove for 2km and reassemble. Several Rocky passages require to put ashore and push the ATV. Then there is balcony over the Lake dam of Castillon and Chaudanne. The panorama really deserves a break. The 8.3 km one reaches a flat area, and then down between huge boulders and tall pine trees. Still down 500 m and then reach the limits of the forest that we follow on the edge of the «robines» (one sees ruins to the left). Continue down on the other side by a steep trail that winds (a few hairpin bends) and a few steps to the 10 km. We pass two ravines and trail then rises slightly to reach in front of a large building. Continue straight in the same direction by a trail that suddenly plummets to lift in front and follow a "restanque" on a few hundred metres. You reach the chapel Sainte-Victoire. The return on Castellane is a road which descends right on 800 m and passes under Notre-Dame-du-Roc along the Verdon.
•    Do more: two possibilities: the first is, km 3 (just before the col de Cheiron), turn right onto a trail that climbs to a 'platform' forest to the top of Blaches (altitude 1200 m). Thence, northward, a steep descent brings back the Castillon dam where it joins the normal route near the 955 D.
•    Another possible choice, still at 3 km, take a right the track already cited in the previous variant, and 3 miles further, go right to the forest home of the Blaches.Then down to the West up to the altitude of 930 m where you can either continue down to the Cebiere, either follow a trail badly drawn southerly and the sheepfold of the Clot of Provence. In this case, we end immersing on the chapel Notre-Dame-du-Roc, ensuring peace of any walkers.

Salinae to Castellane

If the site of Castellane was occupied since ancient times, the village has wandered over the centuries. The primitive city, Ducelia, was in height. At the Gallo-Roman time, Salinae (which owes its name to the presence of a source of salt water) down the plain. In the high middle ages, it goes opposite the original site on the "Petra Castellana" and strengthens in a trapezoidal enclosure. From the 11th to the 13th century, it descends on the current site and strengthens again. The doors of the Petardiers and the clock to detect the trace.

The pious mountain

Benchmark: departure from the Centre of Castellane, 5 h, avoid the middle of the summer day, 530 m of ascent, 20km, IGN map series blue Castellane 3542 West and Sandra 3442 is.

The Robion is one of the beautiful peaks of the sector. He often catches the eye because it seems snow: this is an optical effect which confuse its white rocks with snow.You will discover during this nice hiking to mountain bike a mountain village which is struggling to survive, and then a very nice Chapel perched, and overhanging a Buddhist community... The opportunity for the disbelievers, subjugated by the divine beauty of the surroundings, to regain faith in life and in man.
Since the big square, take direction of Grane N 85, then after the bridge on the Verdon immediately, follow right D 102 about 1.8 km (you can park here at failure to boot directly from Castellane). Turn left on a small road that switchbacks and the exit in the fourth right for climb steep it is very difficult to not finish on foot... Then after a small pass, a descent lets perk before joining the 102 D, then D 302 that we will climb to the village of Robion (source left 700 m after the crossroads where we find the road). The markup then made a hook to the hamlet of Petit Robion. It is clear, clinging to the wall, the chapel of Saint-Trophime which dates back to the Knights Templar. Cross Robion to continue southwesterly to the bass of the soft, where one goes down immediately in front by a forest track: beautiful rapid descent. Then include a wide track left right at the bass of the soft back on 100 m, to the exit for the benefit of a steep trail that goes up and down to finish with a beautiful climb to glue, passing near the ruins of the soft and Fontpuge. Attention: it overlooks this place a Buddhist community established at the Château de Soleils (do not disturb). The route crosses then an austere pouring North then joined after a short portage, D 102 that we follow to return to Castellane.
•    Living otherwise: an equestrian relay located in the tiny hamlet of Eoulx (in the South of the village of guard) allows to browse these mountains mane to the wind.The torrent of Rayaup, along "the d 102, offers a small introduction to the descent of the canyon." Enter the due to the level of the deck of the 102 D on the torrent. Cold water; low flow. Two cascades of 3 and 5 m allow an initiation to recall (take away a plate of diameter 8 mm).
•    Walk, could be the detour to the Chapel St-Trophime, an Eagle's nest in a half-hour walk from Robion.

The entry of the artists

Benchmark: departure from the plan of Carajuan on the D952, between the Palud and Castellane (9km from la Palud). 7 h (16km circuit), avoid the summer or go to the "fresh". 600 m of ascent, map IGN blue series Senez 3442 is.

A proposal to discover a genuine Castle (like in the movies!) by traveling to the former. You can take the opportunity to enjoy one of the most beautiful views of gorges with the calmness and more.
The Pont de Carajuan (who must its name to an encampment of Jules César on these places, seems...), follow the left bank of the Jabron, in the sparse pines. One reaches finally the bridge over Jabron D 90 by a track and a piece of descent on an asphalt road. Take the D 90 Trigance direction until the Saint-Roch Chapel, then continue still about 500 m before turn right onto a track steep which quickly divides into two branches. Take the left, and then right at the collar of Samuel and another 200 m far to the left. Then turn left to find themselves on a trail. You are then on a sunny side very sunny in the "suburbs" of the village. Cross a pass, and then cross to the beautiful hamlet of Entreverges announced by a field of standing stones.
Follow northwards the track which passes to a pass and then descends to Encastel (ruins, but a shed has been restored; here lived three families, there was an oven...).From the ruins, cross the plateau West to discover the Rancoumas gorges belvedere and the cliff of l ' Escalès.
The view is quite striking on the cliff of the stopovers and the acoustics are such that you can hear the climbers talk! Return to the ruins and then returning to the North and the source (trough to sheep), then the collar North where one finds a good path (marked yellow) which led to the Roman Tusset, then Sublime Point bridge or the D 234. A taxi or a kind motorist can take back you to Carajuan.
•    Do more: the boldest (including those that carry this loop over two days, as explained in the 'practice') depart from Sublime Point and will rise by GR 4 to the town of Rougon. Beyond that, they will take the track coming out of the village to the East, and future generations to join the D 952 and not far from there, the Carajuan plan (add two hours to the scheduled time).
•    To do less: you have little time to stroll or even quickly tired calves? So just following, short, easy and spectacular walks:
•    starting from Trigance to win Entreverges or Encastel (count 3 h go and return that can shorten leaving D 71 Aiguines-Trigance near the locality the Bastide Neuve);
•    go to Entreverges (North South Road of the gorges Aiguines. Trigance) down to Encastel and Sublime Point. In this case, the car shuttle is mandatory;
•    from the D 234, climb to Encastel then back down. Best will be then to leave the main path, after about 40 minutes walk, in a yaw to the left to a path that continues straight in a Valley (near a huge oak) leads directly near the Rancoumas belvedere.
•    Living otherwise: this large loop between Carajuan and Trigance is also one of the most beautiful circuits of the mountain bike sector, but is aimed at practitioners rather skilled and trained, given its length, its relative isolation and the ports (or strollers!) in which it will require non-experts.

Navigation in the Gorges

Benchmark: Departure: bridge of Carajuan on the D 952 La Palud-Castellane, 1 km downstream of the pont de Soleils. Arrival: Lake of Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon, at the pont de Galetas on D 957 between Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and Aiguines.
Duration: 8 h descent starting at nine o'clock in the morning. Period: on letting go of water E.D.F., recommended from April to November. Difficulty: very difficult golf course, 30 km class III, IV and V. Several ports required and painful; presence of many traps that can cause drowning. Attention, water flow submitted to the Chaudanne dam water releases. Security: whitewater course very committed and reserved for specialists of high river descent can be achieved as a team of experienced kayakers. A single exit at the gateway of the Estellier (the only of course) with lift by GR 4 in the direction of the cottage of the Maline: 1 h 30 with his boat. Map: IGN blue series Senez 3442 is and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie West 3442.

Often compared to Colorado, the Verdon has nothing similar. Much narrower, very green, he also knows to attract as much lovers of nature. On land, in the air or on the water, Verdon leaves dreamer. For kayakers, its depth, its length, its isolation and its difficulties, in a wild and unspoiled, make it one of the most majestic route of whitewater world!
It is 300 meters after the bridge of Carajuan, that serious things begin. Quick the dripping, big natural waterslide, puts in the atmosphere of the course which follows.
A few kilometres from Rapids fix average, class II - III lead then to the real entrance to the grand canyon: the Sublime Point. Verdon in the Samson corridor at the foot rushes are huge cliffs and once engaged, it will be very difficult to reach the road without a portage of the hardest and most difficult.
Then chained 4 kilometres from Rapids, class III - IV: the Giants, seal the flap, the funnel, the Grand Narrows, the Coral and finally, the Turbine which marks the linen of the first part of the difficulties. Then the Verdon wiser for about 10 km, receives on the left bank the Artuby (passable tributary in upper kayak and especially in its lower part in canyoning). It is possible to go back a few hundred meters in the gorges of the Artuby. The glance is worthwhile. Arrived at the gateway of the Estellier, the only one of the course, it is recommended to satisfy before attacking the second part, far more difficult and dangerous than the first.
Difficulties are growing, the rapids are linked to each other, the slope steepens and siphons are more numerous. The recognition of some fast turns out to be mandatory.Safety is essential at the level of the rapids of the Estellier, the river Styx, the Imbut and the Gavalets... The other Rapids are not provided to neglect. All represent a potential danger and should be taken with the utmost seriousness.
After the Imbut, no more way of communication, more no trails. It will take out whatever the cost. The last fast is called 'the stunners': it marks the end of difficulties.The Verdon then leads into the Lake of Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon. There are only 3-4 km paddling flat water to reach the pont de Galetas.
•    To do less: boarding at Carajuan bridge, landing at the entrance to the gorges du Verdon after the fast of Solitaire and back walk to the parking lot of the Point Sublime (15 minutes).
•    Do more: undertake the descent of the way Verdon between Castellane and the pont de Carajuan. 20 km class II, III with a side passage IV. Boarding at Castellane, next to the municipal swimming pool. Landing at the Carajuan bridge. These different pathways are also feasible in swimming in whitewater (hydrospeed) or floating (the new mode not to be missed!). In this case, closer to different providers of water RAM is working in the Verdon (see their contact details in the 'practical').

Fishing in the Gorges du Verdon

Many readers, probably scared, say that the water of the Verdon is not made for them. And yet they may also discover it in a much more peaceful way through ancestral and less risky activity: fishing. Why not making an unusual 'wild' meal of trout and Chub? Go for it with a local guide who will make you discover the good corners, good hours, the tricks of the trade. With a bit of luck, you can even choose your fish!
The permit is required in all seasons... mesh is 23 cm and there is no right to fish more than 10 trout. Attention, the Verdon has an artificial flow governed by the Chaudanne dam. To reach, the water puts: three hours to the corridor Samson, six hours at the gateway of the Estellier, seven hours to L'imbut. Never leave only downstream the Imbut. The wetsuit and a waterproof container may be necessary in some sections.
The colour of the water of the Verdon comes from chlorophyll plants upstream, and one must be able, depending on the clarity of the wave, take more or less thread end, making his flies, imitate insects of the day... Good corners and the access, you ask? Failing to reveal the coordinates Lambert of the biggest trout of the Alps, here is nevertheless some indications: from Castellane to Carajuan: good corners for the spoon, the shot, the fly. Access to views from the D 952,
•    of Carajuan at the stopovers: beautiful places for fishing in the bright and large trout. Many access: down along the River from the bridge of Carajuan, by the pont de Tusset and D 324 camping area, since the confluence with the Bau upstream along the River, by the Martel (4 GR) trail from the parking lot of the Samson on the D 234 corridor...
•    of the Mescla to the Estellier: spoon or fly fishing. Access by the Martel (4 GR) trail from the cottage of the Maline;
•    of the Estellier to the Imbut: the fishing will be good if the flow is less than 6 m3/s. access by the path of the Imbut since the Maline Chalet or the hostel of the riders by riders trail or the empty;
•    from L'imbut to Mayreste: this is the grand canyon wilderness. All places are good, but you should never go alone. Access from L'imbut or collar of the olive tree down to the old gateway. To discover the site, do not venture if the throughput is greater than 6 m3/s. It is in the vicinity of the end of the world since the impoundment of the Lake of Sainte-Croix, the largest catches were made (record of Hubert, the local celebrity: a trout of 11.8 kg). 3 to 5 kg fish are common.

The track of schoolchildren

Benchmark: departure from la Palud-sur-Verdon, arrived in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. 4 h rolling quietly, + 400 /-700 m of vertical drop, IGN blue series Senez 3442 is and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie West 3442.

It is a road between La Palud and Moustiers, (not a wide and winding Ribbon of asphalt as at the base of the Gorge, but on the contrary a dirt road) which circulates on a direct axis. This track serves an unknown hinterland, magnificent softness and brightness under a Sun of autumn, and mountain biking is the ideal instrument of discovery.
At the crossroads of the fountain high in La Palud-sur-Verdon (lavoir near the school, at the top of the village) take the direction of the village abandoned Châteauneuf-les-Moustiers (D 123). A paved section leads to the foot of the climb to the village where you will leave left the road paved for a wide paved lane. This road, known as "route of the Belgians" takes you, by a Valley suspended between the gorges and ridges of the Montdenier, in a wild landscape where it meets that of beautiful and old farms, some abandoned but others still well alive or restored (the Clue, Venascle, Naverre, Vincel...). You will encounter little difficulty of guidance, because the main runway is obvious to follow; Moreover, the course is quite sunny and therefore rather the heat need to fear, because in normal times, the sources are non-existent on these heights... Height and to the West of the hamlet Venascle, could shorten the route going down Moustiers directly by the old Roman road (in this case, it will have to be attentive to the hikers who take this route; some passages will be crossed on foot). But the most valiant continue to roll to the North. A short detour can then take you towards the end of the runway at the oppidum Castillon ligure, a precociously inhabited places of the region. Then it will finally join D 952 road which leads to Moustiers, near the farm of small Ségriès: was found in the vicinity (but it is now protected and invisible) a rock painting of bison dating back 12,000 years before our era. At that time, glaciers descended to Castellane and the climate should be slightly cooler than today ' hui... The end of the course, might take a trail (marked yellow) which leads to Moustiers without going through the tar. Leave this D 952 on the right and 200 metres after him have joined.
•    To do less: possible variants are very numerous in this part of the Verdon, generous in wearers trails. The simplest route departing from La Palud is a loop that is to follow the first part of the route, to the col de Croix de Châteauneuf on a few hectometres. Then return a nice path which rises gently under the pine trees on the right by a good path descending into the Valley of Courchon, back this Valley by its service track and identify quickly enough right (we guess it better by rolling in the opposite direction). This very nice path describes a broad curve at the head of the Valley of the Marquourin and back to the place called the Aubrettes. Then complete the road which brings back in a few minutes in La Palud (count a good hour for this circuit pleasant, shady and beautiful portions on never extreme trails offering).
•    Another recommended choice sector, one that leaves the "track of the Belgians", the Clue farm and joined the neck of the donkey (200 metres of altitude difference uphill) before descending towards Moustiers by the GR path which runs along the Ridge (steep). or even a little easier trail that descends to the bois de Félines (red) always via the col of the ass. We can finally reach the donkey, bypassing the Clue, using the track from the col de Croix de Châteauneuf and who joined the Venarelle gorge and Bargin plateau.

On the traces of the past

Benchmark: Departure from la Palud-sur-Verdon, 3 h 30, 16km 600 m of ascent, avoid the summer midday, IGN blue series Senez 3442 map is.

Mountain biking, we offer you the discovery of the wild hinterland, a little away from the Grand Canyon and its overcrowding. An abandoned village, a chapel nestled against the rock, well sunny hamlets and alive, you will feel the Verdon of the ancients.
In La Palud, at the crossroads of the upper fountain, take the D 123 to the village abandoned Châteauneuf-les-Moustiers (can also follow, once on the plateau, the equestrian trail marked by orange); the last mile is not tarred (source on the right). The village was abandoned of men and lack of water after the war of 14-18. Follow the trail descending above the cemetery, to the restored bridge of San Peyre. Skips to the foot of the chapel of Notre-Dame and over an old mill on the Baou. The Baou was before 'the' River to industry mills and there are four on its course. A beautiful climb back to D 17 is down to the suffered and it exits right towards the bridge of the Ponsonnet on the Baou. The return to La Palud then follows the road to the col de Croix de Châteauneuf. Possibility of return to La Palud directly or take on the left the pretty path which tumbles in the Valley of Courchon. You can then simply reach La Palud or try an ultimate Variant that dates back to the Valley by its service track we are going to leave on the right by a nice trail that describes further a broad curve at the head of the Valley of the Marquourin and ends at a place called the Aubrettes. La Palud is no longer while in some shots of pedals.

The chapel of Notre-Dame

Built by monks from 1274, this cave may have been a place to stay for the Templars. It was fortified at the end of the 16th century, while despite the edict of peace of King Henri IV, armed gangs continued to besiege and attack some Protestant communities. In 1746 was built the chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary that can still be seen at the present time. However, vandals among other researchers of the famous treasure of the Knights Templar destroyed some ornaments and rustic frescoes as well as a bedside added afterwards.

The tour of the Serre du Montdenier

Benchmark: departure from la Palud-sur-Verdon, the path starts at the end of the D123 (1008 side point m on IGN), in the village of Châteauneuf-les-Moustiers abandoned. Two days without rushing, cards IGN blue series Senez 3442 is and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie West 3442.

Walk your horse, the ancient pastoral drailles of this course will focus your gaze on the ridges of the Chiran or lined expanses of turquoise of the Valensole plateau.
Cast by the trail to the ruins of Châteuneuf-les-Moustiers and continue northwestward through the trail that overlooks the ravine of the Bau, and descends to the bridge of Sant Peire. Cross Creek to go up on the right at the hamlet of the Brochiers. Back across the Creek at the bottom of the ravine of ladles and reassemble a trail (Northwest) to the track that joins the neck of Abbesses. Go down then by the forest track until the birth of the Estoublaisse torrent. Leave the track which part on the right towards the Lake, to borrow the track of the forest of la Faye (still in this same general northwesterly direction). Arrived on the plateau, turn westward to reach the col de St-Jurs (1318 m side point). Leave the track to pick up a trail that descends on the left (southwest) and join the forest road. At the first corner in lace, turn left on the forest path which joins the farm of Naverre and continue South on the main runway (old Roman road) to reach the farm of Venascle (at the oratory, leave the track which part on the right). The path then descends to the torrent of Vallongue arrive at the ruins of the Clue. After passing under power lines, continue the track that runs along the Creek. Leave a path which starts on the right (side 936 m point) to find the village of Châteauneuf-les-Moustiers.
•    Living otherwise: the entire sector in the Highlands - between gorges du Verdon and road Napoleon Castellane-Digne is traveled an impressive number of forest tracks for endless possibilities to mountain biking and a change of scenery that moves away roads and major agglomerations. The proposed equestrian circuit is only one of many possible choices of the sector. Never forget the repair kit: these parts are not frequent and do not too rely on a providential convenience store from there!
•    The Valley of the Estoublaisse, at the head of which passes the equestrian course available, is also the scene of a superb hike coming to visit the very discreet Trévenans gorges. His departure takes place this time downstream of this turbulent stream, side valley of the Asse (Estoublon village). A small road without end (D 667) up the Valley and a short track, starting on the right before the ascent to the hamlet of Trévenans, then allows to get close to the entrance to the Gorge (gateway and Panel NFB). A very nice loop (with a duration of 4 hours) is to go up by a pretty trail the main torrent of the Estoublaisse, always remaining on its left bank.
•    After a pronounced ascent, it is to flank this forest road wins the vicinity of the ruins of Valbonnette (very precarious refuge shelter) before going down to the stream it crosses for exiting right bank and in reverse. Further, it will reach the ravine of Pas de L'Escale and you will return to the start of the loop after crossing twice this torrent. It will be admired in passing the receipts of the two torrents, very appreciated by the descenders of canyons with their bowls and small reminders (never more than 20 m), but currently not visitable following the thread of the water following the new regulations in force.

The Chiran: rising up to the sky

Benchmark: departure from the Gîte d'etape of Blieux on the D2, 4 h to the top, 1000 m of ascent, map IGN blue series Senez 3442 is.

Leave the deep gorges and, even at the height of the season, recovering almost absolute tranquility. In a sky that is reputed to be one of the purest of the world, at high altitude, in the middle of a desert, an ancient astronomical observatory awaits you.
The path is marked since the 21 D from the lieu-dit Le Pointu. Rising quickly and regularly above the clue the ASSE, picturesque geological feature. Then descend towards the East to resume a beautiful climb in the wild circus of the Blieux portal, which can be reached to join the track coming from Majastres. Follow this trail to the top. The return will be made by the same route.
•    To do less: from Rougon (nearby village of La Palud, in the Highlands of the Verdon) or Mezel (Vallée de L'asse), you can also follow D 17 that runs along the barrier of the Chiran on its Southwest flank. Stop at the level of the barrier closing track climbing the slope. Then follow walk this way to the top (elevation reduced to 600 m; the ascent lasts longer while 2 h).
•    Do more: possible variants of the sector are numerous: we can thus bedroom at the top for a night of observation in furnished premises, or even return to Blieux Mourre de Chanier Summit and the Valley of the Longuet East. Cross off the trail by rocky areas and lawns on one of the giants of Provence. Found in the Valley of the Longuet bad markup near the hamlet of tuna.
•    Living otherwise: horseback riding, mountain biking, snowshoes, skis: the itinerary can be entirely adapted to the means chosen. Can be carried out in winter, when snow is present on these mountains, highlights of Provence, of small mountaineering races who had the stamp of authenticity. Starting from the hamlet of ladles on the heights of La Palud. The crampons and the ice axe may be necessary for these slopes which are sometimes at 45 degrees in hard snow (especially in corridors under the great wound, 700 metres of difference in altitude).
•    A confirmed paraglider must be able to get a nice Flight departing from the Chiran in these area commonly frequented by gliders. Finally, more original is the descent of the course of the Asse of Blieux (2 reminders of 40 m, but the equipment is obsolete so far...).

Majastres, forgotten village

This hike at VTT enables the discovery of an abandoned village but being restored, perched on a rocky outcrop, and another very isolated village where still lives a family.
To Majastres, follow D 17 Northwest to Mézel to take right after 1 km a track that leads to the Villard (col overlooking Majastres). This pass, turn left a track that descends to a Ford. You can then see the small village of hair that goes with a good track. Beautiful fountain in the village. The building that housed the City Hall and the school has spruced up for a cottage, but due to various problems, it does not work very well... Take the road that passes between the cemetery and the chapel in the middle of the village. Follow him on a hillside (2 difficult to cross creeks) up to a track that one goes down to the left. At the next intersection, take left again to then reach D 17 that back up to Majastres.
•    Make it more or less: come since Blieux by tracks and join the route in the Villard (Blieux, top-Chaudoul, Couley Lauren). Can, at the Ford, 2 km before the village, turn right on the trail along the ravine of the dowser, follow it to the pass which is located on the ridge line which separates the Valley from that of Asse (close to the Summit, 1 358 m, due east of the village) and there down a trail to the village of the hair with a pretty parade. You are here in a zone very little inhabited: to eat or drink something, you need to go to Mézel or Estoublon.

The most beautiful trails of the Gorges

Martel, Imbut, Vidal, jumper, Bastidon, evocative names of strong memories for all who have walked these exceptional trails. The most famous and the most popular is undoubtedly the Martel Trail, but its success has a setback, its overcrowding. Our advice: If you really want to appreciate the Martel trail, get up very early and start walking as soon as the first hour of the day. Otherwise, go outside the busy tourist periods. The most beautiful period will be October or November, by one of those fall days where the beauty of the gorges drowns in lighting and truly extraordinary colors.
To browse all of the five trails, it takes almost three days. If you only have a weekend, we recommend the following day 1 program: sentier Martel or (much easier, less acrobatic paths of the gorges), that of the Bastidon.

The Martel trail

The departure takes place at the refuge of the Maline (about 8 km from La Palud by route des Crêtes). The path descends (sometimes steep with even a scale at Koshukova no) to the vicinity of the Verdon where you take left (upstream). Follow the River (crossing of the scree of Tosks on a gateway) and then be up to the breach Imbert.
Before you start assembling to the Imbert breach it is advisable to go admire the Mescla (the mixing of waters) wonderful confluence of the Artuby and Verdon, right along a small trail (Panel initially; 30 to 40 mn go and back). From the top of the Imbert breach, then down the scales with care (7 consecutive).
Crosses with those who may not be on the platforms. We then take a horizontal path easier then a descent at the level of the balm to the dogs.
A long horizontal part leads to the foot of one of the most famous cliffs of rock climbing in the world: the stops (on your left). Its countless lanes 300 m made dream several generations of climbers. At the end of this cliff, the more dizzying part of the Gorge awaits you: the Samson corridor with its tunnels and visit not to be missed by the Baume aux pigeons, giant 60 m overhanging canopy. We arrive then at the confluence of the Baou and the Verdon (source of the Merlet) and then in the parking lot of the corridor Samson where can continue (on the left and at the bottom of the car park) to the famous Point Sublime. A trail can take back you (at a good hour of additional market) to La Palud by the right bank of the Baou, the ruins of Leo and the ravine of the Conhets.
•    To do less: less courageous can experience the Samson corridor and tunnels from the parking lot of the D234 located under the Point Sublime, in return to La Baume aux pigeons or further afield, to the belvedere of Irouelle (about 2 h 30). Finally, remember that the Martel trail is forbidden to practice any other than hiking.

The trail of the Bastidon

It can assume either of La Palud-sur-Verdon or the parking lot of the belvedere of May-rest. You can also fully browse the "PR" trail marked in yellow by the ADRI, which leaves La Palud and there back passing under the Cime de Barbin. From La Palud, on the side of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, follow the yellow markup that begins on a small road along a camping. Join the route des Crêtes, then leave it on the right, to find a little more bottom (GR 4). One kilometre after crossing the road bridge (side 845 m on IGN), leave the road right and take on the "trail of the Bastidon" itself. Never deviate from the yellow markup. Before arriving at the belvedere of Mayreste, pay attention, in a deeply cashed ravine (the ravine of Ferne), where the trail uses a fairly narrow rocky ledge. By Mayreste (3 h from La Palud), return by car or taxi in La Palud-sur-Verdon, if one has left one, or else continue the PR up to La Palud-sur-Verdon trail. Count more then 3 hours. Through the Valley of the fuck and the ravine of the Grinhan, win the Jas de Barbin, then go to the adroit of the Cime de Balint] before descending on La Palud. After the ravine of the Grinhan, the route is shared with the GR 4, and found the markup red and white.

Day 2: Cavalier-Imbut-Vidal

This is the sense that we recommend, the trail of the riders being easier to go down that trail Vidal. From the Inn of the riders, take the trail GR in red and white that descends to the North towards the bottom of the Gorge to the location of the Estellier gateway, swept away in the fall of 1994 by the flood of the Verdon. Then follow the left bank Verdon to the chaos of the Imbut. Several passages in corniche require great caution. At leisure, you can leave the trail for bathing, if the season and the flow of the Verdon are suitable, then having a wide choice of beautiful places... At the foot of the steep trail Vidal, continue 20 minutes to see the chaos of the Imbut (the funnel in Provençal), in which the Verdon disappears. It is the result of a likely landslide of an underground Vault. the number and the gigantic size of the blocks make a wonder of nature. The depth of the terminal siphon is at the moment unfathomable. Warning: it is dangerous to walk on huge blocks of chaos, worn and slippery. Return to the foot of the trail Vidal, and reassemble it taking the cables and ladders. Be careful not to send a stone on those who climb under your feet. When you arrive on the road from Aiguines to bridge the Artuby, the simplest is to walk along the road to the parking lot of the Cavaliers (4-5 km), otherwise must have planned to leave a car.

The tunnels of the Martel trail

The Verdon, close to large urban concentrations of the Mediterranean coast and the often cashed course between huge limestone plateaus, has always attracted engineers and other hydraulic. So in 1901, the electric company of southeastern made a grandiose project: stand in the Verdon River upstream from the Gorge to the clue of Carajuan (at the foot of the village of Rougon), and then channel it to its output to Moustiers where a fall would have recovered energy invests by men for this hard work. Fully hand-dug '» (work progressed one meter per day, said), the tunnels were started by both ends and all together. This was to be a real boon for the country and a genuine human anthill in the Gorge. The war of 14-18 however interrupted this pharaonic project, to the delight of the visitors current, in love with the bright waters of the impetuous torrent.

Climbing in the Verdon

Verdon, this name sounds for a long time in the imagination of climbers from around the world. A site (or rather a set of sites) which not is is never old-fashioned, welcoming once the great voyages of adventurous rock-climbers, followers of large smooth walls overcome through perseverance and days of effort, but also attempts to shorter and more 'modern' followers current length consumed in the unit.

The cliff of Valaute

Benchmark: Access: from la Palud take the CD 23 (Ridge Road) to the East and Park Road to belvedere first reached. Height: 6 m to 45 m tracks. Fix from 3B to 6 c.IGN blue series map Senez 3442 is.

A school without the Vertigo of large lanes well it lies in close proximity to the grand canyon. A gentle practice therefore, in a beautiful wild and unspoiled. It should be pronounced "Valaote".
From the lookout, down to North-North-East following the edge of the cliff of l ' Escalès overlooking the Gorge by a pretty good trail marked and marked here and there by cairns for around 400 m, up to end of wood planted in a fault on the ridge. Away so Ridge (cairns) left following a less clear-cut path for about 300 m (winding) until a small oak wood that is crossed to a col planted tall pines by a tortuous course in the limestone pavements. Once in the neck, move towards the Gorge (right), the cliff is 100 m on your left (duration of this approach from the viewpoint: 15 mn). The lower part of the cliff is very interesting for the initiation of children. It will take to this part remain attentive to the possible falling rocks and the wearing of a helmet is recommended, even if the rock of the jump is excellent (prevention is better than cure...).
•    Living otherwise: access to the foot of the cliffs is also an opportunity for original hike. You can indeed, since the col de Valaute, bypass the Summit backed by cliffs exposed to the South, uphill to the left, then down on the north side by large inclined (easy de-escalation, off traces) slabs, opposite the Point Sublime; then join a nice path in corniche, Bau gorges follow one downstream, to trail Martel to discover the Samson corridor, along the most beautiful drop of the canyon.Since Valaute, a good hour to the Martel trail and provide a car shuttle or a taxi, as well as a lamp for those who venture in the Lair of the Samson corridor and its tunnels.

The edge of the Belvedere

Benchmark: Departure: route des Crêtes westward (D 23, in the direction of the cottage of the Maline). Stop about 6 km after the village of La Palud, to the level of a cut in the rock parking, located on the left of the road (the Maline chalet is 2 km far).
Duration: 4 h. height: 200 m first in the downhill, then the fix rise: a passage 5 sup you can pass to leave with a Jammer (stoppers game); Lane also sustained in 4/5;equipped with studs and dowels; provide 12 quickdraws by length and strap rings. Map: IGN blue series tighten 3442 is.

A great classic, not too difficult despite its very nice scale in the wilderness setting of gorges. This is the easiest road to the site, one of the most traveled.
Here, first down before mounting. And this is the opportunity to discover one of the multiple singularities of the Gorge: the old boxwood cutters access trails. From the parking lot of the Belvedere back about 100 m towards La Palud-sur-Verdon (there is a cairn downstream of the road, if a vandal has not destroyed it). Follow the trail that descends (cairns) first towards the right, then towards the left (small rocky jumps), until a small notch where the path becomes very steep (down to the left, first planted stakes). Easy de-escalation on approximately 50 m, then a small rise not to be missed. Cross a small spur, then continue easy de-escalation. It is now in sight of the edge. Reach a grassy area, lowered towards the right until the last corridor that is de-escalation and cross to the left towards the foot of the first clear edge. The track is located on the spur immediately right.
Attack 3 m to the right of the fireplace-corridor that separates the two Spurs (ankle to expansion from the ten metres; attention, way harder to the left). Leave the fireplace towards the end of the first length. The second length, after a difficult crack, crosses over a few meters to the left. Then follow the best line of the edge on several lengths, until a relay on the left flank. Join the edge by a wall steep, immediately above, until a policeman where it installs its relay. Take the crack from left easier (5 c), and then back across to the right to reach the ridge. By an easy box, accessing the last jump that it crosses on the left.
•    To do less: might, in the descent, after having crossed the steepest portion and be arrived in the grassy area before the last corridor, joining the route in its third length and then take the easiest variants. In this case, the difficulties that present themselves to you exceed not 4 Sup

La Demande

Benchmark: parking of the Samson corridor near the point Sublime, 8 h, height of 320 m, difficulty: 6A supported in 5 c. IGN blue series map Senez 3442 is.

This is the classic way of the Gorges, and one of the longest. It is also a historical line, since this was the first line up the cliff of l ' Escalès, a path also very whore which offers escalating varied and engaged. His first ascent proved sufficiently painful to remove any resistance to its author and push it to a marriage proposal deferred until then...
Parking, follow the trail Martel (red and white markup) downstream (tunnels, can provide a lamp or follow the left edge of the tunnel with the hand to not drown in pools of water in wet period it then passes at the foot of the Red Wall, then down a small metal staircase.) The path then goes for 200 m and then descends. Take at the beginning of the descent a trace marked in orange that mounts right to the wall on about 250 m. it is at the foot of a great line of curved crack: demand. Address to the right of the small spur. The first length is hard cold and should not be demoralise! The second can be combined with the third, if it is tied to 55 Mr the fourth (or fifth) is the hardest. Don't forget to cross right at the beginning of the seventh (or eighth). The 10th (or 11th) is the most beautiful... Think about those who before the current equipment, were this length, provided by a single poor nail three metres above the relay (himself tenuously hanging on Trad obviously!). Except for vandalism, a beautiful cairn awaits you at the Summit. Follow the ridge down to reach the belvedere of the checkered where you'll have left a car or else return to hitchhiking. You can also reach downstream the belvedere of Trescaire and then return to foot as explained initially in the proposal on the climbing of Valaute site.

The canyons of Verdon

Benchmark: The torrent of Jabron. Start descent 1: downstream from the hamlet of La Bâtie (a dozen miles southeast of Castellane, by the RN 85 direction Grasse).Start descent 2: downstream of the village of Trigance on D 955. Duration: 2 h for each descent. FIX: beautiful canyons of initiation (small reminders and small jumps).Material: thin rope (20 m); the wetsuit and the individual equipment of recall are optional during the summer floods, taking into account the low flow of the small number of obstacles and the brevity of the two courses.
Map: IGN series blue Castellane 3542 West (down 1) and Sandra 3442 is (down 2).

The limestone was dug in countless ways that make their joyful, surprising, aesthetic or playful discovery... In six routes to the various difficulties, we take you to the discovery of the bowels open this endearing country of the Verdon...

The torrent of Jabron

A classic course of initiation to the descent of canyons, that will be in two distinct and complementary parts.
Descent 1: from N 85, take the direction southwest of Cloutas by a small asphalted road which, after this hamlet, turns on the track. 1 km after the hamlet, Park and reach the edge of the river that we follow up the Groove: 2 reminders, the second can be done in slide after making sure that there's no danger. A very beautiful passage in cave. At the exit, back up through the right bank and retrace his steps.
Descent 2: this portion is located downstream from the village of Trigance. On D 955, 500 m northeast of the junction with the D 90, take a track that descends to the river. Park and the river. The canyon begins after a dam. It offers beautiful basins, and after making sure that the reception is good, pretty (6 m maximum) jumps are possible.
After a first narrow passage, we can either go out and return by the right bank, or continue a little on the left bank to join the torrent to a second narrow less grandiose, but cute also, and thus pass under the beautiful bridge of bridesmaids. Back then by the right bank along cultivated fields.

The canyon of the Artuby

Benchmark: The canyon of the Artuby departure: bridge the Artuby on D 71, at halfway between Aiguines and Comps. Duration: 6-8 hours difficulty: caution, you must have a little experience of the whitewater swimming. In normal conditions, you have to walk with your hands on the sometimes slippery rocks. Maps: IGN blue series Ampus 3443 is and 3442 Senez.

The atmosphere is great and the arrival at the Mescla (a magical place which means in provencal "blend water" where Confluence Artuby and Verdon) remains for many practitioners one of the highlights of their sporting history...
At the bridge on D 71, spanning the Artuby, Park on the right bank. Parking, borrow at the same time during the Artuby and upstream, the track that runs along the edge of the shelf. find markup yellow and fluorescent (well little aesthetic, but useful), 500 m after the parking. Then follow the trail that descends to the bottom of the canyon and is coming under the bridge.
Then follow the bed of the River, in a Groove. Need to swim several times, maximum 200 m and in a dark and deep water between two towering walls. These basins are outcrops of groundwater and they have the freshness... At the Mescla, the confluence with the Verdon, the light finally flooded you after the dark rift. Return to the best possible land. In fact three possibilities:
first possibility, exit following downstream the Martel trail, and then going back to the hostel of the riders after the crossing of the bridge of the Estellie;
second option (shorter but less easy), which dates back the Martel trail, crossed the Verdon at the upstream and regains the D 71 near the balcony of the Mescla: a flexible scale deserves in this case some attentions to cross a rocky projection;
the shuttle is not necessary in this case because the Artuby bridge is distant 3 km approximately.

The torrent of the Bau

Benchmark: departure from the bridge of of Ponsonnet (rated 922 m on IGN) which spans the river 5 km from la Palud-sur-Verdon, on the road serving the upper hamlets (Michels,...). Arrival at the bridge on the D952 la Palud-Castellane. Between 3 h and 6 h, according to the rhythm. (Very aquatic) April to October, attention to the recall of 15 m and jumps, the loopholes in the case of rise of water flow are long and difficult. Catre IGN blue series Senez 3442 is.

At Midway, between the descent of the canyon and the aquatic hike, this remarkable River still in water (which is rare in the sector) will give you good times and a pleasant "walk" the fresco. Pronounce the Baou!
From Ponsonnet, follow the course of the water up a first narrow small (possible jump after verifying within a narrow basin right or recall of 3 m left). Then reach a wider part with an old restored mill (private). Then from short narrow successive (possible jumps in general) lead at the top of the key passage: the cascade of 15 m (possible workaround by the left, 50 m upstream). The callback in the cascade is most picturesque, but it is then necessary to know safety rules and réchappes possible (another reminder line is located out of water and on the right). Continues then either by the course of water either by the right bank up to the beautiful Groove marked with a stuck block (little reminder then possible after checking jumps).
After that narrow, paths located on both sides, or the thread of water, bring back you to du pont sur D 952 where a last slide is waiting for you. Possible walking back to the start for an hour and a half of market which will prevent a manoeuvre of vehicles.

The ravine of Mainmorte

Benchmark: Access: La Palud surVerdon, take the 23 D in the direction of the cottage of the Maline, and locate a small parking lot on the right a 3.5 km away from the village. Departure: by the trail marked the bastidon which provides access to the course of the torrent in a few minutes arrival: pass of the olive tree on the D 952 (route La Palud-Moushers) or the Maline chalet. Length: between 5 and 8 h.
Period: from April to October. Material: individual recall equipment and combination; a 90 m rope allows a single Jet the ultimate and aesthetics reminder before the Verdon. FIX: canyon dry, accessible only to a familiar audience of activity and well equipped. The last part of the canyon is air and the latest recall falls steeply into the bed of the Verdon.
Security: les gués de Verdon are passable only by a flow of water low, less than 4 m3/s. This aquatic hike can be dangerous for the uninitiated. It is an output in mixed (rock/water) requiring many qualities.
Map: IGN blue series Senez 3442 is.

It is one of the most beautiful canyons of Provence, located in the wild and inaccessible part where flows the Verdon. It is first down a very beautiful canyon dry, then join the course of the Verdon himself, to enjoy the pleasures of water in the majestic gorges.
A short trail connects in minutes the riverbed. The very narrow canyon presents a beautiful series of cascades at the beginning of the progression. Successive jumps from 3 to 30 m, staked by a mandatory Zipline above a tub deep and dirty.
The meanders of the canyon, unfortunately dry, are especially amazing. The last cascade, 45 m high, offers superb views of the Verdon. The recall ends directly in the Verdon. It is possible to split the recall in two sections: 35 m + 10 m or 20 m + 25 Mr. If the flow of the Verdon is important, the first descending has interest to undo his descender on the relay located 10 m from the water, and then to jump in the water with the rope by hand to pull directly on the left bank of the Verdon. When you are in the Verdon, two solutions are available to you:
•    If the flow of the Verdon is less than 4 m3/s, you can up along the torrent and left bank trail the Imbut which you will exit at the chalet of Maline by GR 4 (solution longer but preferable to the Benjamin trail,) very steep, exposed and unmarked.
•    If the throughput is greater than 4 m3/s, accustomed to big flows practitioners should follow downstream the Fords of the Verdon trail. These Fords crossing (which can be done by little experienced, but careful, people up to a flow of 4 m3/s) beyond this limit requires a very good experience of the living water.Therefore, identify locations that the shallower to cross on foot. A rule: you must always clearly see the bottom before you engage and provide also what will your trajectory in the water in case of slipping. You can also flow, its experience and its equipment, browse the part of Fords by swimming in water (siphoning attention in this case for many delicate passages with block). Do not hesitate in all cases to a vest of flouai sound, so soon after joining the bed of the Verdon, a steep-sided part requires 100 m from compulsory swimming in calm water! At the level of the old Mayreste bridge (old battery of the visible bridge), join a right bank road that takes back you to the col of the olive tree: take right at the first fork, then left on the side of the last Valley. The tireless will take then D 952 for about 2 km, direction La Palud-sur-Verdon, at the level of the Mayreste Lookout, they will follow the trail of the Bastidon to join initially on the D 23 (3 h of friendly market!).

The val d Angouire

Benchmark: Starting at the crossroads of St. Clair (at 3 km to the South of Moutiers) of the D 952 with D 957. Recommended time: 9 h 30. Duration: 2 h access;downhill with a time of 5: elevation: 400 m of ascent for the approach. The canyon itself has an altitude of about 250 m.
FIX: dry, it is practically a canyon of initiation. In water, it will be much more seasoned techniques of the sport. It does however not traps, except in the case of large floods. Security: canyon rather committed: it is possible to escape right bank to "the track of the Belgians" until the fourth recall, then it will take out down to the last callback (where one finds the water) and where a bad loophole is left bank.
Equipment: excellent, predict a 45 m rope and the usual individual equipment for baths and other reminders. Map: IGN series blue Moustiers-Sainte-Marie 3442 West.

Angouire val (or anxieties, brrr!) is often dry, but has the distinction of ending in the water after a providential resurgence. A couple of Eagles has made its territory.Especially don't them disturb!
From the crossroads, go in the direction of La Palud-sur-Verdon, by D 952 that one leaves very quickly to the right for R 4 (red and white markup), which recrosses the road, then left at the level of a career left. Follow this trail to the Ridge which descends the "Full show" - an aptly named locality. Continue on the GR to leave about 500 m on the left (marked yellow). One then crosses a plateau (East-North-East direction, where we see here and there in dry stone ruins. After a ruined Chapel, go (yellow markup) to the North in the bottom of the ravine and follow. The short and many callbacks alternate with quieter portions. And in the 'bulb' callbacks are linked: Beware not to descend to the bottom of the first dry tub and remind the rope prior to be released, because the ascent can be difficult if you are neither climber nor well shod... We soon finds water that makes its way from underneath. In this last part difficult passages are bent towards the left. Avoid water, local fishermen are held. A left bank water intake feeds a private channel: not to follow. A little further down, on the right, another channel begins. Another 100 m down the torrent, then exit right towards a good path that one follows, as discreetly as possible because owners around have the benevolence to be disturb by visitors that we are. Finally, join D 952 and departure.
Living otherwise: A walking tour can from the bottom of the ravine and before the descent, reduce by Venascle farm and the ravine of Notre-Dame (or more simply but less nicely, by the old Roman road lying it slightly more southerly), to Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. This possibility of loop will be interesting for all accompanying persons unable or not wanting to deal with the estate of reminders and wishing to still visit the picturesque outskirts of the val of Angouire.

Riou

Benchmark: departure from Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, anticipate 1 h for access and 4 hours for the descent, from March to November with good combinations, 250 m of ascent, attention to the many reminders which one of 50 m, in case of need to the may escape from the canyon on the right bank after the first two close or (preferably) left bank between the recall of 50 m and 45 m.

It is certainly of the most classic route around Moustiers. Discover the aridity of the trays and a dizzying hack. However, it is a technical canyon, which should therefore be approached with caution, by precisely knowing its limits or abilities.
Parking above the village of Moustiers (near the cemetery), join the way of the cross that leads to Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir, leave it to the right by a vaulted door (marked yellow). Follow the trail to lead on the plateau. Exit left to a small ravine (canyon of Notre-Dame) that is crossed to a collar (North-North-West direction).Down the torrent of Riou, the Chiechie meadow. The descent begins here. Two pretty close (possible jumps after audit) lead to an enlargement after which begins a series of reminders.

Fly over the Lake of Sainte-Croix

The foothills of the Alps of haute Provence are renowned for their exceptional aerology: one of the best in the world. This thanks to the combination of the reliefs, intense sunshine and favourable winds. Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is one of the four sites that have been selected for the 1991 paragliding World Championship events. It is a very aesthetic site, where the flight characteristics are inseparable from the pleasure of the eyes; entrance to the gorges du Verdon, Lake of Sainte-Croix and Valensole plateau. Here the thermal updrafts smell the lavender.

Reported landings and take-offs are marked respectively by the letters D and has.
•    D1: Courchon site. Orientation: South - Southwest - West. Altitude: 960 m. altitude: 500 m. Conditions: wind West Southwest, temperature triggered around 1 pm. Hazards: hazardous by North or Northwest, very turbulent wind.
•    D2: site of Montdenier. Orientation South-South-West, North-North-West. Altitude: 1 560 m. altitude: 1,000 m. Conditions: temperature triggered about 10 o'clock. Very favourable wind from the West. Easy site. Recommendations: allow fences closed for sheep. Forbidden 4x4s in the properties.
•    A1: camping Saint-Clair. Downhill from the village of Moustiers, on the edge of the D 952 towards the Gorge. Altitude: 520 meters.
•    A2: Venascle tray. It's the school slope; It must remain free for the evolution of the students.
•    Do more: after locating the sites described, nothing prevents you to extend your field of flight. The best cross made here: Moustiers - Briançon or Moustiers - Digne - Saint-André-les-Alpes; the best ceiling: 3,500 m.
•    To do less: to fly over this wonderful area, choose to make a tandem flight.

Sail on the Lake of Sainte-Croix

Benchmark: departure from the Cove of the Jas; at the base of St. Croix recreation. Between 6 and 8 h, from May to October, pretty easy (i.e. swim and sail). IGN maps series blue Moustiers-Sainte-Marie 3442 West and West 3443 Aups.
 
Between high country varois and Valensole plateau, at the crossing of the road of lavender and the grand canyon of the Verdon, was born, through the work of the men and the magic of nature, a lake in the Sun-blue colours. A paradise to sailing...
Departure from the leisure of Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon at the foot of the village base. The prevailing wind coming from the South, Southwest will require you to tack in the direction of Sainte-Croix Dam Bridge.
After a few minutes of navigation, you can admire the village of Sainte-Croix, built on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Lake. Near the bridge that connects the civil departments of the Var and
Alpes de Haute Provence, you will see the entrance to the lower Verdon gorges where sank the old resurgence of Fontaine L'EVEQUE. Then, walk along the shore var and put the cap on the village of Bauduen (village of high country varois formerly perched and become small Provençal port flanked on the Hill).
Once in the gully, walk along the village (many edges to shoot) and come to moor at the pontoon at the beginning of the village, or even perform a fairground anchorage nearby. A break is essential to discover the streets and alleys of this beautiful very well restored village (all shops in the village). Then, should start from the tailwind (attention to the frequent gybes) and along the shore downwind by putting the cap on the new village of les Salles-sur-Verdon (the old village having been drowned at the bottom of the Lake). At the place where the hillside plunges into the Lake, not far from the "rock to the gulls", you need to do around the island of Costebelle (inquire in advance about whether the lake level is sufficient). Perform around the island and along the shore again, you won't hardly to discover on your right the entrance of the grand canyon of the Verdon. The return will be at the close for the first edges (it is best to shoot in the middle of the Lake edges back downwind to the starting point).
•    Living otherwise: you can change the means of locomotion and perform this course windsurfing or even by canoe, however more tiring solution and offering less respites.

Climbing in Quinson

Benchmark: Access: the site is East of the village of Quinson, not far from the dam; parking in the immediate vicinity of the chain on side of road; the departure of the tract is only 5 minutes on foot.
Height: 15-80 m. fix: 4b to 8a. Cliff equipped and maintained by the rural home of Quinson. About a hundred ways to fix average in the main Cliff: 30 m tall, 6a to 7A.Safety: fire in Quinson. Equipment of the ways on ankles and expansions; but climbing is often engaged. Map: IGN blue series taverns 3343 is.

The village of Quinson dynamic is located by the Lake of Esparron. It is surrounded by cliffs still ignored, despite their atmosphere very "haute Provence", the variety and the number of their tracks equipped. A site and a region to attend without hesitation.
The limestone cliffs of Quinson are formed a rock carved, often stiff and small outlets, but also varied and healthy. Exhibitions of this site are very interesting because they allow an escalation throughout the year and virtually by any conditions. Indeed the cliffs look East, West, South and are close to the Lake for the extreme heat.Climbing is often "committed" that if falls are rarely dangerous, they can be impressive. Family practice is nice.

The low Verdon Gorges and the Lake of Esparron

Benchmark: the departure is in the commune of Quinson on the edge of the Verdon. Arrived at the exit bass grooves, then continue in the direction of the dam and stop at the village of Esparron-de-Verdon. 3 h, 12km flat water route with no fix (avoid by mistral time). IGN blue series map taverns 3343 is.
 
Verdon, after having been heckled in the Grand Canyon, loses his temper and successively spans three great water bodies: Lakes of Sainte-Croix du Verdon restraint, Quinson and Esparron-de-Verdon. More than half of that plane of water is clogged and worth a look. The low (12 km) between Quinson and Esparron Verdon gorges are a privileged site for the practice of nautical hiking. Protected from motorized access, it allows, in a wild setting and preserved an authentic return to nature. Alone, in family or between friends, this excursion is a way to discover an exceptional site.
Downstream of the dam of Quineson, the Verdon formed a small bowl before enter its lower gorges. Once passed under the bridge that connects Quinson in Montmeyan, cliffs overlook more than 200 m watercourse. Very quickly, one has the impression to escape from our everyday world. Silence invades space.
The boat file on water color Emerald of the Verdon. Then the walls extend to the level of the walled cave in the cliffs, and a little further lies the submerged cave where bats have found refuge. Finally, the Verdon out gorges and stretches back into a wide Bowl to the level of Esparron-de-Verdon.
•    Do more: arrived at Esparron-de-Verdon, continue the hiking in the direction of the dam of Gréoux-les-Bains. It is also possible to stretch their legs on his way to the chapel Sainte-Maxime. The footpath takes at the bottom of a circus in a right turn, at the level of an old abandoned house. Land, attach its craft, and engage in the Valley of Sainte-Maxime. To the splitting of the trail, climbing by the left-hand path. While the gradient fades, the trail leads to the chapel Sainte-Maxime: nice point of view on the Verdon.

A horse on the Valensole plateau

Benchmark: Departure: (South-West of Gréoux - les Bains) Aurabelle equestrian centre. Duration: one day for experienced riders, a day and a half if hiking more quietly (on a weekend, preferably)
FIX: rather easy, entirely on little hilly paths, except a descent of 500 meters to arrive at the Colostre, it is essential to know how to use a map.
Maps: IGN blue Manosque 3342 West and Vinon-sur-Verdon 3343 West series.

This horseback riding uses many ancient drailles of Arles sheep herds that were once there, after the traditional break of Vinon-sur-Verdon. A ride that will allow you to first cross a landscape of hills, before entering little by little a unique environment, those fields of lavender of the Valensole plateau.
step 1: from Aurabelle, you must earn to the northeast of the hamlet of Pigettes. Do not miss to admire a beautiful 11th-century farmhouse flanked by two towers, still inhabited, 300 meters after the start on the right. Cross the Verdon to Ford to reach the ravine of l ' Oumède, allowing you to climb up to the beginning of the Valensole plateau. This is where you take (northeast) draille herds need follow up to Saint-Grégoire, Hamlet on the plateau in the middle of the lavender fields, after dropping next to two farms goat husbandry and where he is sympathetic to stop to buy some cheese. Saint-Grégoire, you need to get off on the right until reaching "The Trinity", after passing next to a distillery of lavender.
You arrive at the equestrian Gîte of the Bellencroupe stage the half day or evening, depending on whether you laites the circuit in a day or two.
step 2: you must descend into the ravine of the Forge to then join the 8 D, the cross, and then along the foot of the hills until the path of La Javie. After you cross the GR 4, walk down to the confluence of the Verdon and the Colostre. Then stay at the edge of the bed of the Verdon on the GR 4 up to Gréoux-les-Bains. Cross over the bridge and follow southerly equestrian markup of the ADRI to be leave on the right in the path of the Mann. Cross D 8 and return to the centre of Aurabelle by the ravine of Vallongue.
•    Do more: we strongly recommend the full crossing of the Valensole plateau in 3 or 4 days.
•    Living otherwise: this route is interesting for lovers of mountain biking rides. The slopes are gentle, usually broad paths and races in the lavender fields have a significant and unforgettable scent. A beautiful loop, feasible easily in a single day by trained practitioners.

The Colostre Valley

Benchmark: access from the train station of Manosque. Departure and arrival at the equestrian center Palhanet 1 km from Saint-Martin-de-Brômes and 6km from Greoux-les-Bains. 5 h, 130 m of vertical drop, IGN maps series blue Manosque 3342 West and taverns 3343 is.

Land of contrast, the lower Verdon gorges offer the hiker limestone cunning of the Valensole plateau, wet valleys and oak trees forests Fund. Agricultural presence, habitats celto-ligurians, perched villages, diversity of landscapes give this country a strong identity which we recommend, there again, the discovery on horseback or by mountain bike.
The riding Centre, in the direction of Saint-Martin-de-Brômes on 150 metres, turn left on a small trail that descends to the Colostre River. Cross the bridge and back to the departmental 952. The cross, enter the village and climb up the Tower (point of view on the Gorge of the Colostre) Templar. Take the GR 4, which rises on the plateau and follow for about 4 km. For the village of Germany-en-Provence, down a trail to a distillery of lavandin.
From here, follow a small road to the village of Germany (visit possible Castle, 14th, 16th). This is appropriate to picnic or to stop (fountain). Leave direction Gréoux at the junction and turn left towards Albiosc. After a few meters, turn right on the road. Pass near the Castle and Beauvezet tulips. Continue approximately 1.5 miles and after raising chickens, down right in the direction of the River, that is longera on its left bank to a dwelling. Immediately after, turn left and win a small asphalt road. Turn left, then right and follow a small path of the communal forest. Follow it to the Saint-Jean Chapel.
Back at an angle and cross road which connects Saint-Martin-de-Brômes in Esparron, then the path brings back you to the Palhanet.
•    Living otherwise: the route of the Colostre Valley is also very interesting to live, for the reasons already explained on the occasion of the equestrian proposal on the Valensole plateau. Another ride possible (for those who enjoy ride Tomb open without taking too much punishment to consult the map), between Gréoux-les-Bains in Germany-en-Provence, using for a good parte the trace of the GR4: a dozen kilometres for this route it will loop (and which it will double the distance) by the left bank of the Valley of the Colostrethrough the wood of the Defends (South-West of Gréoux) and then passing under Gréoux dam.

Saint-Martin-de-Brômes

Since Gréoux-les-Bains to Germany-en-Provence, discover one of kindest villages in the country of the Verdon. Following the contour lines on the side of a small nipple, the Castellanas, the village of St-Martin-de-Brômes floor its red tiled roofs.
This former stronghold which the square Tower (13th century) was probably of finalists for Dungeon, once belonged to the Priory of St-Victor de Marseille. In the 13th century, the fief passed to Castellane, then the Payan in the 18th century. Remains of walls, houses of character and narrow streets bear testimony to a rich history from the 12th to the 18th century.
The terroir of St-Martin-de-Brômes leaves appear many traces of occupation oldest: tombs and Gallo-Roman pottery, milestones.., visible objects in the small museum installed in la Tour Carrée.
Finally, excavations in 1992 helped to know with precision the Buffe Arnaud oppidum well representative of the age of iron (7th to the 5th centuries BC). It presents in its lower part a thick rampart of stones related to the clay. A space within the wall revealed a surprising furniture including Greek pottery and Marseille themselves that attest to the vibrancy of international trade at this time.

Saint-Pancrace - Digne
Digne
Bléone Valley - Digne
Digne
Provence

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