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

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Walks in the Verdon Natural Regional Park Part 1

​Buffe Arnaud (plateau de Valensole)

The Verdon and the turtle

On this route, each season offers its wonders. Procession of migratory fish in the winter, the flora spring explosion, discovered from the banks of the Verdon in summer and even a few mushrooms into fall!
Join the course of the Verdon and walk along upstream.
The beginning of the route runs along the Bank of the tail of the withholding of Gréoux. This small body of water, still surrounded by places of a reed bed, is a haven for waterbirds. Coots are well identifiable colour uniformly black, only spotted white by a horny plate which extends the beak on the front. Mallard ducks are recognizable by the metallic green head of males. These birds, present throughout the year, are joined in winter by migrants.
Later, after rock, you can go gallivanting at the edge of the Verdon. The bed, stony and shallow that is also a spawning ground (the place where spawn - breed - fish) for many aquatic species. The dense vegetation on the banks and the iscles (the islets in the middle of the river), dominated by willows and poplars, is an extraordinary wealth, both animal than plant. It is in the middle of this mess that you can discover the most quiet areas of the current, the European pond turtle, one of the two present turtles in France to the edge. She spends her days, spring to autumn - because in winter it hibernates in burying - and flemmarder on some flat rock well exposed to the Sun. Carnivorous, she slides into the water at dusk to hunt insects, molluscs, tadpoles and small fish.
Like many other aquatic species, the European pond terrapin is in decline, victim of the destruction and degradation of the water quality. It is also subject to the competition that makes the Florida turtle (or red-eared turtle), often recklessly released into the natural environment. This exotic species is now banned for sale, which is expected to gradually reduce this threat. Early in the quiet of the morning, you will be able to surprise, on a branch overlooking the Verdon, a Kingfisher on the lookout for a few small fish. You still may see swimming and running at the bottom of the River, the Dipper. This passerine Brown, with the exception of the throat and chest, white, about the size of a Blackbird, is a formidable submarine Hunter. During his dives, long ten seconds up, it returns the stones from the bottom looking for insects and aquatic larvae. This part of the Verdon is also home to a very discreet host: Beaver, that leaves hardly see in the day.
•    The track turns left to a group of houses to reach the road.
•    Walk along the edge of the road to Saint-Martin-de-Brômes to penetrate into the gorges.
•    On the left, follow the old route of the road, and after the bridge, tackle the ascent, by a path on the limestone slabs between the two branches of the track.
Change of scenery with the hillside facing South (the adret) skeletal ground. A procession of Mediterranean species well adapted to heat and drought, took possession of the premises. Leaving your nose guide you, you will recognize a set of herbs: thyme, lavender, savory, Rosemary, or tomentose germander to the curious smell of garlic sausage.
Just after the path joins a track, you will find side-by-side the present three Oaks in the Park. The kermes oak is the smallest: bushy, with small, very thorny, evergreen leaves gives green on both sides. Its latin name Quercus coccifera (literally "covering of oak pubescent grains") reminds one of its former uses. It is regularly parasitized by a cochineal, a small insect demolition of plants, whose body is fully protected by a shell which makes it look like a grain. In reaction to the bites, the kermes produces galls which a red dye is extracted. Montpellier, formerly cloth town, is specialized in the use of these "Scarlet seeds.
The downy oak (or white oak, truffle Oak) recognizes its deciduous leaves soft and lobed. The holm oak (or i'yeuse) has persistent leaves of very variable aspect: of toothed thorny in young trees, entire non-thorny in individuals aged, but still glazed top and whitish below.
These latter two species are widely (but only) used as excellent firewood.
•    Mount everything right up to the plateau. From there, take twice left and then once on the right to reach the ravine of Pauron.
In the bottom of the ravine, the track passes between the enclosure of an equestrian club. As often near man, the flora is a catalog to the Prévert of horticultural plant native species, and "weeds". Enriched from nitrate in the paddock, the aisles are colonized by a specific flora dominated by the nettle, Artemisia (look for the smell) and the cocklebur large green salad leaves and very eye-catching fruit.
•    Take left after a long building perpendicular to the road. Cross the Valley to reach a subdivision and the centre of the village.

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The old lent to the Kingfisher's supernatural powers, such as the power to calm floods or help the fisherman in attracting fish. Most bizarre filed dried in the closets, it was used in the middle ages for hunting moths...


•    From Manosque and A 51 cross the Durance by D 4 then follow the 82 D to Gréoux-les-Bains. From the center of this town. Take the road of Saint-Julien-le-Montagnier who descends to the Verdon. Just after the roundabout you will find parking left or you can park your vehicle.
•    From the parking lot, join the Verdon and walk along upstream. Count barely 3 hours to perform this long walk 6 km and low altitude (80 m). Blue markup. Throughout the year is conducive to the discovery, but avoid the hottest hours in summer.
•    Things to do: stroll of Notre-Dame-des-Œufs, market Thursday and Tuesday morning, summer events. Thermal baths of Gréoux.

The adrech of Notre Dame (plateau de Valensole)

Mixing of cultures

Not if morne plain! The Valensole plateau is a geological originality but also a haven for fauna and flora. The specific cultures of the shelf support species that we don't really see that here.
•    From the center of the village, walk along the road of Riez, and after the roundabout, take a small road starting in acute angle (Panel "Chemin Saint-Claude"), on the left, to reach the ravine of Notre-Dame. Walk along the bottom of the val - Ion until the first crossing of tracks.
This first part of the walk passes through a residential area. For the naturalist, its interest lies in its heterogeneity with yet natural shreds, embankments and cuttings constructions, and plots furnished and maintained. Meet and confront: ornamental species which attempt to escape gardens, opportunistic plants (ecologists speak of pioneer plants) who take advantage of the turmoil created by the arrangement, flora and fauna of origin which strives to survive the disturbances.
Consequently, by the roadside, a melting pot of cash that you don't normally have the opportunity to see mingle in nature. Thus, for example, to cite only three fairly well-known species, you can spot side by side: Nettles (pioneer plant), of hollyhocks (horticultural more or less naturalized) and Ivy (native species with wide distribution). After the suburban area, the path along a Creek, refuge of some toads and frogs. This is where you'll see the yellowish-white flowers in tubes of comfrey, petals welded, which only the free end is curved outwards.
•    Take right to cross the Valley and reach an asphalt road.
The track runs along a drystone wall. Between them cling some fleece, small Succulents with fleshy leaves. This type of wall is also a habitat of choice for the lizard and the Montpellier snake.
•    Take two times left the paved road that you will follow until the end of... tar.
Little by little, that buildings become fewer, you will alter the balance of vegetation. Pioneers and horticultural species are scarce. After a stint in the understory, which reminds natural vegetation, downy oak wood, the landscape becomes more frankly agricultural. With the advent of cultivated fields, what are "weeds" that point their noses.
•    Right leave the path of the Blache, and just after the crossing of the Valley, take left and go back on the shelf.
On the Valensole plateau, lavandins and wheat are the dominant crops. Two major types of wheats are grown. If they are both harvested summer, wheats are planted in the spring while hard wheats are planted late summer and germinate in autumn. First, it gets the flour for bread; the latter are intended for the manufacture of pasta.
An original mechanism regulates the growth of durum wheat. It is necessary to make it flourish (and therefore, then make seeds) after a period of intense cold. One speaks of vernalization. It considers that this mechanism is a safety to avoid a too-early flowering. Indeed, without this mechanism, a late winter or a mild winter could deceive the plant: "would like, said wheat, v' the beautiful days, I'll go my flowering". And patatras the end of the cold season would freeze this too early flowering.
With some variations, the vernalization is a quite common among species that germinate or make fruit in autumn. It applies also to many fruits which germinate only after an episode of severe cold.
•    On the plateau, runway left takes back you to the starting point.
You walk along planted parcels of three other classical cultures of the shelf: Lavender, almond and olive trees more en more rarely open a few fields of Clary Sage lilac clear grandiflora and slightly foul smell. This Sage is used in aromatherapy (very active and less toxic than the Salvia officinalis on the genital sphere) and in perfumery to fix aromas. The fixers are less volatile, intended species (by binding chemically to them) to limit evaporation from the other components thus ensuring greater longevity to the scent.
For a long time, the small size plots and the small amount of pesticides used for these crops did the Valensole plateau a paradise for birds which nest in cultures. The quail and the alouettes for most frequently heard species but also the gaudy stone on behalf of barbaric that her singing was... screaming. At dusk, in June and July, a kind of dry and fast vibration on several shades - hard to describe, but I'm sure you will appreciate hearing - reports the whip.
These cleared lands are still sector of hunting Kestrels and hawks, present year-round, short-toed and the milan black, easy to recognize its indented tailed migrants who join in winter heaven more lenient Africa.


•    From Manosque - Valensole is 15 km to the East. Take the D4 to cross the Durance. Then immediately the 6 D to Valensole. You can park in the parking lot at the exit of the village, under the road of Riez.
•    The ride begins in the centre of the village. Follow the yellow markup. This very family excursion is without difficulty: allow 2 hours for a little more than 4 miles and almost no vertical drop (35 m). Yellow markup.
•    The route is passable year-round, but avoid the hottest hours in summer.
•    Feast of the lavender in July, entertainment in the summer.

Reme plain (plateau de Valensole)

Full the Peepers

This excursion is unforgettable in July when lavandins fields are in bloom. It allows to discover the still preserved of the Valensole plateau environment.
•    At the southwest corner of Puimoisson square (corner after slaughter), get off two flocks of market which begin at the entrance to the Bourguillenjaune Street to reach the bottom of the village.
•    Take the small road which descends to the bottom of the Valley. Pass the sewage, River and go up to the Lady chapel.
Among the species of bats that frequent the Valensole plateau, the small Horseshoe bat is particularly threatened. During the summer, if males are solitary, females live in small colonies in shelters which, characteristic of this species, they must be able to access while flying. This is where the shoe pinches, in-flight access requires an opening of at least 5 to 10 cm tall to 25-30 cm wide. However, the imperatives of insulation want you caulk the houses.
Barn Owl having similar problems, easily accessible attics, for an animal of its size, becoming more and more rare. Shortly after the Chapel, on the left, an opening offers a beautiful view on the plateau and the reliefs of the pre-Alps.
•    Follow the track to the first crossroads. Take left to the paved road.
•    On the left, you find a slope made up of white marl that Puimoisson in the books of geology. These Marl, mixture of limestone and clay, are deposited at the end of the tertiary era, there are 5 million years, when the alluvium filled the vast depression which will become the Valensole plateau. A kite lucane awkwardly through the track. This large beetle black (it can reach 4 cm long), totally harmless, is one of the rare insects protected from France.You probably know Sir, famous for its unreasonable "horns" (everything is relative) that earned him, in addition to the ' deer ' name, to be one of most often represented beetles in the guides. " And if Madam is disarmed, its size leaves little doubt about his identity.
•    Turn right and follow the road until the first crossing. Take a left, follow the road and the track to the aerodrome of gliders.
The crossing has a beautiful another outcrop of Marl. To the aerodrome, you walk along, among other things, the cultures of lavandin. There are two species of lavender in Haute-Provence. Lavender is the hybrid of these two wild species. Like many hybrids, it is more robust and more productive than his parents, but sterile.
The crop cycle begins with the Cup in the autumn of the year twigs that are bouturés in "nursery" where they are the subject of care (watering, weeding) for one or two seasons, time to root. At the end of winter, these cuttings are transplanted into the fields. Expected another two years they grow and make actionable blooms. Then, (mechanized) are harvested in July, for 5 to 7 years. The legs are then torn and burned. A rotation replaces this Lavender by wheat, young feet are transplanted in another field.
The essence of lavender most camphor as fine Lavender is used in detergents and derivative products.
•    Bypass the end of the airfield, to descend into the Valley. Take twice left and then once on the right, to follow the bottom of the Valley towards Puimoisson.
The valleys which hack the plateau, with their alternation of crops, groves or forests, and the presence of water in the background, are an environment of choice for deer. This species, which is still rare in the 1960s, took advantage of the implementation of the plans of hunting (which streamline the levies) and the closure of environments (development of forests). Its relatively recent arrival on the plateau, in the 1990s reflects the expansion of its distribution area in the Department.
The last part of the course, in the bottom of the Valley, along a wet area indicated by a reed bed. This, at first dreary extended area of reeds, is actually a boon to some rare species such as the Marsh Harrier, which occasionally breeds in this sector. The southern frog, found little beyond 600 m altitude, is here at the extreme limit of its range. You will see it more easily in the branches of a tree than at the edge of the water where she went for its reproduction.
•    Cross the road and head up in the village. Share and other fountain, stairs and alleys can reach the place where you left.
•    From Manosque and A 51 (Aix-Sisteron), cross the Durance by D 4, then continue straight until Valensole by D 6. At the exit of Valensole take, left the D 56 until Puimoisson. Park your vehicle in the village.
•    The ride begins in the great square of Puimoisson. The route is 7 km (160 m of ascent). Count about 3 h 30. The ride is pleasant throughout the year, but most spectacular in July, avoiding the hottest hours.

Veris trail (lake of Sainte-Croix)

Silk and a cross of Malta

This walk reveals several facets of the riches of the Haut-Var. The exceptional view on the Lake of Sainte-Croix and the presence of one of the most spectacular and the most rare of Provence species are worth.
•    From the parking lot, cross the road to enter the village; turn right at the corner of the wash-house covered to ride switchbacks in Bauduen.
The parking lot is planted of mulberry-trees. This species introduced into Europe in the early 20th century as tree alignment, for its hardiness and its beautiful foliage, provides a welcome shade in the summer. Two other mulberry trees, white and black, were introduced during the Roman era. There is little towns and villages of Provence who do not have a street, a hotel or a place called Recalling by "magnans" (the name given to the cocoon of the silkworm), "magnaneraie" and another "magnanerie" (the place where we raised worms), that sericulture (silkworm farming) was an important economic activity in the 19th century. A little difficult, these little beasts do fed to leaves of mulberry trees. And again! Worms that eat young leaves of the black mulberry, because as they age, they are covered with hair. The leaves of white mulberry, they remain hairless. The plane tree, the Cypress, also present nearby, are two other examples of old now inseparable introductions of the Provençal landscapes.
•    At the top of the climb, drive on the right, between the cliff and the rocky outcrop, that comes out of the village (above the edge of the Lake access road).
You cross a beautiful olive grove "terraced", name given to the land terraces supported by dry stone walls. It also uses the term Provençal bancaou. The walls are a boon to the lizard and snake of Montpellier who share these collective housing with the Shrew and the mulot.
•    Take left following the blue markup (that you will not leave until the end of the ride) with a small sign "Véris".
•    Shortly after the first intersection, share and track, one of the jewels of the local flora, the dictamnus, offers, late may, its spectacular lilac and white flowers. The white dictamne is his other name, is here at the extreme limit of its range rather focus on Central Europe. Rare and fully protected, you contenterez you strafe it with your camera only!
•    Follow blue, visible markup.
The output of the forest offers a beautiful view on the Lake of Sainte-Croix, the Valensole plateau, the entrance of the big gorges du Verdon and the Montdenier that dominates Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. This is also where you can observe, the evening flights of gulls with gulls who come to spend the night on the Lake (or who leave in the morning).
•    Even captivated by the view, make sure you don't miss the trail that turns left.
The trail travels on lapiaz, sort of dull, parallel limestone ridges, separated by land fills where vegetation grows. This training is characteristic of massive limestone geology. Over millions of years (you are here on the secondary era rocks-150 million years ago), rain attack the limestone forming figures of dissolution including the limestone pavements are an example. Thus transformed into "Gruyère", these lands have struggled to keep rain water that seeps quickly, which is not without consequence on the flora and fauna by increasing aridity already naturally severe in summer due to the Mediterranean climate you cross a plantation of Cedars. This species, regarded in the 1980s as interesting for reforestation in Provence, was widely planted. The decline helped to refine knowledge, limiting its use to stations better defined, rather more mountain than here. Change of scenery towards the end of the descent, cool and shady. In cracks between the stones of the walls and the large blocks, pushes the Golden grass. This small fern owes its name to the red hair that densely cover the underside of its leaves. Pétante health if you go in the spring, you don't actually see that one remains shrivelled and withered in the heart of summer.Flute then, dead beautiful, victim of the precarious conditions prevailing in these gaps? That nenni!
She has developed a special technique, inspired by that of the Phoenix, to survive the summer. We talk about revival to designate this faculty that share the grass golden brown with a few other species, from drying out completely without however dying and regain all its vigour as soon as moisture returns.
•    To enjoy the view, back at the point of departure from the top of the village.
Here and there, at the edge of the street that leads to the parking lot, develops the singular cross of Malta. It is a small creeping plant yellow flowers and prickly fruits whose coasts, in opening at maturity, forming a figure Recalling, with a little imagination, a cross of Malta. Chance and mysteries of the evolution, this species is a singularity in the global distribution of his family, the zygophyllacees, rather tropical, of which she is the only French.


Originality among the aquatic birds, cormorants plummage is not waterproof. If you follow his meeting of fishing, you will notice that pretty quickly line fit, forcing it out of the water to dry on a rock, the discarded wings.


•    From Manosque and A 51, cross the Durance by the D4 and then everything right by the D6 to Valensole and Riez. From laugh, take direction Draguignan-Quinson by D 11. Finally go down to the Lake by the 111 D. Tour of the Lake to reach Bauduen. Park your vehicle in the parking lot on the left, at the entrance to the village. From the parking lot, cross the road to enter the village and turn right, to the care of the covered washhouse.
•    Count 2 h 30, taking your time, to make the 5 km walk (200 m in altitude). Blue markup. Throughout the year is conducive to the ride, even if the months of May and June are more flowery.
•    See: Bauduen: Museum art in toys, in the former presbytery (near the Church), Sunday market (July-August), Aups: market on Saturday mornings, Baudinard two walks (coalmen, Notre-Dame de Baudinard trail).

The forest of Pelenc (hills of the Haut-Var)

Crake on the grass

So, if there are beautiful forests, deep and secret in Provence. And in addition, transition zone between the Mediterranean "pure-juice" and the Haute-Provence, they are especially rich and original.
•    Take the staircase that descends beside the fountain and follow the trail to the road.
Agricultural areas and enjoy a beautiful view with, in the foreground, and behind, the forest of Pelenc, purpose of this escapade. The descent to the usual this highway unlikely mixture of species which have in common only to grow close to the man: either because they resist him (weeds), or that it promotes their development, directly for horticultural crops or ruderal plants (plants of the rubble) indirectly. In cracks in the walls develops the parietaria officinalis, with small glaucous leaves diamond. The legend reports that it is originally from the development of herbal medicine "scientific". It is said that it is in finding his dog ate the parietaria officinalis which grew in his garden wall - it seems to relieve himself of his kidney stones - that a doctor has begun to look seriously at the question.
•    Cross the road (be careful!) for the path in front.
•    Take a left by joining the small road then 300 m more far, right.
The route along then, basically, hayfields and pasture meadows. This type of landscape is bound to clean to Provence, transhumant sheep mode. The sheep wintered in bergerie, Fed Hay, with a few releases on pastures around. At the end of the spring, the herd is moved (transhumance) mountain where it spends the summer in the pastures. During this time, the farmer cultivates fauche, often irrigated meadows, to harvest the necessary for the following winter hay.
•    In the forest, watch for a runway closed by a metal barrier with multiple markup right (red, yellow...).
This first part of the forest is largely shaped by man. Pines dominate, with three species (pine, Aleppo Pine, maritime pine) that you give problems to see the length of the needles and the appearance of the trunk of mature trees. They are accompanied by other local species: Oaks, hawthorns, but also species planted as Cypress or Cedar. On the right, notice a peeled outcrop where only a few clumps of thyme cling, accompanied by the rare Broom of Villars. This small shrub resembles nothing with its tiny glaucous leaves and stunted twigs clad ground, except in the spring where its flowering is then a real riot of so many yellow flowers that they completely hide the rest of the plant.
•    Take yet right. Warning, it is relatively easy to get lost in this forest unobstructed view without points of reference, and where the many tracks all look.In addition, the markup is not always very understandable.
•    Once again right.
•    Pass the remains of guerrillas tank then the remains of Charbonnières (large steel strapping).
The tank of guerrillas remain that Poles that supported the water reserve. Its origin is explained by Nicolas Communeau in a series of hikes in the Park.
"This name refers to a forest site installed in the Woods during the last war. '' The posse - men 40 - was not akin to strictly speaking a "maquis", active and armed, as it in exista in the Haut-Var at the same time. Most of the charbonniers were here this ancestral and traditional of the Pelenc legally activity. Installed for several weeks in a provisional encampment, men cut wood, manufactured the great tit and watched its combustion to produce coal, which was then used to heating and industrial energy production.
Among them however, some men refusing compulsory labour (the infamous STO), or worried about their religious and political, membership had taken refuge in this group in 1943. Some of these companions actually had resistant activities and a number was arrested during a control, but officially the shipyard is in remained not less forest".
Charcoal is produced by combustion to the stifled. The artisanal technique involves removing a wheel of oak logs is covered with a film of wetland. It sets fire to the wheel by opening then or by plugging holes in the shell of Earth, in order to obtain an anaerobic combustion (i.e. without oxygen or virtually) homogeneous. Over time, this production was more or less industrialized by the development of strapping, said de Sousa. You could stack them; they replaced the cover of Earth. The colliery was an activity up to the last world war. With a little attention, you may of elsewhere easily areas which were thus exploited because in them, all trees have roughly the same size, that which corresponds to releases of strains since the last Cup.
•    At the first crossing of tracks after the tank, take left to return to the village. Follow the main track until a right descending path which joins the road.
•    Follow the road to the right for 50 m, then borrow, left, the street that goes up into the village.


The toad has long suffered from an appalling reputation. Obscurantism was a beast of the Devil (as the salamander) that only fire can cleanse. In fact, it is totally harmless and yet less venomous.
Cade, Mediterranean cousin of Juniper (the one whose berries flavour the Sauerkraut), owes its fame... chubby babies. Indeed, it was used for dermatological properties of oil extracted from its wood and gave its name to the famous Cabigas.


•    From Draguignan, follow the D 557 to Aups (to the West). From there, take the D 9 which leads to Moissac-Bellevue. Enter the village and Park your vehicle.
•    The starting point is located in the fountain. At the edge of the plateau which dominates the plain. The ride is long, 12 km, but without difficulty (80 m of ascent); It is overshadowed in its largest part. Still count 4 good hours. Year-round lends itself to discovery.

The round of Bagarry (Artuby)

Colchiques in the meadows

A family route to the discovery of one of the most original aspects of the regional natural park of Verdon. Wet the Haut-Var plans amid a procession of species like no other.
•    Take the small road, and then the main runway.
At the exit of the village, the road along the Creek, lined trees, traditional species in fresh areas: poplars, willows, Alders, hazels, a few walnuts... On the right, the prairies are limited by low walls on which laziness the lizard. The road rises gently at hillside. More arid and rocky, is covered by a Heath dominated boxwood, the genet and Scots pine. Quickly, on the left, the landscape is helmed by a gigantic millefeuilles formed by the alternation of black marl and limestone banks. This type of flush sign a sedimentary episode.
Do you plan at the beginning of the secondary era, there are more than 200 million years. What would become Provence is still a lined sea, to the South by the Maures and L'esterel, and to the West by the Massif central. Depending on the depth and the nature of alluvial deposits, are deposited in this sea of limestone, marls and clays (all terrain park belong to one of these three families). Need two upheavals, related to the movements of the continents, the Pyrenean thrust at the end of the secondary era, then the alpine boost during the tertiary era (from 65 million years ago), compressing, pleating and covered the land, emerge the Provence and put in place its reliefs. The erosion of emerged land, revealed then, as here, these slices of history.
•    Take a left at the crossing of the tracks.
Between the sheepfold Saint-Pierre, that you see on the right, and the track, extends a "plan" operated in prairie Hay, covered, in the autumn, colchiques.
In the natural state, in these bowls, vegetation is arranged in concentric circles, following the gradient of soil moisture. At the centre, the feet in the water, thrive the more aquatic species, as recognizable in their Velvet brush cattails. Around, the reeds to the purple Duster or glaucous clumps of the Molinia prefer a little less soggy soil. Finally in a third circle, are meadows more bass where grow narcissi and colchiques transitioning with the more traditional vegetation of hillsides.
In France, in the space of thirty years, half of the wetlands disappeared. 30% of currently threatened plant species live in wetlands. Where the will to preserve. Indeed, they are also role to limit flooding by absorbing water to restore it slowly.
After a stint in the understory, the trail leads to a balcony where you will discover a beautiful panorama on the mountains of the Haut-Var. Around the ruins of Bagarry, giving their name to this walk, stand of old pear trees which, at the end of autumn, you will relieve a sudden craving.
Become rare in the rest of the France, Raven is still common here. You may to her croak serious, and you will verify that it is indeed him diamond, characteristic, tail-shaped.
•    The beginning of the trail which, left, goes down to the village is indicated by a small heap of stone, 30 metres before the telephone relay.
The end of the course is done under the guise of a beautiful forest of oak and Scots pine. Here and there, the undergrowth is returned, as plowed. Wild boar, author of these quilts, is probably one of the most common animals of the environment. It is impossible to say that it is the smallest, and yet it is one of the more discreet. He spends his days at the bottom of a tangled thicket, coming out only at dusk for a night looking for acorns, bulbs, tubers and insects buried.The breeding season runs from October to February to a low setting at the beginning of spring. In fact, it is a general rule: whatever the species, the rearing is done at the time when climate becomes clement and where vegetation, which initiates all food chains, explodes. The litters of 3 to 8 marcassins are allaitées for 3 months. The empowerment of youth is around 6 months, at the entrance to the winter.
The Jay is another very common host of the undergrowth. Its latin name, Garrulus glandarius, leaves no doubt as to her diet; the acorns are indeed more than 50% of its food. Local sedentary populations are reinforced in winter by migrants from North Europe. Like his pie cousins and Crow, Jay still suffers from a bias, largely arbitrary, which earned him the sad privilege to be regularly ranked in pests, without knowing really why. It poses no health, ecological or agricultural problems.


Everything is poison... nothing is poison, it is a matter of dose. Is extracted from the Colchicum alkaloid, colchicine, used in certain joint disorders, especially gout.


•    Take the N 85 from Castellane or Grasse. The Logis du Pin follow D 21 to Comps-sur-Artuby then D 955 right until Jabron finally the small D 52, D 252 until le Bourguet. Park your vehicle in the village, on the small landscaped square.
•    In the village, beside the two fountains, take the small road that goes West along the bottom of the ravine.
•    Count 3:30 to make the 6 km of this ride, with a bit of vertical drop (150 m). Almost all periods of the year lend themselves to the discovery of this route, except snowy periods and summer heatwave.
•    The 252 D who joined Castellane, from le Bourguet can discover chapels Sainte-Anne and healthy-Thyrse, and passes through the amazing Gorge of Rayaup. A Castellane Museum of Sirenia.

Ubac Brouis (Artuby)

The discovery of the Haut-Var

1 000 m altitude, the Brouis ubac has little Mediterranean climatic conditions that surprise in the Var. The great Brouis, left, and the small Brouis right overlooking this hike, participate in the succession of limestone reliefs which, gradually, to separate the Mediterranean of the Alps.
•    Cross the stone bridge that spans the river.
Just after the bridge, to the left, well shaded, a kind of dead river arm is the refuge of species belonging to two major groups of plants specific to wetlands.The sedge or Sedge, resemble grasses, but have a triangular stem and a spike consisting of "flowers" special, the prills. These resemble tiny bladders completed by two or three feathery styles - the part of the female flower to collect pollen. Discreet, the sedge family is one of the richest flora. There are not less than thirty nothing on species the Park's territory. The other group brings together several horsetails, or "queues-de-cheval", renowned for their mineralising properties. Great horsetail is well recognizable in its ivory-colored stem.
•    Turn left along the River ("Path of the Brouis" Panel).
A sign indicates the presence of a fir tree. It is here at the extreme limit of its range. Without human intervention, the composition of the flora is related to climatic conditions. Forests do not derogate from the rule. Fly over quickly, eyes wide open, a few tens of kilometres that separate the sunny beaches of the snowy peaks.
In the Mediterranean plain are Holm oak and pine of Aleppo who dominate in the forest massifs. Between 500 and 1,000 m above sea level, they are replaced by pubescent oak and Scots pine. Even higher is the beech forest accompanied by Scots pine to the West, in the pre-Alps and FIR or spruce (spruce forests) more to the East in the so-called "internal" Alps. Finally, overlooking all this small world, come the cloud forests of larch trees and other conifers.
Once this decor planted (so to speak since, in this case, one speaks of natural vegetation), watch a little around you. You are close to the limit between the internal Alps and the foothills of the Alps, at an average of approximately 1 000 m, altitude marked reliefs create local conditions sliced between the (northern slopes) ubacs shaded and des adrets (slopes exposed to the South) more dry and sunny. And you may begin to understand the diversity of this walk: FIR, Scots pine, downy oak, beech... Diversity further accentuated by the river by the trees in the riparian forest (forest of the banks): willows and poplars.
•    Turn right still following the "Trail of the Brouis" Panel.
•    Just after a Panel on the raspberry, let the Brouis trail, on the right, to continue straight. And 100 m further on, take the track right under a forest Panel.
•    After two hairpins, turn right into the first track on a hillside.
This cold Rocky Hill hosts the bearberry, common on the edge of forests, but also the rarest cneorum in the Alps. Small shrub crawling discreet, you miss it no doubt (which has no importance), except in may where its small red flowers and its pronounced aroma will make you walk to the nose and to
Sunny, scrub and Rocky slopes are the domain of the ASP. Even if it means ruining a few fantasies, it is a good opportunity to dramatize. The Viper is a placid and fearful snake. It is rare to cross. And if that happens, it will first seek to flee rather than to attack, as long as you leave it quiet. Bites are exceptional: However, be careful.
•    Follow, again on the right, the track downhill to reach the start of the ride.
These forests of average mountain are the haunt of the largest of the peaks. The black Woodpecker is recognized by its color if you have the chance of him catch glimpses, but the size and the shape of the aperture of its nest, oval also made by all other peaks is circular. These birds have an original adaptation to their hectic activity. To withstand without damage the repeated impact of 'drumming', their brain is surrounded by a real shock absorber is a cellular tissue spongy. The black Woodpecker is expanding since the 1950s, without knowing very well why.
•    Before exiting, go see the ruins of a hydraulic sawmill. Take right after the bridge, on barely 100 m.
A channel that you guess yet behind the ruins of the mill at the foot of the hillside, carried water from the Artuby. The energy produced by its passage in penstocks was used for moving machines.


Hazel is honoured in many tales and legends. It is a symbol of immortality for early flowering when the rest of nature is in sleep. The shrub is also associated with the practices of the Dowsers. Moses, according to the Bible, used a Hazel wand to indicate to his people or to find water in the desert.


•    From Cannes, follow the N 85 (direction Grasse, Castellane) until the Logis du Pin. From there, take the 21 left (towards Comps) D, then D 52 right up to La Martre. From Castellane: N 85 (oily) and at 15 km, turn right D 52 to the La Martre. In the village, take the small road to the West indicating "Mrs. bridge" follow until a fork after a small bridge. Take left towards "Mrs. bridge" until the stone bridge. Car parks are arranged part and sides of the bridge.
•    From the parking lot, cross the bridge and take to the left along the river. Count 1 h 30 to make this short walk 2.5 km (80 m of ascent). The route is passable year-round except during snow periods.
•    La Martre : parish church; Golf 18 holes.

paddle boat in the Lake Sainte-Croix
Climbing tree
Pont de Galetas
Pont du Roc

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