Verdon Le Teillon (7) Stefano Blanc

6 stunning walks in the Verdon Regional Nature Reserve

Set at the crossroads to Provence and the Southern Alps, the Verdon Regional Nature Reserve boasts a host of exceptional sights rich in biodiversity such as the Verdon Canyon, Sainte-Croix lake and Valensole plateau – all wonderful illustrations of the ancient ties that bind man and nature. Lie back and admire the majestic griffon vulture take to the wing as you lap up the delicious summer mountain air…

Reach for the heights in Teillon

Rising to 1,893 metres, the Teillon limestone mountain range in the Préalpes, gazing out over the Verdon valley towards Castellane, offers a superb lookout post spanning the whole of eastern Provence. Venture out on the trail running from the village of La Garde through Peyroules to make the most of the stunning vistas on offer. You’ll need 6 hours to complete the 9.6 km climb, so make sure you’re in good physical shape. As you near the summit, a long, green valley leads to a meadow lined with hills and forests, offering welcome refreshment prior to the hilly section above Gravières. Magnificent views over the Verdon valley and turquoise waters of Castillon lake await you at the top.

The picturesque Pont de Madame trail

Explore the neighbouring villages nestling in wild countryside with this easy, 3-hour loop covering 10.8 km. Departing from the peaceful little village of La Martre, encircled by mountains, woodland and meadows, the walk alternates underwoods with stretches along the banks of the Frayieres and Font Freye brooks to the lower part of Châteauvieux. Alternatively, you can cross the fields running over the top of La Martre, or the hill dotted with delightful viewpoints. Prolong your walk to the picturesque “Pont de Madame” bridge just 1 km down the road, where you’ll also discover the ruins of the site’s ancient sawmills. Set facing Brouis mountain, this superb architectural feat standing over the river Artuby is definitely worth going out of your way for.

Roam the Crête des Serres mountain pass

This long and pleasant hike (16.4 km loop – 6 ½ hours) along the impressive Crête des Serres is ideal for seasoned walkers. Head out from Saint-André-les-Alpes, opening the way to the tumultuous rock formations of the Verdon high valley and peaceful mountain pastures of Crête des Serres. Perched at an altitude of 1,777 metres, the mountain pass boasts expansive views over the Southern Alps and Castillon lake, against the backdrop of the Haut-Verdon peaks. Keep your eyes peeled for graceful paragliders sliding through the air above the lavender fields… Enjoy the show!

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Une publication partagée par Joseph (@jo.illouz)

Venture into the Verdon…

Rising to an altitude of 1,905 metres over the way from Mourre de Chanier and topped with an observatory, Mont Chiran is one of the highest points of the Verdon Regional Nature Reserve. You’ll need about 6½ hours to complete the challenging, 15.6 km round trip from Blieux. Breathe in the sweet perfume of wild lavender as you admire the unusual rock formations characterizing this area of the Haute-Provence Geological Reserve. Among them, don’t miss the magnificent waterfalls of “La Clue” and the rocky scenery forming the backdrop to your hike. Pastoralism is still very present here in the verdant valleys adorning both sides of the mount. But that’s not all: breathtaking panoramic views over the alpine mountain ranges await at the summit of Mont Chiran – an apt reward for your effort –, topped with stargazing at the observatory. What better way to reconnent with the universe?

A feast for the eyes at the summit of Montdenier mountain

Spanning just over 10 km from Venascle through Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and Saint-Jurs, this 7-hour hike to Montdenier, at an altitude of 1,750 metres, features gorgeous forest stretches, plus magnificent, well-earned vistas over the surrounding peaks on arrival. The route ascends through pine woods, then heads along the rocky pass of Bougès through the meadows of Montdenier. The summit gazes out over Valensole plateau and Provence’s illustrious mounts: Lure, Mont Ventoux, Sainte-Victoire and Sainte-Baume. And if you look the other way, towards Digne-les-Bains, you can make out the first foothills of the Alps.

The height of beauty at Grand Margès

This 5½ hour/9.6 km loop from Aiguines leads to the village of Grand Margès, embracing the extraordinarily diverse landscapes of the Verdon Regional Nature Reserve and offering spectacular views over Sainte Croix lake and the Verdon Canyon. The ascent is tiring but the breathtaking scenery promises to spur you on even if you’re not a seasoned hiker! Lap up the vistas over the Haut Var area and Verdon Canyon, Valensole plateau draped in wheat and lavender fields, and the mountains of the Prealps… A real feast for the eyes! Grand Margès is located next to the Canjuers military camp, so be sure to respect the signs!

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