The Baronnies Regional Natural Park

The Baronnies Provençales Regional Natural Park is located in Provence, between the Alps and the Mont Ventoux. This green setting enjoys a mild, sunny climate and beautiful landscapes.

The territory

In 2014, this 1800 km² site, located between the Drôme and the Hautes-Alpes, and its preserved nature have been awarded the title of “Natural Park of the Baronnies”. Its wild landscapes make it a unique place, where limestone mountains overlook pine forests, lavender fields, olive groves, orchards and oak forests. The Mediterranean vegetation is everywhere. Thyme, rosemary, lavender and many more scents of Provence will tickle the nostrils of walkers strolling along the paths.

The heritage

The territory of the Baronnies has a deep Provencal and Alpine culture. It has a rich built heritage and several of its villages are among the most beautiful in France.

The heritage of the Baronnies Park is also made of 2,000 plant species and 200 protected animal species that thrive in 150 natural habitat sites. Among these species are large birds of prey, such as vultures, that can be observed in the sky in Rémuzat. You can observe the park’s nocturnal fauna during a walk under the moonlight: bats, owls, insects of all kinds, etc. The sky of the Parc des Baronnies is exceptionally dark, which has made it a very popular place for astronomers who can easily admire the constellations.

The territory has a rich terroir with 6 “Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée” and 7 Protected Geographical Indications: honey from Provence, picodon (a cheese made from raw goat’s milk), einkorn wheat from Haute-Provence, wine from the Coteaux des Baronnies, etc. These products embody the local gastronomy and are a symbol of the producers’ savoir-faire.

Towns and villages in the park

The Regional Natural Park of the Provencal Baronnies has several picturesque villages. Many of them are perched on the limestone mountains and overlook this magnificent territory. The 82 towns that are part of this regional natural park are located in the departments of Drôme and Hautes-Alpes. Several of them have been classified among the most beautiful villages in France and are just waiting to be discovered.

Tourist sites and emblematics monuments

The village of Nyons is famous in the region for its olive grove which is part of the “Sites Remarquables du Goût” (Remarkable Sites for Taste) and its olive oil with Appellation d’Origine Protégée. In this town, the visitors time travels to another era. It has many buildings with remarkable architecture. The old Romanesque bridge over the Eygues is one of the emblematic buildings of the city.

The perched village of Montbrun les Bains is one of the most beautiful in France. This ancient medieval city, located 600 meters above sea level, is now famous for its thermal baths. The beneficial virtues of its water are demonstrated. The belfry, dating from the XIIIth century, still watches over the entrance to the old town. The small streets are lined with high stone houses and small fountains. By climbing one of the paved staircases, visitors can reach the remains of a Renaissance castle and enjoy a sublime view of the Mont-Ventoux and the typical agricultural landscapes of Provence.

Rochebrune is a charming flowered little village that old stones enthusiasts will appreciate. Go for a stroll and admire the pastel-colored shutters and the paved alleyways. The Saint-Michel church, whose architecture is partly Romanesque, is located near the only tower still standing of the castle of Rochebrune. Above the main entrance door, there is a scallop-shell shaped tympanum. It was recently restored as were the murals inside the church.

The numerous “calades” (arrangement of medium-sized pebbles on the street) of the village of La Motte-Chalançon have their own history. In the calade de la Contrebande, a woman, nicknamed Titine, used to live from the clandestine manufacture of matches. As for the calade du Tambourinaire, it honors the former town crier who lived around the corner and who announced to the inhabitants of the village the various events of the local life with the help of his drum.

The activities

The Baronnies Provençales Regional Natural Park has many attractions for sports enthusiasts: it is a real playground with a variety of landscapes that offers a wide range of itineraries. Hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding enthusiasts will be able to discover this site thanks to the numerous trails.

Thrill seekers will enjoy the 1,500 climbing routes for all levels. Some of these sites are internationally renowned, and so are many via ferrata routes. The rivers that flow through the valleys are ideal for canyoning. The summits are wonderful places to go paragliding and hang gliding. The site of Laragne-Chabre is world-renowned for its thermal currents. From the sky, free flight enthusiasts will be able to admire the wild landscapes of Provence.

Selection of natural parks

 

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