Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Montagne de Vautubiere – short and easy


West face with the Durance valley and Luberon.
This is a great walk for winter time, when you want plenty of sun shine along the way. Easy and a fairly short walk that could be expanded with almost an hour along the ridge of Montagne de Vautubiere and another hour for lunch. The ridge has some of the best 360 degrees views in the area and you can see the Alpes, Ventoux, Victoire, the Durance valley and almost to the coast and plenty of nice spots to lunch. 



The Villemus ruins

The walk could also be shortened by parking closer to the west face of Montagne de Vautubiere (just drive on passed Notre Dame and park by the road side somewhere) and climb the mountain from the west, returning down the same way. This will make the walk just under 2 hours in total including short stops. The original walk could also be taken walking in the opposite direction, making sure you get up to the top in time for early lunch. 


Drive in to Jouques from Peyrolles and after the village center you take left for Bedes and St-Paul. Follow this small road for 2 km. up to Bedes and park in the car park on the left as soon as you see the entry sign for Bedes. 

Montagne Vautubiere from the north.
The walk starts across the road, going east along a local road marked with blue and yellow signs occasionally. After 10 minutes (just before Notre Dame), you take off the road to the left onto a dirt track and after another few minutes you turn left again at the 358 meter point. At the end of the fields you turn right and you will shortly walk passed the Villemus ruins. The blue and yellow signs are now getting more frequent and you follow these, taking off left only some 100 meters after the 377 meter point (about 30 minutes from the car). 

After about 20 minutes walking you will join a surfaced road and walk along this for about 1 km. Here, at the 444 meter point you take right on to a fire road marked DFCI in red and now you simply follow this fire road all the way to the tower on top of Montagne de Vautubiere. This takes about 45 minutes from the 444 meter point, or 1h 45 min. from the car. 




The Observation Tower (fire protection)
The walk back to the car is about 1 hour, but it is strongly recommended to explore the mountain ridge going north along a small path. After only 10 minutes, you see nice areas for pick nick and all the way to the end of the ridge (about 25 minutes one way) it is fantastic 360 degrees views. You see a massive 2 meter high cairn at the very last part of the ridge, and this is also a very nice place for lunch. 










At the northern tip of the mountain ridge.
You return to the car on the blue and yellow marked path going down (more sideways at first) from a point on the road only some 40 meters south of the observation tower. It takes about 30 minutes down to the first “opening” in the form of an olive grove and another 30 minutes’ walk back to Bedes, mainly along a surfaced road.








Basic information:

Duration:        3h (no lunch break)
Distance:       10 km.
Ascent:          300 m
Difficulty:        Easy
Start/finish:     Bedes, 2 km. north of Jouques, direction St-Paul-les-Durance.
Map:               IGN 3244 ET Montagne Saint-Victoire



Walking down the west facing of Montagne de Vautubiere





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