Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Lioux: Gorge de Vaumale and Gorge de Lioux.

This is a very different walk from most of my Luberon walks. The main attraction is the narrow and shaded Gorge de Vaumale (Combe de Vaumale). Nice for warm days from April to October, but not just after a rainy day because of slippery rocks. You walk along the bottom of the Gorge and there are quite a lot of small challenges in the form of high rock faces, narrow parts etc. However, with the help of all the solid steel bars fixed directly in the rock face and the occasional steel wire, you will not have much problems getting through the Gorge. Great fun for kids too, say from the age of 9 upwards. However, you will need both hands free for support, so on this hike all use of walking sticks should be banned.

This walk has been extended to include the long Gorge de Lioux. It takes about an hour to get accross to where you start the walk down Gorge de Lioux. You will make it back to the car through the Gorge in about 1,5h. You can keep a much higher speed here than in Vaumale because there is no major problems; quite flattish in fact, but impressive.

Follow the Gorge de Vaumal at your own speed. Some may need a helping hand at certain points. However, it is fascinating to see how the rock face twist and turns and you cannot really go wrong down here. After a short half an hour, you come to the first possibility of leaving the Gorge. A small path crosses the Gorge here as you can see (and on the map). The main part of the Gorge is yet to come, however, so you continue for another good hour until you clearly see a yellow signpost marked Gorge de Vaumale 440m (about 2h from the car). Here is a nice opening if you want to have lunch. Alternatively, you could exit the Gorge. Just follow the route up to the right another 20 minutes and you have a big clearing where you meet the road (just before the big old fortified farm).

Falais de la Madeleine behind Lioux

Basic information:

Lavendel at Tourbe
Duration:        6h (including 1h lunch)
Distance:        13 km.
Ascent:           360 m
Difficulty:       Difficult (Many small ladders and chains)
Start/finish:     Lioux
Map:               IGN 3142 OT (1cm=250 m)

VisoRando Lien.
Pour le fichier GPX, vous pouvez télécharger à partir d'ici (voir ci-dessus) ou mettre à jour via ce lien VisoRando où vous pourrez également voir l'itinéraire sur une bonne carte:

For the GPX-file, you could download from here (see just above) or go to this VisoRando link where you also will see the route on a good map.

If you have problems with this VisoRando link, download the GPX-file from above and import it to VisoRando or other application.

21.11.2022 Alain med 14 deltagere og turen annonsert som Difficile og regnvær!

Turen er før tatt av Marie og Philippe. 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Niolon to La Redonne on the old Customs Trail along the coast (8km - 4h net).

This is perhaps the «wildest» part of the coast just east of Marseille (Cote Bleau) and this particular stretch is as hard to walk as anything you might have walked in the Calanques between Marseille and Cassis. The stretch from La Redonne to Carry-le-Rouet was pretty boring (mostly on surfaced roads in residential areas), so I don’t recommend that. However, the trail along the coast line from Tamaris westwards to Carro (and a bit further) can be recomended for easy walking and good access to swimming.


From the Niolon train station (we took the train from La Redonne) you stay on the northern side of the train line heading west. At Calanque du Jonquiere (9) after only some 10 minutes you take sharply left downwards in order to cross this valley. When you are up on the ather side, you cross over to the southern side of the rail tracks and keeps this side for a while.

After another 25 minutes, you are crossing over the valley above Calanque du Riflard. Make sure you take left just before the tunnel here (the tunnel has a vertical wall at the end) and walk «around» this tunnel.


At Calanque de l’Ervine you have a nice small beach (about 1h15min from train station). You cross the valley here by walking under the railway and when you are up on the other side you stay on the northern side for a little while. You will see that the path has now been joined by a GR-route (red & white markers) and make sure you stay with these markers all the way to Mejean (lots of smaller paths take off in all directions).


You will reach Grand Mejean about 2,5h after leaving Niolon (net of any swimming). Here you have the restaurant Au Mange Tout made «famous» from the French film «La Villa». You could book a table for lunch here on telephone 04-4245-9168. (If it’s full here, you have another restaurant at La Redonne.)


After Grand Mejean, you take the road passed Petit Mejean, but almost at the top of the hill you turn left (116) and just follow the red & white markers along this road almost till the end. About 150 meters before the end of the road, you see the markers takes you down some stairs towards the sea.  You are now entering the big Calanque des Figuieres (about 30 minutes from Mejean) and you have a small  beach down on you immediate left and a larger beach over at the other side of the bay (with som shade).


At the end south-western end of the bay, you see stairs going up. We took these stairs in order to follow the shoreline as much as we could. You walk up the stairs and down on the other side into what could appear as another bay. Here you have Plage Naturiste de la Cote Bleue and you might have to get your feet wet in order to cross all the way over to Calanque des Anthenors. But over there, you have the possibility of swimming (145). If you do not like to walk passed naked people sunbathing and swimming (or the possibility of getting your feet wet), try to see where the GR-trail takes off from Calanque des Figuieres and follow this upwards. This will take you on the trail that goes along the top of the hill along the shore line and you will end up in Calanque des Anthenors (145) where there is a small beach.


From Calanque des Anthenors (145) you continue up the stairs and follow the red & white markers the last stretch in to La Redonne (about 1 hour from Calanque des Figuires), where there is a restaurant, perhaps a food truck and some small beaches. The train station is just up the road.



Basic information:

Duration:      4h (net – this is a hard walk)
Distance:      8 km.
Ascent:         300 m
Difficulty:       Moderate +
Start/finish:    La Renonne to Niolon.
Map:              IGN
GPX-file:       Download from VisoRando link (see below)



VisoRando Lien.

Pour le fichier GPX mettre à jour via ce lien VisoRando où vous pourrez également voir l'itinéraire sur une bonne carte:




For the GPX-file go to this VisoRando link where you also will see the route on a good map.



Juni 2021: Jacky tok denne fra Niolon til Majan, men parkerte på Majan og tok først en inlandsrute over til Niolon. 


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Sault: Crete de Mont Ventoux, 15km, 5h, 550m.

Great hike for a hot summer day, preferable with some wind to cool even more than the hight.

Start/Finish: Mont Ventoux (Chalet Reynard), half an hour west of Sault.

GPS: 44.152128, 5.318872

You start walking eastwards from Chalet Reynard's big car park and join the mountain ridge (Crete) on the 1496 meter point (1h). From here, you essentially follow the Crete all the way to Col des Tempetes and the large tower (2h). You return along the main route on the Crete for till you reach "le Signal" (1h15min), where you turn right down to Chalet Reynard (25min).

You have to add at least 1h for a group walk, and if you reach Col des Tempetest till lunch, it could be wise to lunch before down on the greeny bits (see our lunch place on the GPX-file as a small stud on the straight line). It’s only about 2h back to the cars from Col des Tempetes.



Basic information:


Duration:        5h
Distance:       15km.
Ascent:          550 m
Difficulty:       Easy
Start/finish:    Mont Ventoux (Chalet Reynard)
Map:              IGN 3140ET (TOP25) – Mont Ventoux
GPX-file:       Download from VisoRando link (see below)



VisoRando Lien.

Pour le fichier GPX mettre à jour via ce lien VisoRando où vous pourrez également voir l'itinéraire sur une bonne carte:




For the GPX-file go to this VisoRando link where you also will see the route on a good map.


Monday, October 25, 2021

La Motte d’Aigue: Crete de Luberon, Coteau de la Combe et la Source de Mireil.

Alternative walk to explore the Luberon mountain ridge right at the eastern end, from 951 meters to the 1038 meter points. Park near the 409 meter point at la Sarriere in Peypin d’Aigue. (It’s the nearest parking to Source de Mireil, I think.) It’s about 2,5km north-east of the village la Motte d’Aigue. On the way up you pass the large ruins of la Bastide du Bois and on the return you pass Source Mireil and walk along its small river. The highest point on the Crete here at 1038 meters is called Coteau de la Combe. It’s a very good alternative walk to for example the Mourre Negre walk from Cucuron. The upward and downwards paths are more varied and interesting in this walk, and you get to see a little bit more of the Crete (and the ascent is 150 meters less!).


Start off on the yellow marked forest track heading north, but you take right, onto a smaller path/track after only some 20 minutes. Follow the path around a large lowering (turn left at the junction), then heading eastwards and finally down onto a T-junction after about 25 minutes. Here, take sharp left and follow this parth north-west, and quickly turning almost straight north. You will soon meet another T-junction where you turn left and now walk the last kilometer up to the large ruins of la Bastide du Bois.


From the Bastide, you start straight north on the yellow marked road. It meets up with the main east-west road a bit higher up, and here you take left. After only some 250 meters you take right and follow the yellow markings a bit further. Now simply follow this road ALMOST all the way to the 859 meter point heading east. Just some 125 meters before this junction, you take the path leaving the road to the left upwards into the woods. There has been done a lot of tree cuttings in the area newly, but the path is easy to see even though it’s not a marked trail and do not appear on maps. You pass at least 10 fire breakers made recently, but it does not take long before you arrive up on the main road along the mountain ridge. Take left when reaching the road, but you only stay on this road for about 250 meters. Here in the next bend, don’t follow the road, but take the small path on your right which is heading straight along the Luberon Crete. You will soon be on the 967 meter point, thereafter the 974 meter point. Here you continue the path down to the Col (pass) at 939 meters.


At the pass, you join the GR9 heading west for the 1038 meter point. After only some 10 minutes up from the pass, you see a medium large opening on your left. If you walk out onto this opening and a little bit further south, you have a massive great opening with great views. Nice place for a lunch. But I suggest you finish the upwards part of the walk first, and continue to the Coteau de la Combe (1038 meter point) with great 360 degrees views. This is also a great place for lunch! And this is where we turn around for the walk back to the car.


Heading down again (eastwards), you need to concentrate in order to find your return path down the mountain side. As you can see on the map, just after the 1038 meter point (Coteau de la Combe) there is a small path going down in a south-westerly direction. It will give you great views as you go. After only some 10 minute from the top, you will meet a cairn on your right (the cairn is now made into the shape of an arrow). This is your point for taking off to the right and you might in fact find a second cairn after just some 50 meters. Just continue the small path that now should have become apparent and very shortly will have a direction down the hill. If you miss the cairns, take right when you get down on the flat open space, and follow this open space to the end, where you will see the small path going down the hill on your right.


The return from the ridge down to the forest road will be about 30 minutes, but make sure you take the right turn after some 25 minutes (see map). You join the forest road heading west and south for a bit, but in the end of the first large 360 degrees bend, you take the path heading south. After a good 30 minutes along this small forest track, you have passed the 632 meter point and Jas de Thomas and you have walked around the 619 meter high hill. Now you want to take the small path down on your left on the southern side of the river bed. Follow the path paralelle to the river bed for about 20 minutes. Here, you turn right a little bit before the road in order to continue following the river bed down to Source de Mirail, which you have down on your left after only some 5 minutes.


Walk down passed Source de Mirail (which feeds the Etang de la Bonde) and continue along the small path on the eastern side of the small river. The return walk from here to the car is about 30 minutes and follows the river for the most part. But when it gets difficult, walk out on the path that exits the area onto what looks like a small hill. Up here, you will find a track, first going south a bit, before turning east along the fields accross to the road on the other side.



Basic information:


Duration:        7h (incl. 1h lunch)
Distance:       15 km.
Ascent:          650 m
Difficulty:        Moderate +
Start/finish:     La Motte d’Aigue (409m parking in Peypin d’Aigue)
Map:               IGN 3243 OT (1cm=250 m)
GPX-file:         Download from VisoRando link (see below)



VisoRando Lien.

Pour le fichier GPX mettre à jour via ce lien VisoRando où vous pourrez également voir l'itinéraire sur une bonne carte:




For the GPX-file go to this VisoRando link where you also will see the route on a good map.


03.12.2021 - Bjorn. Bra tur med mye mistral, men godt skydd mot vinden, selv på den store lunch-plassen. Vi gikk ikke opp på toppen pga vind, men gjør det før lunchen!


Sunday, October 24, 2021

Les Borrys (Merindol): Rocher des onze heures, Roque des Bancs et les Portalas.


From the parking at the top of the village of Les Borrys (147m) you follow the main route going north. You turn left at the 185m point and follow the GR97 up to the nearest citern (234m), where you turn right. After only about 350m you turn left along a track road leading up the Vallon du Pinson (this is the start of the ridge).


You walk up and down along this ridge heading north (in practice you need to use the GPX-file for passing safely around Rochers des Onzes Heures). After having passed Tete de la Grande Usclade on your left, you turn left and you then walk over till you meet a larger path coming up from below. At this T-junction you turn right and start the steep climb up to the bottom of the cliffs of Rochers des Onzes Heures.


Here you take the path that goes right along the bottom of the cliffs (eastwards), but finally goes up on the ridge at a low point. Now follow the ridge westwards until you see the path is changing directions slightly to the right  and will take you right passed a big cairn on a local peak on your left. You have now walked for about 2.5h and you have some nice places around where you can eat lunch.


The path will soon reach the main forest road along Petite Luberon, and you follow the road for about 1,3km, where you take right and follow the GPX-trace closely till you reach the small descent to Roque des Bancs (ca. 35min from lunch). You follow the path along the cliffs here with magnificants views of the Luberon and the Durance Valley. You pass a large Grotte that could be worth exploring.


Follow the path right till the end where the path turns right and away from the cliffs. Soon, however, the path turns left and you end up walking in a north easterly direction and you will soon meet the large road again at a Citern about an hour after you left it. Follow the road for only about 600 meters where you see a yellow signpost. Turn right here for les Portalas. Another 15 minutes and you are at another view-point. From here you can follow the top of the cliffs (fairly near the edge) eastwards and join the main path a little further down, just after les Portalas. Follow the main path down to the Citern at the 570 meter point.


You have now about 5km left back to the car, but only follow the main path GR97 all the way till it crosses the forest road going north at the 185 meter point. It was here you turned left this morning, so only turn left now and walk down the road the about 900 meters back to the car.



Basic information:


Duration:       7,5h (including 1h for lunch)
Distance:       18 km.
Ascent:          600 m (accumulated)
Difficulty:       Medium +  (a steep climb around Rocher des Onze Heures)
Start/finish:    Les Borrys (Merindol)
Map:               IGN 3142 OT  (Cavaillon)
GPX:              Download from VisoRando link (see below)



VisoRando Lien/Link to VisoRando.

Pour le fichier GPX, mettre à jour via ce lien VisoRando où vous pourrez également voir l'itinéraire sur une bonne carte:



For the GPX-file go to this VisoRando link where you also will see the route on a good map.







01.01.2021  Bjorn. Lunch after 2,5h on the plateau just after 11 Heures (very stony!), but nice views. A good 35 minutes to the Bergerie at the beginning of Roque des Banc. We were 5 well trained, so we walked fast (9.30 – 17.00) at 3,6 km/h measured by Strava (Didier Sibane). Bruk utrykket “sentier technique” om oppstigningen til Rocher des Onze Heures.




Bonnieux (Tour Philippe): Foret de Cedre, Les Portalas et Roque des Bancs.

This is a nice introduction to the Ceder forest on Petit Luberon and you get to see some of the many cliffs that are found in these parts.


On the D36 road between Buoux and Bonnieux, you take left (comming from south) on the highest point of this road (444m) signposted for the Ceder Forest. Take right in the next junction and continue driving up towards Tour Philippe (see map). The walk starts in the 270 degrees turn in the road just after the 573 meter point. Just park anywhere along the road after this point, and the further up you drive, the shorter you will have to walk on this road in the afternoon (you are returning down along this road).


Take the yellow marked trail going in towards Tour Philippe, and take the path down passed the tower itself (earlier this was closed off). Continue the path/forest road down into the valley. At the 481 meter point, you turn right and after only some 250 meters you turn left to start the walk back up on the other side of the valley. At the 580 meter point, you join a slightly bigger forest road, and you turn right here, heading north-west into the Ceder forest. A good half hour later, you will be joining the main road going into the Ceder Forest (you are parked a good half hour further down) and here you turn left and will soon pass the large parking area.


Walk straight on through the barrier, but only some 200 meters later, turn left and follow the Sentier de decouverte down into the valley and up again at les Portalas. When you get up from the valley, the yellow markers turns right (and left), but walk straight on for the top of the cliffs, only some 50 meters away. Follow the small trail westwards and you have a fantastic view of the Durance valley and beyond. You come to a special viewpoint with a Table of Directions and if you walk another 2-300 meters along the cliffs, you see Tete de la Baraque just below (a large whole in the cliff).


From the Table of Directions you walk straight north again on the yellow marked path, and in 15 minutes you will again be in the center of the Ceder Forest, joining the main road going through here (Before mass turism with cars, this road was very popular with the locals for an outing. You could drive all the way from Bonnieux to Cavaillon along the ridge of Petite Luberon.) Turn left onto the road, but take left off the road again after 600 meters at the water Citerne. Here the small path towards the left takes you out and slightly down for a fantastic walk along the bottom of the one kilometer long cliffs that is called Roque des Bancs. You can also see and walk into one or two caves along the route.


Almost at the end of the cliffs, you have an old Bergerie (or rather ruins). All the way along this kilometer you find small places to sit for lunch for example, and this is probable one of the best places for lunching in the Luberon during the winter (too hot in sommer) because it`s protected from the northern winds. After the Bergerie, the little path turns up again to a small plateau where you turn right and head straight north towards the main road again (only a good 100 meters away – follow the stone cairns).

The way back to the car is now very simple, just follow the road all the way eastwards. There are a few short cuts along the route, but normally the road will be the fastest way. Enjoy the wonderful views of Bonnieux and Lacoste and many other of the small villages on this side of the Luberon.



Basic information:


Duration:         6h
Distance:        17 km.
Ascent:           370 m
Difficulty:        Easy +  (+ because of the 17km)
Start/finish:    Tour Philippe, Bonnieux (see directions in text)
Map:               IGN 3142 OT - Cavaillon
GPX-file:        Download from VisoRando-link (see below)



GPX et VisoRando Lien.

Pour le fichier GPX, mettre à jour via ce lien VisoRando où vous pourrez également voir l'itinéraire sur une bonne carte:




For the GPX-file, go to this VisoRando link where you also will see the route on a good map.





07.06.2021, Anne: 12 stk. Grei og fin rute. Populært med både Tour Philippe, Cederskogen, Roques de Banc og Portalas. Men ikke ta noen gruppe ned den bratte stien til Vallon de Sanguinette! Ta som her heller den «offisielle» botanikk-ruten eller simple alle-retour korteste vei.



Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Sainte-Baume: Le Crete, le Saint-Pilon et la Grotte aux Oeufs.

Chapelle Saint Pilon

This walk explores the north eastern face of the long Sainte-Baume Massive (several Caves along the route – bring a lamp) in addition to taking in about 40 minutes along perhaps nicest part of the ridge. The northern side is quite cold (little sun) and wet during the winter season, so I suggest you do this walk outside the winter season. I also strongly suggest you use a GPS aid (preferable with the GPX-file showing the path) in order to find the smaller paths.

La Grotte aux Oeufs.
Dive on to Plan-d’Aups or Nans-les-Pins (whichever is nearest you) and drive on to La Sainte-Baume (le Hotellerie) where parking is easy. The walk starts 200 meters west of the main Café/Restaurant on an unmarked dirt road going straight south. When you reach the 678 meter point, turn right onto the track road going west here. You walk through forest, but after some 500 meters (at the fire hydrant), you turn left and follow up to the water reservoir marked PA5-2. You walk on behind this and around (turning right) and follow the path (passed a small cave) upwards till you reach a main track road (300 m from the reservoir and about 30 minutes from the car).

Grotte Sainte-Marie-Madeleine.
At this main track road, turn left, but after only some 150 meters you take a small path off to the right (uphill – big tree marked with red thick stripe and path marked green). Following the green marks, you should be in front of Grotte aux Oeufs in about 20 minutes from the main track road. We did not enter the cave as it is a very steep and slippery entry.

Continue the path further east (now marked dark blue) for about 500m (about 25 minutes) with great views along the way. Here you see a path taking off to the right (slightly back again). Walk up and have a look. This is the ruins of the house built by
Dalmace MONER in front of a cave. He was an Dominican eremite living in the 14th century. A nice “terrace” in front with a bench and great views.

Le Crete with Montagne de Garlaban behind.
Continue the path going east (now marked brown and red) and you quickly come to the big concrete structure underneath the famous Grotte Sainte-Marie-Madeleine. Walk up on this structure and walk further along till you join the main path (steps) coming up from Hotellerie de la Sainte-Baume. A visit here will take you some 20 minutes in total, involving climbing up some 70 meters to the entry to the massive cave.

Grotte Sainte-Marie-Madeleine.
Back down from the cave you walk downhill for about 200 meters to a large junction. Take the first right here, which is the GR trail to the top of the mountain. You will be at Col du Saint-Pilon (the pass) in about 20 minutes. Here there are lots of places for pick-nicks in the sun (no shade!).

We shall now follow the main mountain ridge westwards on the GR98 or if you prefer right up along the ridge (parallel). You will have Chapelle Saint-Pilon on your right after some 10-15 minutes (take a good look). Leaving the Chapelle, you should be especially observant to find your exit path from the ridge! After some 20 minutes you should see a red and brown circle with an arrow and the text “Pas de la Cabre (Grotte)” painted on a large low stone on your right. You leave the mountain ridge here on this small path marked brown and red.

Le Crete.
This is a very charming small path (not marked on some maps, e.g. IGN maps), but it is not difficult and acts as a balcony route slowly down from the mountain going eastwards (back again). It will eventually join your green and red path from this morning and you will again end up on the big concrete structure straight underneath Grotte Sainte-Marie-Madeleine after some 30 minutes from the mountain ridge.

The view from the car park.
Walk again the some 200 meters downhill to the main junction. This time you walk straight on downhill (yellow markings) and you will be down near a large parking area  at the 677 meter point. To avoid the main road, follow the signpost to the left marked “Hotellerie” all the way back to the car.

Basic information:

Duration:       5h (incl. 1h lunch)
Distance:      9 km.
Ascent:         500m
Difficulty:      Moderate plus
Start/finish:   La Sainte-Baume (le Hotellerie)
Map:             IGN 3245 ET (Aubagne – La Ciotat)

VisoRando Lien.
Pour le fichier GPX, vous pouvez télécharger à partir d'ici (voir ci-dessus) ou mettre à jour via ce lien VisoRando où vous pourrez également voir l'itinéraire sur une bonne carte:

For the GPX-file, you could download from here (see just above) or go to this VisoRando link where you also will see the route on a good map.

If you have problems with this VisoRando link, download the GPX-file from above and import it to VisoRando or other application.

Bjorn planned for May/June.

Chapelle Saint Pilon with Grotte Sainte-Marie-Madeleine just below.