Sunday, October 24, 2021

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.



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