It is a territory cut between Alps and Provence, articulated around the Verdon river; it is also a subtle mixture of scrubland and forests, summits and desert plateaus. Located in the Verdon Regional Natural Park and in the Geological Reserve of Haute Provence, the hike crosses a wild country animated by its gorges and its small villages perched on the edge of cliffs or lost in the hollow of wild valleys: Castellane, Blieux, Rougon, la Palud... The landscapes are sculpted by geological fractures and the fury of the waters.
By panoramic ridge paths or by the bottom of the gorges along the river, the itinerary explores this natural park and the gorges that make its reputation.
Along the Martel trail, balconies, caves, belvederes, tunnels follow one another in a fairy-tale place dominated by immense walls with grey-orange tones. In the past, only a few courageous men knew how to go and look for the Buis and honey in these 700 meters deep meanders.
Departures from May to October 2023, 6-day comfort tour (5 nights in half-board, in a comfortable ***hotel, in rooms of 2/3 people).
With luggage transport on day 3 :
For 2/3 people: 995€ per person
For 4/5 people: 950€ per person
For 6 persons and more: 915€ per person
Does not include :
The rate is all inclusive from the meeting point to the point of dispersion.
CASTELLANE - ND DU ROC or MOUNTAIN OF ROUBION
From the village of Castellane, departure for the belvedere of Notre dame du Roc and its small chapel, the opportunity to embrace the landscape at a glance. Another hike is possible at the foot of the Roubion mountain, to the curious troglodyte chapel clinging to the slope.
2h walk / Elevation: +/-300m 3 km
5h walk / Elevation: +/-550m 8 km
CADIERES DE BRANDIS
Taxi transfer to the Col de Lèques above Castellane (10km) (optional). Arrival on the rocky ridge after the ascent in a forest of oaks and scots pines, at Cadières de Brandis, a remarkable ruinous site that deserves a short stop. Descent to small village of Brandis with a large panorama of gorges and valleys. Back to Castellane by the old romane road.
6h walk / Elevation: +550m - 950m 11 km
ROUGON - TRIGANCE
Return along the Verdon, that we leave quickly. A little orientation time allows to discover the belvedere of Rancoumas, for a unique point of view on the gorges. Crossing over the village of Trigance, dominated by a beautiful castle. Night in the old castle, B&B.
5h30 walk / Elevation: +/-600m 9km
PONT DE CARAJUAN - ROUGON
Descent to the bridge of Carajuan, along the gorges of the Jabron. Possible detour to the small bridge of Sautet for the view on the limestone meanders of the Jabron. At the bridge of Carajuan, we cross the Verdon river (small swimming point). Climb up to the small village of Rougon, with a large panorama on the gorges, and the vultures hovering above our heads!
4h walk / Elevation: +450m - 250m 8km
SENTIER BLANC MARTEL
Little transfer to La Maline, departure of the hike and then descent to the river. The itinerary crosses well-named places: the couloir (corridor) Samson, the Escales cliff, the Défilé des Baumes, the sublim point... Viewpoints, stairs and tunnels succed along the day. Little ascent at the end of the stage to the Auberge Sublime. Night in the lodge, and shuttle to La Palud
5h30 walk / Elevation: +700m - 800m 12 km
COL DE L'ANE - COL DE PLEIN VOIR
Departure from the carpark of Félines, on the road to Moustiers-sainte-Marie, and ascent to the Col de Plein Voir, on the ridge which dominates the gorges of the Verdon and the lake of Sainte Croix. A hike in the odorous coppices of the southern alps allows to enjoy the landscape. At the end of the hike, don't miss the visit of the very famous city of Moustiers, nestled in the hollow of the cliffs, and famous for its ceramics.
5h walk / Elevation: +/-670m 7 km
End of the trip at 4:00pm to your car, between La Palud and Moustiers..
Height difference : +/- 500m to 800m
Walking time : 4h to 6h per day
Type of walk : mountain route with no particular technical difficulty. Some passages with requiring a sure footing with cables and scales the day 2.
Before departure, we will give you a travel pack containing
Without luggage transport: all your luggage is carried by you.
For the night in Trigace: your luggage is transported to your accommodation by a logistics vehicle.
5 nights in a ***hotel in half-board (expected for the night in Trigance, in B&B),
Breakfasts and dinners are provided in each accommodation (expected in Trigance).
Picnics are not included and can be ordered the day before in each accommodation.
Start of the hike in Moustiers St Marie.
From the SNCF train stations of Geneva, Grenoble, Nice and Marseille and then bus to Moustiers. https://www.moustiers.fr/fr/acces.
All train timetables should be checked with Sncf.
Southern Alps, dry and hot in summer, sweet in automn and spring, but maybe with a violent wind: the Mistral.
If you are late, contact the agency: +33 (0)4 50 79 09 16 or +33 (0)6 42 49 76 07
A comfortable 30-40 litre rucksack for your day's belongings (warm clothing, rain cape, water bottle, picnic box and cutlery, sun protection and identity papers) and some space for a picnic and snacks.
Your luggage is transported by a logistics vehicle from stage to stage. Your change of clothes should be grouped in one soft bag not exceeding 10kg! We particularly insist on the size and weight of your luggage: during your tour, it is handled by a driver several times a day (please think about their backs!) to be transported to refuges whose access is not always easy.
Use one piece of luggage per person, as grouping the belongings of two people in a single container generally results in excessive weight. It is better to have two 10kg bags than one 20kg bag!
Beware, luggage that is too heavy or too large will not be taken in charge by the drivers!