« In the sector awarded the label "Site Remarquable du Goût", and as the people from Valensole after taking a few good products, I like to go for a picnic in the Trinity, roaming small wild valleys, amid the lavender fields in bloom in summer and the almond trees in late winter. It feels wonderful absorbing all these fragrances and colours of the Haute Provence before going basking in the shade of plane-trees.Stefano Blanc, Hiking technician at the RNP of Verdon.
Someone for everyone
Even without being able to name them all, you will spot some of the most common plants that line this tour. The red from the poppies in the fields; on the roadside, the procession of "weeds" such as thistles and wild lettuces; on the hillsides, yellow Scotch brooms (in May and June) and aromatic fragrances from the thyme or the savory. In ecology, habitat diversity partly explains the floristic richness. Someone for everyone, in a way.
Plague victims were placed in the valley of the Forge in quarantine during the epidemic in 1630. The chapel commemorates this sad time and was built from 1632, at the end of the epidemic. This is a nice stroll for all the residents of Valensole commemorating that date at a rally. On the agenda, blessings, picnics and dances on the small esplanade lined with plane trees.
The Little Owl
The Little Owl is one of those common speciesbecoming less common, due to the extinction of its lodgings, the fragmentation of its habitats, the intensification of agricultural practices (uprooting of hedges, tree holes disappearing little by little, the use of pesticide). As a good indicator species for the ecological quality of agricultural areas, it is subject to regular monitoring as part of a regional observatory in which the Verdon Park is involved.
A land of
The Valensole plateau is the preferred land of the almond tree to grow on. It isn't cultivated anywhere exclusively. This sentence, taken from "Voyage en France" from Ardouin-Dumazet, dates back to 1897. At that time, Valensole was renowned for the quantity and quality of its almonds where various varieties were cultivated: "La Princesse, la Fourcouronne, l'Aï, la Pointue". In Valensole, almond trees were counted by hundreds. In February, they used to spread on the ground a carpet of white rose petals.
When leaving the car park, turn left, then at the intersection, turn right. At 100m, leave the route de Manosque and follow the paved road of Riou on the left until reaching the exit of the residential area. At 800m after the olive groves, facing a barn, leave the road to go down to the right to the forge valley.
1 - At a small road, at the bottom of the valley, continue straight for 200m.
2 - Turn right and continue straight for about 250m to the picnic area of Holy Trinity. To the right of the source, hidden under the trees, sits the chapel of the seventeenth century. To go back to Valensole, return to point (2) and follow the paved uphill to the left along the farm of Bellencroupe.
3 - At the plateau, turn left. The small road winds among fields of lavender for 2km to the barn of of the starting area. Go into Valensole via the same route used to go.
We would advise 1 L of water per person, a hat and proper walking shoes.
Access and parking
From Valensole, follow the D6 towards Manosque to the car park of rue Saint-Barthélemy located at 250m before the path of Riou.
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