The Notre-Dame de Liesse Chapel
The Notre-Dame de Liesse Chapel

The Notre-Dame de Liesse Chapel

A lookout, a viewpoint
Heritage and history
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At the top of the ridges of the Var, enjoy panoramas at 360° endless forests and mysterious Chapels.

On the hills of the Haut Var, you will discover the Chapels of Notre Dame de Liesse and de Saint-Priest perched on the ridge. Up there, the trail sometimes travels between the sunny and shady sides and offers remarkable views, from the Mediterranean coast to the peaks of the Alps. The length and diversity of this hike let you discover a dozen species of orchids during spring.

5 points of interest

  • Patrimony and history

    The Notre-Dame de Liesse

    Small chapel, literally hanging over the void. The construction date is unknown, but rural chapels have often been restored or rebuilt on the same sites according to the vagaries of the municipal and religious history. Legend has it that in the Middle Ages, a noble lady of the Blacas family used to ride every day on the hill, to look out for the return of her son on a crusade.

  • Panorama

    Viewing point from the ridges

    Remarkable viewing points of the hills of the Haut Var

  • Patrimony and history

    Saint-Priest Chapel

    The Saint Priest chapel appears to have been built in 1098. Saint Priest himself lived in the 7th century. He was a bishop of Clermont and was the founder of many monasteries in his diocese. One can also say that unlike Liesse-Notre-Dame, this chapel is located in a more pleasant environment. A full carpet of grass covers the ground and some trees with generous branches provide a shade which tempts a well-deserved nap after so much effort.

  • Flora

    Ophrys or orchis ?

    The length and diversity of this walk let you discover a dozen species of orchids during spring, they are discreet bulbous plants. The labellum of the ophrys does not have any spurs and looks more or less, by its hairiness, its fleckings and colour like an insect (various Dipterous and Hymenopterans). Orchis have a labellum equipped with a spur, never resembling an insect and their petals and sepals are often gathered in a more or less loose palmate manner.

  • Flora

    Unknown but known

    One of the defining features of orchids holds in the specialization of their flower where everything tends to ensure the best possible pollination at a lower energy cost. The "best of the best" is reached among the "Ophrys" where one of the petals looks just like (for the average pollinator) the body of a female insect. In wanting to hug the female, the male gets the pollen on its head, which it will try disseminate by attempt the adventure on a nearby flower.


From the parking lot Col de la Bigue, cross the road and take the path on the right from the fire water tank. Roam the path on the ridge until the intersection at 800m.

1 - Take the left path going into the woods, follow the ridge for about 1.5km to the Notre-Dame de Liesse fork with a peak at 996m. Turn right on the path going up to the chapel (round trip itinerary; remarkable view). From the chapel, come back to the crossroads and continue the path in the woods. Go down the Collet de Liesse.

2 - Don't take the left path going down to Verignon and continue straight on the ridge towards Saint-Priest. Reach the Chapel in about 3km. Go down the road for about 1.5km passing in front of a ruined barn on the left.

3 - Take the track starting on the right. It joins a path below at 900m (DFCI water tank).

4 - Follow the path on the right until the intersection at 500m. Turn right, stay on the main road for another 1.5km before reaching the intersection of the tracks of la Grave and le Brès.

5 - Follow the track on the right (la Grave) and go down the valley of the Grande Colle.

6 - Take the track rising on the right. Go up the valley for 2km. At the top, we can recognize the Notre-Dame de Liesse chapel. The path reaches a peak before a slight descent. Continue on the descending path towards the Col de la Bigue. A 800m before the pass, the trail reaches the point (1). Take a left to return to the starting point.

  • Departure : Col de la Bigue, Aups
  • Arrival : Col de la Bigue, Aups
  • Towns crossed : Aups and Vérignon


Altimetric profile


We recommend doing this hike over an entire day (remember to pack a picnic). Avoid the hot summer temperatures, leave early. Remember to pack at least 2L of water per person, a hat and proper walking shoes. In summer time, find out whether the forests are open to the public (fire risk) by calling 04 89 96 43 43 (answering machine of the Direction Départementale des Territoires et de la Mer) or by visiting the website of the Prefecture by clicking the tab "For more information".

Information desks

House of the Verdon Regional Nature Park

Domaine de Valx, 04360 Moustiers-Sainte-Marie (0)4 92 74 68 00

House of the Verdon Regional Nature Park

Find out more

OT Aups

Place Martin Bidouré , 83630 Aups 94 84 00 69

Access and parking

From Aups, take the D957 on the axis Aups / Les Salles sur Verdon for 6km until reaching the Col de la Bigue (785m).

Parking :

Col de la Bigue, situé au nord du village de Aups

More information

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