Pigeon huts and ATV cabins
A silhouetted hut on the plateau of Valensole, a pastoral hut in the shade of a slope, a fountain on a village square are all links that the territory maintains with those who have lived there or who live there on a daily basis. The paths leading to them become again pathways of life which invite everyone to adapt their step, or their turn of the wheel to better discover and feel the many facets of the Verdon.
Let's give life back to the Colostre!
The Colostre is a biological reservoir of great importance for lower Verdon and Durance. But it lost its beauty during the twentieth century, from a bed in braids to a more straight and steep path. If the number of fish species has decreased, the river and its valley still shelter some emblematic species such as the Beaver or the Small Horseshoe bat. A restoration project is under way to restore its good functioning and all its vitality.
The dovecotes of the Louis Gardiol path
1 / You are on the L. Gardiol path: look up. The attic of the village houses often had a dovecote, facing south. We can notice the flight grid surrounded by green and brown glazed tiles.
The town cottages
2/ In the outskirts of the town you will find cottages with an urban look very much influenced by "the 30s". Discover one of them, a small hook towards Valensole; we note its slender roof with four slopes, made of mechanical flat tiles are very characteristic of this period. A glass greenhouse was used as a winter garden.
The cabin of Saint-Suffret
3 / Just like many country cottages, it suggests the remains of a gutter that was connected to a tank underground. Collecting rainwater was the only way for the owner to have a water supply.
The dovecote of Coulettes
4 / At the end of the road on the right, the Coulettes’s dovecote, restored in 2013 by the Verdon Park, has retained its rural decor. The ground floor includes a bird table topped with a rack and an upstairs section for pigeons with pigeonholes. A wooden birdhouse was built to accommodate a barn owl.
The dovecote of the village
5 / Look at this little dovecote inserted in the setting of the village. The triangular pediment is pierced by a small, wooden flight grid. We see metal rods which indicate the presence of drawstrings that reinforce the hold of the masonry.
The cabin in the field of the courtyard
6 / This building, notable for the presence of a cypress, has a living room upstairs where the owner can warm up by the fireplace.
The cabin of Ferrayes
8 / This cabin, which is very run down, allows visitors to see the material used: The pebbles, typical of Valensole, were filled with a mortar of lime before being covered with a protective lime coating.
The cabin of Envalenc
9 / Metal plates are visible in each corner of the building. Smooth and slippery, they keep away predators, preventing them from holding on.
The dovecote of Beines
10 / The cone-shaped loft can be seen in the distance. Traces of a stone cornice remain, delimiting the old roof with a double offset.
The covered well
14 / Near the river, a covered well alongside the entrance to the remarkably restored shed.
The cabin of Carles
11 / Turn left and in 200m you will discover the cabin of Carles. Note the aesthetics of the Génoise tiling, which has two rows of tiles with rounded corners marrying the gable wall.
The dovecote on the road to Saint-Blaise
12 / Notice the frame of the window: It is made by the stack of solid bricks, cut with a notch which forms the rabbet. When better plastered, the shutters are more effective during windy days. Before the putlogs collapsed, you could still see a date inscribed in plaster: 1857.
The cabin in the Saint-Blaise path
13 / The cabin houses the gardening tools. Note the presence of an arbor supporting two vines.
The flight grid
15 / In front of the parking lot, there is hidden grid off behind a plane tree. It indicates a construction date "1847", the initials "LC", all decorated with trefoil hearts.
The cabin of Saint-Maxime
16 / The big cabin in the middle of the Saint-Maxime plain is used to store farm machinery.
The Lure mountain
The Saint Maxime spring
St. Maximus, patron of Riez, was bishop of the city in the fifth century. His cult is celebrated in all areas and his name has remained attached to many places. This hill overlooking the city bears its name, as the source springs halfway up. One naturally lends therapeutic virtues to this source. Tradition has it that its waters cure the eye ailments that were formerly attributed to its low rate of limestone.
From Riez, take a small communal road and climb up the plateau; the climb is arduous but promises a striking view of the Verdon mountains. Find a trail that is at first brittle and steep and increasingly rolling. Travel between truffle and lavender to the village of Puimoisson. Go down the plateau by the Moustiers road, between rolling trails and small secondary roads, then follow the Colostre (ford, potentially flooded, caution! possibility of variant while staying on the road) in the direction of Roumoules. Exit Roumoules by the GR4 and, after a few hundred meters, climb up the plateau via a steep and stony path (bifurcation loop 2). Amore accessible variant takes you through the trading estate. There is a straight and rolling trail completely open on the fields of lavender and olive trees that join the chapel of Sainte-Maxime. Take a last stony descent (variant possible by road) until the heart of the picturesque lanes of Riez.
On the roads, follow the rules and be careful at intersections. - Do not attempt to enter the huts, they are private property! Be careful as you approach, some cabins can be dangerous (falling stones, snakes, & hellip;) - Be careful in the hot summer temperatures: take plenty of water and a picnic. Make sure you have all the necessary accessories/equipment for a good hike: helmets, repair tools, air pump, anti-theft, maps, sunscreen.
House of the Verdon Regional Nature Park
Domaine de Valx, 04360 Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
+33 (0)4 92 74 68 00
House of the Verdon Regional Nature Park
Allées Louis Gardiol, 04500 Riez
+33 (0)4 92 77 99 09
Access and parking
A 18 km au nord-est de Gréoux-les-Bains, par la D952.
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