EYGUIERES - The Défends massif in Eyguières
Let yourself be carried away by the typical atmosphere of the Mediterranean garrigue and discover the faunal, floristic and agricultural wealth of the Alpilles. This loop bypasses the massif of Défends and offers outstanding views of the Alpilles.
View of the Castellas of Roquemartine
The Castellas of Roquemartine, ie "Castellas of Queen Jeanne" stand opposite to this slope of the massif. These remains form a whole, consisting of the ruins of the castle, the Saint-Sauveur chapel and of the ramparts, built between the 11th and 13th century. The castle belonged to Joanna I of Naples, who reigned in Provence at that time and all of this land is still privately owned.
View over Eyguières
The name Eyguières, formerly spelled "Aiguières", name of the first Lords, takes after the Provençal term "Eiguiero" which means "a vase to put water". The groundwaters of the Défends massifs supply water to the three fountains of the village of Eyguières: the Gilouse, the Borme and the Font Vieille. In the distance, the Opies can be spotted, the highest peak of the Alpilles at 498m.
This small rectangular terminal, set with a cross at its top, serves Topographic point for precise coordinates. Many of covering the French territory, they form a real network on which the National Geographical Institute relies to design cards. These terminals can take different forms: square stone, metal triangle, etc.
At the crossing of the massifs
In the distance to the North, on the left of the wide gravel path, Mont Ventoux looms on the horizon. It is the highest peak of the Vaucluse mountains with 1911m of altitude. On the left in the foreground, the tip of the Alpilles chain stands out and on the right is the beginning of the Luberon Regional Nature Park that we see.
The Baux valley canal
The irrigation canal of Baux Valley, created in the early 20th century, celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012. Dedicated to agriculture, it irrigates an area of about 2.800 hectares and contributes to the agricultural development of the plains around the massif: olive groves, vineyards, arboriculture, cereals and vegetables. Its water promotes groundwater recharge and can also be used to fight fires.
The Gilouse source is a natural resurgence stemming from the groundwater of the Défends massifs. This fountain was built in 1774. It feeds a little open-air wash house from 1664, still visible today.
At the Gilouse fountain, cross the road and take the DFCI track that rises in front of the fountain. Follow the red and white markings (GR®).).
1 - At the junction, turn left on the gravel path down below. After the gate, continue straight and cross the second gate.
2 - At the crossroads, leave behind the gate on your left and continue to the road sign of the department. Follow the direction of "Lamanon par les crêtes du défends". "
3 - At the fork, follow the left path rising and then turn right at the next intersection and begin the steep slope.
4 - At the column, continue to follow the markings and turn left. Then continue straight on the wide track.
5 - At the crossroads where the tank "Charlotte" is located, turn right and follow the trail named "Eyguières par le chemin du défends". Then take the small path off to the right and begin the descent.
6 - Cross the gate, turn right and continue on the track.
7 - Turn right when the path splits in two. At the concrete road, turn right and continue for a few meters on the hill before turning left on the small trail. Continue until the D17 without entering the private property.
8 - At the paved road, turn right on the Chemin de la Fontaine Gilouse and end the hike.
Small difficult passage after the reference point No.4, at the IGN milestone.
Be careful with the small path after the reference point No.5, very slippery!
House of the Alpilles Regional Nature Park
2, boulevard Marceau, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
+33 (0)4 90 90 44 00
Located in the heart of the city centre of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, the House of the Alpilles Nature Park welcomes you to its completely renovated premises. This new vibrant place is multifunctional: it accommodates the Park's engineering team but also has a public reception space and showrooms. A true resource centre of the Park's heritage, it aims to support and promote locals, visitors and tourists on all 16 municipalities of the Park.
Open Monday to Friday, from 9 am at 12:30 pm and from 1:30 pm to 5 pm.
Search for the public transport timetables on the website www.lepilote.com in the municipality of Eyguières.
Access and parking
Cross the village of Eyguières towards Sénas. At the last roundabout before leaving the village, turn right on the way to the Gilouse Fountain and continue for 100m.
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