The Grand Margès
The summit allows you to embrace with one look all the diversity of the landscapes of the Verdon Regional Nature Park: the hills of the Haut Var, the Great Gorges, the Valensole plateau with its wheat and lavender fields, the mountains of the alpine foothills, Lake Sainte-Croix... The climb is difficult, but the satisfaction of getting to the top will make you forget quickly the tiredness.
Don't lose the ball
Since the 16th century, Aiguines has been the town of woodturners. The presence of the forest has allowed the use of several species including boxwood. Wood cutters would go all the way into the Gorges to cut it. It was mostly used for manufacturing the studded petanque ball, which made the reputation of the town. To relive this exciting saga, visit the woodturners museum, artist studios and the Escoulen school which mark the revival of the activity.
To beech or not to beech
The beech forest of Aiguines is a Mediterranean beech forest. It's pretty rare, the beech being a species that loves moderate temperatures and high humidity. The freshness and moisture of the Gorges allowed this species to expand into the north facing slopes, above the Verdon, in the town of Aiguines. This mature forest is home to beautiful old trees, a remarkable diversity of vegetation and a wide range of animal species. A biodiversity home!
The Maquis Vallier
Margès and the Plan of Canjuers are a place of memory of the French Resistance movement of Haut-Var during World War II. Between 1943-1944, the maquis (rural guerrilla bands of French Resistance fighters) of the Secret Army, link to an entire organization of the Resistance, is established. It will be called the Maquis Vallier, in reference to its Lieutenant, Gleb Sivirine said Vallier. Composed of many Resistance fighters of the Compulsory Work Service (Service de Travail Obligatoire - STO), the group will reach to hundreds of men and will operate as a military training camp.
The fairy ring, (also known as fairy circle, elf circle or pixie ring) is a naturally occurring phenomenon, consisting of a colony of fruit bodies aligned in a roughly circular form, appearing in woodlands or in grasslands. They can be seen in the grasslands of Mount Grand Margès.
View of the lake and the Gorges
From Margès, a stunning view of the Canyon, the Valensole plateau and Lake Sainte Croix.
Opposite the town hall, turn right towards the Barda square. In front of the big fountain, turn right via the alley passing near the belfry. From there, reach the upper street, follow it to the left, following the red and white markings of the GR® 99. Once you have gone through the village, leave for a moment the marked and paved path and climb to the right towards the Saint-Pierre chapel and the orientation table. Then go behind the chapel and reach the GR, then the road to the Gorges.
1 - Cross the road, go along it for about 50m. Then go on the opposite side of the campsite's entrance and go up through the GR into the undergrowth. Continue straight in a mixed forest of scots pines and oaks.
2 - At the intersection leave the path to the left which goes down to the Vaumale circus. Walk through a sinkhole and then coming out of a second sinkhole, go up on the right towards the top of the Grand Margès.
3 - From the peak, turn around and go back down using the same route.
Avoid high summer temperatures, leave early. We recommend: 2L of water per person, a hat and proper hiking shoes.
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