The Coteau Chiron (Chiron hill)
By going around the hill of Coteau Chiron, you will reach to the Saint-Laurent lake, an idyllic spot, which calls for resting and strolling. Then along the lower gorge, you can admire the lengthy task of the Verdon which has dug into the limestone rock for millennia and at a winding path, you will discover lake Montpezat and its hilltop village.
The layout of the fountain site dates from 1647. In Provence, the development of water points are arranged according to a precise logic. Is that you actually save every drop of water in the swishing, but also keep it the necessary cleanliness. The water comes from a spring that flows a few meters from here, in the middle of the street down to the village. While both fountain and wash trough, "the fountain" meets the different needs of residents.
The castle is an elegant quadrangular building of the same type as the constructions built in the 17th century. It was built in the late 17th century on the order of Claude de Castellane after he had sold his part of the "old castle" to one of the lords of the place. His lord chose to build it away from the town, in the heart of a park closed by a large portal. In this sector, there were burials dating from the late 3rd century or early 4th century. (Now a private property).
Saint-Laurent, the village with the two castles
Saint-Laurent-du-Verdon has benefited from two castles, the oldest of the 15th century only existing as remains embedded in some houses in the village. The second was built in the late 17th century on the order of Claude de Castellane. It is an elegant quadrangular building as they were built back then. It is between four corner towers and offers three levels of beautiful arched windows. Its monumental semicircular gateway pleasantly emphasizes the southern facade.
Butterfly or dragonfly?
The Owly Sulfur (Libelloides coccajus) is an insect of the Ascalaphidae family which looks at the same time like a butterfly and a dragonfly. The hindwings are triangular in shape with a pointed end and a black spot. The forewings are slightly larger than the hindwings. There are also large sulfur yellow spots found on the wings, which is behind the species name. The rest of the wings are transparent and decorated with black veins.
The dwarf iris
The Iris lutescens, also called the scrubland iris, the yellow iris or the dwarf iris is a plant belonging to the genus Iris and to the Iridaceae family. As its name indicates, its flowers are usually pale yellow, but there are also varieties with purple or white flowers, or two-coloured. It is a Mediterranean plant which normally grows on limestone, on dry rocky lawns.
View on Montpezat
From the lower gorges overlooking the village of Montpezat.
From the car park, exit the village through the road Montagnac-Montpezat on the right. When you reach the oratory of Saint-Laurent, at a crossroads between the Riez road and the Montpezatof road, continue straight on the small road C1 of Montpezat. 400m further, just before the bridge, leave the road and follow the path on the right. Go downwards at the edge of the field until the ruins of Angles.
1 - Take the trail on the right and 200m further, go down the road on the left. Coming out a passageway through the woods, reach to a vast mountain pass at the edge of the field (420m). Turn left. Go down the path along the meadows until lake Saint-Laurent.
2 - Upstream the lake, take the left path. Further down, go into the woods. Continue on the main route. The trail rises quickly on the left, upstream the gorges of Verdon, on the hillside of Coteau Chiron (look out for the marking!). When the view opens onto lake Montpezat, follow the trail that descends to the Verdon. Reach to the fencing of the camp (intersection of routes between Saint-Laurent and Montpezat).
3 - Follow the road on the left towards Saint-Laurent. Reach the edges of the forest, and after a short ascent, go to the ruins of Angles.
1 - Turn right and return to the village following the route taken to go.
Avoid high summer temperatures, leave early. We recommend: 2 L of water per person, a hat and proper walking shoes.
Access and parking
Leaving Saint-Laurent (D311).
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