At the heart of an olive grove
Along the south side of the Alpilles between the villages of Mouriès and Aureille, this walk goes from the west to east side of a land shaped by man around olive crops, vines and fruit trees. Between pine forest and scrubland, from the massif to the piedmont plain, the landscapes are rich and variant.
St. Roch oratory
Topped on a central pillar in stone, this small chapel was built in 1822, against cholera raging in the region. A niche was built, bullet-shaped, covered by a stone flat roof. A marble plaque was added to the building, where one can read "SAINT ROCH PRIEZ FOR US. 1822-1886 ".
At the top of the ridges
From the Castellas ridgeline to the north, you can see the golf Servanes but above the peaks that house the John John Banks, where there was a Gallic oppidum there two thousand years. To the south lies the village of Mouriès. Finally, to the east, where the ride continues, lies a mosaic of agricultural and viticultural landscape.
Former railway Salon-Arles
The construction of the Avignon-Salon railway line was completed in 1868. In 1900, an assessment of traffic showed that the number of travelers and goods (cereals, wine, coal) was small. Although the prosperity of the villages benefited from connection to the railway network, the line was finally closed in 1950, in a favorable context to road traffic.
View of the peaks of the Opies
Spectacular observatory, the peaks of the Opies reach 498 m at their highest point, crowned by a square lookout tower. It was built at the beginning of the 20th century, with the help of Marseille firemen, as part of a fire prevention plan.
Oratory of Aureille
Since the oratory, a lovely view of the village of Aureille is offers hikers. Dominated by the castle as distinguished atop its rocky outcrop, Aureille is located in the Alpilles massif foot and opens onto the plain of Crau. The village center was once encircled by a wall to protect themselves, hence the shape of terraced houses on each other. Today Aureille is a quiet town and faithful to the traditions of Provence.
The old mill GAUDRE of Destet
A former water mill, now in ruins, was working with the waterfall that allowed to turn the wheel and thus to grind grain. The water flowed in a "Witch pot" and follows a cascade of 5 m. The water then goes to another mill, near the arches of the aqueduct of the valley of Les Baux channel.
Who does not know the Grand Duke of Europe? Europe's largest owl, it nests all year in the cliffs and saw its population increase. Many grand dukes peacefully sleep during the day, waiting for the night to hunt. As the Bonelli's eagle, raptor is a super predator that feeds on small mammals such as hares, hedgehogs, and other birds.
The Baux valley canal
This canal, measuring 53km long, was subject to a long process of reflection and design. Designed in 1792, the project will be launched over a century later, in 1914. In a landscape of steppe, it was important to develop human presence and the economy as a hydraulic network irrigates the territory to help the crops survive. This canal supplies all to itself the southern part of the Alpilles.
From the car park at the Place de l'Europe, go left following the Avenue des Alpilles. 100m further, take the Route de Servanes. Continue on it for 600m.
1 - In the left turn, go right up the path leading to the scrub. At the top, turn right and go through the Castellas ridgeline. At the bottom, cross the D24 (be careful!) and follow the D24a across for 350m. Then leave this road to switch to the left. Follow it for 1.5km.
2 - At the junction, continue straight on the old railway track. After the breakthrough in the rock, leave the path to the left and take the small path that leads to a former embankment reclaimed by vegetation. When reaching the Malacercis property, go down the embankment and continue for 1km.
3 - At the crossroads of 4 roads, leave the route of the old railway track and turn left. Cross the Vallée des Baux canal, head north and turn right on the paved road of Pas de Clavel. Continue until the oratory (beautiful view of the village of Aureille).
4 - Turn left at 180° and follow the signs of Eygalières, Mouriès and Maussane (GR®6). After 600m, leave the GR®6 going up to the right and continue straight on the GR®653A. Go along the small massif Pas de Cerf. At the end of the paved road, continue on the path (yellow markings). Leave to the left the oil mill of Vaudoret and take a wide track across. Go along a former motocross circuit and the ruins of an old grist mill. Come out on the D24.
5 - Cross the D24 and continue towards the former sand pit. 800m further, cross the Baux valley canal. Continue to the right and get back on the path by the Gaudre de Malaga, heading towards Mouriès. Cross a large olive grove and a small bridge over the Gaudre. Get back on the Route de Servanes.
6 - Go past the Castle of Servanes to the left and continue on the Route de Servanes until the starting point of the hike in central Mouriès.
For safety issues and for the preservation of forests, access to natural areas is regulated from June to September. Information during the summer at 08 11 20 13 13 (cost of a local call), on www.bouches-du-rhone.pref.gouv.fr, or the free application MYPROVENCE ENVIE DE BALADE (available on App Store and Android Market).
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 Mouriès.
Access and parking
22km Northwest of Salon-de-Provence, through the D17, D17e then D17.
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