"During this hike I appreciated the many forest species and the unusual hamlet of Maurras which has the particularity of being in the town of Saint-Julien Le Montagnier. The icing on the cake, the view extends for hundreds of kilometers, and as a grand finale: the arrival on the chapel Notre-Dame des Oeufs which dominates the Verdon." Anne-Camille Vinson - PNR of Luberon
A bridge for nails
August 15, 1944 this bridge was to be bombarded by the English air force, the airmen seeing a colony of children who bathed in the Verdon dropped their bombs in the ravines. The next day they found a destroyed bridge. Resistance members of Greoux had done it for them. In 1950 the state decided to rebuild it in stone as it is today, the formwork of the concrete vault was made with hangers in studded planks it will take 18 months and 7.5 tons of nails.
The village of Gréoux-les-Bains and its castle
View of Gréoux les Bains and the castle known as the Templars (but never belonged to them) possesses parts ranging from the 12t to the 17th century. It belonged to the counts of Provence from 1248, then to the Hospitallers of Saint John of Jerusalem. It was purchased by the municipality in the early 1980s. It is said that the Templars had decided to build a castle in Greoux for the virtues of its waters, beneficial to the convalescence of wounded knights.
The narcissus assoanus, also called rush-leaf jonquil is a small spring plant with yellow flowers. This very graceful narcissus is found in quantity in spring, in the sunny rocky lawns of the Mediterranean regions up to 1200 meters. Do not pick them.
The Spiked Magician
The Saga pedo is probably the largest insect in France, with a full body length from 9 to 11 cm (the oviscapte - organ allowing to lay - is 4 cm). This extraordinary grasshopper has no wings and - very rare for the orthoptera and unique in France- males do not exist. Females reproduce by parthenogenesis (asexual reproduction). The offspring of each female are therefore clones.
The Ocellated Lizard
The ocellated lizard (Timon lepidus) is an endemic lizard species from southwestern Europe of the Lacertidae family, considered to be the largest in Europe and has been in decline in recent years in France and Europe. The ocellated lizard is one of the seven species of reptiles threatened with extinction in France, out of the 37 listed in 2009. Fossils prove the existence of the ocellated lizard for more than 2.3 million years.
Pyramidal orchid is not one of the orchids that produce nectar. It is particularly appreciated by the butterflies that ensure fertilization, the morphology of the flowers being well adapted to the tubes of the Lepidoptera. They colonize calcareous soils, lawns, dry and well exposed meadows, slopes up to 2000 m altitude.
Notre-Dame des Œufs
Notre-Dame des Œufs is a modest 17th century building nestled in a beautiful setting. This worship place is certainly very ancient. Its name derives from a local custom that women who were sterile or wanted to have a child would come with two eggs on Easter Monday. Once they arrived, they had to swallow one and then leave the other one. On a second pilgrimage, on the following September 8, the second egg had to be intact for the wish to come true ....
From the parking lot of the thermal baths go left on rue des Eaux to the banks of the Verdon. Turn right and just before the bridge, go up a small path on the right and end up on the D8. Cross the bridge of Verdon and immediately after the road turn right. Follow the route by the edge of the Verdon and just before the dam, go left in the direction of the hill (PR).
1- Join the D8, cross the road, and follow the trail in front (hiking trail signs). Climb the trail in the middle of the holm oaks. On the way, avoid a path on the right and continue in front, direction Les Maurras. At the pass, go down the other slope. Cross the logging through the narrowest path, along the pipeline and reach a crossroad.
2 - Turn left towards Maurras. Gradually ascend the red color path (siliceous soil) until reaching a road. Turn left and reach the hamlet of Maurras. Cross it and follow at the exit, on the left, the trail of the "wells of Pellas" then climb towards the antennas. Enter the woods (pine and oak forest) and follow the main road (PR). After a paved section, take the path on the left, leave a cistern and the wells of Pellas on the right and continue to a berm. Continue on the right path into the wooded massif and climb out onto the ridge. Follow the paved road to the pylon.
3- At the foot of the antenna, go down in front of the path to the ubac. The slope is steep! Cross the road down to the pass and continue opposite the path of the chapel Notre-Dame-des-oeufs (PR). 1.5km further, climb right towards the Chapel. Turn around and go back to the crossroad and down the path to the right until you reach the road. Turn right and join the Pont de Gréoux. From there, get back to the parking lot using the same starting road.
Take 2L of water per person, a hat, and walking shoes. Avoid high summer temperatures, leave early. Preferred seasons: spring and fall. In summer time, find out whether the forests are open to the public (fire risk) by calling 04 89 96 43 43 (answering machine of the Direction Départementale des Territoires et de la Mer) or by visiting the website of the Prefecture by clicking the tab "For more information".
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
7 place de l'hôtel de ville, 04800 Gréoux-les-Bains
+33 (0)4 92 78 01 08
Access and parking
15,5km south-east of Manosque (A9), by the D907 and D82.
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