The Claparèdes plateau
The Claparèdes plateau
The name Claparèdes comes from "clapas" which means "pile of rocks" in Provençal. Many dry stone huts are on this plateau which goes from Castellet to Lacoste on about 10km. An old cereal land, the cultivation of lavender is now the most widespread on the plateau.
A postcard scenery...
The Luberon is visible from everywhere and very present in the landscape. It is also a wonderful spur which reveals wide panoramas of Mont Ventoux and the Alps to the north from the Claparèdes plateau. Do not miss the purple mottling of the lavender from June to July. Contemporary human presence is rare but the few farms, bories, dry stone walls resulting from field stone removal are the proof of an earlier human presence.
Long live the diversity, long live Life!
Lavender or lavandins?
A well orchestrated plantation!
A very popular essential oil
The art of distillation
Morenas, innkeeper but also ...
François Morenas was the owner of the former Regain Youth Hostel, nearby. Today deceased, he is the precursor of the first paths of great hikes of Provence. On the way, you will notice traces of blue paint, remain of his markings. Creator of hiking routes since 1953, he was also a writer and a traveling filmmaker! In Saignon, every summer, in the open air, there are still screenings of old films proudly preserved by F. Morenas and his friends.
Traces of carts
On this old road that connected the fields to neighboring farms but also Buoux and Auribeau, you can easily notice notches cut and worn in two successive outcrops of rock. An additional testimony of the ancestral agricultural activity taking place on the Claparèdes plateau...
The large farms are the result of successive enlargements, in function of the needs of the operation. The mas in";L ;shape "is oriented south-east, offering protection against the mistral (which blows north-west). The openings are absent to the north and rather narrow elsewhere to protect themselves from heat in summer and cold in winter. At the bottom of the main body were the living rooms and the animals because of the heat releases. Upstairs, the bedrooms and attics.
Along the path but also everywhere in the undergrowth, you will notice the many alignments of walls following the ancient stonework and dry stone retaining walls. These constructions today neglected, they formerly comforted the terraces cultivated in restanque ("bancaou" in Provençal). These walls let the runoff water while containing the earth for subsistence crops; ? essentially wheat and fodder for the animals.
The lavender fields adorn the Luberon landscapes, which they colour at the beginning of the summer with blue-mauve streaks. Coming from the west of the Mediterranean basin, lavender was already used by the Romans to preserve linen and perfume baths. In the dry hills of Provence, wild lavender was used since the Middle Ages for its perfume but also in the composition of drugs. It is harvested during hot weather that promotes the rise of gasoline in the flower.
Hard work and variable return
The '' star '' of the bories!
Patience and recycling
Let's save the heritage trail!
This old rural road was brought to light in the 1970s by François and Claude Morenas, tireless pioneers of itineraries. In the 2000s, it was the Park with the help of the department that worked to safeguard it against the real estate pressure. Today it is perennial, registered in the Departmental Plan of Walk and Hiking, it benefits from the maintenance and tagging action of the Vaucluse department, but also by the supervision of volunteers, walkers or mountain bikers.
80 m further ('' Barbe Blanche '' post), turn left onto the undergrowth path (follow the GRP® markings towards '' Sivergues ''). After a stony area, you get to an intersection.
1- Leave the GRP® down in front and turn twice to the left. Follow a dirt road to the north-east (not marked). Pass a bend and, at the first crossroads, turn left onto a path along the fields. A little further, continue to the right. You arrive on a track and take it to the left. Go 45 m further on the D232 and join the stop just to the right.
2- Leave on the path in the undergrowth to the right of the stop. Proceed to a crossroads and continue on the left. Walk along the lavender field and rush a few meters into the undergrowth Go left then continue right to reach the D114 Follow it for 350 m, then turn left on the Sivergues path (sign). Take this dirt road until you cross a road. Turn right and take this little road.
3- At the first crossing, turn right (GRP®) then 350 m further, in a bend (garbage container), continue in front on a dirt road and reach a crossroads of trails (post '' Le Colombier '', cross iron ).
4- Follow the path straight ahead (PR), pass between two fields of lavender and continue straight ahead. You arrived on a small parking ("Les Fondons” post). Go left, take the D48 for 30 m and continue on the dirt road opposite (not marked). At the first crossroads, go down opposite and come back on the D48. Take it straight ahead for 500 m.
5- At the end of the straight line, turn on the left road and 120 m further, turn right on a path undergrowth (GR® and GRP®). Follow this path to torment, pass a very stony section and come back on the road. Take it 20m to the right and sneak onto the path on the left Go under the hedge of trees and brambles, to return to point 4 (post "Le Colombier", iron cross).
4- Turn right and follow the path to go one way (GRP®), then follow the road also to the first point 3 (road crossing).
3- turn right and advance another 100 m. Turn left and follow the dirt road (GRP®). Pass along a field of lavender and continue straight into the undergrowth. Drive on the D232, cross it (caution!) And continue the path opposite. Always go straight, pass near a big borie and reach the D114 (GRP®).
6- At the "Vouliou" pole, turn right and take the D114 for 300 m (GRP®). At the "Plaine Lambertes" post, turn left and rush on the narrow and stony path undergrowth (GRP®). Reach a track and turn left to return to the starting car park.
Caution when crossing roads.
House of the Luberon Regional Nature Park
60, place Jean Jaurès, 84400 Apt
+33 (0)4 90 04 42 00
In the heart the old town centre of Apt, the House of the Luberon Regional Nature Park welcomes you in a town house of the 18th century. The permanent exhibition of the geology museum has a rich collection of fossils evidencing the geological history of the Luberon.
On sale at the shop: books, maps, guidebooks, games, posters...
Open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm and from 1:30 pm to 6 pm (and on Saturday, depending on the program). Free admission.
OTI Pays d’Apt Luberon
788 avenue Victor Hugo, 84400 Apt
+33 (0)4 90 74 03 18
Du 1er avril au 30 septembre
Ouvert du lundi au samedi de 9h30 à 12h30 et de 14h à 18h.
Juillet et août : Ouvert dimanche et jours fériés de 9h30 à 12h30
Du 1er octobre au 31 mars
Ouvert du lundi au mardi et du jeudi au samedi de 9h30 à 12h30 et de 14h à 18h.
Fermé le mercredi, dimanche et jours fériés.
Access and parking
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