La Chapelle Saint-Maxime
La Chapelle Saint-Maxime

La Chapelle Saint-Maxime

A lookout, a viewpoint
Heritage and history
Waters and rivers
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A family walk to discover Riez. At the top of the Saint-Maxime hill you will join after a small climb, the chapel overlooking the village.

The Saint-Maxime esplanade s a haven of tranquillity that offers, and this is not the least of its qualities, a wonderful view of the entire city and the heights that border the plateau Valensole. On a clear day and with a good map, it is easy to practice naming the peaks that surround it ...

7 points of interest

  • Water and rivers

    Let's give life back to the Colostre!

    The Colostre is a biological reservoir of great importance for lower Verdon and Durance. But it lost its beauty during the twentieth century, from a bed in braids to a more straight and steep path. If the number of fish species has decreased, the river and its valley still shelter some emblematic species such as the Beaver or the Small Horseshoe bat. A restoration project is under way to restore its good functioning and all its vitality.

  • Patrimony and history

    The dovecotes of the Louis Gardiol path

    1 / You are on the L. Gardiol path: look up. The attic of the village houses often had a dovecote, facing south. We can notice the flight grid surrounded by green and brown glazed tiles.

  • Water and rivers

    The Saint Maxime spring

    St. Maximus, patron of Riez, was bishop of the city in the fifth century. His cult is celebrated in all areas and his name has remained attached to many places. This hill overlooking the city bears its name, as the source springs halfway up. One naturally lends therapeutic virtues to this source. Tradition has it that its waters cure the eye ailments that were formerly attributed to its low rate of limestone.

  • Panorama

    The Lure mountain

    The dominant view extends over the village, the Colostre lowland and in the distance the main peaks of Provence, from here we can see the Lure mountain which culminates at 1826m.
  • Patrimony and history

    Saint-Maxime, the soul of the place

    It is hard to believe that the site was occupied several times, as nothing remains of this occupation. In the past, however, there was a group of houses, a church erected as a cathedral and the palace of the bishops of Riez. Today, only the small chapel Saint-Maxime seems to watch over the place. It dates from 1655. At his side, a small congregation of the Order of Poor Clares maintains the religious tradition.

  • Flora

    The Aleppo pine

    Of a rather remarkable size, these pines, a hundred years old, are accompanied in the center of the esplanade by two chestnut trees and two lime trees. If their regular layout on the edge of the esplanade may suggest that they were planted here, the Aleppo pines are however perfectly in their place in Riez. With the holm oak (seen in the thickets around), this pine is the other tree species characteristic of the Mediterranean forest.

  • Patrimony and history

    Riez the Roman city

    Like many villages of Provence, the city of Riez has moved a lot, alternating situation of lowland and "perching" . One can think, without having the formal proof, that the first inhabitants of the place (the Reii, who gave their name to the present city) had invested the heights of Saint-Maxime hill. Natural opium, at the junction of two fertile valleys (those of Auvestre and Colostre), the site is ideal: all at once accessible and protected.


From the Pré de foire car park, cross the Colostre.

1- Go left to cross the square in direction of the church, to circumvent it by the left. Follow the road towards St-Maxime. After the wash house and the fountain, walk up the Faubourg St-Sébastien for 150 meters.

2- Turn right on the small road to St-Maxime (white and red signposting) .After a crossroads, continue ahead. Go up to the plateau by a small road (passage in front of the cemetery). Pass the Sainte Maxime source.

3- On the last part leave the road and turn right on a small path (yellow markers) to join the St-Maxime chapel. Pass in front of the chapel (point of water nearby) and cross the plateau.

4- 4- The descent on Riez is done by a path. At the foot of the hill, walk along the clock tower, down the stairs on the right, cross a small road and continue in front. After a few steps, the alley joins the Riez wash house. The return to the car park is done by the same route as the outward journey.

  • Departure : From the car park of the Pré de foire
  • Arrival : Pré de foire car park
  • Towns crossed : Riez


Altimetric profile


Provide water, a hat. In order to avoid the hot summers, leave early.

Information desks

House of the Verdon Regional Nature Park

Domaine de Valx, 04360 Moustiers-Sainte-Marie (0)4 92 74 68 00

House of the Verdon Regional Nature Park

Find out more

OT Gréoux-les-Bains

7 place de l'hôtel de ville, 04800 Gréoux-les-Bains (0)4 92 78 01 08


Limitons les déplacements en voiture, pensons aux transports en commun ! - Prenez la ligne régionale BV1 entre Castellane et Riez du 9 avril au 16 octobre. Depuis Castellane, départ à 7h15, retour 16h15 et 19h10. - Prenez la ligne TransAgglo - DLVA 132 entre Gréoux les Bains et Riez du lundi au samedi, depuis Gréoux les Bains départ à 8h27, 8h47, retour à 17h50.

Access and parking

20 km from Gréoux les Bains, by the D952.

Parking :

Parking du Pré de foire

More information

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