Above the Infernets and Coutronne-les Encanaux ravines

A splendid walk starting from the Encanaux, near Auriol, along the top of the Infernets and then the Coutronne ravines. At times along the cliffside ravines, similar to some sections of the Gorges du Verdon. From Lare Pass (Col de la Lare), you will have a magnificent view of the Sainte-Baume range and the Pic de Bertagne to the south and Sainte-Victoire Mountain, Mont Olympe and Mont Aurélien to the north.

Technical sheet
No. 4098363
A Auriol walk posted on 15/11/15 by Tamtraductions. Update : 27/09/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 5h10[?]
Distance Distance : 13.05km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 506m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 506m
Highest point Highest point : 727m
Lowest point Lowest point : 250m
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Sainte-Baume (Massif)
Location Location : Auriol (13390)
Starting point Starting point : N 43.350581° / E 5.660126°
Download : -


In Auriol, take the D45A which later joins the D2, leading to La Coutronne and Plan d'Aups. Pass in front of the Maison du Légionnaire. As the road heads up, take the small road down towards "les Encanaux" on the left. Park in the car park on the left before the little bridge.

(D) Pass a gate and take the track (1) to the right with blue waymarks, leading up into the forest. A few yards further on, you come across an old ice-house. There is a board explaining the history and function of ice-houses, which are very common in the area, especially in Mazaugues.

Continue uphill. Where the path levels out and slopes down slightly you get to a crossing with a small, poorly maintained path which, to the right heads up a steep hill at a right angle to the initial path. (2). Take this path to the right, thus leaving the blue waymarks. Stay on this path as it leads south, climbing steeply among the brush and trees.

At the top (3), you come across a large rock and a large cairn. Take the path heading left below the rock. On the way down, go past the Abri du Figuier, then the Grotte des Infernets, which appears to be a deeper cave. Since we unfortunately did not have torches, we did not try to get as far as the end. Push on to the Grotte des Morts and continue through hillside, passing over sections of ridges amid the Provencal vegetation. The views are superb.

The path leads to a ford (4) and an intersection: take the right-hand path which leads up towards La Coutronne, with yellow waymarks. Stay on this path until you approach the D2.

About 50 m before the road, take a track heading left (5), leaving the yellow waymarks. It goes alongside a fence and past a smallholding. Walk along the top of the Coutronne ravine, enjoying spectacular views. Opposite, you can see the track rising to Lare Pass (Col de la Lare), which you'll climb shortly.

Continue straight on, passing a ford across a dry seasonal river, then pass through a cedar forest.

When you reach a wide firefighting access track (6), follow it to the left and climb up to Lare Pass (Col de la Lare) (7). From the top of the pass, there is a remarkable view of the Coutronne ravine, the Sainte-Baume range and the Pic de Bertagne. Follow this track heading north-west.

At a cistern and junction (8), take the track heading left towards Encanaux Bridge (Pont des Encanaux which is signed). Follow the track down towards Encanaux Bridge. To the north, you will see Sainte-Victoire Mountain, Mont Olympe and Mont Aurélien.

In a bend at highpoint 430 (9), leave the track, bear right and catch up with the same track further down. Continue left at the next junction and push on to Encanaux Bridge and the fitness trail (10).

At the bridge, take the right-hand track to return to the car park.

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 250m
1 : km 0.12 - alt. 254m - Gate, intersection, blue waymarks
2 : km 0.31 - alt. 280m - Intersection: path to the right
3 : km 0.57 - alt. 345m - At the top, large rock, bear left
4 : km 1.6 - alt. 423m - Intersection, ford, head right
5 : km 3.44 - alt. 614m - Intersection before the D2
6 : km 5.45 - alt. 669m - Intersection, firefighting access track to the lef
7 : km 7.33 - alt. 703m - Lare Pass (Col de Lare), viewpoint
8 : km 10.29 - alt. 476m - Junction, head left
9 : km 10.87 - alt. 421m - Highpoint 430, intersection, bear right
10 : km 12.27 - alt. 280m - Pont des Encanaux
D/A : km 13.05 - alt. 251m

Useful Information

No water spots available on this hike.
Good hiking footwear and the IGN map.
Don't forget your camera and binoculars.
Headlamps if you want to explore the "Grotte des Infernets".

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Other walks in the area

distance 13.14km Vertical gain +595m Vertical drop -590m Durée 5h25 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Gémenos - 13 - Bouches-du-Rhône

This trail is another way of getting to the Petit Tuny hut. On this trail, you stay off the DFCI tracks as much as possible, by taking non-waymarked paths instead. At the highest point of the route, you will have a wonderful view over Garlaban, the Huveaune Valley and Bertagne Peak.

distance 13.3km Vertical gain +528m Vertical drop -529m Durée 5h20 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Plan-d'Aups-Sainte-Baume - 83 - Var

Walk on the ridge of Sainte-Baume after visiting the Cave of Mary Magdalene.

distance 11.32km Vertical gain +415m Vertical drop -407m Durée 4h25 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Allauch - 13 - Bouches-du-Rhône

A walk in a regional park with beautiful trails, varied routes and trees, trees and more trees.
Departure from the park’s car park at the Pichauris Hostel.

A loop via the Auberge de Pichauris, the Puits de l'Aroumi
distance 14.58km Vertical gain +519m Vertical drop -516m Durée 5h40 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Allauch - 13 - Bouches-du-Rhône

A hike through the pines and scrubland of the Massif du Garlaban, so dear to Marcel Pagnol.
Starting from the Pichauris car park, the circuit first leads you to the Puits de l'Aroumi (the wells of Aroumi) then the Mont du Marseillais along beautiful, well marked paths, often along ridges, offering magnificent views over Marseille, Sainte-Victoire, Mont Ventoux and, in good weather, the Préaples de Provence. The intense luminosity of the rocks under the brilliance of the sun will leave no-one indifferent.

distance 12.82km Vertical gain +642m Vertical drop -643m Durée 5h30 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Aubagne - 13 - Bouches-du-Rhône

Circuit following in Marcel Pagnol's footsteps, passing by the Baume du Plantier (Manon’s Cave) then reaching the legendary Garlaban. The return journey passes by the peak of Taoumé and Grosibou Cave and ending with the Vallon de Passe-Temps.

distance 5.64km Vertical gain +71m Vertical drop -72m Durée 1h50 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Le Castellet (Var) - 83 - Var
distance 16.26km Vertical gain +468m Vertical drop -463m Durée 6h00 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Ceyreste - 13 - Bouches-du-Rhône

A long but straight-forward hike overlooking "Baie de la Ciotat" and a beautiful view over Sainte-Baume mountain range and Sainte-Victoire Mountain.

distance 15.37km Vertical gain +200m Vertical drop -208m Durée 5h00 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Signes - 83 - Var

On this walk you'll discover some of the locations used to film Manon des Sources and Jean de Florette (1986): the Grotte de Mounoï cave, the dried-up stream and the Villa Renard - the hunchback's house.
This route will also let you discover the Vallon des Martyrs, with its monument commemorating resistance fighters executed by the SS in 1944. All along the walk you'll experience incredible Provence landscapes and the Sainte-Baume.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.