Circuit in the eastern Alpilles, first passing by the Notre-Dame de Beauregard chapel overlooking the Durance valley and a long tour over the Orgon plateau and its valleys.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Park in one of the many available places along the D7N (Avenue de la Victoire), close to the PMU.
(S) From the car park, cross the road at the pedestrian crossing opposite the PMU and continue straight on Place Albert Gérard (keep the post office to your left). Continue straight ahead on Avenue Georges Coste to reach Place de la Liberté, near the tourist office.
Take the few stairs to the left to see the church.
Continue in the same direction along the street that slopes to the left past the municipal police station to reach the stairs.
Leave the street and take the stairs on the left that leads to Chemin des Oratoires. Turn left following the signs for Notre-Dame de Beauregard and head up to get to the chapel of the annunciation.
(1) Continue for a few metres on an asphalt road and turn right on the stone stairs that pass next to a wooden house. After heading around it, the chapel to Jesus and Mary is on the path to the right and then a third with no name 10 m further on up leads to a crossroads.
(2) Cross the road and continue opposite still on the same type of path making a few turns and arrive in front of the entrance of the Notre-Dame de Beauregard chapel (3).
Pass on by to reach the square. After admiring the scene, turn right onto the paved road that provides access to this place.
Follow this road to the right downhill along the cliffs for about 400 m as far as a crossing.
(4) Turn left just before the marker post, head around the barrier and take the leftmost path down above the lake. From there one can still see the marks of the 2012 fire, but the nature has begun to recover.
The stony and furrowed trail will meet the paved road to Lake Vallée Heureuse. Turn right and follow the edge of it to the camping site. Turn left onto the AL120 track that loops uphill. In the third turn, pass by a path that leads right and continue on the track. After a few hundred metres, the track flattens out and goes south to a hairpin bend.
(5) Go past the path on the right and continue on the track that goes left at first to the east and then south-east. 400 m further on, leave the path on the left and continue on the path to arrive on the plateau at a crossroads.
Make a round trip to the left to see the telegraph tower on the cliff edge facing La Durance.
Head back to the track and turn left, following the direction of Sénas via Vallon d’Auphant. The road will stay at the edge of the cliffs for a while, pass opposite an antenna then down to the south-west to reach a crossroads in an area untouched by the fire.
(6) Turn left towards Sénas via Vallon Auphant, cross a barrier and begin the descent into the stony valley. Arrive in the bottom of the valley and the path becomes more enjoyable and continues straight toward a gate.
(7) Head round the fence and take an immediate right on a poorly visible trail indicated by the sign for Orgon by Vallon Grand Vallon (not a typo!). Follow the track that follows the D569 but at a small distance for about 300 m and then join a path.
(8) Turn right following the path that goes up the Grand Vallon. The paths in this rather wild valley will very gradually rise and join a road at a bend.
(9) Turn right on the road that continues to climb into the valley and reaches a very big crossroads.
(10) Leave a path to the left, crossing the barrier from the right and pass a further two roads that go to the left of the marker. Take the path furthest to the right and pass another path on the left 10 m away.
Continue on this level path that passes under a power line passing all other paths leading off it.
Arriving under another power line, locate the marker to the left hidden by trees.
(11) Turn left on the road towards Orgon (the Telegraph circuit). The path goes to the left of a pylon and turns right after 300 m. Just before going under the power line, pass a path on the left and also one that follows the electric line to the left, continue on the main path.
400 m away, pass a tank, then the path turns north and north-east to a junction.
(12) Continue to the left for about 700 m, then a cairn indicates that you should temporarily leave the road to take a path on the right. 150 m further on, take the left fork that meets with a path.
(13) Turn right on the road that becomes a trail and provides beautiful views of the Vallée Heureuse.
You must follow the trail close to the cliffs because the markings are always present on this section. Do not take a left down into the valley when a path appears (not marked on the map).
After going close to the cliffs, the trail descends to the asphalt road at the same intersection used on the outward journey.
(4) Turn right on the road that leads up towards Notre-Dame de Beauregard. Before arriving at the square, head down to the right and come to a bar and terrace.
Head back to the forecourt and go to the entrance porch.
(3) Pass by it and follow a path that goes left towards the porch of an old building. Once in the chamber, continue left to go to the cross. Just above is a viewpoint and a panoramic shelter.
Head back down to the entrance porch at Notre-Dame de Beauregard.
Turn left on the path leading down stairs to the intersection with a paved road.
(2) Follow the road to the right, past two water tanks and take the stairs down to the left and join a trail in the forest.
Pass by the ruins of the Duc de Guise, a fortress overlooking the Durance valley.
Arrive on a ledge and continue straight keeping barriers to left. Head down some stairs and turn left onto a platform. Cross it heading towards beautiful blue cedars.
Continue on the left and pass under Porte de l’Hortet leading to the Chapel of the Annunciation.
(1) Turn right and walk along the same path as on the way out to reach the car park.
D/A : km 0 - alt. 82m
1 : km 0.31 - alt. 104m - Chapel of the Annunciation
2 : km 0.56 - alt. 145m - Crossroads on the way out and the way back - La Durance
3 : km 0.83 - alt. 190m - Notre-Dame de Beauregard
4 : km 1.26 - alt. 171m - Crossroads on the way out and the way back
5 : km 3.72 - alt. 205m - Turn left on the trail
6 : km 6.41 - alt. 265m - Crossroads of trails, turn left
7 : km 8.21 - alt. 138m - Turn right after the barrier
8 : km 8.56 - alt. 130m - Go right to the Grand Vallon
9 : km 10.77 - alt. 253m - Cross a path, turn right
10 : km 11.57 - alt. 288m - Large crossroads of tracks, turn right
11 : km 12.59 - alt. 271m - Turn left under the high voltage lines
12 : km 14.39 - alt. 229m - Turn left on the trail
13 : km 15.41 - alt. 225m - Turn right onto a path
D/A : km 18.41 - alt. 82m
The route mostly takes forest tracks, avoided during bad Mistral winds.
There is the option to shorten the route by turning right at point (6) then 150 m further on turn left to find point (11) (13 km in length and 313 m of altitude).
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
The chapel Notre-Dame de Beauregard.
Automobile museum in Orgon
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Access to the Grottes de Calès site is forbidden.
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__Caution! Because of the nature of the rock (mollasse sandstone, and therefore friable) and the cliffs, parts of the site are dangerous.
A municipal order prohibiting access to these areas is currently in force. Take great care.__
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.