The route starts from a typical village of the Alpilles, takes you past a chapel famous for its beauty in a delightful setting, and continues round a hill with views of the north slope of the ridge and the plain of Mollégès. On the return leg, there is a superb view of the old village of Eygalières.
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.
The starting point is at the Eygalières village hall (D). With your back to the building, head left down the "Avenue Léon Blum" towards thevillage centre.
Long-distance footpath waymarking (white and red)
(1) At the crossroads, with the town hall on the right, continue opposite on the road D24b towards Orgon.
After 300m, turn right down the lane "Chemin du Bagna". Further on, cross the "Chemin de Pestelade", pass alongside the houses and gardens and continue straight on for about 1.5 km. At a slight bend to the left, ignore the two lanes to the right.
(2) Continue to the left and go straight down the "Chemin de Saint-Sixte" to the chapel of the same name, which is on the left. It is seldom open but you can walk round it before continuing on your way. Rejoin road D24b.
White and red waymarking, path GR653D
(3) Follow the D24b to the right. A clearly marked path parallel to the road provides safe walking. After about 300m, cross the road and follow a firefighting access track to the left. Note the sign "Chemin de Costebonne". Stay on this track, keeping an eye out for the red and white waymarks and aiming for the power line at right angles to your route (about 1.8 km from the road).
(4) Head left up the path following the power line to a little outcrop of rock and one of the electricity masts. Follow a path downwards for 200m, departing a little from the power line and then returning to pass under it.
Leave this path (5) pass through a gate and follow a good track to the left (the "Piste du Long Jean") which winds its way around the foot of the hill "Le Contras". Ignore a track off to the left leading up to the "Tête du Long Jean" watchtower.
(6) Pass through a gate and turn right. Turn left after 200m. Continue on this path, whichis initially in rather poor condition. After a gentle rise, there is a wide view of the Alpilles and the village of Eygalières. The path bends to the right. Ignore a path to the right leading to the "Mas des Loups" property and head left. Continue straight on, noting the Monastery of the Epiphany and its chapel on the left (these are often open).
(7) On reaching the road, continue straight on along the "Chemin du Moulin de Marc" (signpost). Cross a bridge and shortly afterwards you will reach the road D74a - the "Route de Jean Moulin". Cross over and continue on the other side, still following the "Chemin du Moulin de Marc". This intersects with a track running a right angles to it. Aiming for the old village of Eygalières (a very fine view), continue straight on to come out on a narrow road which you take to the left. It leads to the "Porte de l'Auro" (8) (Windy Gate), the remains of a rampart. Pass through to walk down the main street through the village. On the right, note the "Pago Tard" (late payers!) square.
Red and white waymarks
At the crossroads after the church, head right along the Rue des Écoles. In passing, note an old petrol pump painted red. A little further on, level with the school, turn left to return to the car park..
D/A : km 0 - alt. 112m
1 : km 0.15 - alt. 112m - At the crossroads, carry straight on
2 : km 2 - alt. 126m - Fork
3 : km 2.92 - alt. 101m - Turn right, path parallel to the road
4 : km 5.09 - alt. 114m - Turn left, path beneath the power line
5 : km 5.65 - alt. 132m - Follow track to the left
6 : km 7.35 - alt. 128m - Gate
7 : km 8.69 - alt. 87m - Straight on, "Chemin du Moulin de Marc"
8 : km 9.98 - alt. 131m - Pass through the "Porte de l'Auro"
D/A : km 10.36 - alt. 112m - Start at the Salle des Fêtes
At present, the long-distance route GR 653D follows the road D24b towards Orgon from the start of the "Chemin du Bagna" to the Saint Sixtus chapel. It is planned to divert the route via the "Chemin du Bagna" and the "Chemin de Saint-Sixte" (described as unmarked in my description).
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
It is possible to turn left just after the "Porte de l'Auro", to do a little loop by the upper part of the old village. Go past the museum and climb up to the tower crowned by a statue of the virgin (there are very fine views over the Alpilles and the village).
To complete the tour of the village, continue straight on after the church as far as point (1) and return to the car park.
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N.B.!: the short technical part with cables and some metal steps fixed into the rock that allows you to cross the rock above Lake Peiroou has been temporarily closed for safety reasons.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.