THE ALPS IN THE SOUTHERN HEIGHTS...


Gavarnie

An impressive fort, the highest town in Europe, this is Briancon. You enter the town through wooden gates. The sun casts its shadow over the sun dials of its Place d'Armes. Its border is Italian, its landscapes in the upper mountains, its nature preserved, this is the Parc du Queyras. Then set off for the arid beauty of the col of Izoard, with its bare mountains, dazzling and snowy.

Further south

Another superb park, that of Mercantour. High rocky summits and the "Valley of Marvels" which has over 100,000 rock engravings.. ploughs pulled by oxen, enigmatic characters their arms wide open. Here the Mediterranean flora blends beautifully into the mountainous landscape and the golden eagle, in its flight, passes chamois and ibex and you, you listen to the marmots. Within its natural amphitheater, Saorge and its houses clinging to the mountainside linked by spiral staircases. Further down, a memorable moment during your visit to the southwest of France, the deep canyon between Castellane and Moustiers-Ste-Marie admire the fascinating Gorges du Verdon. A day's walking on a sometimes difficult outing, but oh, how superb!

A simpler alternative, yet very remarkable, a car tour will lead you to the Corniche Sublime: the view over the cliff of the Cavaliers is breathtaking do not hesitate to walk to the edge.. spectacular!

The Alps in Haute Provence

Could there be a finer symbol of Provence than lavender, of which Digne is said to be the capital.

Digne was already appreciated by the Romans, and it was also a major stopping place along the Route Napoleon. Against a mountainous background, under a clear blue sky its plane trees cast shadows along its wide promenade.

Its fine romanesque church of Notre-Dame-du-Bourg, evokes the influence of Lombardy. Take a look at the lions in pink stone on its portal... Discover again.. the picturesque Forcaiquier built as an amphitheater on the slopes of a hill; its cemetery has rows of ancient yews which form surprising arches; its romanesque church of Notre Dame and its beautiful fountains all contribute to its unique charm; the first Franciscan foundations of Provence were laid here; the monastery of the Franciscan friars is arranged around the pretty cloisters. For a poetic air of Provence, walk through the narrow streets of Manosque, lined with their tall houses.. Other walks will lead you, drawn by your curiosity, to the priory of Ganagobie, a small masterpiece of romanesque Provence, which embraces the valley of la Durance..

See also Entrevaux: its position as the last city before the border with the duchy of Savoie explains its amazing heritage. The citadel perched on the ridge of a cliff is complemented by an old cathedral with its square crenelated bell tower...

The last western ridge of the Alps,

Mont Ventoux, Petrarque was the first to climb this ridge, its slopes of pines and oaks, its summit swept by the winds. Stop at Carpentras to view among others, the oldest of the synagogues. Descent towards the hills of Luberton and its Park; this unspoiled land is so beautiful that it is the place where our English friends prefer to stay. Here, you will find old churches, villages high in the mountains such as Oppede-le-Vieuxs. From Mourre-Negre you will have a panoramic view of this beautiful region, from the mountain of Lure to the lake of Berre...


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