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The hinterland of Upper Provence

Get ready for a sunbathed adventurewith great food and a rich built heritage
  • Duration 7 days
  • Activity Walking holiday
  • Holiday among adults
  • Theme countryside, lavenders

Information : The hinterland of Upper Provence

  • Comfort
  • Difficulty
  • Note
  • Roadbooks French / English / German


An unusual trip through the countryside of Upper Provence. The sun reigns over these remote lands, shining close to 300 days a year in a resolutely mediterranean sky. It accompanies the flowering lavender, filling the air with the scents of Provence. It warms the high grounds of the Montagne de Lure, and suffuses the tuneful accent of the people of Forcalquier. And should the heat ever become just a little overbearing, the tranquillity of a mediaeval chapel or the cool lanes of a shady village are there to shelter you while you take a well deserved rest.

You'll love

  • your charming hotel in Forcalquier, complete with pool
  • the fascinating visit to the Priory at Salagon
  • the perfumed atmosphere of the countryside that inspired Giono
  • the fact that bright sunny weather is usually on the menu!

Program : The hinterland of Upper Provence

  • D1 Arrival in Saint Michel l'Observatoire

    Arrival late afternoon in a mediaeval village that is home to the internationally renowned Upper Provence Observatory. At the Tourist Office you can find out all about the activities available around the theme of Astronomy.

    Dinner and night in 3 star hotel.

  • D2 Around the Observatory

    11km with total uphill 170metres (level 1/5). Duration about 3hrs.
    During today's walk you will enjoy seeing some of the fine built heritage in the area around St Michel: Lincel, with its church and wash-house, the ford over the Reculon, and the plateau of the Craux and its 17th century hamlet. As the day's walk is not very long, you should have time to find out about astronomical events or exhibitions at the 'Syndicat d'Initiative' (tourist office) on the Place de la Fontaine in St Michel.

    Dinner and night in 3 star hotel.

  • D3 From St Michel l'Observatoire to St Etienne les Orgues

    15,9 km with total uphill 400 metres (level 3/5). Duration about 5hrs30.
    There's a short taxi transfer (9am sharp) to today's starting point: "Le Petit Gubian", so that your initial walk is not too long. The first part takes you up to a wooded plateau. The second is relatively level, crossing a series of lavender fields. The third section is much hillier, finishing with a long descent towards St Etienne les Orgues.

    Evening meal and night in typical guesthouse with home cooking.

  • D4 Around St Etienne les Orgues

    16km with total uphill 590metres (level 3/5). Duration around 6hrs.
    A day of enjoying the fine pure air, the climate and exceptional luminosity of this corner of Upper Provence. Your way up to the Pic de Lure takes you across pretty landscapes of forest, 'garrigues' (characteristic Provençal brush and scrubland) and fields of aromatic plants. The high and final point of the walk is at the Abbey of Notre Dame de Lure at 1240m. But you may be interested to know that the oldest ski station of the department, opened in 1934, is just a little further up...

    Evening meal and night at the guesthouse.

  • D5 From St Etienne les Orgues to Forcalquier

    21km with total uphill 500 metres (level 3/5). Duration about 6hrs30.
    Long and lovely stage to take you to the market town of Forcalquier.
    You can if you wish skip the first 3 km by asking your hosts for a lift. Then you start out along a pretty path that winds along the side of the stream and comes to a pine forest. The path then follows the GR6 which goes to Forcalquier. The only village you go through is called Fontienne. Most of the time you are deep in the unspoilt countryside.

    Evening and night in attractive 3 star hotel with its own pool.

  • D6 From Forcalquier to Saint Michel l'Observatoire

    14.4km with total uphill 350 metres (level 2/5). Duration around 4hrs30.
    You're sure to remember the sight of the Priory of Salagon. Open to visitors all year the site, occupied since Gallo-Roman times, is known as one of the most remarkable mediaeval monuments in Upper Provence. There are no major difficulties today. Take the time to have a look at the fine old village of Mane.

    Return to Forcalquier by car and night in attractive 3 star hotel with its own pool.

  • D7 Forcalquier

    Departure after breakfast.

Tariffs high season



Adult : 650 €
Junior (12 - 17) :  650 €
Baby (0 - 1) : 70 €


Adult : 685 €
Junior (12 - 17) :  685 €
Baby (0 - 1) : 70 €


865 €


915 €

Tariffs low season

From April to June and from september to october, departure everyday


Adult : 620 €
Junior (12 - 17) :  620 €
Baby (0 - 1) : 70 €


Adult : 655 €
Junior (12 - 17) :  655 €
Baby (0 - 1) : 70 €


835 €


885 €

What's included?

  • Accommodation is half board
  • 3 'épis' guesthouse, 3 star hotels
  • Detailed roadbook and routemarked maps provided
  • Logistical and technical support
  • Baggage transfers


  • Picnics for the whole trip:  60 € per adult or junior
  • Transfer from St Michel l'Observatoire to Forcalquier the day 6 (for clients who doesn't have a vehicle) : 40 €

What's not included?

  • Beverage and extra
  • Parking fee to be paid on the spot
  • If you travel with your dog, extra fee to be paid on the spot
  • Round trip transfer from Home to the first accomodation
  • Facultative cancellation and rapatriation insurance

Characteristics of circuits

  • Walking holiday, going from place to place, without guide.
  • Holiday circuit comes back to start point at the end of the stay.
  • Daily stages from 11 to 21kms, around 3hrs30 to 6hrs30 walking.
  • Total daily uphill between 170 and 600 metres
  • Altitudes between 440 and 1240 metres


These outings are much more about relaxed exploration than athletic performance.
Your baggage is transported between lodgings. Your roadbook will guide you from beginning to end. We provide the logistical and technical support necessary.

On longer holidays you change accommodation every other day, which gives you the chance to better explore your surroundings or simply take your time and relax...

Accommodation is in either 2 or 3 épis/star guest houses or hotels chosen for their atmosphere, warm welcome and environmental and architectural setting.
N.B : the accommodation described above is given as an indication and may vary according to availability at the moment your reservation is finalized.

You'll be in half-board accommodation. Picnics are extra : you may like to order these at reservation.


By car

Highway A51 exit 18 Manosque - 16 km

By air

Marseille Provence Airport or Avignon Airport

By train

Manosque railway station, then, taxi to the accommodation in St-Michel l'Observatoire


Global note
  • On a traversé les champs de lavandes en fleurs, vu d'innombrables papillons, pique-niqué sous les platanes de villages endormis...c'était beau et authentique !

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