Around Mont Ventoux : a favourite territory
The Mont Ventoux massif has the advantage of natural and cultural riches and is recognized by the international Unesco quality - label : The Mont Ventoux Biosphere Reserve. It harbours areas for nationally and internationally renowned sport, e.g. the Tour de France, karst terrain for potholing on the Albion Plateau, two renowned climbing spots, Les Dentelles de Montmirail above Beaumes-de Venise and La Baleine à Saint-Leger du Ventoux in the Toulerenc valley as well as local activities like hang gliding, cycle tourism, mountain biking, hiking, horse riding and skiing...Assets which contribute to the popularity of this destination as a prime area for open-air activities, in the heart of a protected environment.
With near to 260 kilometers of short hiking trails and 117 kilometers of long-distance hiking trails, Mont Ventoux territory has an exceptional network of itineraries for all levels.
Before any hike, make sure to wear appropriate shoes, wear a hat and carry a sufficient amount of water. The weather can be very hot!
Leaving from Malaucène, Beaumont-du-Ventoux, St Léger-du-Ventoux, Savoillans, Aurel de Sault, Bedoin or Flassan, go out and discover the Giant of Provence, sheep enclosures and dry stone retainment walls, admire the flora ; more than a thousand plant species of which many are protected. Tourist Offices will provide you with more information.
DENTELLES DE MONTMIRAIL
Leaving from Beaumes-de-Venise, Lafare, Gigondas and Suzettes, numerous hikes are proposed, preferably for experienced hikers. The scenery is particularly beautiful and the panoramas are breathtaking. More information is available from a Tourist Office.
Cycle paths can also be followed on foot, along the Carpentras canal, through vineyards and orchards to discover villages and historic sites.
LES GORGES DE LA NESQUE & LE VAL DE SAULT
Departing from Villes-sur-Auzon, a beautiful hike through the Gorges, passing by the Chapel St Michel and finally arriving at the edge of the lake in Monieux. Then from Monieux to Sault, stroll through lavender or spealt wheat fields. Enjoy the fresh air and exceptional light on Sault plateau.
MONT VENTOUX = GIANT OF PROVENCE
A mythical climb in the footsteps of Petrarque to view sunrise from the summit or sunset, just as astounding. An unforgettable hike, with appropriate equipment: shoes, hat and sufficient water.
All round Mont Ventoux, rockclimbers will find endless opportunities. The Tourist offices of the villages in question will be able to provide you with an accompanying guide.Les Dentelles de Montmirail : From Gigondas, Beaumes-de-Venise or Lafare, more than 700 rockclimbs have been listed in the massif, of which most are equipped. For all levels from 3+ to 8b+. Maximum height, 80 meters. Limestone rock. Differently orientated rockfaces permitting climbs all year round. There are 3 ranges :
- The Grand Travers Range ( the Rock of Cayron and the Rock of Grand Travers) accessible from Gigondas
- The Gigondas Range: ideal conditions for rockclimbing even in winter, accessible from Gigondas
- The Clapis Range accessible from Lafare
Itineraries : Au pied des Dentelles, Entre Ventoux et Dentelles
Saint-Léger du Ventoux in the Toulourenc Valley : this emerging and exceptional site is also named « The Whale » by rockclimbers and provides some 350 climbs for levels ranging from 6b to 8c. Maximal height 40 meters. Rockfaces are orientated in all directions.
Itinerary : Vallée du Toulourenc
Venasque : A maximum of 25 meters for this cliff with a superb view of Mont Ventoux and Venasque. Levels 4c to 8b. Cliff facing south-east and east.
Itinerary : Les Villages perchés
Malaucène : Grozeau site offers 50 climbs for levels 5b to 8c. Maximal height 30 meters. Rockfaces orientated north-west.
Itinerary : Entre Chapelles et Vergers
Bedoin : Combe Obscure above the village provides a maximal height of 40 meters. Levels 3 to 7b. South-east orientated rockfaces.
Itinerary : Aux Portes du Ventoux
The top spot for potholing is to be found around Saint Christol on the Albion Plateau. The karst terrain is riddled with tunnels, cavities and sinkholes such as Autran, Aze and the “Trou souffleur”. With more than a hundred practicable sinkholes, Albion Plateau is a remarkable karstic terrain. Accueil Spéléologique du Plateau d’Albion (ASPA) at Saint Christol welcomes an increasing number of enthusiasts, as this sport is never done solo.
itinerary : Le Plateau d'Albion
PARAGLIDING - Fan de Lune
Fan de Lune is the name of the paragliding club which manages the paragliding sites of Mont Ventoux and Saint –Jean de Sault. Due to the particular weather conditions around Mont Ventoux, the summit is reserved only for well experienced paragliders. A beacon has been installed informing paragliders of the weather conditions at the summit. Instructions for paragliders are also at their disposal with information about take-offs, landings, prohibited land and prohibited flyover zones (in case of the royal eagle’s nesting period), etc.
itinerary : Le Plateau d’Albion
Besides cycle tourism, many mountain bike trails have been developed, in particular, the Bike Park du Ventoux at Chalet Reynard Resort, on the south side of Mont Ventoux. This area features three different level downhill mountain biking trails (green, blue and red) as well as an initiation area for youngsters and beginners. Since opening in September 2011, the Bike Park du Ventoux is a great success and attracts many mountain bikers from the department or surrounding areas.
Nearest itinerary : Aux Portes du Ventoux
At lake Paty which lies above Caromb and in the Toulourenc river.
NATURAL BATHING SPOTSThe water body of Salettes, near Mormoiron
Itineraries : Aux Portes du Ventoux, Les Terrasses du Ventoux
Or going up the Toulourenc river departing from Vaux.
Itinerary : Vallée du Toulourenc
VENTOUX ADVENTURES IN TREESAt the water body of Salettes near Mormoiron, in the forest adjoining the ochres of Villes-sur-Auzon. An adventure and experience for young (minimum 1m20) and old. Open every weekend, public holidays and school holidays from April to October and nonstop every day in July and August.
HORSE RIDINGMany equestrian centres propose horseback riding or poney riding around Mont Ventoux and in the Dentelles de Montmirail. Equestrian tourism, equestrian nature rides, training as well as rides on horse drawn wagons.
A few members of Accueil Vélo Ventoux accommodate horse riders and horses.
and don’t forget…
LAZING ABOUT, to enjoy the sweetness of a certain art of living in Provence..