Walk 47 – La Colle loop (Autour de la Colle), Esparron-de-Verdon, France – 3.2 miles

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A good hike on a mixture of cobbled streets, minor surfaced roads, stoney tracks, and one section leading uphill through more overgrown terrain. You will be rewarded with beautiful views into the village of Esparron-de-Verdon and across to the hills of the Verdon Canyon. Enjoy the flowers, buttlerlies and olive trees as well as an optional visit to see the village chateau and church. 

Parking available off D82 beneath the Église Saint-André

route image  Route: Starting at the car park off D82 beneath the Église Saint-André, turn left (W) onto D82. Follow the D82 for 240m until you come to a signpost for the Écomusée on your right. Take this road and continue past the Écomusée. At the end of the road turn right (NE) onto Rue des Fontaines. At a small play park turn right (SE) onto Chemin des Fourches. 700m along Chemin des Fourches, just past Le Pigeonnier campsite, you will come to a 3-way fork. Take the middle track straight ahead (E) through some farmland. 400m along this track look out for a narrower trail to your left leading NE then N uphill – it is quite easy to miss because the path is not very well worn but it leads up the hillside through very rough ground (lots of wild flowers and plants from the region to admire) and onto a minor road at the top – Chemin de la Colle. Turn left (W) onto the Chemin de la Colle and continue for 900m until you reach the C3/Route d’Allemagne. Cross the road then take the left fork W and then almost immediately after take the right fork (NW) heading uphill, away from the C3. This cuts across over high ground and onto D82/Route de Greoux. Turn left (S) to walk down D82 for a short 80m to a bend in the road. Here you will see a track continuing straight ahead (S). Walk along the track to rejoin the D82 shortly after. Keep right (SE) on the D82 to follow it back into the village. After 280m, at the fire station, turn left onto Rue des Fontaines. You will reach the play park. Retrace your steps from here to the car park.

Autour de la Colle, Esparron-de-Verdon

WALK REPORT: 4th May 2016

This was the second walk of the day for my husband & I! We only had one full day in the area before heading home so we wanted to make the most of it and see as much as we could. Each walk was relatively short at around 3 miles each so we were back at our accommodation by 2pm to spend the rest of the day with our family.

It is definitely worth taking a walk up the stairs to visit the 13th century Château d’Esparron and the roman architecture of the neighbouring church, Église Saint-André at the start of this walk. We were fortunate enough to be staying in accommodation right next to the church and so started the walk from there. From most parts of the village you have no need for a watch with the church bells keeping you right on the hour, at 10 minutes past the hour and at half past the hour! Welcome during the day…. not so much during the night!

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Église Saint-André

I loved the quaint village of Esparron-de-Verdon with it’s narrow cobbled streets and pretty fountains. There seemed to be a running theme in the area of painting the wooden window shutters a beautiful light blue colour which I very much admired.

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The whole village is so colourful this time of year. I especially liked the perfectly-formed roses growing up the wall of the tiny fire station!

I enjoyed photographing all the wild flowers we came across during the walk, particularly on the more overgrown section of the path. There was also a variety of different types of butterfly fluttering around but they proved too difficult to take a good picture of!

Funny story from this walk was when I commented on how nice it smelled at one particular point. The scent of the flowers mixed with the heat from the midday sun and lack of a breeze was a party for the nosebuds!   Hubby found this highly amusing considering he had just let one go shortly before…. :-O

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Nice views over the farmland to the hills which form the Verdon Canyon. Look at that sky!
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This is an example of the rougher, less visible path mentioned in the route description. It is fairly overgrown as you can see. Once you find it however, it is easy to follow.  The yellow flowers in the foreground let off a lovely coconut smell in the sun.
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A small olive tree plantation we came across at the roadside towards the end of the walk

If you enjoyed this walk you may also be interested in the Discovery Path which starts from the same area :-)


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