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Winner of Contest 2006

Kathy, Charley and Kelly's Best of Provence - Hiking in the Luberon

Kathy Wood (Kaydee)

Gorges de Regalon (more challenging)

Time: Three-and-a-half hours

Map: IGN blue map - 3142 OT (Cavaillon)

Conditions: Mostly well-marked trails through farmland, a narrow gorge, woods, and mountains. The walk through the gorge itself involves some steep climbs on rocks and a place where you must stoop quite low for several feet. You'll also need to maneuver on rocks on the descent. Hiking boots are essential.

This is a more challenging hike on the south side of the Luberon that takes you through the narrow gorge and then out along the base of the Petit Luberon. In places the walls of the gorge rise almost 100 feet above the path. The scenery, terrain, and views all make this hike extremely interesting - actually spectacular. Because of that, the Gorges de Regalon is also very popular, so it's best to hike here during the week instead of on weekends, especially during warmer weather. Do not hike here on a day when it may rain or on a day after a rainy day, as the path through the gorge apparently becomes a torrential stream as water rushes off the Petit Luberon.

From Cavaillon, take the D973 around the south side of the Petit Luberon (toward Cheval Blanc). About three kilometers before Merindol, take a left when the sign directs you to the Gorges de Regalon. There is a large parking and picnic area.

Amazing scenery beyond the gorge

Amazing scenery beyond the gorge

  • At the bottom of the parking lot, follow the signs to the Gorges de Regalon. The path runs alongside (and sometimes on) a creek bed and passes along a beautiful grove of olive trees.
  • The path through the Gorge is very clear.
  • After you come through the narrow part of the Gorge, you eventually reach a large boundary stone marking an intersection.
  • Continue on the left towards the Mayarques and Trou du Rat. At the exit of the gorges, continue to the left toward the Vallon de la Galere.
  • Not long after you'll come to another intersection. The path on the right rises up toward Le Pradon and Oppede-le-Vieux, but you bear left. When you come to another crossing, take the left (Sign PL 21)
  • Once at the intersection of Montagnas (cistern 47), turn left in the direction of the farm of Mayorques. You will pass right by the farm building. Follow the sign on the fence pointing back to the Gorges de Regalon. You'll pass through la Crau, climbing down a rocky path toward the south to rejoin Regalon. (If the day is clear, you should be able to see the Alpilles mountains and the etang de Berre from the highest point.) Follow a gravel road and then arrive back at the parking lot.

South side of the Petit Luberon

South side of the Petit Luberon

Photos

www.slowphotos.com/photo/showgallery.php?cat=3771: Best of Provence - Hiking in the Luberon (Gorges de Regalon)

Resources

Woods Family Grand Tour of Europe: List of articles and photo albums by Kathy Wood

www.luberonexperience.com: The Luberon Experience


© Kathy Wood, 2005

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