Keeping you cool in a scorching summer

Our 5 selected half-day hikes benefit from shade or altitude, bringing quite a cool air when the heat wave rages.

Vallon de l’Aiguebrun: Provence’s coolest spot 

This shaded trail runs alongside the rocky and narrow valley floor filled with lush vegetation. Hence, even in summer on very hot days, you can follow this route that have been followed for 50,000 years. The Aiguebrun River is home to several rock shelters and caves that were inhabited successively by Neanderthals and the Cro-Magnon men. It is today the only permanent river in the Luberon mountains. The Auberge des Seguins, nestled at the foot of impressive cliffs, famous  for climbers,  is a fabulous place to quench your thirst with a drink or savour a good meal.

Walking time : from 2 to 3 hours (point-to-point walk)
Rating : leisurely
Season calendar : year-round (summer : morning only).
Allowed even on high fire risk days (closed only in case of exceptional risk).

The Gorges de Régalon: a little bit of everything

Come and discover a spectacularly narrow dry canyon, very special for its cool air and particular vegetation. The Gorges de Régalon are incised through the limestone plateau backing onto the cliffs of the Petit Luberon. But, this amazing site is definitely not for the claustrophobics: at one point, the high canyon walls are so close and the dark alleyway so narrow that you almost need to take off your backpack and rotate your shoulders to move forward! On the contrary, at the head of the gorge, the trail is wider, and view opens in full light over bright limestone cliffs, as the typical Mediterranean pines and evergreen shrubs cover the hills around. A striking contrast!

Walking time : 3 hours
Rating : moderate
Season calendar : year-round (summer : morning only).

The gorgeous vista from the ridge of the Lure mountains

Starting from a mini ski resort located on the south slope of the Lure mountains, peaking at 1,826 meters (6,000 feet), this route takes you through a mixed forest of beech and fir, up to the panoramic ridge. From this spot, the landscape opens up indeed onto the valley on the other side and, on the horizon, onto a large number of Alpine summits: from the Vercors to the northwest, to the mountains dominating the Gorges du Verdon to the southeast. And if you are lucky, you may also enjoy glimpsing a small flock of chamois: these agile mountain goats live on the steep and stoney north-facing slopes of the range.

Walking time : 2.5 hours
Rating : moderate
Season calendar : year-round (summer : morning only).


The Sainte-Baume forest: a botanical
and spiritual site of high interest


The forest through which your guide leads you during this hike is unique in France. Located on the shady northern slope of the Sainte-Baume mountains near Marseille, this magnificent natural area is home to yew. Under a Mediterranean climate, at such a low altitude (below 1,000 meters), the Sainte-Baume forest is exceptional from a botanical view point; firstly, can be found there quite unexpected species of trees: beech, maple and yew; secondly, the age and size of hundreds of these trees are impressive. The spiritual importance of this forest probably explains this second feature: as a place of worship, first under Celtic religion, then under Catholic beliefs, this nature gem has been protected by populations for millenia. 

Walking time : 3 hours
Rating : moderate
Season calendar : year-round (summer : morning only).

A genuine village in a beautiful setting:
Vachères and its plateau

What first strikes your mind when you hike this small cultivated plateau is the panoramic far-reaching view it provides. Indeed, this off the beaten track spot, more than 800m high, overlooks its surroundings. What a pleasure then to see from a distance the snowy Alps in the spring, while you walk in a T-shirt, gazing at meadow flowers and green tree leaves! And how gorgeous are these violet lavender fields in summer and lovely this small Provençal village on its hill! Vachères is even prettiest within its walls: you feast your eyes on its medieval architectural features, cobbled alleyways and ancient stone houses.
During this short guided walk, the only difficulty is a 10-minute climb in the woods, on a gentle slope. Even during a heat wave, you can take it, if walking before noon.

Walking time : 2 hours (point-to-point walk)
Rating : easy