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Alpilles Hiking Tips Top Summit Hikes

Exploring the Alpilles

Established in 2007, the Parc Naturel Régional des Alpilles is a relatively new park. However, the mountain range itself is the result of millennia of continuous geological evolution. Artifacts from human settlements found in these hills date back to the Neolithic era.

Alpilles view

The Alpilles (small Alps) is a natural paradise protected from development. There are trails for hikers and mountain bikers, and cliffs for climbers. The rolling hills offer excellent training for road cyclists looking for vertical challenges. The mountain ridge, a jagged line carved by centuries of wind currents, is a magnet for glider pilots (read about the St Remy Aeroclub here).

Gliding Provence St-Remy @GingerandNutmeg

Soaring above the Alpilles

The natural topography and arid soil along with a regular mistral wind, mean that the Alpilles and surrounding area is the right environment for growing grapevines, olives, and stone fruit. Read about 12 reasons to visit the Alpilles vineyards and the lady winemakers of les Baux de Provence.

Alpilles Hiking Tips Vineyards

There are 16 villages and towns surrounding the Alpilles with roughly 68,000 inhabitants. Although in peak tourist season the population count easily doubles. Even with that annual spike in human activity, it is always possible to find a quiet trail in this park.

Alpilles Hiking Tips Lower route to Eygalieres

It’s common during the colder months to see sheep grazing on the garrigue (scrub brush) in the Alpilles while the shepherds and their herding dogs survey the activity. The Alpilles offer a challenging terrain for hunters during the autumn wild boar hunt.

There’s something for everyone.

Hiking in the Alpilles

The beautiful thing about this 30 kilometre stretch of mountains is you might never tire of the opportunities to explore on foot. The Grande Randonnée (GR) #6 traces the summit from Tarascon to Aureille. Look for red and white flashes to follow sections of this multi-stage trail.

Alpilles Hiking Tips Trail Markers

Crisscrossing the agricultural land surrounding the peaks are other walking trails marked by yellow paint flashes. These routes are shorter, but no less scenic than the high-level trails. From the centre of most of the Alpilles villages, you are spoiled for hiking choices. Head towards the hills, and it’s almost impossible to miss the trail marker signs.

Alpilles Hiking Tips Hike

Two Favourite Hikes

Hike the ridge line between St Remy and Eygalieres:

This walk follows the GR6 the whole length of the hike. You can start in either village, but you need a car at the endpoint or a friend who might be willing to drive you back.

Alpilles Hiking Tips GR6

There are steep ascents and descents, some exposed parts, a few sections of scrambling and fantastic views. Agile younger dogs can handle the trail, but it’s not recommended for older pets.

Alpilles Hiking Tips GR6 St Remy View

Level: This hike is a 6 out of 10 on the sporty scale. Not recommended for weak hikers.
Take: hiking poles, water, and lunch
Time: 4 1/2-5 hours

Alpilles Hiking Tips Deux Trous

Hike to the Tour des Opies:

The ruins of a watchtower mark the highest peak in the Alpilles at 496m. There are several options for this hike, which can be completed as an out-and-back or a loop. You can start this walk from Aureille (park near the cemetery – see the location on the map) or Eyguieres (park near Domaine Vallon des Glauges (map view) or the near arena and follow the yellow trail markers.

Alpilles Hiking Tips Tour des Opies

To access the summit, the trail turns southwest at a large rock cairn and begins to rise steeply. The final section of the trail, about 50m, is nearly vertical, but the view is well worth the effort.

Alpilles Hiking Tips Tour des Opies

Level: It is possible to walk to the cairn and back to your starting point or walk the loop, in this case, the hike is suitable for average hikers. The ascent to the summit is very challenging for anyone with vertigo.
Take: Hiking poles, water, and lunch.
Time: 4 1/2 -5 hours for the whole loop including the Tour des Opies

Alpilles Hiking Tips

Maps, Apps and Resources

Institute National de l’Information Géographique et Forrestiére (IGN) maps are detailed and very accurate. There is also an IGN application for smartphones. IGN website.

St Remy tourist office has a map (2 Euros) of trails accessible from the centre of town.

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride was at six-months old, her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

4 Comments

  1. Keith Van Sickle
    April 18, 2019 at 12:22 am — Reply

    Beautiful photos!

    • CKAdmin
      April 18, 2019 at 2:03 pm — Reply

      Thank you Keith!

  2. Avatar
    Alice
    April 26, 2019 at 2:54 am — Reply

    Hi. That’s an adventurous trip! Thanks for sharing Alpilles Hiking Tips Top Summit Hikes. I’m looking for some hiking items from pirt.org/hiking/. So, I can make a trip to Alpilles soon.

    • CKAdmin
      April 26, 2019 at 7:42 am — Reply

      Thanks Alice. Good Luck!

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