The Colorado Provencal a Beautiful Luberon Walk
I woke up this morning with a plan, and it seemed a good one too. After a week of doing lots of long walks with the dog, I had decided that we could both do with a slower day, so I planned an early drive to the market at L’Isle Sur la Sorgue to get a few bits that I needed, followed by a gentle walk from the Abbaye de Senanque to Gordes, a lovely walk that I haven’t done for a long time. Find out how the original plan had to change due to some slippery conditions.
Like Roussillon, just the other side of Apt, the Colorado is an area of bright, ochre-rich rock, mined by ‘ocriers’ for its pigments from 1871 late 20th century.
Also known as the Colorado de Rustrel, the area is one of 60 geosites protected under the Luberon Regional Nature Park, UNESCO Global Geopark.
Walking trails meander through the forest and among the “fairy chimneys” (ochre towers). The Colorado Provençal is a magical natural site, with cliffs of varying hues from snow white to bright orange. The hiking is not strenuous, but it is a good idea to walk in a group as there are several trail crossings, and it is easy to get turned around. Follow the trail guidelines as there are some steep sections and cliff edges. Biking and horseback riding are not permitted.
During the summer months, when the fire risk is highest, from July 1 to September 15th, check to make sure that access is permitted.
Hiking in Provence
There are many hiking trails throughout Provence, from the moderate Luberon and Alpilles hills to the steeper pitches near Mont Ventoux and the Dentelles de Montmirail. You can also choose to head to the coast in either direction (east or west) from Marseille to find some beautiful hikes along the coast, although some of these trails could be difficult if you suffer from vertigo. The standard hiking rules apply in Provence, as they should anywhere, good shoes, sunscreen, hats, water, a snack and a mobile phone.