The Durance Valley
The Durance Valley is a territory of 14 cities, they are divided among the two banks of the Durance, around the Marseille-Gap motorway and railway axis. Located only at an average altitude of 450 metres against the hill and in the middle of lavender fields and olive trees. With more than 280 days of sunshine per year, a dry and pure air, fresh nights in the summer... this is a very pleasant region. In winter, we can enjoy ski pistes which are only 1 hour away. In summer, we can enjoy the sea, the deep narrow creeks and the beaches of the Mediterannean sea which is only 1 hour away.
In the heart of the Alps of Haute Provence, the Durance Valley is a space of balance and transition between the Mediterranean mildness and the harshness of high mountains of the Alps. The environmental quality as well as the leisure activities. We will welcome you so that you can discover the secret charms and beautiful sites of the Haute-Provence.
Discover the Lakeside Walk
The Lakeside Walk is a virtually flat ten kilometre-long path around the lake, passing through forests and reed-beds, along which you can either walk or cycle. Boasting a rich variety of plants and wildlife, all the family will enjoy this little paradise for nature lovers. The Escale dam was filled with water in 1960, and today it is full to 80% with Durance silt, which has resulted in it becoming overgrown with reed-beds and riparian vegetation, thus creating a marvellous environment for avifauna.
A Crossroad of cultures
Lavender Route, Napoleon Route, Alps Route, Campanile Route, Domitian Way, Salinian Way... From the ancient times, we have been standing at the crossroads, so we have perpetuated this tradition by creating many footpaths. Here, nature is still little disturbed and we do our utmost to enhance its beauty through hiking and open-air activities. A wild and unexpected nature is just off the highway and tourist accomodations.
La Route Napoléon RN85 (nationale)
Baptized Napoleon Road in 1932, this very famous historic road of more than 300 km invites you along municipalities, 5 departments and 2 regions crossed (PACA and Rhône-Alpes) to the history of France. This road follows, most exactly possible, the route made in one week by the Emperor accompanied by 1200 men in March, 1815, from Golf Juan (Alpes-Maritimes) to Grenoble (Isère). His objective was, from the Elba Island where it was in exile, to go back up towards the capital avoiding the royalist big cities to reconquer the power.
The Via Domitia
Known as the oldest road of France, the name Via Domitia comes from his founder the consul Cneus Domitius Ahenobarbus. It was built in 120 av. J-C during the conquest of the Gaule to connect Rome with the South of Spain, it was an axis used by the armies, the state employees, the traders, the travelers and by the pilgrims during all Roman Empire and the Middle Ages. The way Saint James of Compostela that crosses the Alps to the Haute-Provence is moreover based on this road, there are vestiges to see on this antique road.
A bird-watching site
Th Tour of the Lake around Chateau-Arnoux, L'Escale and Volonne is an area which has been classified IBA (Important Bird Area). In this protected nature reserve there are more than 140 birds species, and special areas have been set up from where you can observe them in peace, don’t forget your binoculars…