Day 1 – The mountain ridges of Eourres.
This stunning mountain ridge run starts and finishes in the hamlet of Eourres. Perched at 900m altitude the community is known for their total respect of the environment and it’s residents are proud of their organic produce and self-sufficient lifestyle. The run itself is a perfect start to the week; although predominately on ridgetops you are never far from Eourres and therefore there are plenty of options to tailor the length to suit the legs.
From the village of Eourres, you warm up by traversing the hillside and then descending to the hamlet of Les Damias. From here you climb steeply to the open mountain top of Chanteduc and a great panoramic view. A great trail decends to Col St Pierre before climbing again to reach the crest of Montagne de Mare (1603m), from here enjoy the views of the Jabron valley far below you and the impressive peaks of Montagne de Lure and infamous Mont Ventoux in the distance.
After a steep descent to Col Verdun you have a choice, if there is enough in the legs (remember this is the first day!) there is the option to climb Montagne du Pied du Mulet. Alternatively descend from Col Verdun on a cracking trail that takes you directly back to Eourres.
Distance 19 km; Elevation +/1,100 m; Click here for more route details:-
Day 2 – Crete De Chabre
Another stunning ridge run but this time on the dramatic ridgeline of Chabre which dominates the horizon to the north of Serre Des Ormes. The highlight of this run is the ridge line between Col de St Ange and Pas de Ste Colombe, the views from the path are simply breathtaking with a 360 degree panorama of the Alps to the north and Mont Ventoux in the distance.
From the small village of Ballon climb the forest path to reach Col St Jean. From the Col you begin the undulating traverse of Crete Chabre. At first the path follows the shaded north side of the ridgeline before climbing onto the Crete itself. From here the ridge top path continues, at times quite exposed, to Col de St Ange which is one of our favourite viewpoints in the valley. From the Col descend steeply at first and then on more gentle forest paths back to Serre Des Ormes and a well earned cup of tea, piece of cake and perhaps a dip in the pool.
Day 3 – Circuit of the Méouge
This circuit around the stunning Gorges de la Méouge offers a total contrast to the previous two days of mountain ridges. The run follows the Méouge river as it weaves through the steep sided cliff faces before returning on the north side of the hillside to give a give magnificent views over the Gorge and Pic St Cyr opposite.
The trail starts at Pont Roman, a charming Roman Bridge crossing the Méouge River, popular with locals and tourists enjoying a pique-nique alongside the river or taking a dip in the many plunge pool. The trail quickly leaves the crowds and follows the Gorges upstream to Roche Coupee which offers a magnificent view back down the Méouge. From here the trail continues up stream on a quite exposed path at times before crossing to the opposite side of the valley.
The path then climbs from the valley bottom and opens out to allow a stunning vista over the Gorges de la Meouge and of Pic St Cyr opposite before descending back to the car past the village of Pomet perched on the cliff tops.
Distance 13km, Elevation +/- 800m
Day 4 – Rest Day
Well earned rest day after 3 days of running. Enjoy a day recovering at Serre Des Ormes and relax by the the swimming pool or browsing through the numerous books in our library enjoying tea and cake.
If you do want to stretch the legs then there are a number of easier loops on tracks from the house that we can recommend.
Day 5 – Laragne Market & Mountain Ridges of St Genis & Gorges du Riou
In the morning why not visit the local market in Laragne. A bustling weekly market where you can wander around the many stalls with local producers selling a huge variety of cheeses, meats, fruit & veg and of course wine and beers. Or just relax in a cafe and watch the world go by with a coffee or perhaps join the locals for a drink of Pastis! After the market it’s time to run again and and today we recommend a route around the ridges of St Genis and Gorges du Riou. The route starts from the Plan d’eau du rhiou, a superb bathing lake set in stunning surroundings. From the Lake climb up to the ridgeline which dominates the horizon and make a circuit of the Montagne de St-Genis before dropping down into the Gorges du Riou. From here head back to the Lake and a enjoy a well earned cool down swim.
A route of two halves both as dramatic as each other in very different ways. First the open mountain ridge of St Cyr before returning to the stunning trails along the length of the Gorges de la Meouge. Both equally dramatic, we probably saved the best to last, so I hope you have enough left in the legs!
The route starts from the quaint hamlet of St-Pierre-Avez, from here you climb, quite steeply at times up through shaded oak trees before the path opens out at “Les Avens”, a limestone rocky outcrop perched on the side of the hill offering panoramic views of the Méouge valley. From Les Avens continue climbing to the summit of Pic-St-Cyr. The views from the top of this peak are magnificent, to the East the mountain side drops quickly to the Buech Valley, to the West there are views of the Méouge valley and to the North, in the distance the grand snow topped mountains of the Alps can be seen. You can continue to enjoy the views on the relatively gentle descent along the open ridge of St-Cyr before dropping more steeply through the trees to bring you about above the Gorges de la Meouge.
After descending to the hamlet of the Antonaves and topping up with water you return to St Pierre-Avez along the stunning Gorges de la Meouge. This stunning trail follows the Méouge and is steep, rocky and exposed in places, you will have remember too keep one eye on the path and one on the view which is equally dramatic. There are plenty of opportunities to cool of the body and legs in the many natural pools formed by the river.