On February 1st 2007, the Alpilles became the 5th Natural Reserve of the region Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur, next to Camargue, Luberon, Verdon and Queyras...
Alpilles are the subject of a charter allowing the creation of a Regional Natural reserve.
Its goal is to preserve natural space and the beauty of the landscapes, the art of living, the quality of the agricultural and artisanal productions as well as the richness of the human traditions.
In 2010, the natural Alpilles reserve has been awarded for its efforts in developping a long-lasting tourism : its touristical strategy has been certified by the European Chart of long-lasting tourism.
This european chart allows to apply concretly the concept of long-lasting development. This concept relies on : the preservation of the ressources for the next generations, the viable economical development , the equitable social development .
Alpilles are a wonderful land of discovery for nature-lovers.
Maussane spreads over 900 hectares of communal forest and
2 000 hectares of olive groves, right in the heart of a Natural Regional Park.
Breathtaking natural features and vibrant scenery make Alpilles the perfect location for hiking and generally exploring the great outdoors.
Alpilles offers wide-open spaces and amazing landscapes with routes for a novice rider or an expert on the saddle.
Whether you are an avid road cyclist or prefer touring neighborhoods on an electric bike, you are sure to have a great adventure.
Alpilles mountain biking offers some of the most challenging and beautiful terrain in the area, with routes ranging from smooth forested runs to rugged trips across hills.
One of the best ways to see Alpilles’ splendor is on horseback, where you can take in the area’s natural beauty at a leisurely, relaxed pace.
With challenging cliffs, adventure-seekers can pick from an exciting menu of rock climbing options.
Mouriés (6kms) - Fontvieille (8 kms) - St Rémy de Pce (12 km)
Climbing topo :
Alpilles’ golf courses are as spectacular as the area’s famed landscape. You’re sure to find a tee time that fits both your budget and your sense of adventure.
Whether you prefer pitching a tent, relaxing in your trailer or simply unrolling a sleeping bag under the stars, campsite Les Romarins is for you.
Various trails can be found at the Tourism Office, with trips ranging from short, easy loops in the heart of the village to treks in remote wilderness areas.
The name Alpilles comes from the Alpes as they are its geological prolongations as well as of Luberon.
This limestone chain is situated between the towns of Arles, Avignon and Salon de Provence. Small in their dimensions, Alpilles spread over approximately 40 kilometers between Rhone and Durance, dominating Crau and the resident of the Rhone plains.
Composed of lawns, garrigues, forests, cliffs, marsh, cultures... the massif offers a rich fauna and flora. Indeed 960 species of plants, 90 species of birds, 19 species of bats, several hundreds of insects can be found. While walking in the Alpilles, perhaps you will be likely to cross Eagle of Bonelli, a vulture percnoptère, or Minioptéré de Schreibers...
Since thousands of years, farmers, shepherds and foresters exploit the massif making that way a single balanced ecosystem. The landscape is formed of vine yards and orchards, of market gardenings separated by hedges of cypresses. When moving towards the peaks, you can discover the forests of holm oak and the bunches of pine of Alep, and sometimes of cedar. Higher,can be found, the garrigues, wild bundles of asparaguses and kermes oak. And at last, thyme and rosemary.
The Alpilles, like any natural environment are a true place of life. Thus, they require a vigilant behaviour and attention. You are invited to respect private estates as well as the natural setting that Provencal people cherish.
Let’s walk in the woods safely ! Between June 1st and September 30th, walking, driving or parking in aeras exposed to the risk of fire is ruled by weather conditions.
3 levels of danger are daily defined :
ORANGE : Acces to the forest all the day long
RED : Acces to the forest between 6AM and 11AM
BLACK : Acces to the forest forbiden
Please, dial 0811 20 13 13 to get informed about the situation. Informations are updated the day before at 6PM for the following day.
You can also register to the Departement Tourism Comittee website (www.visitprovence.com). Each evening, an email will keep you informed of the access to the Alpilles forest for the day after.
The former Marsh of Les Baux
The former Marsh of les Baux de Provence is a 1400 hectares wetland between the Alpilles and Crau plain near the villages of Paradou Maussane-les-Alpilles and Mouriès. Its name comes from the village of Les Baux de Provence, whose territory included all the villages in the valley of Les Baux in the Ancien Regime. In February 2007, the former Marsh has been incorporated in Alpilles Regional Park.
The former Marsh of les Baux de Provence is a unique biological and landscape heritage as evidenced by the presence of the 221 species of birds, 44 kinds of dragonflies and 13 species of bats and several natural environments of great value. The rare species include the European Roller, Purple Heron, Bonelli’s eagle, the Cordule, the Great Horseshoe Bat and the Turtle pond turtle. Remarkable natural areas include Laurons, the gallery forests with white poplar, marshes and Mediterranean wet meadows.
Alpilles Regional Park has identified this area as an area with high natural and cultural issues. It is also part of "Natura 2000" network, under the Habitats Directive Fauna Flora and County wetland inventory. This area is also affected by the Directive Landscape.
Historically, wetlands were leases land for grazing, hunting or fishing. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the "Moutouse" or "Rush Marsh" were culticated as bedding for horses and fertilization of olive trees. In the early 70s, the marshes have been reclaimed by building dikes and installation of electric pumps to evacuate water rising from the water table surface. Currently, the former marshes leases are operated by a dozen farmers who grow field crops (wheat, sorghum, sunflower), prairie hay and livestock (cattle and sheep). About 60 ha are most affected to agriculture and have been turned back to Marsh"
At the foot of Alpilles, Les Baux marshes offer a great landscape value, recognized by connoisseurs: herds of bulls and horses, wilderness inhabited by herons, ducks and waders. Some herds may be visited. Fishermen, hunters, naturalists and hikers can explore it on foot from the Towers of Castillon, the banks of the Vallée des Baux canal or path of Ilon.
Sources d’information : http://marais-des-baux.fr/
OFFICE DE TOURISME
Avenue des Alpilles
Tél : +33 (0)4 90 54 23 13
Fax : +33 (0)4 90 54 41 22
Horaire d’accueil :
tous les jours de 9h à 20h
du 4 janvier au 14 mars : du lundi au samedi de 9h à 16h
du 15 mars au 30 juin et septembre : tous les jours de 9h à 20h
du 1er juillet au 21 août : tous les jours de 8h à 21h
du 22 août au 30 septembre : tous les jours de 9h à 20h
du 1er octobre au 2 novembre : tous les jours de 9h à 19h
du 3 Novembre au 23 Décembre : tous les jours sauf le dimanche de 9h à 16h
L’Office de Tourisme de Maussane-les-Alpilles est partenaire de Provence Pays d’Arles