Hiking around the hilltop village of Saumane – take on “les Trois Luisants” © Genestal

Saumane : Enjoy a Moment of Calm at the Top of the Trois Luisants

Only a few kilometres from Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, Saumane harbours the subtle charm of an endearing little village, next to one of the most popular tourist spots in Vaucluse. It is also the starting point of a hiking trail that leads up to Rocher des Trois Luisants, a great opportunity to visit remarkable sites and viewpoints whilst keeping fit ! This meticulously planned route also gives you the option to visit the old Valescure farm, a little natural haven which charms everyone who visits.

Duration:

3 hours

Type:

Hiking

1 – Headed for the top

From the Château’s car park to Rocher des Trois Luisants

The route starts off gently; you climb up steps which run through a forest of tall conifers, along a wide, straight path stretching from the Château’s car park to La Vignerme. You’ll then pass beneath the shade of Saint-Gens, a local miracle worker who prayed fervently for rain, before continuing to walk along scenic, stone-paved footpaths lined with dry stone walls, onto which the playful shadows of oak trees are reflected. Slowly and steadily working your way up the hill, you may not notice the gradual difference in altitude, until you arrive at the Trois Luisants, where the horizon stretches out across the gigantic expanse of the Comtat plain ahead.

le saviez-vous ?

Who was Saint-Gens?

Saint-Gens is said to have been born in Monteux, at the foot of Mont Ventoux. He then retreated into a ravine on the northern slope of the Trois Luisants, in the municipality of Beaucet, where we continue to visit his shrine today.

Hiking in Saumane

2 – Venturing over to the Other Side : Vallon de Valescure

Valescure Farm
Info pratique

Valescure Farm

Partially restored by international volunteer camps, Valescure Farm is owned by the municipality of Saumane. It stands on a 400 hectare site that is rich in biodiversity. Please respect the area and don’t leave any rubbish behind.

From Rocher des Trois Luisants to the Old Valescure Farm

It is now time to embark on your descent via GR®91, a route which comes around Vercors and ends in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, from where you can see the top of the enormous cliff overlooking the resurgence of the Sorgue. If you pay attention, you’ll notice the subtle tilt of the landscape. Limestone formations make up much of this area, as well as crumpled folds of suddenly steeper and rougher terrain. And there, at the very bottom, in a large valley dotted with conifers, a lighter, greener spot brightens up the landscape: the old Valescure farm. It takes just under forty minutes to reach the outskirts of Valescure farm, situated within a charming meadow in the shape of a runway. It is a pristine natural setting, lovingly and carefully preserved; the ideal spot for a picnic along this route.

3 – Heading back to Saumane

From the old Valescure farm to Saumane

Turn around once you’ve reached Valescure and continue to follow the route, which loops back to Saumane. Along the way, it makes a detour through the charming Combe de Bériguier, a beautiful spot, hidden among the greyish trunks of tall Aleppo pine trees and intersected by a narrow cobbled path, which is pleasant to walk on. Take a pause after passing through the thalweg, before climbing back up to find a rocky passage, shaped much like a corridor. At this point you might be eager to get back to Saumane but if you’re not pushed for time, you should definitely visit the Abri sous Roche – an astonishing stone restoration resembling a tall, large grotto, arched over the path. It is an unusual site and an important part of Saumane’s identity; Saumane is one of numerous villages in Provence which has been built around its impressive geographical assets, enabling landscape and architecture to exist harmoniously within the same region. A visit to the Abri sous Roche on the last leg of your journey will end this rewarding hike on a high note.

Ca vaut le détour

Château de Saumane

Overlooking the village from its rocky ridge, Château de Saumane has long been owned by the family of Marquis de Sade, who spent part of his childhood there. You can visit the château today, where exhibitions are held regularly.

Heading back to Saumane

I enjoyed this escape into nature around Saumane, following soothing trails that ooze with charm. The site of the old Valescure farm is a peaceful haven, a space to breathe. Less visited than Fontaine, Saumane won me over with its architecture and its seclusion.

David Genestal

David Génestal

Blogger for Carnets de Rando

Information about this hike

Details :
– Distance : 13 km
– Elevation gain: 645 m
– Duration: 3h
– Difficulty: intermediate

To get there by car: from Avignon, follow the N7 towards Carpentras before taking the D900 towards Apt. Come off, then continue via the D25 towards Saumane-de-Vaucluse.

Access to forest areas

Access to the forests of Vaucluse is regulated both for your safety and for the preservation of sites sensitive to forest fire

IRE RISK: REGULATIONS AND RESTRICTIONS
Each year, during the summer, access to certain forest areas is monitored according to weather conditions and fire risk.
For daily information about fire risk levels, contact 04 28 31 77 11 or visit www.risque-prevention-incendie.fr/vaucluse

BIVOUAC AND WILD CAMPING
Bivouac and wild camping are prohibited from July 1st to September 15th in the forests of Vaucluse.

Vaucluse forest