Rochers de Baude and Badarel Gorge Hike
Love at first sight in the Petit Luberon
Far from the Luberon areas which often catch visitors’ attention, a small section of ridges, cliffs and gorges closing off the massif to the west await deserved recognition. An area of remarkable biodiversity perched between Robion and Les Taillades, this part of Petit Luberon made up of cornices, cliffs and gorges will endlessly surprise you. Rarely have we seen so many surprises in such a short distance. For adventurers who love cornices and prepared passages, the Rochers de Baude may well be your next favourite here in the Vaucluse.
In the land of the stonemasons
Les Taillades: a starting point to visit
Don’t give in to the allure of the signposts too quickly – these calls to paths that guide our steps to places that are known: first you should absolutely visit Les Taillades! From the car park set up for hikers, continue along Rue de l’Église, in the extension of the Auberge des Carrières, to discover the well-kept secrets of Les Taillades. It is a passage framed by two low stone walls, winding elegantly up to the chapel of Sainte-Luce, revealing two amazing sites: the old château and the astonishing quarries, witnesses of a past linked with stonemasonry.
Les Taillades is a brilliant example of heritage preserved and rehabilitated for a new era. It demonstrates something being renewed without distorting its historical identity.
Not to be missed
Today converted into a theatre for cultural events, both thanks to their setting and excellent acoustics, the quarries can receive up to 600 people to enjoy very popular summer shows. Among these are the famous Estivales des Taillades events which take place in the first fortnight of July.
The Badarel Gorge: the breath of adventure
The path literally comes up against the famous gorge, an amazing passage which seems to have been carved by the edge of a giant hand and through which the wind often storms, with furious howls. A set of metal bars and a steel handrail allow this exciting and truly surprising rock passage, just over two metres long, to be crossed.
A narrow corridor without any light then follows, a dry canyon protected by two huge limestone walls. And if you think you have seen all the highlights of the route at the start, you’re wrong! Believe me, this short tour toward the Rochers de Baude has not finished surprising you!
Did you know?
Badarel is derived from the Occitan “badar”, “to gape”, and refers to a gap or indentation. This passage was opened with explosives in 1904, by decision of the Municipal Council, to facilitate the passage of foresters and shepherds of the period.
Rochers de Baude
A spectacular route of the Petit Luberon
The spectacular Rochers de Baude route follows the mineral as closely as possible, taking a rocky path covered by a roof, instantly giving it a sensational atmosphere. It is impossible not to be moved when walking on this undulating ledge, over which the rocky masse of Baude braces itself on one side, with the infinite horizon of Provence on the other. It is a pleasure that continues over a long section where the walker remains in contact with this fascinating setting of limestone cliffs which are some 130 million years old.
Rochers de Baude is a monumental surprise that generates excitement, a true gem of the Luberon to be classed among the very beautiful routes marked by adventure in this small Provençal massif. It is an amazing concentration of the best that Luberon has to offer its visitors.
Did you know?
Get out your binoculars! This place is inhabited by exceptional avifauna protected by a prefectorial order for protection of the biotope. On the fold of a rock or in the shadow of a cavity, the silhouette of a Golden Eagle, an Egyptian Vulture or a Eurasian Eagle Owl may well appear!
It is pure, concentrated joy for those who love being amongst the rock, prepared passages with the scent of adventure and panoramic atmospheres! Packed into just six kilometres, this Rochers de Baude circuit easily stands out to me among the remarkable routes of the Luberon, being on par with Buoux and Regalon.
– Distance: 6km
– Elevation gain: 325 m
– Duration 2 hours 30 minutes
– Difficulty: difficult
Car access: 5 km to the east of Cavaillon, via the D143. Espace Saint-Ferréol car park, near the town hall.
Access by bus from Cavaillon via line 917 or 918 Zou – Cavaillon – Apt