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Hiking trail

Walk to Bonnieux

· 1 review · Hiking trail · Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Grapes before the harvest
    / Grapes before the harvest
    Photo: Fiona Marshall, Macs Adventure
  • Vineyards and fields near Apt
    / Vineyards and fields near Apt
    Photo: Fiona Marshall, Macs Adventure
  • Look out for the GR waymarks on today's route
    / Look out for the GR waymarks on today's route
    Photo: Fiona Marshall, Macs Adventure
  • Forest path at 3.50km
    / Forest path at 3.50km
    Photo: Fiona Marshall, Macs Adventure
  • The big tree near Les Tourettes at 7.30km
    / The big tree near Les Tourettes at 7.30km
    Photo: Fiona Marshall, Macs Adventure
  • Vineyards
    / Vineyards
    Photo: Fiona Marshall, Macs Adventure
  • / The right turn before the sign named Les Picatiers at 5.20km
    Photo: Fiona Marshall, Macs Adventure
  • / Les Moutons sign at 8.80km
    Photo: Fiona Marshall, Macs Adventure
  • / The big tree near Les Moutons at 9.30km
    Photo: Fiona Marshall, Macs Adventure
  • / The Bois Sauvage sign at 11.40km showing the path to Bonnieux
    Photo: Fiona Marshall, Macs Adventure
150 300 450 600 750 m km 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16

Walk from the Provencal town of Apt via vineyards and forest trails to Bonnieux, a beautiful French village perched at 400m above the Luberon Valley. 

moderate
16.2 km
6:06 h
426 m
312 m

This walk starts in the French town of Apt. Leaving the town on quiet tarmac roads, you will pick up the GR9 footpath which winds through forest of pine and oak before entering a zone of vineyards and fruit orchards.  There are fine views into the Luberon valley along the way, with the imposing summit of Mt Ventoux visible in the distance.  Around halfway, the route joins the GR de Pays du Tour des Claparedes which will take you to Bonnieux, a lovely hilltop town on the edge of a plateau above the valley.  The middle section of the walk involves some steep (but short) climbs before the final descent to Bonnieux. 

Author’s recommendation

Look out for the distinctive red and white waymarks of the GR9 trail, and the red and yellow markers of the Tour des Claparedes.  These waymarks are usually placed at eye level on trees, telegraph poles and other objects along the route and they offer reassurance that you are following the right trail.

outdooractive.com User
Author
Fiona Marshall
Updated: April 15, 2019

Difficulty
moderate
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
532 m
Lowest point
224 m

Safety information

The paths on this walk are largely good, and consist of a mix of footpaths, farm tracks and trails. Please do take care to avoid passing cars when walking on the short sections of tarmac road. 

Equipment

Sturdy footware (ideally well-worn walking boots) are recommended as there are some sections of rocky terrain to negotiate. 

Tips, hints and links

Apt

Apt is famous for candied fruit; the technique of preserving fruit with sugar in times past meant that the delicious flavours of oranges, grapes and cherries could be enjoyed through the winter months. There are several small shops close to the Place Gabiel Peri where you can taste this local specialty before you begin the walk.

 

The Church of St Anne

Apt's Church of St Anne (formerly a cathedral) dates back to the 11th Century and offers some respite from the heat in summer months. The church became a pilgrimage site in the middle ages as it was reputed to have been built on the site where Saint Auspice, the custodian of the relics of St Anne, was buried.

 

 

Food & Drink 

Please note that there are no places to stop and eat/buy food on route. Be sure to take enough food and water for the day (and remember to take additional water in the hot summer months). We recommend purchasing a packed lunch from your accommodation in Apt. Alternatively, there are several shops clustered around the Place de La Bouquerie and Place Gabriel Peri where you can pick up snacks and drinks.  The restaurants in Bonnieux get busy during the high season, so you may wish to call ahead to book a table.  See your tour Information Pack for more details for our restaurant recommendations.

Alternative Transport

There is a local bus service (Ligne 15.2) between Apt and Bonnieux, however only certain departures include the village. See www.vaucluse.fr for more details. 

 

This tour is available on the folowing itineraries: 

WFSCP

WFSCPH

Start

The Hotel de Ville in Apt (229 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
43.875877, 5.394763
UTM
31T 692400 4860874

Destination

The Eglise Neuve church in Bonnieux

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00km – START POINT: The Hotel de Ville in Apt, in the main town square called Place Gabriel Peri.  With your back to the Hotel de Ville, walk for approx. 10 m and then TURN RIGHT and head up the hill on the Boulevard Marechal Foch. You will be following the GR9 hiking trail to begin with, and the distinctive red and white parallel markers are often found on street signs, telegraph poles, trees and rocks.

0.10km – TURN RIGHT onto Ave Eugene Badouin following the signs to the Gendarmerie, Les Angels and Buoux. Continue along this road for approx 600m.

0.70km – TURN LEFT and follow the road up the hill as it swings around to the right.  Continue to ascend on the road, ignoring the left and right turns into any of the local properties.

1.80km – Continue STRAIGHT ON at the crossroads. Approx 15m beyond the junction you will see the distinctive red and white GR sign painted on a telegraph pole as you begin to descend on the road into a wooded valley.

2.90km – Cross the small bridge and continue STRAIGHT ON as you begin to ascend a lighter coloured gravel path.

3.10km – The path climbs steadily past a gated property to the right. Continue STRAIGHT ON.

3.50km - After a short climb, the path seems to come to an end at a second large gate and a wall.  Here, BEAR LEFT to follow a small path into the woods (see the photo labelled “Forest path at 3.50km”).

3.70km – After the short climb continue past a large house on your right. BEAR LEFT along the grassy path and into the trees.

3.90km – When you reach a road, carry STRAIGHT ON but take care to pick up the path to the right of the entrance to the field by the yellow sign for Buoux (3.9km) and Les Picatiers (1.5km). Stay on the well-worn path keeping an eye out for the red and white GR waymark signs. There is a steep climb towards the end of the next km as the path swings round to the left affording fine views of Apt and the Luberon Valley.

4.60km – Cross the gravel road and BEAR LEFT onto the marked path in the trees that runs alongside the road and marked by the GR waymarks. You will shortly re-join the road and continue ahead when you do so.

5.20km – TURN RIGHT onto the narrower forest track (see the photo named “The right turn before the sign named Les Picatiers at 5.20km”) and you will see one of the distinctive yellow sign posts named Les Picatiers. TURN RIGHT here following the signs for Les Tourettes (1.5km). You are now leaving the GR9 hiking trail and joining the GR Tour des Clapedes which is indicated by red and yellow parallel stripes.  Follow this trail.

5.60km – The trail descends through woodlands and at this point you will pass a small hut and a meadow on the left side of the path. Continue STRAIGHT ON with the descent.

6.30km – BEAR RIGHT and continue to follow the stony track down the hill ignoring any turns to the left.

6.80km – You will reach a road. TURN LEFT following the signs for Les Bonnieux (9km).  Then immediately TURN RIGHT down towards the farm buildings.  There should be fields of vines to either side of you.

7.00km – Reaching a cluster of farm buildings, TURN LEFT and follow the road down the hill.

7.20km – After leaving the farm buildings you will reach a road continue over the road STRAIGHT ON onto a wide path between 2 fields of vines.

7.30km - After 100m, you will see a large tree. BEAR LEFT past the tree (keeping the tree on your right) and at the corner of the vineyard on the left take the narrow path that descends towards the road. Do not turn left along the side of the field of vines.  See the photo labelled “The big tree near Les Tourettes at 7.30km”).

7.60km – TURN LEFT when you reach a farm road and follow the path along the side of a field. Continue ahead until you reach a tarmac road.

7.90km – TURN LEFT when you reach the road and continue for approx. 700m as it swings around to the right and past the entrance to the farm named Les Moutons.

8.80km – After passing over a small embankment on the right of the road, TURN RIGHT and head back down the path in the direction of the farm at the yellow sign that is called Les Moutons and in the direction signposed Bonnieux (6.9km).

9.10km – The path splits here. Take the left path before swinging further left and walk down the hill with the tennis courts of Les Moutons to your right side.

9.30km – As you descend the hill, the path appears to split, separated by hedge  and a large tree. The red and yellow GR sign on the tree is there but often hidden by growing vegetation. Be sure to BEAR LEFT here. Take care as this turning is easy to miss and refer to the photo labelled “The big tree near Les Moutons at 9.30km”. Continue to follow the obvious path, passing vineyards and trees for approx. 1.9km.

11.20km – You will arrive into an orchard. Immediately, TURN LEFT.  At the end of the field TURN RIGHT and ascend through the trees.

11.40km – TURN RIGHT again at the top of the field beside a small wood. There is a yellow signpost on the edge of the wood named Bois Sauvage showing the path for Bonnieux (4.8km).  Take this path through the woods as it skirts around a limestone gorge.

12.20km – TURN LEFT onto a wider forest road. After a further 50m, TURN RIGHT onto a narrower path into the woods indicated by the red and yellow GR markers. Follow this path.

12.70km – BEAR RIGHT up the partially tarmacked road, ascending steeply. There are orchards to left and right and a large house near the top of the hill on the right.

13.30km – Go STRAIGHT ON across the road following the sign for Bonnieux (3km). Take the upper path on the left rather than through the field. Descend through the fields.

13.70km – BEAR LEFT over the small footbridge that crosses a tiny watercourse (sometimes dry). A short and gentle ascent leads to orchards and fields.

13.90km – Leaving the fields, BEAR LEFT into the trees. Take the small and narrow lower path following red and white GR waymarks.

14.10km – After 200m or so, BEAR RIGHT and take the narrow upper path running alongside the wall.

14.50km – BEAR RIGHT down the farm track that descends towards Bonnieux. There are fine views of the town from here.

14.70km – Follow the path down and round to the left then TURN RIGHT onto the road. After approximately 100m, TURN LEFT onto the path which runs along the left side of a house.

15.40km – TURN LEFT onto the road, then immediately TURN RIGHT onto the rough path beside a large standing stone.

15.70km – At the top of the slope, and upon reaching the main road, TURN RIGHT onto the D36 and walk along the road until you reach the roundabout. Take care of passing traffic.

16.20km – TURN LEFT at the roundabout and walk around the corner to the steps of the Eglise Neuve Church. You have reached the end of today’s walk. You may wish to have a look around the church or the town before following the specific instructions for how to reach your hotel.

 

 

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


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Reviews

5.0
(1)
Doug Weedon
May 03, 2019 · Community
Fantastic walk, amazing views different terrains astonishing scents
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Only .1 k out on directions, trust Ann to notice
Photo: Doug Weedon, Community
Kath varcoe
April 21, 2019 · Community
Good walk over interesting country. Had to scout around a bit to find markers in some places. All went well until we approached Bonnieux where we turned right when we first met the D36 when we should have crossed it and picked up the next rough path to the top of the slope.
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Reviews
Difficulty
moderate
Distance
16.2 km
Duration
6:06 h
Ascent
426 m
Descent
312 m

Statistics

: h
 km
 m
 m
Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
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