les domaines – cruis – haute provence
Out & About

Les Domaines are situated within easy reach of many diverse areas. Thus making it an ideal base for groups with differing interests.

There are several well known natural climbing “walls” available. Sisteron and Volx being the closest. Both  have graded route guides. Winter sports are available within 2 hours drive. There is an excellent and challenging via Ferratta at La Motte du Caire (1 hour drive). In a snowy winter there is snow on the Lure mountain sufficient for cross country skiing, snow shoeing and sledging.
Walking in the mountains is available winter and summer. Some GRs run through the area and there are many GRPs (Grand randonne du Pays ) or PRs (petit randonne) well way marked. They provide a wide range of lengths, terrains and challenge.
Typical of the landscape are Canyons/Gorges, of which the most well known and dramatic is the Gorges du Verdon (1½ hours drive).
Being a mostly forested area, there are many hundreds of kilometres of ‘off road’ biking available, to suit every level, from complete novice upwards. The roads are very quiet making day touring by bike extremely attractive.

Sea & Water
The closest access to the south coast is close to Marseille (1½ hours).
There is a train that runs from Digne les Bains to Nice (Train des Pignes) through the beautiful and dramatic scenery along le Route Napoleon- very much like our little old country lines, although sadly not steam. Taking the earliest departure and latest return it is possible to spend a pleasant day in Nice without the effort of driving (or an overnight stop of course). There are many “plan d’eau” in the area offering various water sports.

Wine and Food
The most local wine region is Pierrevert. There are vineyards offering “degustaions”. Local produce includes many cheeses (mostly sheep and goats) – Banon being the most well known (Banon village 20 minutes- Cheese festival in May), lamb (Sisteron lamb has it’s own AOC – label rouge – which garauntees it’s provenence and upbringing, lavender products (L’Occitaine factory and outlet ¾ hour), honey, walnuts, chesnuts, fungi and truffles (not chocolate ones!). Calissons are the local justly famous almond/ orange flower water based sweetmeats (see Cruis). Fruits “confit”(candied) are also a local speciality, although most fruit apparently now sadly comes from Eastern Europe. All of these are well represented at all the local markets and the many seasonal festivals. There are some farm shops selling their own wares.

There are many artists and potters working locally, selling from galleries, studios and specialist craft markets.

Provence would not be complete without it’s markets! The two largest being:
Forcalquier (½ hour) – Monday
Apt (1 hour) – Saturday
Other local markets include:
Reillane (¾ hour ) – Sunday
Oraison (½ hour) – Tuesday
St. Etienne les Orgues (5 minutes) – Wednesday
Sisteron (½ hour – Saturday
Banon (20 mins) – Tuesday

Montagne de Lure
Gorges de Regalon
St. Etienne
Gorges du Verdon
Walking with Donkeys

Out & About

























les domaines montage
Les Domaines, 04230 Cruis, Haute Provence, France. e.mail wizinfrance@googlemail.com