Introducing Haute-Provence & the Southern Alps
Haute-Provence undulates eastward through lavender fields, from the Luberon toward the Southern Alps – and eventually Italy. North of the Côte d’Azur, the mountains rise in sheer cliffs from the Mediterranean, crowning southeastern France with craggy peaks snow-capped through springtime and creating plunging red-rock river gorges and deep green valleys. You may only have time to carve a small route through this little-visited region of wilderness, but the majestic landscapes are worth the effort: they're an escape from summer's heat, and will change the way you apprehend space.
Haute-Provence's western flanks are marked by several isolated, unspoiled hilltop villages, west of the Vallée de la Durance – the dividing line between foothills and mountains. Magical Moustiers Ste-Marie is the gateway to Europe's largest canyon. In the east, six geographically diverse valleys define Parc National du Mercantour, whose ‘Valley of Wonders’ wows with 36,000 Bronze Age rock carvings.