The biggest canyon in Europe
At around 1h Away from Le Clos Geraldy B&B at St Maximin la Ste Baume The Verdon Canyon are in the north of Green Provence. This is the biggest canyon in Europe, with truly breathtaking landscapes. It is also an ideal spot for swimming with your family or for whitewater sports. The source of the Verdon is at an altitude of 2819 metres in the Col d’Allos. It then joins the River Durance in Vinon-sur-Verdon. Its total length is 175 km. But what is truly amazing is the height of the cliffs, from 250 to 700 metres, with the width ranging from 6 to 100 metres, and from 200 to 1500 metres at the summit of the gorges.
The Esparron and Montmeyan lakes are the northern gates to Green Provence. Here you can enjoy a picnic, sail a pedal boat or go canoeing. But the real highlight is exploring the wild and unspoilt landscapes of the lower gorges in an electric boat. Without a sound apart from the lapping of the water, and breathtaking images for a decor, this is the setting for wonderful discoveries.
The Castle of IF
At around 45 mins Away from Le Clos Geraldy B&B at St Maximin la Ste Baume François the 1st assigns to the castle of If a triple purpose: to protect the coasts of an invasion, to cover the exits and the anchorage of the brand new fleet of royal galleys, and to supervise Marseille, attached to the Kingdom of France in 1480.
A state prison. Opponents of power are imprisoned there from 1580 until 1871, Protestants and Republicans in mind.
A mythical place world famous. Alexandre Dumas publishes The Count of Monte-Cristo in 1844. If is the place of detention of the hero, Edmond Dantès. The novel is a huge success: translated all over the world, twenty-three films are inspired by it.
At around 40 mins Away from Le Clos Geraldy B&B at St Maximin la Ste Baume Cotignac is a village of character. With a waterfall in the background, Cotignac stands at the foot of a majestic great rock. Visitors to the old quarter, set next to the cliff, can see houses of the l6th and 17th centuries, stone or wrought iron decorations and narrow streets, all witnesses to the long and interesting past of Cotignac. There are many fountains, some quite curious looking, that bubble with cool clear water.
The great rock which stretches for about 400m. is quite an amazing sight. The moving sun aIters the shadows which in turn are constantly changing the aspect ot the sides of the clift.
One can see at different times, giant stalactites, ledges, and deep crags. All of this hovering 80m. above the houses built at the bottom. Take the time to make a detour. You’ll fall under the charm of this village like no other
At around 1h Away from Le Clos Geraldy B&B at St Maximin la Ste Baume Perched on the side of a hill between the sea and the mountains, and set in picturesque Provençal countryside, Fayence is rated highly by tourists.
It has a southerly climate, charming old streets, warm and welcoming inns emitting the aromas of Provence, and even some relics of times past.
Le Canal de Martigues
At around 45 mins Away from Le Clos Geraldy B&B at St Maximin la Ste Baume Famous for its flowers and gardens, Martigues is situated on the side of a lake, the “étang de Berre”, and linked to the sea by the Caronte channel. Due to the charm of its canals, islands and bridges, Martigues is also known as the Venise provençale… The Martigues Carnaval calleed « The strolls i the miror » is organised annually mid september.
The Blue Coast
At around 45 mins Away from Le Clos Geraldy B&B at St Maximin la Ste Baume The blue Coast takes its name from its turquoise blue to deep blue water, stretching from the coast of the Gulf of Fos-sur-Mer to the west of Marseille at the Estaque district. Seen from the sea, the Côte Bleue is a coast that keeps all its wild character thanks to its limestone creeks, its Mediterranean vegetation, its small wild coves and preserved .
From the Gulf of Fos to the West of Marseille, the “Blue Coast” is emerging for the pleasure of the eyes. Between creeks, creeks, pine forest, port and villages, the 22kms of coastline are naturally drawn in a unique, wild and preserved landscape where wild fauna and flora value rich heritage.
The communes of Rove, Ensuès-la-Redonne, Carry-le-Rouet, Sausset-les-Pins and Martigues open on the Mediterranean coast offering views, beaches, coves on the Côte Bleue.
Monastery of la Verne
At around 1h Away from Le Clos Geraldy B&B at St Maximin la Ste Baume A few kilometers from Collobrières in the heart of the Massif des Maures you can go to discover the Monastery of la Verne. In the middle of this green setting you will easily find this old priory which was classified as a historical monument in January 1921.
The monastery is built on a rocky promontory. The construction of these high ramparts was necessary for the implantation of the buildings and made it possible to limit the intrusions of the outside. The monumental door is serpentine stone, volcanic marble of the Massif des Maures. In the seventeenth century the whole monastery was adorned with this stone extracted from a quarry at La Mole, a village near Cogolin.
Since 1983, the monastery is home to a community of nuns of Bethlehem, the Assumption of the Virgin and St. Bruno who open the doors of this Chartreuse throughout the year.
At around 1h Away from Le Clos Geraldy B&B at St Maximin la Ste Baume, located in the Luberon Regional Nature Park, nestled against a hill at the foot of the Plateau d’Albion, Rustrel is a small village dominated by its castle. Rustrel looks out over the unique landscape known as the Colorado Provençal, created by centuries of ochre mining in the Pays d’Apt. Many open-pit mines can be seen from the ‘Ochre Trail’, which allows visitors to admire the twenty different shades of ochre that make the cliffs so spectacular, as well as the cheminées de fée (‘fairies’ chimneys) nearby. These unusual features are the result of the orange-yellow ochre which makes up the soil being gradually eroded.
At around 1h Away from Le Clos Geraldy B&B at St Maximin la Ste Baume, The Calanque de Somiou is the largest and has indubitably one of the most beautiful beaches. There is a sand beach, with typical cabins, and a small launching ramp for the residents. At the end there is a large parking and a high restaurant. On the right, the path is going to the cap Sormiou, above two small creeks, until the cap Redon (not far from Capelan cave). The path on the left is passing through a large road with cabins, until the little port of Sormiou. Then it goes above two small shingle beaches, and goes up to Morgiou crest. At the very left out of the calanque, there is the prehistoric Cosquer Cave.