By Vicky · Published Sep. 16th, 2023 · Updated Sep. 21st, 2023
This beautiful walk around Les Baux-de-Provence has amazing views of strange rock formations, Provençal countryside, the old castle and more.
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This walk starts from a free, dirt car park at the edge of a side road 5 minutes drive north of Les Baux de Provence.
Tips for Les Baux-de-Provence Walk
- In summer it can be very warm – start early and bring a sunhat, sunscreen and sunglasses.
- In summer it can also be busy in Les Baux-de-Provence town itself, but elsewhere on the walk you’ll see few people.
- Stay in Les Baux de Provence* so you can start the walk early and experience the town during the quieter evenings.
- There are several cafes & restaurants in the village in the middle of this walk, but bring plenty of water.
- For nearby walks, check out the walk around Lake Peirou, the Rocher des Deux Trous hike or the Arles Walking Tour.
- For more hikes, check out our France Hiking Page.
Les Baux-de-Provence Walking Route
From the car park, head right along the small road. You’ll soon see the ‘Roche percée’, or ‘Pierced rock’ on the right – a strange shaped huge rock with a couple of large holes in it. There are also panoramic views from here of Les Baux-de-Provence town and the castle above.
Continue walking and head straight on along the path up the hill where the road bends right. After a short ascent, you’ll reach a great viewpoint at the top of a little hill. From here, turn left along the track to follow the top of the plateau.
Ruines de Chateau Viewpoint
Keep left to stay on the smaller path rather than the track and follow this as it bends around a small valley, always staying at the top of the plateau. There’s a short down and up section before you’re on another flat-topped area.
At the far end of this flat area, the track bends right. Head left on a smaller path to reach the ruins of an old castle. There’s not too much of the old castle itself to see, but there are wonderful views of the main castle above Les Baux-de-Provence Village.
After admiring the views, return to the track and continue onwards. At the next bend, take the small path to the right leading fairly steeply downwards through the rocks. Here you’re just above the Carrières des Lumières. These are old quarries that now showcase cool art projected onto the walls of the caves. Check here for what’s on and opening times.
Les Baux-de-Provence Village
Turn left on the road at the bottom to reach the start of Les Baux-de-Provence Village. Walk up into the town, and first explore the cute streets and alleyways, and many quaint little shops. There are also several cafes and restaurants here for refreshments.
There’s one main street through the village, but don’t miss out on the viewpoint and nice buildings down to the right near the far end. Continue onwards to reach the entrance to the old castle and the plateau at the top. Walk around the edge of the plateau for amazing views of the surrounding countryside. You can see cool hills, rocks, and gorgeous farmland, as well as the houses down in the valley below.
Château des Baux-de-Provence
You can see part of the Château des Baux-de-Provence, i.e. the old castle, from outside the entrance. If you want to go in, the castle’s open all year round and tickets cost from €6. It’s easy to see why the castle was built here, naturally fortified by the steep surrounding cliffs and a glorious viewpoint over the surrounding terrain. The castle itself was first mentioned in the 10th century, but there’s evidence that people inhabited this site for many hundreds of years before a castle was ever built.
When you’ve explored the village and perhaps the castle, return to the village entrance. From here, the route now circles the outside of the castle hill before returning towards the end of the walk.
Walking Beneath the Castle
Now turn right at the entrance to Les Baux-de-Provence, up through the car parks and along the road. When you round the corner, walk through the dirt car park to the path on the far side. This path soon leads down to a larger track.
The track contours along beneath the castle, through some scrubland with great views all around. At the far end of the loop, you’ll see a rocky plateau sticking out on your left. You can detour out and back to here for more great views.
Return to the main track and follow it around as it descends to the main road running through the valley. After descending the steps, cross over the road and take the smaller lane a few metres to the left. This initially parallels the main road, then bends left through a few villas.
Provençal Countryside and Rocks
At the T-junction, turn left then keep right to get onto a path heading upwards and back into the rocky countryside. After a couple of hundred metres, turn right on a small path up the cliffs. The path initially isn’t super clear but becomes more obvious when it leaves the open rocky area in a few tens of metres.
Continue to follow the path as it heads uphill. You’ll soon reach a small cliff in which there are a couple of metal staples to help you get up. It’s not scary or difficult as long as you are slightly flexible. Once you’ve passed the cliff you’re on another plateau. The path follows near the right-hand edge of the plateau, with several short out-and-back paths to viewpoints. It’s worth taking at least one of these for great views over Les Baux-de-Provence Village.
Continue onward along the easy trail and you eventually get to a road. Turn left for a short distance then take the side road on the right. The car park and the end of the Les Baux-de-Provence Countryside Walk is shortly along here on the right.
Guidebooks for Exploring & Hiking in Southern France
If you’re going to southern France, there are several guidebooks that cover either only Provence & Côte d’Azur (Avignon and east), or Languedoc-Roussillon (Nîmes/Montpellier and west). Because we explored both areas, we opted for Lonely Planet’s France Guide, which apart from including all of France was only slightly more expensive than an individual regional guide.