The Mont Chalvet site
The Mont Chalvet site has:
– A world-famous paragliding launch site. An important free flight venue, Saint André les Alpes hosts a number of national and international paragliding championships.
– Two viewpoint finders to understand the very lovely landscape.
- A 180° panoramic viewpoint finder which shows you the peaks of the Verdon and Issole valleys. From this finder you can admire the lake of Castillon and its famous emerald-green waters and the fields of lavender for which Provence is so famous.
- A 360 ° panoramic viewpoint finder to see remoter peaks such as: Le Cougoulet, le Rondelet, Le Mont Vinaigre, le Mont Pelat… and for the luckier among you, the Mont Ventoux in the Vaucluse on a clear day.
The Mont Chalvet is also a botany trail, which lists all the wildlife on the territory. A 500-metre loop with 9 explanatory boards. A good family itinerary.
The protected species of the Mont Chalvet
The Mont Chalvet is a sunny mountain overlooking the village of Saint André les Alpes and home to many rare species.
- Black Grouse. Black Grouse have made their home on the ground in the bear berry bushes of the 7 hectares of deforested areas. The grouse nests on the ground, makes it highly vulnerable to predators. In 2012, 7 cocks and 2 hens were counted. This is a protected bird, which is becoming rarer, so be careful to not to disturb it during its nesting period in the spring.
- There are a large number of Peonies at the top of the Mont Chalvet, as they prefer the wider open areas (deforested). They take 4 to 5 years to bloom once the seeds have sown themselves which make this a protected plant unique for its flamboyant colours.
- The top of Mont Chalvet is also a corridor for the Griffon vultures which are to be found mostly in the Gorges du Verdon. Some paragliders are lucky enough to fly with the vultures. A little tip: they are an excellent way of finding the updrafts. Vultures can be very impressive with a 2.65-metre wingspan and weighing 7 to 8 kg!!
The Verdon Natural Regional Park
A park which is remarkable for its geological and wildlife variety, with sites which are all quite spectacular. To mention but a few: the Lake of Sainte Croix, the Gorges du Verdon, the Lake of Castillon, the Valensole Plateau, picturesque villages…. The park covers 46 municipalities stretching from the Haut Var to our region with its lakes and mountains.
A Natural Regional Park is:
– A territory which is exceptional for its varied heritage
– Useful for national recognition
– Whose membership aims at taking part in the development of each municipality
– A tool to help protect and valorise a territory
For further information please visit the Verdon Natural Regional Park website
The Geology Reserve
Our Region is not only steeped in history but also in geology! This is the biggest geology reserve in Europe, and it has been awarded the Geopark label by UNESCO. The Barremian period has left visible traces all over the territory and the Geology Reserve keeps watch over these natural remains. For fossil-lovers and amateur palaeontologists, the “Vallée des Sirènes” at the col des Lèques after Senez, the little museum in Barrême’s town hall, the Stratotype in Angles, the signposted circuits of the Hautes Vallées de l’Asse, and the ammonite slab in Digne les Bains are really incredible sites which are well worth a visit.
For further information please visit the Réserve Géologique de Haute Provence website
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