Time: 4.5h. Up: 320m. Down: 400m.
Distance: 17km. Difficulty: easy.

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Stage 83: Moustiers-Sainte-Marie (620m) to Riez (540m)

Click and drag on map above to see area around trail. Click here for large zoomable map.

Ashort and easy hike allows you to spend some time looking around Moustiers-Sainte-Marie in the morning, and the ancient village of Riez in the afternoon... both well worth your attention.

Today, and for much of the rest of the H2H, you'll be walking along roads... but they are back-roads and there should not be much in the way of traffic. The reason for the road-walking is that -- finally -- you leave the forests of Haute Provence behind and pass through a softer landscape of fields and orchards. And it is in the nature of fields and orchards that you tend to walk through them on roads and farm tracks rather than hiking trails.

However, there are compensations. For example, perhaps for the first time on the H2H, you will see that quintessential symbol of Provence: lavender. Not in bloom... it is too late in the year for that, but lavender nevertheless. Until now, although you have been in Provence, it hasn't really been the Provence of books, or posters, or the dreamy recollections of smitten tourists. Henceforth, however, you will experience some of the elements that have seduced visitors to become locals since at least 600 BC, when Greeks and Phoenicians first settled along the coast.

Lavender, thyme, rosemary, honey, truffles, vines, olives, fruit and nut trees of every sort... it is a fertile and aromatic land. Breathe deeply, look around, and enjoy the last several walks of the H2H.

From Moustiers head southwest to join the GR4, which you'll follow for the rest of the day. Climb through forest, then at the edge turn left, then right to go via the hamlet of Chaudon (718m) and the village of Roumoules (585m) to Riez.

Alternatives: unnecessary.
Maps: IGN-3442OT Gorges du Verdon, IGN-3342ET Plateau de Valensole.

The House to House blog... stage 83.

<A couple of representative photos from this stage will be added here after the hike>
In the meantime, click here to go to all of the H2H photos on Flickr.

GPS Track
<To be added during or after hike>

Room and Board Options
Lunch: picnic.
Dinner and overnight: there are three places to stay in Riez (for the list, see here).

Getting There and Back
Moustiers-Saint-Marie: from Manosque, where there is a railway station, you can catch buses (some days) to Moustiers, or you can take a taxi the 49km (bus information here, and for train schedule information, see the SNCF).
Riez: buses go twice a day to Marseille, where there is a railway station, or you can take a taxi the 33km to Manosque (bus information here, taxi information here (click on commerces / artisans)).
ViaMichelin Road Map and Driving Directions: centered on Moustiers-Saint-Marie, centered on Riez.

Background Information and Links
Many and various...

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