Time: 9h. Up: 910m. Down: 980m.
Distance: 31km. Difficulty: easy.

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Stage 86: Montfuron (667m) to Viens (600m)

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

Aweek from today you will be in St.-Rémy-de Provence... a week from today, the H2H will be over. Think about that. Finished. Accomplished. Done. Conquered. History. No more. An ex-hike!!

Having difficulty imagining this? Me too... makes me dizzy. Concentrate instead on today's hike... and although long a very lovely hike it is. You walk along a low ridge to Céreste, another village with Roman roots (even if the “Roman” bridge just outside of town actually dates from the 17th Century). Then you head north through lavender fields to the hamlet of Oppedette in order to walk along its short but dramatic eponymous gorge.

The day ends in the perched village of Viens, about which I know little because its name makes it difficult to research on the Net. But I'm sure that it is charming....

Today's hike is identical with the GR4 until Oppedette. From Montfuron head first north-west then west for a couple of hours until you reach Céreste. Go next north-east along roads to the Prieuré de Carluc, then north through Saint-Croix-à-Lauze to Oppedette. Leave the GR4 here and cross to the far bank of the Calavon River in order to walk south down the western rim of the Gorges d'Oppedette. After about 3km you'll join the GR6/GR97 for a last hour along the road to Viens.

Alternatives: you can shorten the day if you skip the Gorges d'Oppedette and go directly to Viens by following a minor road to the west about two km north of the Prieuré de Carluc (saves about 3h, 10.5km, +400m, -400m).
Maps: IGN-3342OT Manosque, IGN-3242OT Apt.

The House to House blog... stage 86.

<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... Céreste, after just over two hours, is too early .
Dinner and overnight: there are several places to stay in Viens: la Bergerie du Luberon (+33-(0), mob: +33(0), 3 rooms, B&B), la Bastide de Blaquières (+33-(0), 5 rooms, B&B), the Gîte Les Douces (+33-(0), 2 rooms, 6 beds), the Gîte Rural Flaqueirol (+33-(0), 4 beds), La Maison Charpin (+33-(0), mob: +33-(0), 8-12 beds, may only rent by the week), the chambre d'hôtes Janine Morricone (+33-(0), B&B), and the Hotel / Relais Saint Paul (+33-(0), 16 rooms, 2 km south of Viens in the Hameau St.-Paul, restaurant closed Sunday eve).

Getting There and Back
Montfuron: from Manosque and Marseille, where there are railway stations, there are buses a couple of times a day to Montfuron, or you can have a taxi take you the 12km from Manosque (bus information here, taxi information here (search for taxi), and for train schedule information, see the SNCF).
Viens: a bus goes once a day to Apt, or you could take a taxi the 15km, and from there buses go several times a day to Avignon, Digne, and Marseille, where there are railway stations (for taxi and bus information, see here). Alternatively you could take a taxi the 25km to Manosque.
ViaMichelin Road Map and Driving Directions: centered on Montfuron, centered on Viens.

Background Information and Links
Many and various...

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