Round trip leading you through the impressive Nesque Gorge (Gorges de la Nesque), starting from the Southern rim. Medium difficulty, primarily because of the steep descend and ascend at the gorge's rim. You need to be careful, especially with children. Otherwise easy walking. There are shorter but less exciting walks from various points of the North rim.
|Time||Ascend||Length||Facilities||IGN (Institut Géographique National)|
|4 1/2 hours||550 m||13km||none, take plenty of water||Map 3140ET|
We hike mostly on the Sentier de Grande Randonnée GR9 starting from the St.Hubert farm, approx. 14 km East of Methamis on Rt.D5.
Drive from Carpentras on Rt.D942 East to Mazan, from there on Rt.D150 via Blauvac to Méthamis and from there further East to the St.Hubert farm (Gîte d'Etape). Shortly before you reach the St.Hubert farm you find the signs GR9 and Ferme-Auberge la Jasse de Barberis leading left (to the North).
We walk North on this dirt road (sign: GR9); after 100m we leave GR9, turning right and after 50m we turn right again. The small path leads us through a little forest. After 20 min. we come back to the the dirt road and follow it straight ahead for 5 min. After the wooden cross we turn right and turn right again before a wooden gate. After 3 min. we take the left path, which leads us after 5min. to the ruins of Chapelle de Sicaude and a farmhouse. GR9 descends into a valley past a lavender field on the right side. In the small valley you pass a footpath on your left which we will use on our return trip. We continue on GR9. After 20m GR9 turns left, the path ascends steep hill and, voilá, we have our first glimpse of the Nesque Gorge.
On top we take a wider path which we follow for 5 min. until GR9 turns left leading us to the Southern rim of the Nesque Gorge. GR9 turns right and decends on the rims edge (careful!) down to the gorge. Cross the Nesque river bed (mostly dry) and you reach Chapelle St.Michel d' Anesca. It is a modest building from the 12th century positioned underneath an overhanging rock, a former place of pilgrimage. Inside is a Roman-Gallic votive column, which was used to support the altar. The chapel was restored in 1643 as evidenced by the inscription above the arched entrance door. Behind this chapel GR9 ascends steeply until you reach D942, which runs along the Northern rim of the Nesque Gorge. Walk West on D942 until you reach after 10 min. a viewpoint (Belvedere) offering you a wonderful view to the steep Rocher du Cire. Right after the Belvedere where D942 turns right we turn left and descend a couple of stairs down to a pathway leading us back to the gorge. In between you can make a short side trip (take the right path) to the Castellaras Cave. The path descends steeply until you reach the Nesque Gorge. Walk East along the river bed for 30m, cross the river bed and follow the steep footpath to a crossing; take the left path. At the next crossing turn right and follow the blue marker.
Ascending steeply we pass the pre-historic excavations of Aubesier. After 10min. you turn left following the sign with the blue points. You reach GR9 after 5 min. and walk Southwest back to Chapelle de Sicaud. You now have two choices: Either take the left path past the chapel or take the right path back the way we came in. Follow the left path until you reach GR9 again. Follow GR9 left (South) for 20 min. until you reach our starting point on D150.