The Col des Champs joins among others Colmar to the Daluis gorges. Here is a road trip of a small day which will allow you to cross very different Alpine landscapes and will leave you great memories.
A small medieval town on the edge of the Verdon. Take the time to stroll through its narrow streets. Colmars-les-Alpes was fortified by Vauban during the reign of Louis XIV because the border between the kingdom of France and the county of Savoy passed between Allos and Colmars. This village is also a gateway to the Mercantour National Park, near the Allos Lake.
From Colmars to the Col des Champs
At the exit of Colmars-les-Alpes, in the direction of the Col d’Allos, take on your right in direction of the Col des Champs – Ratery on the D2. You first cross a thick forest which shelters the cross-country skiing domain of Ratery in winter. Always gaining in altitude (attention to the engines which heat), the forest gives place to the mountain pastures and one enters a landscape of high mountain with splendid sights on the surroundings. In some places, you can park your car and go on foot to meet the marmots on some mountain paths.
From the Col des Champs to the Gorges de Daluis
We finally arrive at the Col des Champs at the altitude of 2087 meters! By starting the descent, we take advantage of it to change department by switching on the 06, the Maritime Alps by following the D78. The road joins then the river of Var on the commune of Saint-Martin d’ Entraunes. We take then the D2202 in direction of Villeneuve-d’Entraunes. We cross there some villages which do not miss character as the small village of Guillaumes for example.
The Gorges of Daluis
By continuing, we arrive very quickly on the Gorges of Daluis, a site of a breathtaking beauty. Indeed, a red schist gives a dazzling color to its 900 meters long walls. A real little Colorado! The road in balconies which overhangs it will offer you impregnable views on the site. A series of tunnels leads you to the bridge of the Bride, take the opportunity to make a stop.
From Daluis to Castellane
If you want to go back to Le Verdon, turn right on the N202 in the direction of Annot – Castellane. However, we recommend you to make a small detour of a few kilometers in order to visit the medieval village of Entrevaux labelled “Village et Cité de caractère”. At the time, just like Colmars, this village was one of the last strongholds of the kingdom of France. That’s why in time, many improvements were made to the fortifications. In summer, you can enjoy walking through the streets of this village. As well as taking advantage of its terraces to have a drink or a meal.
If time permits, take the time to stop by Annot, known as “the country of sandstone”. Indeed, on about 40 square kilometers, around the village, you can find age-old sandstone blocks. Climbers and hikers are at the feast! But this is a subject for a whole day at least. For the first time, you will probably be satisfied with a short walk in the center of the village.