The village of Les Mées and its Pénitents
Don't miss the village of Les Mées, with its jagged rocks. Visit an olive grove whose oil is renowned for its high quality. In the heart of the village, discover the remnants of the Middle Ages through some still-existing doors.
Discover les Mées
In the heart of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, its name, Les Mées, Lei Mèas, means "millstone of wheat" which refers to the penitents. Les Mées offers you a beautiful walk thanks to its path which allows you to discover a very particular type of rock called Puddingstone. In fact, this type of rock was formed in the region several million years ago by the hardening of rock residues attached to the alpine rock. This natural formation, 2.5 km long, dominates the entire village of Les Mées. The village's fame is due to the various narrow rocks that reach a height of around 100 m above the village. A visit to the village of Les Mées and its surroundings is a must during your stay in Haute Provence at l'Hippocampe campsite.
What to do in Les Mées
Let yourself be overwhelmed by the village of Les Mées which offers a beautiful panorama. There is no shortage of things to do during your discovery, here are some ideas:
- Sentier des Pénitents: venture out on this trail which promises you a discovery of the Puddingstone, this rock so particular to the region. This 3.5 hour itinerary will allow you to admire this geological curiosity in its entirety.
- Chemin de la Colle: path leading through the penitents' roofs. It will allow you to overlook the village by leading you to the plateau where you can admire the lavender fields in bloom (June/July). From up there, you will see that this village is well situated at the foot of the hills which still serve as a rampart. On top of that, you can also see the village's famous primitive church, which was built on the remains of a Roman monument, a very authentic building.
- Les Pénitents: which are the rocks that are the notoriety of the village of Les Mées. They have inherited this name because of their long and narrow shape. Everyone can leave it to their imagination to find similarities to these unusual shapes, the legend says that it would be the petrification of the monks of the Montagne de Lure.
- The Olive groves: as mentioned above, Les Mées is the largest olive-growing commune in the region. There are nearly 80,000 olive trees in the vicinity of the village. Follow the path of the centuries-old olive trees (4km) and visit the oil mills.
The Penitents trail
Les Mées offers you a beautiful walk thanks to its path which allows you to discover a very particular type of rock called Puddingstone. This type of rock was formed in the region several million years ago by the hardening of rock residues attached to the Alpine rock. This natural edifice, 2.5 km long, dominates the entire village of Les Mées.
An old legend tells that the monks of the Lure mountain were petrified by Saint Donat at the time of the Saracen invasions and punished for falling in love with young women.
Venture along this path which promises you a discovery of the Puddingstone, this rock so particular to the region. This route will allow you to admire this geological curiosity in its entirety.
Distance from campsite:
13.6km / 16m
Duration of the tour:
2 to 3h30
Level of difficulty:
Your water bottle
Your hiking shoes
Your favourite cap/ hat
To vieuw the tour click here.
Go out and explore!
, 04190 Les mées