Cézanne’s windmill and the Zola dam

A Le Tholonet walk posted on 10/09/15 by laurence30. Update : 27/11/16

A lovely walk which includes a chance to see Cézanne’s Windmill, to discover the ancient ruins of the Roman aqueduct and its waterfall and the Zola dam. In the distance you can see Mont Sainte-Victoire.

Technical sheet
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h40[?]
Distance Distance : 6.94km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 294m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 290m
Highest point Highest point : 307m
Lowest point Lowest point : 184m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Sainte-Victoire (Massif)
Location Location : Le Tholonet (13100)
Starting point Starting point : N 43.522264° / E 5.510519°
Map IGN Map (Click to buy) : Ref. 3244ET
Eglise du Tholonet Lac Zola Barrage Zola Château du Tholonet


Access : Arriving from Aix-En-Provence on the D17 (Route Cézanne), at the first car park on the right after the castle.

(D/A) From the car park, tackle the road to the right on the D17 (Route Cézanne) and, at the fork, stay on the left of the road until Cézanne’s windmill. Turn left, walk past the windmill. When alongside the cemetery, pass by the road headed right and left and continue ahead to on the Chemin de Doudon. Turn left at the gate, cross the fence and continue for approximately 210 m.

(1) Head left along the poorly marked trail (Yellow dots on a stone) which climbs up through the rocks, then back down to meet up with a path to the left. Head down this path (Red markings) as far as the ancient ruins of the Roman aqueduct and its little waterfall. Cross the water and climb the winding footpath ahead, passing behind Tholonet castle and arriving at an intersection. Take the stairs down to the small road below (at the information board).

(2) Turn right (Green markings). At the next intersection, turn right crossing the fence and head due north along a steep hill as far as the next intersection.

(3) Continue in the same direction (still marked with Green) on the trail that turns left soon afterwards, and heads down towards the log cabin (with picnic tables) and the Zola dam. Cross the dam, head uphill along the safety fence and follow the trail which heads south. Once this path turns left towards the east, look out for a trail ahead between rocky bars (with Green dots).

(4) The path heads downhill and joins a trail. Follow this to the left as far as the next intersection.

(5) Turn right (Yellow markings). Pass in front of the Doudon Aqueduct. Follow the path downhill to the right, heading west. It opens out further on to meet up with point (1).

(1) Return to the start along the first path of the walk.

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. km 0
1 : km 0.59 - alt. km 0.59 - Car park
2 : km 2.14 - alt. km 2.14 - Crossroads after Tholonet castle
3 : km 2.93 - alt. km 2.93 - Crossroads before the dam
4 : km 4.64 - alt. km 4.64 - Crossroads after the dam
5 : km 5.31 - alt. km 5.31 - Turn right, yellow markings
D/A : km 6.94 - alt. km 6.94

Informations pratiques

The car park is located after Tholonet castle, to the right when arriving from Aix en Provence.

There are picnic tables just before you arrive at the dam.

We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 3244ET.

Click here to see how to reach the starting point.

Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Download sheet and map

During the walk or to do/see around

  • Cézanne’s windmill.
  • Tholonet castle.
  • The ruins of the ancient aqueduct and its waterfall.
  • Zola dam
  • Panoramic view over Mont Sainte-Victoire

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