Le Rocher des Deux Trous (The Rock with Two Holes)

A Saint-Rémy-de-Provence walk posted on 08/08/15 by Serge V.. Update : 21/01/18

At the heart of the Alpilles Regional Nature Reserve, a small easy hike on good paths. The route takes you to the picturesque Rock with Two Holes painted by Van Gogh during his stay in Saint-Paul de Mausole from May 1889 to May 1890. It offers vast panoramic views over the two slopes of the Alpilles. To the south, in clear weather the view stretches to the Mediterranean, to the north over the Montagnette, the Gard, the Mont Ventoux, etc.

Technical sheet
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h35[?]
Distance Distance : 4.3mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 781ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 768ft
Highest point Highest point : 1070ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 341ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Alpilles
Location Location : Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (13210)
Starting point Starting point : N 43.776811° / E 4.833231°
Map IGN Map (Click to buy) : Ref. 3043OT

Description

Park in front of the Monastery of Saint-Paul de Mausole.

GR Trail (White-Red) /PR (Yellow)
(D) Opposite the entrance to Saint-Paul de Mausole, take the Chemin des carrières on the right. Go alongside the outer wall of the monastery.

PR Trail (Yellow)
Take the first path on the right which leads to the valley of Saint-Clerg (1) . Up to the top of the valley, the circular walk will be signposted by the botanical trail waymarkers. First, go alongside a small olive grove and then past some old stone quarries (below).
After a hairpin bend, ignore the small path to the left. Go through the gate. On your right, you will see the wire fence of the Ancient site of Glanum (2) .

You are in the relatively shaded valley of Saint-Clerg, which is appreciated in hot weather. Ignore a path climbing gently to the left. Go through a small rocky gorge and pass by the nearby ruins of a chapel. Ignore two paths which leave to the left. After a sharp bend and a good climb, you will join a small tarmacked path which leads to the Caume plateau (3).

Not waymarked
Don't take the route, instead take the path immediately on your left which slopes steeply. Ignore the two footpaths on your right and continue up to the top of this hill, where you will see a cairn.
From this 360° panoramic viewpoint (the view we've been aiming for), you will see: "Le Rocher des Deux Trous" down below. Go down the steep and rocky slope towards the rocky outcrop (the two holes are not visible at this level). You will meet a path. Continue straight on to go around the rock and admire the two holes formed by erosion. You can take some beautiful photos through these natural orifices.
Return to the track which we then take due south. It leads to the tarmacked route which we left earlier. Don't re-join this route, but instead continue onwards, taking the path on the left. It ends at the intersection of the route and a track which goes downhill (4).
GR6 Trail (White-Red)
Take the track on the left (Gaudre de Valrugues). After going downhill for a good distance in zigzags (the valley goes downhill steadily), cross through a small rocky gorge. At this point, the track is quite rutted as a result of torrential rain a few years ago. The track has never been restored.

Go through a gate (5), ignore the track crossing our route which descends straight on, alongside the properties. You will reach a crossroads of the waymarked paths (6).

GR 653D Trail (White-Red) / PR (Yellow)
Take the trail to the left, ignoring the other two paths on the left. Further on, the path is bordered on the left by low stone walls and shaded by magnificent oak trees, go through the two wooden gates.

At the small tarmacked path (7), take the right. Staying on it, it leads directly back to your point of departure by re-joining a section of the path we followed on the outward journey (1).

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. mi 0
1 : mi 0.08 - alt. mi 0.08 - On the right, valley of Saint-Clerg,
2 : mi 0.31 - alt. mi 0.31 - Glanum site, Roman ruins
3 : mi 1.38 - alt. mi 1.38 - Tarmacked route, take the path on the left
4 : mi 2.09 - alt. mi 2.09 - Follow the track downhill (Gaudre de Valrugues)
5 : mi 3.04 - alt. mi 3.04 - Go through the gate and continue straight on
6 : mi 3.61 - alt. mi 3.61 - Crossroads, take the left
7 : mi 3.78 - alt. mi 3.78 - Tarmacked route, take the right
D/A : mi 4.3 - alt. mi 4.3

Useful Information

Access to the Alpilles low mountain range is controlled from 1st June to 30th September.
See the website http://cg13.eway.fr/conditions.php

We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 3043OT.

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

Glanum site. site de Glanum
The botanical trail (plan more time if you want to read all the inscriptions on the plaques).

Opinions and comments

Average

Number of opinions : 48
Description quality : 3.81/4
Routemap quality : 3.70/4
Walk interest : 3.77/4
Global average : 3.76/4

florusp
Walker
on Sun 17 Sep 2017 21:38:15 CEST : Re: Le Rocher des Deux Trous (The Rock with Two Holes)

Date of walk : 17/09/17
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Good

Really enjoyed this walk. Did the walk while carrying my 4 months old son in a carrying bag. Therefor we selected an easy track. I would not classify the walk as easy since it contains steep parts with loose stones. More like regular. Great walk, less easy then expected!

Laurelhill
Walker
on Mon 26 Sep 2016 16:59:56 CEST : Re: Le Rocher des Deux Trous (The Rock with Two Holes)

Date of walk : 22/09/16
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Average
Walk interest : Good

It took me about 2 hours to do this walk. I memorised the route rather than carry my tablet. No problems and a very enjoyable short walk. The rock is amazing!

See the full discussion on this walk to find out more.

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