Domaine des Courmettes
Domaine des Courmettes is a private estate of 600 hectares, open to the public and located at the foot of the Pic de Courmettes at an altitude of 850m and offers a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean. However, the view rises to completely different heights if you go up to the top of the Pic de Courmettes at an altitude of 1248 meters.
Domaine des Courmettes is situated on a Natura 2000 site, witch is part of the Parc Naturel Régional des Préalpes d’Azur. It is managed as a nature reserve and offers excellent hiking in an unspoiled environment.
Domaine des Courmettes is a perfect starting point for hikes
The center’s attractive buildings of 850m² form the framework for the visit, where there is the opportunity for both a picnic and a starting point for good walks on the Pic des Courmettes.
Domaine des Courmettes is managed by “A Rocha”, and is one of two centers in France. The other is located in Arles. It welcomes groups and individuals to seminars and activities that raise awareness about environmental issues.
“A Rocha” is an international Christian organization that is active in nature conservation through its scientific studies and practical work to preserve the natural environment and educational activities.
March 1 – August 31, 8am to 8pm
September 1 – February 29, 8am to 6pm
- From October to January, the estate is completely closed on Thursdays due to the official hunts needed to control the populations of wild boar and red deer.
- From April to October, the place is rented out regularly on Saturdays. It is therefore not possible to have a picnic or to stay in front of the buildings.
- Groups, please contact us in advance. For any organized walks or activities you are asked to contact us in advance for permission and specific conditions.
The café and shop are open on weekends and there are public toilets. There are picnic areas in front of the buildings.
Respect the place
Since the property is a private property that is open to the public. you are therefore asked to comply with certain rules.
- No dogs allowed
- No vehicles except on the main access road and the car park (not guarded)
- Stick to the marked curves
Picnics only in front of the buildings (large groups must register in advance)
- Do not pick vegetation or remove minerals
- No open fire
- No camping or kite flying
- Take your waste home
Map of the estate and the walks
Three marked trails gives the possibility for peaceful walks or more energetic walks.
The history of the domain
The property has been registered in the area as far back as 1360 and in the middle of the 17th century there was both a castle and a church, which have since been destroyed in a fire. The site’s current buildings date back to the late 18th century.
In the years 1919-1929, the place functioned as a sanatorium for victims of the First World War and then in the years 1929-1934 as a sanatorium for children with fragile health.
From 1937 until 1964, Domaine des Courmettes was home to the French Girl Scout Association. In 1954, 1,500 Girl Scouts from around the world gathered here for “Expedition 54” in the presence of Lady Baden-Powell, widow of the founder of the Boy Baden-Powell Boy Scout movement.
From 1974, Domaine des Courmettes is transformed into a place to promote nature’s protection and understanding of the importance of biodiversity. From 2008, the operation of the Domaine des Courmettes is left to the Christian-founded organization “A Rocha”.
By Tommy Sverre – 2022