Tour description of Circuit de Viériou
Based on the medieval town of Coursegoules, this walking tour, circuit de Viériou is a panoramic tour of 7.5 km. It can be divided into 3 phases:
Phase 1 – the ascent to the plateau on the Cheiron mountain ridge of about 2 km,
Phase 2 – hiking along the plateau of about 2 km,
Phase 3 – the descent of about 3.5 km back to the city.
All 3 phases offer really nice views and this is a trip you will want to go many times.
- Length:5 km
- Difficulty: moderate
- Time spent: 3 hours
- Elevation +/- 430 m
The tour starts from the parking lot, “Parking du Colombier”, behind the city on a mound of 1020 m. From here, you are only 200 m to the path. It is recommended NOT to drive through the city as there is some very narrow passages and, instead, take the Chemin de Cousegle (D108) up to the car park.
From the car park, you now walk east, about 200 m, and the path starts on the left side towards Sommet de Viériou and Col de Coursegoules.
It is about 2 km to the top of the plateau. The increase is moderate and it takes about 40 min. The first part goes through a small piece of forest before getting out to the open countryside.
These are fine trails and you are already pampered here with good views.
This tour reaches a height of 1416 m.
The walk along the plateau
Well arrived at the top of the ridge Cheiron, the tour shows its potential. With 360 degree panoramic views, you have formidable views of the Mercantour Mountains to the north and the entire coastline along the Mediterranean Sea.
After completing the 2 km on the ridge of the Cheiron massif, the tour goes back to Coursegoules. Keep to the left when you meet crossing paths.
With about 2 km left of the tour, you will reach an intersection marked with a small hiker. Here you go straight out and, shortly after, you meet an old chapel, Chapelle Saint-Michel.
The Saint-Michel chapel was probably built on an ancient fanum of a Gallo-Roman villa.
The chapel was served by monks attached to the Lérins Monastery and a monastery in the Lagnes, area near Avignon.
Well-deserved break in the heart of the city
Well arrived at Coursegoules again, you can appropriately finish with a small snack on the cozy little square, Place de la Clastre.
Facts on Coursegoules: Coursegoules is a small village of about 600 inhabitants in the Vence Highlands, stretching from the Col de Vence to the Cheiron Massif, in the north, and the Saint-Barnabé plateau, in the south.
It is a formerly fortified medieval town and you can still find remnants of fortification, ramparts and gate.
One of the highlights of the city is the 12th-century Romanesque church of Saint-Marie-Madeleine.
By Tommy Sverre – 2022