The Baronnies

The Baronnies are a mountainous country (altitude less than 1600 m), with a rugged landscape, which develops from west to east, from the plain of Valreas to the medium Durance valley, and from south to north, from Mont Ventoux to the Lure mountain at the margins of Diois.

The territory is partitioned into valleys (from north to south, valleys of the Eygues and Blaisance, Ouvèze and Céans, the Charuis and Méouge, and finally Toulourenc and Jabron) interspersed by ample synclinal downs (Rosans, Sainte-Jalle, Montauban, Lachau…) or cramped but fertile basins. Communication to pass from one valley to another has never been easy, despite many medium altitude passes.

The vegetation and crops consist, in the plain, of vineyards, fruit trees, olive groves on the hills, lavender fields on the plateau, but also forests of oak, juniper, boxwood, broom, and, on the furrowed slopes, colonies of Scots pine or black pine plantations that secure the ground. Agriculture sees its scope reduced and the population is driven to peripheral urban areas: Nyons, Valréas, Bollène, Vaison-la-Romaine, Orange, Carpentras and Avignon in the west, and Serres, Laragne, Sisteron, Forcalquier and Gap in the east.

The area is sunny, with luminous landscapes and yet the Mediterranean climate, dotted with hilltop villages and isolated farms.