2 points of interest
A very compact cliff!
On the other bank of the Berthéou valley, it is possible to see a light-coloured, almost white, cliff: it is made of quartzites from the Triassic period, resting directly on top of the recognisable red pelite of the Paermian era.
This extremely compact rock was used on site to build the beautiful Berthéou viaduct, constructed at the beginning of the 20th century for the steam tramway which ran to Guillaumes.Quartzites can mainly be found in the “giant’s cauldrons” in the Berthéou valley, where they played an essential abrasive role. These natural swimming pools are a delight for fans of canyoning.
Still so many mysteries...
Much mystery still surrounds these pelites…when you visit this site in May, you will notice the one plant seems to particularly enjoy growing on these unpromising areas with these rocks: saxifrage icequeen (Saxifraga callosa).This plant which grows in rocky areas decorates the red cliffs in spring with its delightful clusters of flowers, whereas its leaves have a rough or even sharp edge. Looked at through a magnifying glass, the edge of the leaves really looks like a small saw: the plant gets rid of its excess minerals via the edge of its leaves much like glasswort does with salt.
From the car park, cross the road and at marker 66 take the path which sets off through the famous red ‘pelites’ (sedimentary rocks which date from the Permian Period, more than 250 million years ago) and which climbs more steeply from markers 5 and 6.
Continue on the discovery path on the right and head up toward the Mediterranean vegetation (downy oaks, boxwood and junipers) until signpost 7a at 952 metres in altitude (the highest point).
Carry on towards the right (south-east); the pathway along the mountain ridge leads to the locality called “Point sublime” whence, from a secure platform, you can look over the more than 100m-high Daluis Gorges; you will see an incredible landscape of giddying vertical surfaces and in the cliff face the remains of the copper mines.Follow the same route on the return journey.
- Departure : Pont de Berthéou, marker 66
- Arrival : Point sublime
- Towns crossed : Daluis and Guillaumes
For more information: http://www.reserves-naturelles.org/gorges-de-daluis
Access and parking
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