The medieval village of Volonne is situated in the Alpes de Haute Provence, on the left bank of the Durance, 14km to the south of Sisteron. It has a population of only1700 habitants and stretches out at the foot of a rocky hummock, under the protection of the watchtowers that overlook the valley of the Durance. All around it are orchards testifying to its mild and sunny climate; thanks to its southwestern exposure, it has been nicknamed "The Little Nice of the Alps".
The typical little lanes of the village, its beautiful stone houses and medieval gates, the fountains, the square lively with people playing pétanque, the bar and the café give the village a truly Provençal charm.
To see in Volonne:
- the 17th century Château Bastide built by Melchior de Valavoir, the lord of Volonne.
The plaster work on the main staircase is considered to be among the most beautiful from that period in Haute Provence.
- the Saint-Martin Church of Volonne, a precious example of primitive Romanesque art from the 11th century. In ruins, it is situated at the entrance to the cemetery and is listed as a historic monument since 1971. In 1993, the association “Renaissance de Saint Martin de Volonne”, presided over by the historian Georges Duby, started working to protect and restore this Romanesque church.
- the "Chemin de Rondes" on the old ramparts, with an aqueduct built in the late 16th, early 17th century. It continued to feed a mill and a fountain in the village up through the 19th century.
- the Tour de Guet watchtower and the Tour de l'Horloge clock tower. The esplanade offers a stunning panorama over the roofs of the village, the meanders of the Durance and the narrow rock cliffs know as the Pénitents des Mées.
The Tour de Guet, the highest of the two towers, is the remains of a former citadel from the 12th and 13th centuries.
The smaller tower holds the town clock, which dates from the 14th century.
Volonne's heritage may have what it takes to delight lovers of old architecture, but sports and nature lovers will not be disappointed either.
- the Tour du Lac has trails that cross the bird sanctuary of Haute Provence and lets you observe many species of migratory birds. This reservoir is listed as a ZICO (Zone of Importance for the Conservation of Birds). Don't forget to bring your binoculars and to download the application ECOBALADE
- the Val de Durance mountain biking base proposes 27 itineraries totaling 600 km of circuits.
- the Nautical Base situated on the Durance will let you indulge in a whole palette of water sports: canoe-kayaking, rowing, pedal boats... and also fishing (tourist fishing permits on sale at the campsite).
For safety reason, swimming is prohibited.
- Thrill seekers will have access to a multitude of sports activities: rafting, canyoning, aqua hiking, parasailing, hang-gliding, Via-Ferrata, gliding, parachuting...
Volonne is the ideal departure point for exploring the nature parks of the Verdon, the Luberon and the Mercantour, the untamed Jabron Valley, the Serre-Ponçon and Sainte-Croix lakes, the gorges of the Verdon and the natural gorges of the Méouge..