Sentier Blanc-Martel

Sentier Blanc-Martel, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur: Address, Phone Number, Sentier Blanc-Martel Reviews: 4.5/5

Sentier Blanc-Martel
4.5
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Hujanais
1 contribution
Verdon canyon boating and hiking the Sentier Blanc Martel
Aug. 2019
In August, we drove from Avignon to Nice and stayed 2 nights in the Verdon Canyon area. We stayed the 1st night at Aiquines where we did some late afternoon boating on Lake Sainte-Croix. We visited the Luberons all day and unfortunately got to the lake very late in the day. I would reckon you will need at least 3 hours to really enjoy kayaking in the gorge, we had less than 1.5 hours before the boat rental place closed.

2 days earlier, I have called Verdon Taxi to arrange transportation from Point Sublime to Chalet Marline. Since we were there on a weekend, we only got a 10am pickup and when we got to Point Sublime, the parking lot was already full but luckily there were a few roadside parking left. If I would do it again, definitely start earlier. Incidentally, it seems that the Taxi runs every hour because it is at least a 30 minute drive from Sublime to Chalet Marline.

We are fit adults with 2 fit teens so the hike was not a worry. We didn't have hiking boots but just wore regular trail shoes which was just fine. The hike was absolutely awesome because you can practically have views the entire way unlike mountain hikes where you are in the forest for 90% of the hike an then 10% of open views. There were also 5-6 opportunities that you can go hang out at the river and go for a swim(we didn't but did see people do it. too cold!). The signs did warn that the hike will take 6 hours to complete(1 way) and even with our fast walking it took us close to 7 hours mostly because we had a picnic and enjoyed the river too much along the way. If you are pressed of time and just keep going, 4.5hr is doable but not recommended. We brought a total of 6L of water which is a bare minimum. >8L will be better.

Definitely park the car at Pt. Sublime and then hike back to the car. This way you have no time pressure and just enjoy the wonder of nature.

P.S. We stayed at Hotel La Panoramic which allowed me to drop my bags off before heading to the parking lot and yes I did carry my passports with me on the hike. Leave nothing valuable in the car.
Written September 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tony F
2 contributions
Beautiful walk
Jun. 2019 • Couples
So we planned to drive to Point Sublime, get a bus to Maline and then walk back. The difficult part...we couldn't work out whether the buses from Point Sublime were running in advance, I have attached the bus timetable that was there when we visited, please check out the comments at the bottom which may help you work out what days the buses run.

Our 2nd option was a taxi however there are not a great deal of local companies. I managed to get a number from a nearby hotel.

0033668181313

This number is also on a sign at the car park in Sublime. We phoned the night before and he was booked up til 11am for the following day.

So we resorted to plan G, we drove to Maline after finding the buses were not running and then walked from there to La Mescla and back. This was an awesome walk, fantastic views, couple points to get to the river and Mescla is a nice half way point to eat lunch. Overall it took about 5 hours, towards the end it was getting very warm but you can get ice creams and cold drinks in Maline.

One thing to note, the path down from Maline has lots of loose scree/small rocks, they can slip and slide a fair bit when you are walking down, just beware!

So overall, painful to find out bus timetables in advance without seeing the most recent notice at the bus stop in Sublime, taxis are hard to book, didn't try hitchhiking, but to and from one place is still amazing!

Lastly there's small red and white markers on the rocks which help you find the route :)
Written June 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Vitaly Shanin
Moscow, Russia6 contributions
Beautiful pristine nature
Mar. 2019 • Solo
Not an easy hike for sure. But absolutely worth it - the views are majestic and diverse, nature here is untouched by human hand (except for the trail itself). There are several ups and downs during the path, so you can enjoy both views on the canyon from above, and look at the huge mountains from below. The trail is not paved, it's mostly just stones and cliffs, so make sure to do it in hiking shoes.

Worth to note that organizing taxi from the exit point to the car parking was not an easy task - I rang several local taxi companies phones, and was able to get affirmation only from one of them several hours later - so make sure to book ahead (or just hitchhike, as many people do around here). I actually picked up two French hitchhiking guys on my way here, and we walked the whole trail together with them.
Written April 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

zombieoctopus
83 contributions
Great way to see and experience Gorge du Verdon
Sep. 2018 • Friends
We left the car at point sublime and took the bus to Chalet de la Marline, which is the recommended direction. The bus only took the amount of people that could be seated, so if you choose to do this, make sure you're there early and in line. The trail is beautiful albeit tiring and it's definitely worth doing! 2l water is recommended and good hiking shoes help too. We did this early September and the weather was still really good. There are some high steps along the way, but generally the way is not so demanding.
Written September 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

AnT_8793
Warsaw, Poland43 contributions
Excellent hike. Attractive views on the river and gorge, tunnel passes, possibility to stay near the river
Jun. 2018
Long and tiring, but very rewarding hike. Goes through the best part of Verdon gorge, along the river, partly in the shade. Views change as much as the altitude of the path (which is easy to follow)
Written July 5, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Yossi M
London57 contributions
Well worth the wait on my bucket list - one of the best day-long hikes I've been on.
Jun. 2018 • Friends
The Sentier Blanc-Martel takes you down into a stunning gorge, to a brilliantly blue-green river. Words cannot do this view justice, other than to say it is unique and breath-taking, and absolutely worth the time. I have wanted to do this trail for a few years now, but failed to find the starting point when I first went. Having now done the walk, I'm not sure how I found it so difficult to find it.

The generally recommended starting point is Chalet de Maline, and the end point is Point Sublime. This is the approach that we took, and it is certainly a very logical one. You then get the benefit of the steeper descent and more gradual ascent. You'll be going down the 250-odd stairs, not up them. We parked at the bottom of Point Sublime, dodging the additional 30-minute ascent past the car park - we're quite happy to have skipped that bit.

Being the end of June, we had many hours of sunlight, and started the walk at about 2pm. We reached the car park below Point Sublime at 8:30pm (45 minutes before sunset). In hindsight, it might have been better to start much earlier, although we did benefit from the cooler afternoon for the end of the hike.

I would recommend sorting out transport before getting to the start of the hike - although it's quite simple to get to by shuttle bus or the public bus, the shuttle needs to be booked in advance if you want to be guaranteed a seat, and when we called the local taxi company to take us from our car to Chalet de Maline (a few hours' walk), there was no availability. We were very fortunate to get a lift from Point Sublime to La Palud sur Verdon, and then from there to Chalet de Maline, both in private cars from other holidaymakers.

This walk is not particularly challenging for fit and active people. I work at an office job and rarely get this level of exercise, and other than the sheer amount of up/down hiking, this walk is well within the capabilities of the average person. In fact, we saw children (about 8-10 years old) tackling this trail with little difficulty. That said, irresponsible behaviour could easily lead to serious injury or worse, so I would certainly not recommend this for children unsuited to keeping to a trail and following instructions.

I'd like to tackle a few prominent reviews here:

(1) "If you can walk for 6 hours then you can do this hike" - there is an uneven terrain (June 2018), a lot of stairs, and serious heights. There is a massive difference between walking for 6 hours on a mostly flat and even surface (think a countryside ramble) and negotiating uneven terrain.
(2) "HEAD TORCH or bright torches (not smartphone torch)" - a smartphone torch is perfectly adequate!
(3) "Do it before you’re too old as I cannot see myself hike this when I am 60!" - we encountered people over 70 on this hike, and I did it with my father, who is 69. As long as you are relatively mobile, and can handle lots of stairs and uneven terrain (and occasionally use your hands or a stick to stabilise yourself), you can make this walk.

I would absolutely recommend this hike to anyone who loves nature, or stunning views.
Written July 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

bud0ngd
Scotland, UK11 contributions
Feast for the eyes, great walk and unbeatable views - at least once in your life hike
Apr. 2018 • Family
This hike is superb. It's true that it takes a long time to finish but your effort and sweat (depend on what month of the year you go) will be rewarded with the natural beauty of Gorge du Verdon.

IT IS A ONE WAY HIKE, you can either start from 'Point Sublime' or 'Châlet de la Maline' and is labelled on the way-marked post as a 7 hours hike. IT IS recommended, if you want to do the full hike, to start from 'Châlet de la Maline' (this is what we did) as this is less strenuous. The trick to make your planning easier is to have a car (it's best to have one if you're having holiday in that region anyway) and parked at the lower road named "D23A" (located literally under 'Point Sublime' (google map it). Then walk up back into 'Point Sublime' main road (20-30 minute walk uphill). at this point you must already either, book a taxi or did a research about the limited bus timetable*.

*-. Bus in Verdon only runs from end of April to August as far as I’m aware, when we were there many people stranded because they do not know that the mini-bus IS NOT running (we're there on 21st April) and is very difficult to find latest Verdon bus timetable unless you're physically in 'Point Sublime' yourself (I think there is a timetable on the bus stop). WE’VE FOUND BEST TO ASK your Hotel / B&B / Accommodation owner to call the taxi and book IT FOR YOU (they will ask what time you want to get picked up. The taxi is not only there to pick solely you but it's a people carrier which would take 6-8 people at a time so when the taxi is full you can expect to only pay EUR6.50 per person which is the same cost as Bus (more or less). There is only one Taxi which always do the same trip the whole day.

Best to start early morning i.e., between 8am to 9.30am. What you need and to know:

Sturdy hiking boots, packed lunches, snacks (small amount of energy bar or gel would be very effective in here), AT LEAST 2 litre of water per person (we brought 3 litre per person and running out dry just at the very end of the hike), HEAD TORCH or bright torches (not smartphone torch), keep an eye for signed post and marker (marker is Red & White, like Monaco flag, painted on rocks or trees), can be hot in summer - we were lucky (or not) to have 29C weather on 21st of April, There are possibility people would ask for a lift (hitchhiker) to get back to their car (we did gave a couple a lift back to their car).

To start (from 'Châlet de la Maline'), the hike is brilliantly easy, gentle downhill, winding down, zig-zagging. 20 minutes later, you come across a viewing platform, its incredible view. Go back to the main trail and walk another 15-20 minutes to go down and it will take you to the bottom point which there is a post with direction sign. FOLLOW ‘Point Sublime’. From here on, it’s a super gentle hike around trees and there are a few points you can access to the river. NOTE: Pay attention to the DROWNING SIGN POST, the river can be dangerous to swim on. There is a WATER DAM owned by EDF at which any point can be opened to let the water go, and the water surge can be rapid and super quick WITHOUT ANY WARNING. YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE WASHED AWAY. Although we did have a quick dip on our feet. Just follow the trail again until you start gradually ascending and next thing you know you are by the highest point of the trail. There is another viewing platform where you must do an EASY climb. Then the spectacular point of view from the top of metal staircase to the bottom of the gorge, its like an illusion. The metal staircase is around 255 steps down and only can fit one person at a time, there are passing areas. Just keep going and enjoy the walk.
Around 5 hours later (approximately) you will reach series of tunnels, a word of warning there is a tunnel which you shouldn’t go into, instead keep following the sign for ‘Point Sublime’ or ask some other hikers. When entering the cave, it can be a bit cold, but its nice after long walk. Get torch on and beware for water puddles in the cave (some are ankles deep). There are tunnel windows where you can check the views too, gorgeous.

The second tunnel is much longer than the first one. Then after the second tunnel, you are nearly at the end. Keep walking and more of views and drinks and snacks (if there’s any left) and you will have ended up in the recommended road you have parked the car in.

It took us 6 hours exact and 4 hours and 30 minutes of moving times (6 hours are with photos, break, lunch stops). Our water was finished 2/3rd of the walk. Bag has no snack left either. It was easily the longest walk we have done, and we are not a hardcore hiker, just a normal 1 or 2 hours maximum of walker type. But what did we thought about it…? well, we are super happy to have it done and our eyes was pleased with the views, lots of photos to tell your friends, legs were tired, but the adrenaline was rushing in knowing it was ‘at least once in your life time MUST DO’. No Regrets.

Do it before you’re too old as I cannot see myself hike this when I am 60! It is possible nevertheless. Good luck and don’t forget to stop and admire the view Top, bottom and side-to-side 😊
Written May 10, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kathryn P
Shakopee, MN1 contribution
Most rewarding hike there is!
Apr. 2017 • Couples
We did this hike in May of 2015 and it was breathtaking! The water is so beautiful and the scenery is just amazing. There are some tricky spots to navigate and a crazy big staircase to climb but it is so worth it. Definitely bring a headlamp/flashlight as there are 2 tunnels you go through, and shoes that can get you through wet/slippery rocks.

I would highly recommend staying at the Chambres et Table d'Hôtes B&B in Castellane (if you've got a car). It is a crazy drive up into the mountains, but that B&B is straight out of a story book. It's about a 15-20 minute drive to the bus pick up for the Sentier Martel too.
Written March 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Nina S
Haapsalu, Estonia402 contributions
Beautiful and easy walk
Sep. 2017 • Couples
If you can walk for 6 hours then you can do this hike. It is not difficult even if you are afraid of heights. It is easier and more beautiful to walk from Chalet de la Maline to Point Sublime. Park your car at Park Sublime and take the preordered taxi to la Maline. Taxi costs around 32 euros but those are mini buses and fare could be shared. Walking this direction you begin going down hill and it is in the shade. Half way there are metal stairs down but it is between rocks and it does not make your head faint. Phone's flaslight is enough to go through 670 m long tunnel. In the end of September it was almost dry. We walked it in less than 4 hours without lunch, just drinking water and small snack. We had time to enjoy the views and took pictures. It is must do if you are in the region and able to walk for hours. The final up hill walk is relatively easy.
Written September 29, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Timothy J
Germany29 contributions
Awesome Hike - Must Do!
Aug. 2017 • Friends
If you're spending your holiday in the Provence area, make sure to visit the Gorge de Verdon. If you fancy hiking, do the Sentier Martel Trail. We started at Chalet La Maline and it took us about 5 hrs (including a swimming and picnic break). The scenery is truly unique and breathtaking.

When hiking one-way and taking the shuttle bus back to the car park (6€ per person), keep in mind that the latest bus runs at 4.30 pm. As it gets really hot and dry during summer months, don't forget to bring enough water.

Highly recommended!
Written August 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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