Orpierre the climbing village

Orpierre is a charming village in the Baronnies Provençales , located in the valley of Céans, 12 km from Laragne, in the South of the Hautes-Alpes. Backed by the mountains, the village of Orpierre is famous all over the world for its cliffs which it is linked to by history and a great passion: climbing!

History of Orpierre...

Here, stone is an ever-present mineral friend ... By the way, the ancient Latin name of Orpierre means "stony valley" (Vallis Petrosus), transformed during the Middle Ages to "Valperrus". Slowly and after many evolutions it became the current Orpierre. The treasure of the village is not gold (even if ‘or’gold in French is part of the name). Its treasures are the stones. The rocks that surround it, the Suillet 1324 m, the Rocher St-Michel 1216 m, the Rocher du Quiquillon 1025m, form a barrier that conserved the soul of the village of by bygone days. The medieval village occupied a strategic location, leaning against the rock, surrounded by ramparts and dominated by a small castle. It ensured safety for the inhabitants and controlled the obligatory passage between Italy and Avignon, on the Route of the Princes of Orange. Within the walls of the old village, life was intense; bourgeois, notables, artisans, merchants, farmers… and their herds rubbed shoulders.


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Orpierre, the climbing village

Take a strong and varied rocky mountain, brighten it up with 300 days of sunshine a year, and add a good dose of conviviality, mix it all into a small village at the foot of climbing routes... this is the recipe of the magnificent cliffs of Orpierre, one of the top 10 best climbing sites of France! Orpierre is an "international sunny destination" where the climbing season runs from March to November, in a warm and Provencal atmosphere. Climbing these routes between 700m and 1200m above sea level, according to the sun exposure, you will always find either some cool spot in summer or sunny wall in spring and autumn. Entirely surrounded by cliffs, the village lives to the rhythm of the seasons and of the climbers who can be followed with one’s eyes even from the main square in full action progressing up the overhangs of the cliff of the Castle, or on the flagstones of Belleric or on top of Quiquillon. You are for sure in "the climbing village".
With over 600 well-equipped climbing routes at every level (from 3a to 8c), with an elevation varying from flat slabs to impressive slopes, every climber will get his own kicks in this little corner of the Southern Alps. Add to that a climbing shop at the foot of the cliffs, professional mountaineers at your service, 2 equipped climbing walls within the campsites of Orpierre, and a welcoming atmosphere... You just need to park your car and enjoy your stay according to the rhythm of Orpierre where every climb is directly accessible on foot from the village!

focus on...
the dovecotes

curious little houses that we often see in an open field. The raised roof of 50cm on 3 sides, and the glazed tiles around the entrances protect the pigeons from the predators such as the weasels, rats, martens or raptors.


Orpierre possesses blue gold! If you travel in July you can see in the landscape from the top of the cliffs pretty blue spots... these are blossoming lavender fields! Our soil is ideal for the cultivation of lavender, which was once endangered, but the little blue flower has made a comeback over the past few years around Orpierre to the delight of locals and tourists.
Besides climbing Orpierre is a paradise for all outdoors activities... small stroll or great hike, on the ground, in the water or in the air, on foot, on horseback or by bike... each one according to one’s own pace and style! Enjoy your free time; get some fresh air surrounded by nature!

Did you know ?

That in the 80s, Orpierre was saved from abandonment by the cliffs... thanks to the will of a few enthusiasts, especially the former mayor M. Raymond CHAUVET. They decided to support the village by developing climbing. A massive amount of work was done to put in climbing routes. They rectified the stones, carved the rock, secured the cliffs and opened the routes, to offer alpinists the pleasure of climbing safely whatever their level is.


Sisteron Buëch

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