Col de Murs - Provence Beyond
A beautiful mountain road between Murs and Venasque crosses the Plateau de Vaucluse via the Col de Murs (Murs Pass, 627 m). The entire length is thickly forested, with oak trees and buisson.
At the top of the pass, there are lovely and private places for walking and picknicking (you won't leave any refuse behind, of course).
Near the top, the road passes through the Fôret de Murs. Towards the northwestern end, near Venasque, the road goes down through the fôret de Venasque and through a deep, rocky gorge. In addition to the natural beauty of this part, some of the cliff walls have caves and some beautiful formations.
There are also lovely picknicking sites at this northwestern end of the pass, with solid and natural looking tables erected in little glens alongside the road.
• GPS: 43.976938, 5.226185
IGN (1/25,000) #3141 est "St-Saturnin-lès-Apt"
A hiking trail (bridal trail) crosses the road right at the col (pass).
To the north, this trail goes down the mountain through the Venasque forest, with one trail branching west towards the village of Venasque and the other continuing north to the village of Méthamis.
• About 600 m along the trail to the north, a trail branches off to the northeast, going out through the forest to travel alongside the Mur de la Peste (the plague wall). Like a tiny version of the Great Wall of China, the Mur de la Peste was erected to keep out invaders, in this case the invader was the plague, being carried by people fleeing the sickness from Marseilles.
• The trail (hiking and bridal) southwest from the Col de Murs follows along the top of the Plateau de Vaucluse through beautiful forests. About 4 km out, one branch of the trail passes along another section of the Mur de la Peste (the plague wall). Several other trails branch off to drop down off the plateau to north and south. Continuing on along the plateau, the trail eventually joins the GR91 and GR97-6 (Grande Randonnée) trails near Fontaine-de-Vaucluse.