•Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04330) • Population: 442 • Altitude: 722 m
The town center, with a couple of outdoor cafés, is right on the busy N202, so take a five-minute walk up the pretty lane, over the footbridge by the weeping willows and past the old lavender distillery to the train station.
At the side of the station is an outdoor picnic area, with wooden benches and tables shaded by Giant Sequoias and pines a hundred-plus years old (like those at St. André-les-Alpes and Moriez).
Photo 3 and 4 were contributed by Bas Bruning from Holland.
Napoléon stopped overnight here, on 3 March 1815, and there is a plaque to this effect on the wall of a house at the side of the N85 in the center of town.
Barrême is named after a geological stage in the Lower Cretaceous period, and the town is located in an area rich in geological fossils. The tiny Train-des-Pignes station has a one-room geological museum dedicated to this period. This museum is small and personal, made by someone with love and care. It includes a large three-dimensional wall display of the different geological periods, charts, maps, and many local fossils.
• GPS: 43.952019, 6.366227
IGN (1/25,000) #3441 OT "Barreme, Vallee de l'Asse, Verdon"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #19 "Haute Provence Verdon"
Barrême is surrounded by hills and mountains with peaks between 1700 and 2000 m,
and several forests.
• For a picnic hike, go out through the back of the town (north) and climb up to the Chapel St. Jean. You can sit on the hill (821 m) overlooking the town and see the valleys below and the surrounding hills. This is just less than an hour's climb, and only partly shaded, so it can get pretty hot in the summer. There's plenty of grass for picknicking, and you can shelter in the chapel if you're caught by a sudden shower (as we were).
• Hikes marked by wooden signposts at the train station are for:
Montagne de Pieyes, 8 h
Château plus haut, 6 h. There's a ruin here, near a 1266 m peak northwest of Barrême.
Chaudon-Digne, 10 h. This trail will take you northwest, past the tiny village of Chaudon (at 1016 m) and on to Digne. This hike could be done as a "loop", using the Train des Pignes to return to your starting point.
• Check the Hiking part of the St André page.
Hotel-Restaurant de la Gare. This is a small hotel-restaurant-café beside the station, with tables set out beneath the shade of climbing grape vines and huge lime trees; it's very quiet and very lovely. Its cuisine familiale, by René Carron. Tel: (33) 492 34 20 03.
Bus Nice - Gap
- There are two buses a day between Nice and Gap, with the route Nice - Digne-les-Bains - Sisteron, and Sisteron - Gap.
Northbound: Nice 7h00, Digne 10h10, Sisteron 11h00, Gap 11h45.
Nice 14h50, Digne 17h40, Sisteron 18h45, Gap 19h40.
Southbound: Gap 8h05, Sisteron 9h10, Digne 9h50, Nice 12h40
Gap 15h28, Sisteron 16h30, Digne 17h25, Nice 2030
The Nice - Gap bus route is: Nice, Plan-du-Var, Touet-sur-Var, Puget-Thenier, Entreveaux, Annot-Scaffarel, Rouaine, Saint Julien, St André-les-Alpes, Moriez, Barreme, Norante, Chateau-Redon, Digne-les-Bains, Mallemoisson, Malijai, Chateau-Arnoux, Volonne, Peipin, Bons Enfants, Sisteron, Le Poet, Rourebeau, Beynon, Valenty, Monetier-Allemont, Le Vivas, La Saulce, Tallard, Chateauvieux, La Tourronde, Gap.
The route and schedule is available on the SCAL-Autocars website (link below); select Nice / Gap and click on one symbol to view the route map, click on the other symbol for the schedule. (Schedule link http://www.scal-amv-voyages.com/horaires/circuit9.htm)
At Nice, the bus terminal is at 16 ave des Diables Bleus (Tramway stop Palais des Expositions)
- Web: www.scal-amv-voyages.com/ligne.htm
Department 04, Alpes-de-Haute Provence Buses
- See Beyond's Alpes-de-Haute Provence (04) Bus Schedules for downloading Alpes-de-Haute Provence bus-lines map and bus-line schedules [pdf for each line] (link for PDF files).