The Clues of BarlesNature Reserve

Clues of Barles © Mika Roux
Clues of Barles © OT BSP
Clues of Barles © OT BSP
Clues of Barles © Jens Jackman
Clues of Barles © Jens Jackman
Le Bès – Clues de Barles © Alain Sauvan

Clues of Barles
Clues of Barles
Clues of Barles
Clues of Barles
Clues of Barles
Le Bès – Clues de Barles
An integral part of the Geological Reserve of Haute Provence, the largest in Europe and a veritable open-air museum, the Clues de Barles can be visited by car, motorbike or bicycle!


Rocks, fossils, astonishingly varied landscapes tell a story dating back 300 million years.
The clues of Barles were opened by the Bès, in a limestone bar dating from the end of the Jurassic or the beginning of the lower Cretaceous, that is to say between 155 and 140 million years. The river made its way through very thick vertical layers, taking advantage of the fragility of the rock.

Many geological expeditions have been organized in the town of Barles, which is known worldwide for the diversity and complexity of its tectonic and sedimentary phenomena.
From the XNUMXth century, at the time of Gassendi, scientists were intrigued by the unique arrangement of the rocks in the region, and the origin of the mysterious fossils. But the rise of geology in the Basses-Alpes dates back to the first half of the XNUMXth century. Until the end of this century, discoveries were facilitated by the bareness of the mountains.
Deforested by centuries of cultivation and the collection of views, they revealed outcrops, slabs, fossils... Just after 1945, Barles became a popular base camp for stratigraphers, paleontologists and tectonicians.

At the entrance you will find a strange stone sculpture. It is one of the "sentinels" of the contemporary artist Andy Goldsworthy, who thus opens the path of the route of contemporary art and the Geopark.

At the exit of Barles, the clues become so narrow that it is difficult to pass with two cars.

At the entrance to Provence, the splendid rocky landscape of the Clues de Barles overlooks the cool Bès river. These clues are idyllic for geology buffs or simply people looking for an exotic and cool nature break.

Labels & accessibility

  • Circuits of France_POI
  • Nature Reserve
  • Haute Provence Geopark



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Comfort / services

  • Pet Friendly

Pet Friendly


All year.


Village of La Robine sur Galabre

Historic site and monument