The UNESCO Geopark of Haute Provence
Welcome to the UNESCO Geopark of Haute Provence! Geoparks are territories labeled by UNESCO, for their geological heritage but also their remarkable cultural, natural and intangible heritage. 169 geoparks exist in the world in 2021. That of Haute Provence was the first to be created, in 2000. The Haute Provence Geopark offers you a journey through 300 million years of Earth history.
From the Carboniferous rainforest, seas populated by strange creatures from the Secondary and Tertiary eras, to traces of Quaternary glaciations, these different periods have shaped the landscapes of today.
Of the 67 communes of the Alpes de Haute Provence over which the Geopark extends, the diversity is striking. The different types of rocks, inherited from the region's geological past, give characteristic colors to the landscapes of Haute Provence: the gullies formed by the erosion of black marls, the clues formed by Jurassic limestone rocks, the red traces left by gypsum deposits...
The Geopark also lists many fossil sites, such as the Ammonite slab concentrating 1.500 fossils of ammonites, nautiluses or pentacrines on 320 m² at the exit of Digne les Bains (direction Barles): unique in the world and envied by the Japanese to such an extent that a molding is exhibited in the town of Kamaïshi!
It is the Geological Nature Reserve of Haute Provence which is responsible for their conservation and the taking of fossils is prohibited within its perimeter of protection.
Beyond its remarkable geological heritage, the Geopark of Haute Provence invites you to discover its natural and human history and its traditions. The Provençal language, customs and local products are part of the heritage of the Geopark, as well as contemporary art. A land of inspiration, the Geopark has been chosen by artists such as Andy goldsworthy to create original works in connection with nature.
5 routes to discover all the diversity of the Geopark
5 discovery routes cross the emblematic and heritage places of Haute-Provence and its sumptuous landscapes. Browse the interactive map or download our discovery map to prepare your outing independently.
Each of these routes has its own theme and can be covered by car in one day (apart from walks), departing from Digne-les-Bains or Sisteron. More than 130 developed sites are to be discovered among which you will meet the inhabitants of this country, partners of the UNESCO Geopark: restaurateurs, accommodation providers, craftsmen or producers, proud of their land and their passion.
The treasures of the Geopark of Haute Provence are everywhere, don't wait any longer to meet them! Time travel can begin at Promenade Museum in Digne les Bains by exploring the themed trails and exhibition halls.