Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04230) Population: 99 Altitude: 766 m
Lardiers is very tiny village, 12 km northeast of Banon, 18 km north of Forcalquier. It's in a long valley, full of lavender fields, surrounded by low forested hills (with brown oak leaves in the winter and green in spring and summer), with the Lure mountains just behind.
It's a good place to enjoy the calm and absorb the fragrance of Provence; lavander fields grow at the edges of the village itself [photo-2].
There isn't much for sightseeing in the village, but the picturesque covered lavoir at the edge of the village [photo-3] is nice, and has a long wooden beam for hanging clothes while washing [photo-4].
The central "place" has the Café de la Lavande, a seemingly typical Provencal café [photo-5]. This café, though, is a jewel. If you like fine dining, you'll be very pleasantly surprised, and if you like fine wines, you'll be astounded.
Beside the D12 road about a km north of the village is the remains of a rectangular dry-stone house, very much in the style of the bories, but not round and it obviously didn't have the pointed stone roof.
History of Lardiers
From the 13th century, Lardier belonged to the Hospitaliers de St-Jean-de-Jerusalem, who received the Chevaliers de Malta. It was the Chevaliers de Malta who built the church. In 1471, the village was uninhabited.
• GPS: 44.057237, 5.712435
IGN (1/25,000) #3341 OT "Montagne de Lure, Les Mees, Chateau-Arnoux"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #28 "Montagne de Lure, Val de Durance"
Lardiers is on a Grande Randonnée that makes a long tour of the Lure mountains, called "GR de Paye tour de la Montagne de Lure" (TdL).
To the north, the TdL GR goes up the valley and through the hills to the village of l'Hospitalet, and then up to the Col St Vincent (1287 m)
To the east, the TdL GR goes across the forested hills, with very little climbing, to St Etienne-les-Orgues.
To the south, another branch of the TdL GR passes near Ongles and eventually joins with the GR6 Hiking Trail west of Limans.
Lardiers is a great place to plan your lunch stop, but the little café de la Lavande is popular so be sure to reserve. The café is one of the regional "Bistros de Pays", a selection of places that stand out for their food, their wine, or simply for their warm welcome.
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).
Lodging nearby in St Etienne-les-Orgues and Forcalquier.