Greoux-les-Bains, Provence: tourism & sightseeing
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Greoux-les-Bains is to the south of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department, near Manosque. The town is best known as a long-established centre for high quality thermal waters - a reputation dating back at least 2000 years when the Ancient Romans occupied the region.
This small and typical Provencal town town can be sen as having three independent parts: the castle on the hill above Gréoux-les-Bains, the town centre with its shops and cafes, and the thermal baths.
France This Way comment: Greoux-les-Bains would not be considered as a major tourist destination unless you are here for the thermal baths, but if you are in the region or passing nearby it is pleasant to stop here for a look around.
The ruins of a 12th century templar castle - the Chateau des Hospitaliers de Saint-Jean - stand poised above the town. The tower and the castle keep to the north of the building are from the 12th century and the rest of the building is a 17th century reconstruction.
The castle is not in very good condition and there is not a lot to see when you visit but there are some benches which are a nice place for a picnic as well as views across the rooftops of Greoux-les-Bains. During the summer various events are held within the castle walls for the entertainment of visitors in a particularly evocative setting. Lovely on a summer evening!
The town centre in Greoux is quite pleasant to explore, with cafes to sustain you if the day is too hot, and various little features to discover as you explore - a traditional lavoir, a babbling fountain and a cluster of narrow medieval streets. The roman style Church of Notre Dame les Ormeaux also merits a visit.
Below the town centre and surrounded by gardens you will find one of the leading spa treatment centres in France. The baths at Greoux-les-Bains offer a wide range of treatments and options, and can also offer accommodation and a restaurant.
I don't think I have ever seen such a popular thermal baths: instead of the rather foreboding establishments that you find in many spa towns, the baths in Greoux-les-Bains seemed to be open to, and used by, everyone in the town over 50 years of age and it was a real hive of activity.
You can finish your visit perhaps with a shady stroll along the banks of the river Verdon below Greoux-les-Bains: the river here is very pretty with a scenic backdrop of cliffs and trees.
Greoux-les-Bains is set in attractive countryside including the lavender fields such as those around Valensole. The nearby Lac d'Esparron is also a pleasant spot for a stroll, to hire a boat, or to take a cruise across the lake.
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Map of Greoux-les-Bains and places to visit
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Address: Gréoux-les-Bains, Valensole, Digne-les-Bains, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Provence, 04800, France || GPS: latitude 43.759167, longitude 5.884167
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Barrage de Gréoux: site of natural beauty (4km)
- Lac d'Esparron: site of natural beauty (7km)
- Embouchure - Verdon: site of natural beauty (12km)
- Verdon (rivière): site of natural beauty (12km)
- Clos de Villeneuve: remarkable garden (12km)
- Lac de Quinson: site of natural beauty (14km)
- Jardins du prieuré de Salagon: remarkable garden (22km)
- Jardins du château de Sauvan: remarkable garden (22km)
- Lac de Sainte-Croix: site of natural beauty (24km)
- Prieuré Notre Dame (Ganagobie): religious monument (27km)
- Verdon: regional natural parc (27km)
- Moustiers: most beautiful village (29km)
Market days in Greoux-les-Bains, France
Regular market(s) are held in Greoux-les-Bains each Thursday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Greoux-les-Bains (Francais)