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Cirque d'Archiane

Drôme  >  France

This natural circus formation hidden away in the mountains of Drôme has been used for years as a staging ground for reintroduced vultures, who nest in the area.

Added* by Jeremy Jaegers
Most recent update 28 June 2022

Description

The beautiful and quiet natural area of Cirque d'Archiane is a haven for many vultures such as Griffon Vulture (which nests in the area and is very frequently observed) and even Bearded Vulture. But also other birds of prey like Short-toed Snake Eagle , Sparrowhawk and Booted Eagle. Songbirds are also present like Coal Tit, Goldcrest, Yellow-billed Chough, European Serin and House Martin among others.

The clearly marked "Sentier des vautours" (vultures' path) takes you from the small village of Archiane all the way to the ends of the circus, where two observation areas have been arranged, with informative signs on vulture breeding cycles and reintroductions. The highest one has a dominant view of the entire cirque, allowing for easy observation of the sky and mountains as well as a stunning view, while a second lower one has a fixed spotting scope pointed towards the specific area of the mountain-face where Griffon Vulture are known to nest.

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Français: Partez à la découverte du majestueux cirque d’Archiane, devenu un lieu privilégié de nidification du vautour. Découvrez les 4 espèces présentes sur le Vercors au fil des panneaux explicatifs et des points d’observation. Au détour du sentier, vous apercevrez peut être aussi des bouquetin.

Details

Access

The cirque is a short 5 km distance from the village of Menée along a well-maintained but winding mountain road. There is a large parking area just before the entrance of the village of Archiane in the cirque, it's forbidden to drive into the village with a car for non-residents. Click on the P in the map to get directions to the parking. From the parking it's a 5 minute walk to the beginning of the trail, which should be done by foot. The entire walk takes a little under four hours at a leisurely pace.

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Français: Le cirque est à une courte distance de 5 km du village de Menée le long d'une route de montagne bien entretenue mais sinueuse. Il y a un grand parking juste avant l'entrée du village d'Archiane dans le cirque, il est interdit d'entrer dans le village avec une voiture pour les non-résidents. Cliquez sur le P sur la carte pour obtenir l'itinéraire vers le parking. Depuis le parking, il y a 5 minutes à pied jusqu'au début du sentier, qui doit être fait à pied. La promenade entière prend un peu moins de quatre heures à un rythme tranquille.

Terrain and Habitat

Forest , Scattered trees and bushes , Grassland , Valley , Canyon/cliff , River , City/village

Conditions

Mountainous , Rocky , Dry

Circular trail

Yes

Is a telescope useful?

Yes

Good birding season

All year round

Best time to visit

Spring , Summer

Route

Narrow trail , Wide path

Difficulty walking trail

Average walk

Accessible by

Foot

Birdwatching hide / platform

Yes

View other birding spots in the area that are published on Birdingplaces

Map

Top 5 birds

Other birds you can see here

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