A fine, bucolic Roman trail through France’s scenic Mediterranean hinterlands en route to Gallo-Roman Nemausus.”W alking France’s Garrigue is a light walking holiday that sees you walking in one of the most enigmatic, yet distinctive, regions in which man has chosen to settle – the Mediterranean Garrigues and the hinterland of Nimes. You can literally smell that you are in the south of France, where plant-life is especially adapted to the hot, dry climate and radiates perfumed oils – Artemisia, Lavender, Rosemary, Sage and Wild Thyme.
The walking holiday affords many insights:
I. Garrigues summers are hot and dry. Moreover, the climate is particularly amenable to hiking out-of-season, so you can enjoy the special experience when most holiday-makers are back at work. Winters are particularly mild, so whilst the rest of Europe has its skis and snow boots on, you can walk the long and fine, sunshine-drenched autumn and winter afternoons in relatively-light clothing.
Winters are particularly mild, so whilst the rest of Europe has its skis and snow boots on, you can walk the long and fine, sunshine-drenched autumn and winter afternoons in relatively-light clothing.
II. The terrain is undulating lowland, perfect for those who enjoy a good walk without testing ascents and descents. You rarely get above 200 metres, but the walking is anything but flat as you hike a series of hill-top villages stretched out along the Gardon Valley.
III. This is Huguenots territory and some of France’s oldest Protestant churches are to be found here – now under the tutelage of the French state – as well as fascinating stories of battles lost and won. The St-Giles Way passed along The Gardon Valley en route to the Promise Land.
IV. It is an intensely human environment: in contrast with many of the walking holidays in France that we offer, which provide access to relatively remote parts of France, the Garrigues has always been and remains a quintessentially human environment. The landscape of the Languedoc Garrigues is agricultural-led, dominated by vines and olives.
Walking France’s Garrigue takes you across undulating lowland from Ales to Nimes, the Gallo-Roman capital of southern France, on a trail perfect for afficionados of horticulture, Mediterranean food and healthy living; for those who like to enjoy the fruits of the countryside whilst remaining intimately attached to civilization.
- €595.00 Euros or £530.00 Pounds Sterling [per person, shared double or twin-bedded room]
- What’s Included
- B&B: 6-nights in 2-star hotels or equivalent chambres d’hotes
- Luggage transfers & transport integral to tour
- Maps, excellent walking notes & dossier
- 7/7 Telephone back-up & support.
- Access Roman Nimes via a unique trail
- Discover Huguenots country
- Enjoy a taste of the Cevennes foothills
- Explore a Roman trail linking hill-top villages
- Fine character accommodation, Mediterranean cuisine & Costieres wines
- Stay in Medieval Vezenobres
- 6-night, self-guided and light tour
- Start any day, all year round
- Tour starts in Alès, finishes in Nimes
- Best access: Nimes airport [Ryan Air] or SNCF
- Good accommodation standard.
- We transport your luggage, you just carry a light day pack.
- Best access is via Nimes airport or SNCF/TGV station [4 hrs on TGV from Paris or Lille] with 40 min. onward journey to Ales – please ask for details.
- Other convenient options are via Lyon or Montpellier airports, with onward TGV to Nimes – 60 and 30 minute journeys, respectively. Marseille is another possibility.
- Alternative access is via Clermont-Ferrand airport or SNCF station [regional rail link with Paris], with onward journey on Le Cevenol to Ales in 4.5 hours – please ask for details.
- Good level of character and comfort, with outdoor swimming pools on three stop-overs – May to September.
- Mix of 2- and 3-star standard hotels plus charming chambres d’hotes.
- One night in Ales – 3-star hotel
- Two nights in Vezenobres
- One night in Russan
- One night in La Calmette
- One night in Nimes centre – 3-star hotel.
- Hot, dry summers; mild & sunny winters
- Undulating Mediterranean lowland punctuated by historic villages & hamlets and the Gardon River
Walking France’s Garrigue – Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Alès a busy market-town unreliant on tourism and gateway to Cevennes – 3* hotel in town centre.
Alès to Vezenobres
[4 hrs, 7½ miles-11 kms, +105ms/-140ms]
Bid farewell to the Cevennes foothills and stroll the banks of The Gardon. Connect with the Roman trail at St Hilaire and enjoy a bucolic saunter to the medieval masterpiece, fig capital and Regordane watering-hole.
Night in Vezenobres
Vezenobres to Moussac
[4 hrs, 7½ miles-11 kms, +60 ms/-85 ms].
The Villages of The Regordane
The Roman trail laces together four fine villages and a remarkable fortified hamlet. Each oozes character and history as you enjoy the peaceful, scenic garrigues at its best. Late afternoon transfer back to hotel.
Second night in Vezenobres
Moussac to Russan
[5 hrs, 10½ miles-17 kms, + 55ms/-60 ms].
Gardonnenque & Garrigues
Short, after-breakfast transfer to rejoin the trail. You enjoy a leisurely walk across the scenic Gardonnenque followed by a gentle climb into the dry, limestone Garrigues. Then descend to pictureque Russan perched at the beginning of the Gorges du Gardon.
Night in Russan
Russan to La Calmette
[4 hrs, 7½ miles-11 kms, +/-130 ms.]
You trail undulates to Roman Dions and its ‘Devil’s punchbowl’ before La Calmette with its ancient ‘circulade,’ or rare inner sanctum.
Night in La Calmette
La Calmette to Nimes
[10½ miles-16 kms, +85ms/-130ms,
The Road to Nemausus
Stride out across bucolic hillocks on a rustic trail to some fine, ornate woods en route to the Roman Tour Magna and the splendours of Les Jardins de la Fontaines.
Night in 3* hotel in the historic centre of Nimes
Day 7: Departure day – by train. Bon retour et a la prochain!
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Independent testimonials about The Enlightened Traveller can be read here:
- A gentle stroll across the Mediteranean hinterland and the land of Olive, Thyme and Vine
- Follow a historic Roman trail that connects the villages of the Gardon Valley
- Enjoy a mix of comfortable hotel and stone chambres d'hotes du charme
- Too hot to handle in July and August
- The best times to walk the trail [May & September] are the most popular
A journey along an ancient Roman trail and the Gardon Valley across classic Mediteranean lowland en route to Gallo-Roman Nimes."
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