Walking France’s Garrigue

Walking France’s Garrigue
Concise details on the Walking France’s Garrigue tour can be obtained by downloading the tour pdf [right]. Alternatively, read the tour description below and click through the sub-headings in the right-hand column for information on access, accommodation, availability, content and prices.

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.

Walking France’s Garrigue is a hiking extravaganza across undulating lowland that’s perfect for walking all year round. Experience, smell and taste the difference!

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.

Gard map

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.

    Prices
  • €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.
Note: Please contact us to check for the latest Sterling prices. Sterling prices are confirmed at the time of booking.
  • 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.

    Day 2

    Alès to Vezenobres

    [4 hrs, 7½ miles-11 kms, +105ms/-140ms]

    Venerable Vezenobres

    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

    Day 3

    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

    Day 4

    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

    Day 5

    Russan to La Calmette

    [4 hrs, 7½ miles-11 kms, +/-130 ms.]

    Sacred Circulade

    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

    Day 6

    La Calmette to Nimes

    [10½ miles-16 kms, +85ms/-130ms,
    5½ hrs.]

    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!

    Further Reading
    Our article on:

    Independent testimonials about The Enlightened Traveller can be read here:

    Walking France’s Garrigue
    3.9 Our Rating
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    Pros
    • 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
    Cons
    • Too hot to handle in July and August
    • The best times to walk the trail [May & September] are the most popular
    Theme
    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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