Walking Gardon Gorge is a 21st Century hiking odyssey along a Roman trail to the magnificent Pont du Gard and beyond.”
W alking Gardon Gorge is a light walking holiday that sees you following the course taken by one of France’s most enigmatic rivers, as it sweeps its way from the Cevennes foothills, across Mediterranean Garrigues and into deeply-incised limestone canyon. You discover its multi-faceted history as you follow an ancient Roman hill-top trail to France’s second-most-visited cultural icon, the Pont du Gard. You approach it from a trail that only the cognoscenti use and so enjoy some superb views that few others get to see. Then follow its ruins to a nearby village from where the rock used to build the famous aqueduct was originally hewn.
Your learning curve acquaints you with two millennia of history along the ‘Gardonnenque’ as it is affectionately known locally, plus the human and physical geography of the Garrigues and the Gorge. Like the River itself, you meander through the sun-drenched, oft sandy but normally stony soils of greater Nimes and its Costiere region, where arguably some of France’s best regional wine is produced on domains that date back to the Roman era. The latent botanist will be rewarded by camomile, cacti and fig, alongside the omnipresent and traditional olive and vine.
Walking Gardon Gorge finishes in Uzès, The First Duchy of France. This fine and historically-significant town is also home to the Region’s best Saturday-morning market, so French market aficionados may like to plan their tour so departure day is on a Saturday or Sunday in order to enjoy this colourful spectacle before departure.
- Prices are per person, based on a shared double or twin-bedded room
- £695.00 Pounds Sterling
- €795.00 Euros
Note: Please contact us to check for the latest Sterling prices. Sterling prices are confirmed at the time of booking.
- Pont du Gard
- Huguenots history
- Explore a Grotto [Outside nesting season]
- Roman trail linking hill-top villages
- Uzès – First Duchy of France.
- 7-night, self-guided tour
- Start any day, all year round
- Start in Alès, finish in Uzès
- Best access: Nimes
- Excellent accommodation.
- We transport your luggage, you just carry a light day pack.
- 7-nights B&B in a range of excellent quality 2-and 3-star hotels & chambres d’hotes du charme
- Luggage transfers throughout
- Three people transfers integral to the tour
- 1:25,000 scale maps, excellent walking notes & tour dossier
- Telephone back-up & support.
- Best access is via Nimes airport or SNCF 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.
- 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.
- High accommodation standard throughout, with double or twin beds and en suite facilties.
- Mix of 2-star hotels, character chambres d’hotes and 3-star hotels
- One night in Ales
- Two nights in Vezenobres
- One night in Russan
- One night in Collias
- Two nights in historic Uzès
- Hot, dry summers; mild & sunny winters
- Undulating Mediterranean lowland and limestone canyons
Walking Gardon Gorge – 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-11kms, +/-185 ms]
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
[4½ hrs, 7½ miles-12 kms, +60ms/-85ms].
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. Collection late afternoon and transfer to your overnight accommodation.
Second night in Vezenobres.
Moussac to Russan
[5½ hrs, 10½ miles-17 kms, +55ms/-60ms].
Gardonnenque & Garrigues
Transfer back to Moussac after breakfast. 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 Collias
[13½ miles-21½ kms, +271ms/-301ms,
Picture-postcard Russan enjoys a fine vantage point over the Gardon. In summer the river is subterranean. Castellas offers a classic, vertiginous U-bend and cliff-face and the ridge to the bridge is enchanting. Option to ‘halve’ this day involves an extra night in Russan – please ask us for details.
Night in Collias.
Collias to Pont du Gard
[7 miles-11 kms, +128ms/-110ms, 4 hrs,
excluding exploring the aqueduct itself].
Towards Pont du Gard
The Pont du Gard: 49 ms in height and 275 m (300 yards) long. You have earned the right to walk its sacred stones and then follow a fascinating trail that unravels a few more of the mysteries that surround this marvel of architecture, human ingenuity and science.
Late afternoon transfer to Uzès and night in the historic First Duchy of France.
Night in Uzès.
Uzès circular hike.
[3 hrs, 5½ miles-8½ kms.]
Enjoy a bucolic hike around the Uzès hinterland in search of the source of the waters that fed the Pont du Gard and supplied Roman Nimes with water.
Second night in Uzès.
Day 8: Departure day – although there’s plenty to enjoy if you want to stay for an extra day/night.
Independent testimonials about The Enlightened Traveller can be read here:
- Walk a Roman trail across the Cevennes foothills along the historically-important Gardon Valley
- Stay in a selection of charming stone hotels, chambres d'hotes and gites
- The biggest of finishes - The Pont du Gard and Uzes, the First Duchy of France
- Too hot to handle in July and August - best in early spring and from September to mid-October
- Only one evening meal is included - but local options abound elsewhere
- A mix of garrigues trail and small tarmac roads for three days, then it's all trail into the Gorge and beyond
Easy walking across panoramic mediterranean lowland, through olive tree and vine country, before entering the jowels of the Garon Gorge with its many natural and man-made splendours and re-emerging at the honey-pot that is Uzès."
Click to see our full range of Light walks in France