Walking France’s Garrigue
A fine, bucolic Roman trail through France’s scenic Mediterranean hinterlands en route to Gallo-Roman Nemausus – that’s the essence of Walking France’s Garrigue.”
The walking holiday affords many insights:
I. Garrigues summers are hot and dry. Moreover, the climate is particularly amenable to hiking outside the main season, when most holiday-makers are at work. Spring comes early and autumns are usually Indian; so whilst the rest of Europe is freezing, you can walk these trails in relatively-light clothing.
II. The terrain is undulating lowland, perfect for those who enjoy a good walk without challenging 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 (temples) are to be found here. Now under the tutelage of the French state, many can recount tales of fascinating Camisard 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 to many of the walking holidays in France we offer that provide access to remote parts of France, the Garrigues 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 Alès to Nimes, the Gallo-Roman capital of southern France, on a trail perfect for afficionados of horticulture, Mediterranean food and healthy living. If you like to enjoy the fruits of the countryside, whilst remaining intimately attached to civilization, this trip is tailor-made for you!
- £920.00 Pounds Sterling & €1050.00 Euros [per person, shared double or twin-bedded room]
- What’s Included
- B&B: 6-nights in 2 or 3-star hotels or equivalent chambres d’hotes
- Four evening meals – leaving you free to choose in Alès and Nimes where options abound
- Luggage transfers & people transport integral to tour – see itinerary
- 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 Vezenobrès
- 6-night, self-guided and light tour
- Start any day, April to mid-October
- 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 3-star hotel with swimming pool
- One night in Russan – chambre d’hotes
- One night in La Calmette – chambre d’hotes
- 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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