A combination of fine and gentle hikes across undulating Mediterranean hinterland, with superior accommodation. When Hiking in Provence you get to know and love the spectacular eastern flank of the Ardeche Gorge and the endearing lower reaches of the beautiful Ceze Valley.”
Hiking in Provence starts off in Pont St Esprit, at the confluence of The Rhone and the Ardeche rivers. You move westwards to discover the fruits of the famous gorge before discovering what lies in between – the fabulous forest of Valbonne and the district they call Valcezard in western Provence. Little known and explored by outsiders, it is much loved by the local cognoscenti, and that includes ourselves.
Built in the thirteen century, you will enjoy a visit to a magnificent Carthusian monastery. Your accommodation for the tour includes a range of charming, family-run 3-star standard hotels and guest houses, flaunting the stone facades and vaulted ceilings that are so much a part of the fabric of western Provence.
Hiking in Provence takes you to hamlets and villages that are either huddled in the bottom of the valley or perched up high on sun-parched limestone hills and gorge cliffs. Either way, you make their acquaintance as part of the ensemble of fascinating insights gained into the life and character of one of Provence’s finest and most understated valleys. We include bed and breakfast so that you can enjoy the local culinary delights in a fashion that is tailored to the requirements of both your budget and diet.
- £420.00 Pounds or €475.00 Euros
[per person in a shared double or twin-bedded room]
- Enjoy fine scenery and stunning gorges between Ardeche and the Cèze Valley
- Escape the Provencal crowds
- Hike Western Provence’s best trails and most fascinating hill-top villages
- The 13th century Chartreuse Carthusian monastery & the impressive Sautadet waterfalls.
- Stay in superior countryside accommodation.
- 4-night, self-guided tour
- Start any day, beg. April to end-September.
- Tour starts in Pont St Esprit and finishes in La Roque-sur-Ceze
- Best access: Avignon or Nimes airports or SNCF stations
- Superior accommodation.
- average 9 miles/14.5 kms walking per day.
- We transport your luggage, you just carry a light day pack.
- 4 nights B & B and all hotel taxes
- Luggage & people transfers integral to the tour – see itinerary.
- Hiking Insight Notes™ that empower & make orientation easy
- 1:25,000 scale maps & themed vacation dossier.
- Emergency telephone help-line service with native-English speaking local backup.
Not included: remaining meals, entrances to any cultural events or arrival and departure transport.
- Excellent levels of character and comfort, with outdoor swimming pools in both Auigueze and La Roque.
- Mix of 3-star standard hotels, residences and chambres d’hotes.
- Choice of restaurants to suit different budgets and tastes – information provided in dossier
- One night in Pont St Esprit
- One night in Aigueze
- Two nights in Roque sur Ceze
- Nearest airport or SNCF station is Avignon [3.5 hrs on TGV from Paris or Lille] with onward journey to Pont St Esprit by bus or transfer – please ask for details.
- Next-best access is via Nimes airport or SNCF station [4 hrs on TGV from Paris or Lille] with onward journey to Pont St Esprit by bus or transfer – please ask for details.
- Alternative convenient options are via Lyon or Montpellier airports, with onward TGV to Avignon – 30 and 60 minute journeys, respectively.
- Hot, dry summers; warm and sunny spring & autumn
- Undulating Mediterranean lowland and Garrigues punctuated by historic villages & hamlets and the Ardeche and Ceze valleys
Hiking in Provence – Tour Itinerary.
Day 1: Arrival at Pont St Esprit and check in. Early arrivals can enjoy a short urban hike around this busy town located at the confluence of the Ardeche and Rhone rivers. Night in Pont St Esprit.
Pont St Esprit to Aigueze
[7.5 miles-11 kms, 4 hrs, +140 ms -85 ms]
The Ardeche Gorge
You start your week hiking The GR4 as it wends its way along the right bank of the Ardeche and up to the remarkable village of Aigueze, as if hewn out of the sides of the gorge itself.
Night in Aigueze.
Aigueze to Valbonne
[8 miles-13 kms, 4 hrs, +240 ms -125 ms]
The Forest of Valbonne
A charming bucolic hike as you meander through the Valbonne forest en route to the impressive site of the Carthusian monastery. Enjoy its majestic aura, take the free tour of the site, and perhaps a short botanical walk around its perimeter. We collect and transfer you to La Roque.
Night in La Roque-sur-Ceze.
Valbonne to La Roque
[8 miles-13 kms, 4 hrs, +100 ms -235 ms]
Across Martel Bridge
Transfer to La Chartreuse after breakfast. You discover the fascinating Sautadet ‘waterfalls’ en route to the imposing hilltop village of Roque. ‘Flaneur’ through its ‘ruelles’ and imbibe its rich ambiance.
Second night in La Roque-sur-Ceze.
Day 5: Departure day – breakfast and onward journey by taxi. Thanks for choosing to walk our Hiking in Provence trip. Bon retour et a la prochain!
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Independent testimonials about The Enlightened Traveller can be read here:
- Delight in the many splendours of the Ardeche Gorge and majestic Ceze valley
- Superb 'vrai pierre' accommodation in hilltop villages
- Visit a Carthusian monastery, the Sautadet waterfalls and much more.
- Too hot to handle from mid-June to late August - best in early-to-late spring and from September to mid-October
- No evening meals included - but local options abound to suite your tastes and budget
- Your biggest challenge is likely to be the heat!
A light-walking trip through the best of forgotten Western Provence."
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