Trekking the TMB’s southern half is arguably more challenging than its northern twin. Our trip commences near Chamonix; and surely no-one actually walks up to La Flegere when hiking from Les Praz de Chamonix to Les Houches? As an enlightened traveller, you certainly will not; and even if it is raining down in the Valley, you should hopefully get above the cloud cover and pick up the mythical Grand Balcon du Sud with ease.
Hiking Cantal’s volcanic uplands commences with a climb to Murat’s pilgrimage shrine, a fitting start to a fine day’s walking along a variant of the Compostella Trail. The cows are inquisitive but friendly, and you are rewarded for your efforts by the day’s grande finale: a climb to Eagle’s Beak Rock and Venus Point, at 1700 ms and 1669 ms respectively.
Walking Tarn Gorge has a much-merited mythical status among French walkers; so much so that you are likely to meet ‘randonneurs’ here from the six corners of The Hexagon. They come to feast their eyes on some of Europe’s most spectacular scenery, enjoy the isolation and remoteness of southern Lozere and escape the crowded trails that typify country life in places like Haute Savoir and Eastern Provence. Yet for travellers who like to enjoy the trip as much as the walking tour itself, the little extra effort is hugely rewarded.
Walking Via Podiensis is an experience that features stunning countryside, rich cultural heritage and chance encounters. This is an extract of one such personal experience enjoyed by a member of our staff in 2012. The full version is reproduced in our Walking St James in Comfort tour dossier, but we hope the snippets below whet the appetite sufficiently.
Backpacking France is a hiker’s dream due to the amenable climate and varied terrain – not to mention the variety of accommodation on offer and the gastronomic delights you will savour! Whichever walking holiday in France you choose, we can tailor the accommodation to suit your budget. You only need to ask.
France self-guided walking with The Enlightened Traveller means fully-supported hiking, meticulously planned, with logistics and ground arrangements made on your behalf so you can enjoy the perfect walking holiday in France. With the best maps available and professionally-designed walking notes, we empower you to get seamlessly from A to B.
Our description of walking the TMB [northern half] commences in picture post-card Courmayeur. Each of you will have your own unique way of arriving in Courmayeur. We chose to stay in Chamonix for the night and took the SAT coach from just outside la gare Chamonix that travels through Mont Blanc tunnel – it’s a cheap, regular service and we were in our Courmayeur hotel within 50 minutes!
Walking the Garrigue & Nîmes is something of a sensual experience.
The Garrigues is a type of low-lying ‘scrubland’ found on limestone soils around the Mediterranean Basin, generally just inland from the coast, where the climate is ameliorated by its proximity to the sea, but where annual summer drought conditions obtain. The term has also found its way into haute cuisine, redolent of the resinous flavours of garrigue vegetation and fruits.
Walking in Uzège and Uzès is an opportunity to enjoy Le Midi at its best. Uzès is a town of some 18,000 people lying to the north of Nimes. Historically, it was seen as the capital of Uzège, one of the largest ‘regions’ in the Languedoc. Its roots go back to Gallo-Roman times, when it was known as Ucetia and an oppidum was constructed. In 50 AD, the Romans decided to tap the source of the Eure to provide water for the city of Nîmes.
Walking in The Gard is to hike in one of the five departments that comprise the Languedoc-Roussillon region; the others being Aude, Hérault, Lozère and Pyrénées-Orientales. Its capital city is Nimes, with Alès playing the role of economic ‘motor’ for Department number 30.
Walking in The Gard offers much to be discovered along its abundance of rich hiking trails, many of which can be walked all year round.