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At a Glance

Your Holiday at a Glance


   
Guided walking Holiday
  • Secret Provence: Les Baronnies

Dates for 2017
  • Everyday during April, May, June, September and October (subject to availability)
Price
  • From £945 (single supplement £325) (based on group of 8)
  • From €1060 (single supplement €365)
  • Please contact us for a quote for your group
Grade
Profile
Highlights
  • Unspoilt picturesque landscapes, quiet trails and varied walking through scented lavender fields, fruit orchards, wild scrub and forests
  • Lavender in flower at the end of June.
  • Sleepy historic villages, unaltered for centuries perched on rocky slopes
  • A favourable climate with 300 days of sunshine per year makes this an ideal destination for a walking Holiday
  • Visiting the historic towns of Buis les Baronnies and Nyons with their wonderful markets
  • Great local cuisine and fine local wines. Beautiful guest houses
  • Visits to discover more about the local agricultural production
Testimonials
  • “Thank you so much for the wonderful holiday. We had a great time seeing parts of Provence we would never have known. The experience of eating with our various hosts has been wonderful. Thank you for your company & for all the little details you put into making every day special.” A Gilliver, UK
  • "The variety of the walks was excellent, no two days had the same scenery" A. Lewis, UK
  • Take a look at what other customers had to say about this walking holiday
Photo slideshow
Accommodation and Meals
  • Spacious and very comfortable rooms in small B&B style accommodation in two historic properties with swimming pools in rural peaceful locations, central to the walking area
What's included
  1. Transfer to and from Lyon and transport during the week. 7 night's full board accommodation with the exception of one evening meal. 6 guided walks
What's not included
  1. Travel to Lyon, France, lunches on day of arrival and departure, one evening meal, drinks during the day, any entrance fees or excursions, travel insurance
 

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Walks

Les Baronnies - Secret Provence

Our guided walking holiday explores a remarkably beautiful area of northern Provence as Les Baronnies. Les Baronnies is a secret and unspoilt corner of France where the Alps meet the Provence with beautiful historic villages clinging to rocky mountain sides decorated in purple lavender flowers.

Sheltered by the mountains, its privileged position and distinct climate gives the region a remarkable light that draws you into the rugged and beautiful landscapes laid out before you. But it's not just your sight that will be bombarded on this unique guided walking holiday, it is also a region where wild Thyme, Lavender, herbs and pine produce a wonderfully scented landscape. Each corner of this fascinating area has its own characteristics. Rocky bluffs and cliffs define summit tops from which steep slopes marked by ravines descend into narrow gorges or wide fertile valleys covered in Lavender, fruit trees and olive groves. Oak forests, scrub and moorland add to the tapestry of vegetation covering the hills on this French walking holiday.

The historic legacy of the region is rich and is said to go back to Hannibal, the Carthaginian leader who crossed les Baronnies with his elephants around 200BC. There are a large number of well-preserved fortified medieval villages clinging to steep hillsides established by the barons of Mévouillon and Montauban in the 11th century. Their towers, walls and alleyways are now altered by a succession of historic events that have marked the region.

The double influence of the Alps and the Mediterranean has created an exceptionally rich fauna and flora including orchids such as the Sabot de Venus, vultures, chamois, wolves and wild boar. It is therefore not surprising that this secret and untamed area has recently been designated a Natural Regional Park - Baronnies Regional Park.

Walking Profile

The walking on this guided holiday is mixed allowing walkers of moderate ability to enjoy the ever changing views and landscapes. Some moderate ascents up and down valleys and hills are included in the week. Average distances are about 13km with about 400m of ascent. Most walks are well within the grade, although due to the nature of the landscape some small sections can be relatively steep. Paths are generally good and well defined, although they can be rough in places. The steep terrain means that it would be unwise to do this holiday if you suffered from vertigo.

 

destination Baronnies provence France guided walking holiday

Day 1: Arrival

Your walking holiday in France starts with a welcome, pick-up from Lyon airport or train station and drive to northern Provence

Day 2: Around Montbrun-les-Bains

Our day starts by a visit to the nearby hamlet of Reilhanette, which has little changed since the middle ages. Our day's walk then starts and finishes at Montbrun les Bains, a beautiful historic village perched on the hillside. It is classed as one of the prettiest villages in France and has buildings progressing up the hillside on 6 levels, with the remains of a renaissance chateau sitting prominently above. Our walk will explore this fascinating village before doing a short circuit contouring around the surrounding hills. 11km  240m climb

Day 3: Tour of Fort de Mévouillon

Our days' walk leaves direct from the guest house and makes its way through delightful countryside passing through a number of pretty hamlets. We'll then continue our tour around the cliff-lined rocky outcrop of Mevouillon where the Lords of the area ruled for 300 years. Passing beautiful scented lavender fields, the trail traverses the hill slopes to pass into a wilder landscape under the Buc mountain. A gentle walk through forest leads us back to La Honas. 16km, 380m

Day 4: Lavender country

Our walk today starts from Sault on the plateau d'Albion. Our walk traverses woodland before arriving at the beautiful perched village of Aurel. After visiting the village's narrow streets, our route takes us to the edge of the plateau for great views of the rugged mountains to the north. The walk traverses lavender fields and woods as it winds its way to the tiny hamlet of St Trinit. On our return to Sault, we get the chance to explore this pretty village and enjoy a well earned drink. Drive to Lavender farm to find out all about its production. 14km, 250m

Day 5: Buis les Baronnies & Nyons

Our rest day will take in visits to the historic centres of Buis les Baronnies for its market and narrow streets, and Nyons, where you'll be able to visit its historic buildings and monuments, its roman bridge as well as its olive mills and lavender distilleries. Our day will finish with a wine tasting visit in the Eygues Valley.

Day 6: Montagne de Chamouse

We'll drive to the Col de Perty which at 1302m allows us to start our walk from high up. Our route takes us along a fairly gentle ridge through forest and then moorland to the summit of the Montagne de Chamouse. At 1531m this summit offers exceptional views across the summits and valleys of the Baronnies. The extraordinary light in this part of France makes for clear luminous views where the relief really stands out. 12km +230m

Day 7: Circuit de la Bohémienne

Walking from Aulan, a pretty 12th century castle that sits at the top of the gorge Couranche at the start of the Toulourenc Valley. Our walk follows a picturesque valley through mixed woodland to reach the Col de la Bohémienne with its rocky slopes and ravines. We then contour to the small perched village of le Poêt en Percip - the former historic capital of the Baronnies - before gradually climbing through slopes of scrub, pasture and lavender fields, to reach a ridge with great views over the valleys and hills to the east. Descent directly to our B&B.  14km 530m climb

Day 8:  Departure

Drive to Lyon and transfer home. If time allows we will stop off in Grignan, a picturesque historic village with an amazing chateau.

Contact us about this guided walking holiday


 

Montbrun les Bains Baronnies Provence France guided walking holiday

la honas guest house in baronnies provence france

Lavender Ferrassieres Baronnies Provence guided walking holiday

guided walking in french provence

view across hills of baronnies in France provence

Gorge near Aulan Baronnies Provence France guided walking holiday

Landscape near Montbrun Baronnies Provence France guided walking holiday

Once you have booked on this guided walking holiday, further information about the walking, the region and what to bring, will be sent to you. We do have a web page dedicated to what clothes and equipment you should bring. In addition, our travel shop has direct access to all the top walking and travel retailers. Please contact us if you need any further information.

Please note: Further information about the walks in the Baronnies will be sent to you prior to your holiday. We will endeavour to keep to these walks as far as possible on our guided walking holiday; however they are subject to change. In addition, we like to maintain a certain degree of flexibility to take account of the group’s abilities and interests, and the local conditions. The final selection of walks will be made by your guide during the week after consultation with the group.

Bed

Accommodation & Meals


We will be using two small B&B style guest houses in traditional historic properties during the course of our guided walking holiday. They are exquisite properties in peaceful rural surroundings offering authentic and very comfortable accommodation with swimming pools. The exact guest houses or hotels used will depend on availability and the size of your group.

A hearty and healthy continental breakfast provides the perfect opportunity to discover the local specialities such as home-made jams and local cheeses. At midday we will eat packed lunches prepared by our hosts and they will be eaten during the course of the walk. All evening meals will be taken at your guest house and will embrace the fine selection of local specialities from the Baronnies with its selection of fine herbs.

Name Type Details Rating  
La Honas B&B Renovated 17th century farm house situated in beautiful surroundings in the heart of the Baronnies 3 corns La honas guest house Baronnies Provence France guided walking holiday
La Maison de Marguerite B&B Renovated traditional 19th century farm house situated close to the historic village of Montbrun les Bains 3 corns La maison de marguerite guest house Baronnies Provence France guided walking holiday
Travel Options

Travel Options


Transfers on this French walking holidays are between Lyon Airport or Lyon train station and the Baronnies region of Provence in France. This is included in the price of your guided walking holiday.

Flight Options

Transfers from Lyon airport

The airlines Easy jet, BMI and British Airways have scheduled flights from the UK - Manchester, Stanstead and Heathrow to Lyon St Exupery airport.

Please visit our travel shop for links to useful sites for reserving airport parking or booking train tickets to the UK airports

Note: Please check concerning the availability of a holiday before booking any flights. If you need further information or would like to discuss any aspect of your travel arrangements, please contact us, we’re here to help you. We would be happy to book travel arrangements to Lyon, France on your behalf.

 

By Train

Eurostar and the TGV provide a relaxing journey from London to Lyon Part Dieu changing at Lille. Please use Rail Europe's train finder in our travel store to organise your train journey.

There is a practical train time leaving London at 9am and arriving in Lyon at 3pm. Please contact us before booking to check for other practical times.

 

Self Drive

Channel ferry crossings from Dover are provided by a number of operators including P&O Ferries, Eurotunnel and DFDS Seaways.

Once in France, the journey from Calais to the Baronnies takes about 10 hours (excluding long breaks).

Tolls amount to about 45 euros each way.

Non secured parking is available at the guest houses. Please inform us of this at the time of booking so when can provide you with directions to the first guest house.

 

 

Photos

Photos


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