Discover the perfection of hiking in Provence. This tour provides a microcosm of all the famous characteristics of Provence: Roman ruins, perched or hanging villages painted pastel hues, artists’ colonies in the scenery which inspired them, and a vibrant culture best expressed in the colourful and busy markets.
Starting and End Location
Le Barroux, France
What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?
INCLUDED IN REGULAR TRIP
Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
7 nights lodging
All breakfasts, 2 lunches, and all dinners but 1
Entrance fees for selected historical sites and museums
Detailed map and route instructions
All baggage transportation
All transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off (see arrive/depart cities)
Self-guided and custom trips also available and can start any day.Call or email for details.
ARRIVE / DEPART
15 km daily average (10 miles)
Land Cost (current year):
Vaison-La-Romaine: Vaison lies about 650 km southeast of Paris, due east of Orange. Access is via either Orange or Avignon. Both can be reached via the TGV (high-speed rail network of France), and are only a three- to four-hour journey from Paris.
These towns can also be reached by air or from other gateway cities such as Lyon or Nice. Transfer to Vaison is via public or private transportation.
Arrive in Vaison-la-Romaine. Stroll along streets lined with plane trees, taking a coffee in one of the many squares. Visit the famous Roman ruins, then explore the medieval quarter perched high on the opposite bank. At the top of the hill dominated by a ruined castle, admire the Roman bridge far below.
Today begins the circumnavigation of the Dentelles following the Randonnées du Pays: Tour des Dentelles de Montmirail. Your destination for the next two nights is the famous wine village of Gigondas, on the western side of the hills. The route takes you through Séguret, known as an artists’ colony, including makers of santons, delicate and detailed figurines in regional costumes.
There are several choices for a day walk. We suggest exploring Les Dentelles des Sarrasins, the spiky line of limestone that forms the heart of the Dentelles. We have both an easy and a more challenging but spectacular option.
From Gigondas head to Le Barroux, via Beaumes-de-Venise a delightful town famous for its sweet, white dessert wine. Le Barroux is dominated by a huge feudal castle, restored first in the Renaissance, then again in the 1900’s only to be destroyed in World War II.
Wind your way through vineyards and apricot orchards, heading for Malaucène. Stop to visit a recently constructed Benedictine monastery, where the monks tend lavender fields and bake olive bread. Malaucène is in the shadow of Mont Ventoux, with long winding streets lined with mottle-barked plane trees.
Relax in Malaucène for the day, exploring the narrow winding streets of the village, or enjoy a day walk along the edge of Mont Ventoux. Look for linden trees, cultivated for their fragrant blossoms.
Today enjoy a remote walk among craggy limestone rocks and wild mountain streams. Visit the village of Crestet, with a 14th-century church, Renaissance homes and a 12th-century château offering superb views of Mont Ventoux, the Ouvèze valley, and the mountains of the Barronies. Return to Vaison-la-Romaine
Linger as long as you want in Vaison before heading home or to other destinations.
This hotel overlooks a pretty square right in the heart of Vaison. The hotel has been recently renovated, and often hosts art exhibits in the hotel’s lounges. The 38 rooms are all different and have either been redesigned with the collaboration of architect Jean-Luc Bras, restyled with the help of local artists, or stopped in time to capture their rustic Provençal character.
With a superb location at the foothills of the majestic Dentelles de Montmirail guests enjoy views of the jagged peaks from a huge, sweeping, arbor-shaded terrace. This hotel has been owned and operated by the same family for three generations and its restaurant serves up regional specialties accompanied by Gigondas wines.
This peaceful and welcoming family-run Logis is set amidst olive groves, vineyards and fruit orchards, and offers a fantastic view of the entire plain of Le Comtat. Situated on a rocky piton in a magnificent medieval village, this is a lovely, relaxing setting. Les Geraniums’ highly reputed restaurant boasts a large terrace that overlooks the valley.
This 18th century residence has been meticulously restored with beautiful fabrics, tasteful antiques and artwork. Every detail has been thought through to provide complete comfort in a refined atmosphere. The light, airy rooms are decorated in calming muted colours and illuminated by sparkling crystal chandeliers. The charming gardens surround a lovely, sunny pool area.