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Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Stunning lavender fields
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Highlights

  • The highlights of Provence’s Luberon National Park.
  • A short break walking through classic Provençal landscapes.
  • Scents of lavender, wild herbs and blossoming cherry trees.
  • Perched villages of Bonnieux and Roussillon.
  • A picnic lunch of crusty French baguette, with creamy goats cheese.

A short break walking tour through the Luberon National Park, in Provence’s finest classic landscapes.

Wander through the Luberon National Park, exploring honey-coloured hilltop villages and discovering ancient abbeys and crumbling castles.

Boasting over 300 days a year of sunshine, the natural light of Provence has inspired many artists including Cézanne and Van Gogh. It is also certain to inspire you as you enjoy this walk from inn to inn through classic Provence.

Day 1: Arrive in Apt.

Apt is the hub for the Parc Naturel Régional du Luberon, criss-crossed by walking trails and an excellent place to begin your Classic Provence self-guided tour.  The local market is here on Saturdays and Tuesdays and its fun to wander through the narrow streets with stalls full of crystallised fruits and ceramics (both of which Apt is famous for).


Overnight: Apt


Day 2: Walk to Bonnieux

Head out of Apt and shortly reach the surrounding countryside of rolling vineyards, stone farmhouses, orchards and pretty woods. Pause on the trail for a picnic lunch of fresh baguette, creamy Picodon goats cheese and cherry tomatoes, which gives you sustenance to continue on to the rustic hilltop village of Bonnieux.


Walk: 16 km


Elevation gain/loss: +155m/-150m


Overnight: Bonnieux


Day 3: Petite Luberon “Forest of the Cedars” loop walk

After a breakfast of meats, cheeses, fresh croissants and fruit, today’s  walk takes you into the foothills of the Petite Luberon range and through the century-old “Forest of the Cedars”.


A gradual climb brings you to the top of a  ridge with views over the surrounding landscape. Walk under a majestic canopy of trees before descending back into Bonnieux.


Walk: 12 km


Elevation gain/loss: +480/–500m


Overnight: Bonnieux


Day 4: Walk to Roussillon

Set off and walk through the heart of the Luberon countryside to Roussillon. Interestingly, as you get closer towards this village, one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in France”, you will notice the change in the colour of the earth to  ochre and the curiously cut rock-formations that this area is famous for.


Roussillon is a lovely little Provencal village and you can explore its shady squares with fascinating architectural details, faded shutters and lazy cats sleeping on window ledges - everything you hope for from a Provençal village.


Walk: 13 km


Elevation gain/loss: +275m/–180m


Overnight: Roussillon


Day 5: Onward Travel

From Roussillon a transfer to Apt is included and from here you can take a train to major gateways for your onward journeys.

Accommodation

On this tour you will stay in hand-picked charming and characterful hotels, B&B’s and chambres d’hotes. These lodgings are truly special places and one of the highlights of this tour.


Alternate Accommodation

We will always try and accommodate you at the accommodations listed. However, if those listed are unavailable, alternative accommodation of the same or better standard than those described will be provided.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.


A solo supplement is not available as it is it cost-prohibitive. Therefore, unless you are willing to pay substantially more to do this tour by yourself, it is not available to solo walkers.



 

 




Hotel Sainte Anne - Apt

You will be welcomed warmly to this hotel by Sophie and Flora. It is well-located with the historic quarter of Apt only a short walk away. Eat a delicious buffet breakfast (with homemade jams) in the outdoor garden..


 

 

 


 

 

 



Les Terrasses du Luberon - Bonnieux



Les Terrasses du Luberon - Bonnieux

This incredibly charming chambre d’hote offers spacious and unique rooms. The views from the terrace over the Luberon, and even to Mont Ventoux on a clear day, are simply special.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Les Sables d'Ocre - Roussillon

This delightful hotel is located away from the hustle and bustle of the town centre and you can relax in its delightful gardens or by the pool. The rooms reserved for you all have terraces and air-conditioning.


 

 

 

Availability

This trip is available to start on any day of the week from the beginning of April to the end of October.


Time of Year

The best time of year to walk in the Provence and the Luberon is the Spring and Autumn/Fall. In the spring the wild flowers will be blooming and in the Autumn/Fall it is quieter with lovely autumnal colours, whilst still being warm and sunny in the day time. Provence boasts over 300 days of sunshine per year.


In July and August it will be quite hot. You can still walk during these months but it must be noted that if you choose to walk in July and August there may be fire restrictions set in place by local authorities, in which case you will need to find an alternate walk or not walk at all that day.


Also please note that lavender is usually in bloom from mid-June to August.


Meals

A continental or buffet breakfast is included each morning. Lunch is not included. On most days you will be walking through small villages with cafes, restaurants and a shop or two, so you will be able to buy lunch en route. However on some of the walking days it will be essential to take a packed lunch as there are no cafes or restaurants en route.


Dinner is not included, but you will be able to try some excellent local cuisine in nearby local restaurants (recommendations will be in your information pack) or you can dine at your accommodation if they have a restaurant.


Local Markets:


Apt—Saturday


Bonnieux—Friday


Roussillon—Thursday


These local markets are usually open in the mornings and finish around lunchtime (12-1pm)


Grade & Terrain

This tour has an easy to moderate grading. The trails are a combination of dirt or wooded trails, gravel tracks and tarmac country roads. This tour is suitable for walkers with good physical fitness.


There are some rolling hills and while in the Petite Luberon range some fairly significant elevation gains and losses.  It is also pertinent to note that the terrain in Provence is fairly rugged and quite rocky at times, you will need to be sure-footed in order to negotiate the terrain.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The route is generally way marked (when on a GR trail) with red and white GR signs or wooden posts with yellow markers. However you will also need to be able to closely follow your route notes and be able to navigate using a map, especially in the woods. which tend to be a bit disorientating.


We also provide you with GPS tracks for those who like to take a GPS unit and IGN maps to assist you.


Baggage Transfers

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to and from Apt

There are a number of different options available in order to get to Apt. If you want to fly, the closest airport is Marselles-Provence Airport. From the airport you can take a bus/train to Apt, via either  Cavaillon or Aix-en-Provence. The journey takes anywhere between 2 and 3 hours, depending on your route. For more information on local bus/train timetables please visit Lignes Express Régionale or SNCF.


Alternately you can arrive by train into Avignon. It is possible to take the Eurostar from London St Pancras to Gare du Nord - Paris, then take the TVG train to Avignon (approx 7 hrs),or fly into any of the Paris Airports and take a train south to Avignin from here (a journey of just over 3 hours). From the Avignon TGV Station you can take a bus (takes approx. 1H15) directly to Apt. Again you can check out times and schedules on the Lignes Express Régionale website.


Macs Adventure can also arrange private transfers to and from Apt to local airports/train stations. Please contact your Destination & Adventure Specialist for details.


Included

  • 4 Nights accommodation in hand-picked hotels, B&B’s and chambres d’hotes
  • 4 Breakfasts
  • Luggage transfers
  • Transfer from Roussillon to Apt
  • Detailed information pack, route notes and IGN maps
  • 24/7 telephone support from our UK office

Excluded

  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to & from Apt
  • Lunches & Dinners
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage
  • Personal equipment

Extras

  • Single room & solo walkers supplement(s) if applicable
  • Additional nights
  • Taxi transfer from Apt to Avignon or Aix-en-Provence

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the region is extremely popular especially during the summer months. It is always better to book as far in advance as possible, however, we will always try our best to accommodate your plans.

How fit do I need to be?

This itinerary is graded easy to moderate, however the terrain can be tricky at times with rocks underfoot, so you will need to be sure-footed.

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

What equipment do I need?

Your detailed information pack will be sent to you after you book. This has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.

What happens if I can't walk a stage?

You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.

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lf you require more information before booking, please contact us on

+44 (0)141 530 5464

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(USA & CANADA)

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Macs Adventure - Head Office: Skypark 5, 45 Finnieston Street, Glasgow, G3 8JU, UK

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