Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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Classic Provence - Rousillon
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Highlights

  • Classic walking in the Luberon National Park
  • Exploring the best of Provence
  • Scents of lavender, wild herbs and blossoming cherry trees
  • Perched villages of Bonnieux, Goult, Joucas and Roussillon
  • A picnic lunch of crusty French baguette, with creamy goat cheese

Walk through beautiful Provencal landscapes in the heart of Provence. If you do only one walk in Provence, then make it this.

You'll wander through the Luberon National Park, explore honey-colored hilltop villages and discover ancient abbeys and crumbling castles in Provence’s most gorgeous landscape.

Boasting over 300 days of sunshine per year, the natural light of Provence has inspired many artists including Cézanne and Van Gogh. It's also sure 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 it's 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. Continue on to the rustic hilltop village of Bonnieux.


Walk: 16 km


Elevation gain/loss: +425m/-310m


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: +500/–500m


Overnight: Bonnieux


Day 4: Walk to Goult via Lacoste

Your walk today takes you through fields of wild herbs and row upon row of vineyards and olive groves. A highlight is the village of Lacoste. Why not linger on the terrace of the local cafe, a great place for a rest, a drink and lunch.  Walk up to the top of the village and visit the ruins of the castle of the Marquis de Sade.


Continue onto the peaceful village of Goult where you will spend the next 2 nights. As there is just one hotel option in Goult, you may be booked into a hotel in nearby Lumieres instead.


Walk: 14 km


Elevation gain/loss: +230m/-340m


Overnight: Goult or environs


Day 5: Goult countryside, via St Pantaléon

Before embarking on today’s walk, make your way through the beautifully preserved old part of Goult to its 7th century castle and 12-13th century Romanesque/Gothic church and to view its picturesque windmill.


Then follow trails through the surrounding countryside and via the serene village of St Pantaleon. En route pass agricultural stone terraces and walk through groves of ancient olive trees and past many “bories”, or shepherd’s huts.


Walk:  10 km


Elevation gain/loss: +245m/-215m


Overnight: Goult or environs


Day 6: Walk to Roussillon

Set off from Goult 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: 10 km


Elevation gain/loss: +175m/–115m


Overnight: Roussillon


Day 7: Joucas hilltop village loop or Le Sentiers des Ocres

The beginning of today’s walk takes you along the GR 97 and into the charming perched village of Joucas. Stroll through the picturesque narrow streets paved with ancient stones and have a restful lunch whilst revelling in the surrounding views.


Alternatively you can follow the very pleasant and easy Le Sentier des Ocres, a trail which shows off the dazzling ochre cliffs of this area.


Walk: 17 km

Elevation gain/loss: +285/-390m

Or


Easy 2 hour walk along the Le Sentiers des Ocres in Roussillon


Overnight: Roussillon


Day 8: 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. Goult in particular has only one hotel option, in cases where this is not available, you will be staying nearby.


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..


 

 

 


 

 

 



Une Sieste en Luberon - Bonnieux



Un Sieste en Luberon - Bonnieux

This incredibly charming chambre d’hote offers comfortable accommodation and a warm welcome. All rooms lead out onto the terrace and gardens. Relax at the end of your walking day enjoy a refreshing dip in the outdoor pool.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Les Terrasses du Luberon - Bonnieux



Les Terrasses du Luberon - Bonnieux

This friendly 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. At the end of your walking day enjoy a cooling swim in the outdoor pool.


 

 

 


 

 

 




La Canove - Goult

This B&B is located within a 17th century farmhouse. It has been stylishly renovated to provide a unique lodging set in a peaceful environment and offering elegant rooms, an outdoor pool & beautiful gardens.


 

 

 


 

 

 




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.


The summer months of July and August are very hot. We do not advise choosing this holiday during this time unless you are accustomed to intense heat. iI 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


Lacoste—Tuesday


Goult—Thursday


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.


Water refill points may not be readily available throughout the day of walking, so you should fill up at your overnight locations before setting off each day. 


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The tried and tested detailed routes notes and maps are easy to follow during your self-guided adventure and we also supply GPX tracks via our easy to use Macs Adventure Navigation App.



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

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

Excluded

  • Travel insurance.
  • Travel to & from Apt.
  • Lunches & dinners.
  • Drinks and snacks.
  • Taxi transfers or public transportation 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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