Provence: Walking and Wine8 Days & 7 Nights
- Walks through the world-famous vineyards of Chateauneuf du Pape
- Unforgettable and classic views of Mont Ventoux
- Spectacular scenery in the foothills of the Dentelles de Montmirail
- Picnic lunches amidst stunning vineyards feasting on fresh baguettes and local cheese
- Sharing a bottle of enticing rich and fruity Côtes du Rhône in a hill-top village restaurant
- Taking a tour where a wine expert unveils the secrets of Côtes du Rhône wines
What To Expect
Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.
Multi Center Walking | You will spend multiple nights in one or more of the locations on this walking tour
Ideal if you have an interest in:
Foodie Adventures, Wine, Whiskey & More...
As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveler this tour would be suitable for is: 17 Years
Activity Level & Terrain
This walking tour is graded moderate. On the first few days of the tour there is very little elevation gain and loss as you will be walking through vineyards. After this the walking does get more challenging, but you will have time to get used to the walking and the terrain. As is the norm in Provence the walks can be tough underfoot in places with rocks and routes to negotiate. You will need to be sure-footed. There are also some prolonged climbs and steep hills.
You will be provided with route notes and maps to help you find your way. You will also have access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App enabling you to follow the route using your phone's GPS so you will have no problems finding the way. You can simply download the GPX tracks to your phone for offline use and off you go! As the trails are off the beaten track they will not be way marked, but the detailed route notes and GPS Tracks will be more than sufficient to help you find your way.
We specifically select your accommodation in comfortable guesthouses, B&B's and small hotels to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay in France. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food
Single Room and Solo Walkers
If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. We are also happy to provide this trip as a solo experience. Again, a supplement is payable.
There will be a 7 delicious continental breakfasts included. There will also be 1 dinner included in Le Barrroux. On the other evenings you can either eat dinner at your accommodations or in local restaurants. For lunches please arrange a picnic lunch with your accommodation the night before (not included in the cost) or it is highly recommended if you are in the right place at the right time to purchase breads, cheeses and meats, wine, etc at local markets. Here is a list of the towns and when they hold their markets.
Chateauneuf du Pape: Friday morning
Vacqueyras: Thursday morning
Malaucene: Wednesday morning
Vaison-la-Romaine: Tuesday (the largest one), Thursday and Friday
- 7 Nights accommodation in very comfortable hotels
- 7 Breakfasts
- 1 Dinner on Day 5
- Luggage transfers
- Transfers on Days 2 & 3
- Detailed route book, maps and pre-departure information pack
- 24 hour assistance by phone
- Lunches and dinners (except one dinner on Day 5)
- Snacks and drinks
- Optional Wine Tour
- Travel insurance
- Tips and gratuities
- Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Any items not specifically mentioned in the programme
- Optional Wine Tour
- Additional nights
When To Go
This tour is available between the months of March and November. The climate in Provence is genreally mild all year round. April, May, Spetember and October would be our first choices. Although this tour is available through July and August we recommend avoiding these months as it can get very hot. If you cannot avoid travelling during these months then it is advised that you start the walks early in the morning so to avoid the midday heat.Between July 1st and 1th September access to forest paths maybe forbidden or partially restricted if the risk of forest fire is ingh in the Ventoux and Dentelles area. You can check any such restrictions before embarking on youir walk. Information on this can be found in your trip information document.
If you want to visit the excellent local markets you can look at the Meals information or your trip document to see when they are open and book your start date accordingly. Also finishing your tour on a Tuesday is recommended as this is when the great market in Vaison La Romaine is open.
Getting to the Start
To get to Avignon you can fly into either Paris Charles De Gaulle or Marseille Provence Airport. Both are serviced by BA and easyJet from UK airports. Alternative airports are Lyon Airport (serviced by easyJet) or the local Avignon Airport, which is served by Flybe. You could also take the Eurostar from London St Pancras to Gare du Nord - Paris, then take the TVG train to Avignon (approx 7H). There is also a direct train from Marseille Vitrolles Train Station to Avignon. Find more information on the SNCF website.
If you want to drive you can drive through the Eurotunnel from Folkstone to Calais (approx 0H35 mins). Then drive from Calais to Avignon (approx 10H).
Dover to Calais by ferry is a 90 minute journey. Drive from Calais to Avignon (approx 10H). Alternatively Portsmouth to St Malo by ferry is a 9H journey. Drive St Malo to Avignon (approx. 10H).
Getting from the End
From Vaison La Romiane you can take a bus to Avignon via Orange and the journey takes approximately 2H. You can also take a bus to Orange and then a train to Avignon and if you do this then the journey will be slighlty shorter around 1H15. For information on the bus schedules please check here.
The closest airport is Marseilles, which you can access by bus to Orange and then by train. The journey here takes approximately 2H30. Please check any train schedules here.
We can also offer a transfer to Avignon or Orange. Please contact your Destination & Adventure Specialist for details.
Your luggage will be transferred between accommodations. We ask that you keep your baggage to one bag per person (maximum weight 20kg).
The distances and descents / ascents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necesssary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking/ cycling 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.
Our pre-departure information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take with you to Northern Ireland. This includes warm and cold weather gear, hiking boots, and lots of other useful bits and bobs.
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.
The closest airport to both the beginning and end points is Marseille Provence Airport and it is serviced by BA, easyJet and Ryanair. You can also fly into Paris Charles De Gaulle International Airport which is serviced by BA and easyJet from UK airports. From Marseille Provence Airport you can take a train into Avignon (1 hour)For train information please visit the SNCF website. From Paris Charles de Gaulle you can take a train to Avignon. The train from Paris to Avignon takes just over 3 hours.
Upon arrival at the first accommodation you will be provided with route notes and maps to help you find your way. As the trails are off the beaten track they will not be way marked, but the detailed route notes and the itinerary traced out on maps will be more than sufficient to help you find your way.
You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.
We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as Provence is extremely popular during May/June and September.
This walking tour is graded moderate. More challenging with some long walking days and often a longer trip duration. Tough underfoot in places with changing terrain, some prolonged climbs and steep hills. Provence generally tends to be quite rocky, so you will have to be pretty sure-footed in order to negotiate the terrain.
All your belongings will be transferred between accommodations. We do ask you keep your baggage to one bag per person (maximum weight 20kg).
Our pre-departure information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take. This includes good waterproof gear, walking shoes/boots, and lots of other useful bits and bobs.
Spring and autumn are generally best as Provence is both busy and hot in mid summer. we will always try and accommodate your plans so just ask.
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive in Avignon and overnight
This beautiful fortified city is well-worth exploring. Highlights include the Place du Palais, next to the Place de L'Horloge, the ruined Pont d'Avignon built in the 12th century and the Palais des Papes, the 14th century papal palace and its amazing frescoes.
Visit some of the many museums and then indulge in some typical Provencal fare and wine alfresco to enjoy people watching.
This morning take a short transfer (20 mins) to the famous wine village of Chateauneuf du Pape whose name translates as “new castle of the Pope” and was chosen as the summer residence of the Popes of Avignon. It was a Pope who brought the vines here in the 14th century, making wines that have been famous for centuries. The growing area is small compared to many of the world’s famous vineyards but the wine produced here is constantly prized.
This morning’s walk is a circular route through the fabulous local vineyards. This splendid loop walk stays within the heart of the Chateauneuf appellation, strolling on farming tracks in between the parcels of vines of the Vaudieu & Nalys & Solitude wineries, which lead from one estate to the next. The itinerary takes you to 3 widely-known wine estates - Vaudieu, Nalys, and Solitude - all centuries-old, all happy to share their savoir faire with you during a wine-tasting. The reds are deep and heavily spiced, while the surprising whites have notes of almond, spice, and honeysuckle.
Find a local restaurant for dinner in Chateauneuf du Pape. Geography, geology and climate combine to create an exemplary terrain in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and wherever the eye roams you’ll see thick, low vines and, in summer, bunches and bunches of delicious Grenache and Syrah grapes.
Ascent: 150m Descent: 150m
A small B&B in the historic centre of Chateauneuf du Pape village. Your host Danièle is a professional sommelier and worldwide wine lecturer, who will share her passion for wine with you from her traditional B&B. If you choose to you can take a vineyard tour, or tastings recommended by your knowledgeable host.
This morning walk through the famous vines once more, alongside tracks packed with the red rocks that were deposited here 15,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age. They absorb the heat during the day and emit it at night, keeping a constant warmth in the vineyards which help to produce powerful and spicy reds.
After this short walk you will have the option (not included) to participate in a half day wine tour of the Southern Rhônes premium wine villages. A local wine expert will reveal a wealth of secrets about the vines and explain the key elements of the wine-making process as you visit the cellars and taste four to five wines at a local wine estate (depending on the wine expert you visit 1 or 2 wine estates). The tasting characteristics, ageing potential and varying influences of the terroir and cellar methods will all be described.
Later this afternoon a transfer to the village of Seguret is included.
Ascent: 150m Descent: 150m
At the foot of Séguret, one of the most beautiful villages in France, the wine estate houses a peaceful and charming hotel-restaurant. Surrounded by its own vineyards, the hotel offers a magnificent terrace, a large pool and a wine cave. Enjoy the hotel's privileged natural setting and tranquillity, fine dining and wine tasting.
Séguret is acclaimed as one of the most beautiful villages in France (Les Plus Beaux Villages de France). Wander cobbled streets and amongst the houses that seem to cling to the rock face. A picturesque route through Haut Vaucluse takes you beneath cragged peaks and above the Rhône Valley, on paths and farm tracks through vineyards and olive orchards. At Gigondas, you’ll discover a village that seems to rise straight out of the vineyards and here it is well-worth visiting the 11th century church. Walking towards Vacqueyras, you reach the foothills of the jagged mountain chain of Dentelles de Montmirail.
Ascent: 350m Descent: 450m
Ideally situated at the top of the village, welcoming B&B with outdoor pool and garden, which has been entirely restored and decorated by the happy owners. Relax in the garden, by the pool and listen to the cicades, play a tame of pétanque in the shade of the pine trees, exercise in the fitness room or unwind in the sauna.
The walk today offers an up-close exploration of the Dentelles de Montmirail foothills. The mountain range name means “lace”, probably because the magnificent and intricate limestone peaks look similar to lace work. Descend to Beaumes de Venise, where you can indulge in a glass of Muscat. The route then takes you to the hilltop village of Le Barroux, which is home to an impressive 12th century castle. Before checking into your accommdoation wander through a maze of quiet streets and take in such highlights as the Church of Saint-Jean Baptiste.
Ascent: 420m Descent: 250m
Mr Huw welcomes you in his hotel-restaurant, set in Le Barroux, a magnificent medieval village situated on a rocky outcrop, dominated by its 12th century castle. On the wine route, with the Mont-Ventoux on one side and the Dentelles de Montmirail, on the other side, all the charm of this place lies in its surroundings. In the middle of olive trees, vineyards and fruit trees admire the panoramic views over the whole Comtat plain.
Today's walk takes you closer to the mighty Mont Ventoux. Its peak of 1,912m puts it head and shoulders above others in the Luberon mountain range. Walking the lower slopes, through pine and cedar forests, offers an impressive contrast with the "géant de Provence” and its bare limestone peak. Its huge silhouette is a backdrop for your hike, its barren white peak glistening in the sun. Through shaded paths of pine and cedar you reach the Chapel of Piaut, where in generations past locals climbed during periods of draught to pray for rain. Descend the pilgrimage path to the fortified village of Malaucene which takes shape around its ancient hilltop fort. The old town reveals an amazing tree-lined avenue.
Ascent: 500m Descent: 500m
An idyllically located guesthouse at the end of an alley lined with century-old trees. In a restored bastide with a small restaurant and only ten minutes from the village centre, it offers a warm and comfortable stay. All the rooms are lovingly decorated in typically Provençal style. Relax in the garden, by the pool, the sunny terrace or in the lounge. In the evening let you surprise by the chefs creative dishes with fresh seasonal products.
From Malaucène, you walk northward on thyme and rosemary drenched hills to the perched, authentic village of Le Crestet. Visit tucked away villages that are many miles from the usual tourist trail. At Le Crestet find ancient alleys, arches and cul-de-sacs to explore, revealing beautiful historic buildings and fountains. Reaching Vaison-la-Romaine, you can enjoy your final afternoon strolling through this extraordinary place, Vaison’s Gallo Roman remains, which is the largest archaeological site in France.
Ascent: 400m Descent: 280m
Located in the medieval city of Vaison-la-Romaine, Maison d’Hôtes de l’Evêché was formerly the old Bishops Palace. You will be welcomed into this cosy and refined place, full of authenticity: the old stone work, antique furniture and paintings, a real haven of peace! Enjoy 2 private air-conditioned lounges, the library and the flowered terraces where breakfast is served in the summer.
All great tours must come to an end. Your tour finished in Vaison La Romaine. This town is accessible by bus to Avignon and the journey will take you via Orange (where you can jump on a train) in approximately 1H20.
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