The Secrets of Provence

Walking holiday with both guided and self-guided options in France

From € 500.- / 8 days
Price per person based on 2 people sharing

  • 1
  • Self-Guided
Lavender field in Provence White rocks sticking high from a green forest A river gorge with colorful rocks, green trees on the front
This holiday provides the best overall view of all that makes Provence what it is. It has both guided and self-guided options so you can explore the area the way you prefer.
This unspoilt corner of Provence is famous for its wine, lavender, fruit, truffles, herbs and olives. It is a mix of tiny medieval villages and bustling market towns, like Nyons, Valreas and Vaison la Romaine, each providing their own history and character. With our expert local guides find out about the history, fables, culture, and characters. Understand the use of the plants and herbs of the region. Visit a truffle farm, olive mill and grower, lavender distillery, and above all, enjoy regional walks that combine the sights, scents and tastes of the area.

Accommodation in Provence

Clients will enjoy our village home in Vinsobres complete with pool and wonderful views. Our home is a modernised, to a degree, 18th Century mansion set at the top of the renowned village of Vinsobres, with pool and aircon. Vaison has many attractions, including the famous Tuesday market, the Roman excavations, the medieval town on the hill and the cathedral plus lots of restaurants and shops.

Cozy fireplace with couches infront
Twin bedroom
Bathroom with a sink and a toilet in sight

This magnificent 18th Century property combines wonderful views, large bedrooms, terrace garden, heated indoor/outdoor pool, AC, WiFi, art gallery and atelier and is in the village of Vinsobres itself. The bistro is 5 minutes walk from the house.

A garden path surrownded with flowers
Group of people having a meal on a terrace table

We provide continental breakfast each morning (cereals, bread, croissants, fresh fruit etc.), picnic lunches, normally a light, salad-type meal taken on the terrace, wine included, or carried with us on our outings. The evening meals include many special provencal dishes. When clients are eating out, we provide transport to local restaurants (noting that the village bistro is five minutes away on foot) and will collect when called.

Walking in Provence

Group of people walking on the endge of a high plain, a low cloud covering the space below
Group of walkers staying on a cliff overlooking a small village in the foot of the mountain infront

Our walks are not difficult but sometimes on slightly rocky paths. The emphasis is on providing detailed information during each walk with time then spent on the history, folklore, vegetation, herbs. The countryside is very attractive with the combination of the easier vineyards and lavender and then the forested hill country leading to striking summits with views to the alps and Mont Ventoux. Holidays are available from April to October but we can accept clients at any time if we are available.

Secrets of Provence walking holiday itinerary

Huge rock formations sticking high up
People sitting on a cliff overlooking many low hills

We can also help with accommodation if you wish to extend your stay.

Day 1 – Transfers arranged from Orange. After a welcoming drink there is plenty of time to settle in before your evening meal.

Day 2 – This morning we begin around 9am for a walk on the Dentelles de Montmirail, home to the famous Gigondas wine. Our walk starts from a col at the base of the Dentelles, circling to a lovely viewpoint over the Massif with a view to the ‘giant of Provence’, Mont Ventoux at 1900m. We then descend to Gigondas at 1pm for a home made light lunch in a local bistro. Before driving back home we stop at the very attractive fortified provencal village of Seguret.
Distance 6km/3hrs with stops

Day 3 – Today we begin in Vinsobres, the capital of top grade wines for this region and our walk follows a trail for 4kms through the village and then through the vines and olive groves. Many of these trees are over 400yrs old. Time is taken to stop for a coffee at the village bistro before we return to our house for our picnic lunch in the garden, with time for a rest. After lunch we drive to Buisson, a really attractive old provencal village. Here we meet Francoise, a local herb expert, for an insight into the many uses of Provencal herbs.
Distance 5kms/2hrs with stops

Day 4 – Beginning slightly later this morning you will be transferred to Vaison la Romaine for a visit to the large local market in the morning. The remainder of the day is yours to explore the medieval hilltop part of the town and then the famous Roman remains, the amphitheatre, museum, Cathedral and Roman bridge, the sole survivor of 13 bridges destroyed in the floods of 1992.There are many excellent cafes or restaurants for you to purchase lunch. At 4pm Paul, our local wine expert will tell you all about the famous Cote du Rhone wines and you will taste some of them!

A river running through a valley - view from above
Lavender field in Provence

Day 5 – Today a 30 minute transfer takes us to a totally different part of Provence, the Gorge de St May, with its rugged cliffs, dramatic gorges and a plateau covered in lavender and thyme. The superb cliffs are also home to a colony of European Vultures. These dramatic birds with a 3-metre wingspan soar and swoop directly in front of our ‘ringside’ cliff top seats. Our picnic lunch table is also set on the plateau among the lavender fields. After lunch we return to Nyons for a stroll through the town, including visits to the local family run olive mill and the wine cooperative. Dinner will be in either our village or Nyons.
Distance 5kms/3.5hrs with stops or a shorter walk of 2hrs

Day 6 – Today we drive to Grignon. There we meet a local 4th generation truffle farmer and his dog. He explains the truffle history prior to you embarking on a truffle hunt. We then go back to his superb farmhouse for a truffle tasting with wine, of course. Later a short drive takes us to the village itself with its famous Chateau where we will enjoy a good lunch. This is followed by time to explore, unguided, the ancient village and the chateau.We then return to the accommodation for a swim and rest plus tea before driving to Nyons for a guided visit to the Lavender distillery. Supper is provided on the terrace under the parasols in our house.

Day 7 – For our last day we will walk tothe top of a local mountain above Nyons, the Garde Grosse with superb views over the hills to Mt Ventoux. The walk itself involves an ascent of about 200 metres up through forest to the rocky summit for a picnic. The descent is via an easy trail back to the minibus.Time now for a chance to stroll through Nyons and enjoy a cooling drink. Dinner is provided by us this evening in a provencal restaurant.

Day 8 – Depart after breakfast, usually for mid morning connections.

Dates and Availability

Houses on a green hill
Two people smiling for a photo
Dates for 2020 – All weeks available from early April until the end of September.

Notes

  • Shorter stays possible! Daily rate for B&B is €65.- per twin room with minimum of 3 nights.
  • Also offered as a seld-guided holiday at any time of the year
  • Minimum group size – 2, maximum 8 to 10

Please contact the holiday provider, through the contact form below, for more information.

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Map of France showing the location of the The Secrets of Provence Self-guided walking holiday

Holiday Type:

Self-Guided
Walking Holiday


Board Basis:

Bed & Breakfast

Price:

From € 500.- / 8 days
Price per person based on 2 people sharing

Features:

  • Winter walking holiday
  • Dogs welcome
  • 1 One accommodation

What's included:

  • Transfers to and from Orange
  • 7 Accommodations
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Picnic lunches
  • 3 Evening meals
  • Afternoon tea in our gite
  • Welcoming drinks
  • All necessary information on walks and visits

NOT included:

All other costs, including travel costs to the starting-point of this holiday.

Walking Grade:

hills
  • Level terrain or hills
  • Easy walking
hills and low mountains
  • Hills to low mountains
  • Easy to moderate walking
low and high mountains
  • Low to high mountains
  • Moderate walking

Remarks:

Tailor-made walking possible

Best time to go:

April – October

Contact Details:

The Secrets of Provence, a Self-guided walking holiday in France by Francetrek

Contact: Patrick Heffron
Telephone: +33 475276829

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Languages spoken:

English, French

Getting there:

  • Avignon Airport (74 km)
  • Nimes Airport (101 km)
  • Marseille Airport (132 km)
  • Lyons Airport (211 km)
  • Avignon Train Station (69 km)

Location map

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