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Walking in Provence (Self-Guided)

Discover the Plateau de Vaucluse on foot, weaving through a picturesque landscape from Fontaine-de-Vaucluse to the Abbaye de Sénanque, surrounded by lavender fields, where the captivating scents and sounds of Provence linger. Leaving this enchanting region becomes a reluctant departure.

  • Provence

  • 6 nights
  • Six Breakfasts & one dinner
  • Landscape

  • March - November

Moderate

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Walking grade

Grade 4

Usually, your walk will take up the whole day at a moderate pace. Terrain will often be hilly and paths generally good. Note that on holidays in mountainous areas, expect some rougher paths. An average walk length is 6 miles but expect this to vary from as little as 3 miles on a sightseeing day and up to 10 miles on a full day dependant on the amount of ascent and decent required.  

Usual daily walks - Distance: 6 miles; Ascent/Descent 500m; Terrain: sometimes hilly and undulating on good paths and tracks; Walking Time: Day walks. 

The above statistics are generalisations of a day’s key walk, it does not include distance covered during general sightseeing or daily activity. Detailed information of the daily walking requirements are specified in the specific holidays ‘Daily Itinerary".

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Self-Guided Collection

Expertly planned, flexible walking itineraries, led by you, with accommodation, route plans, and luggage transfers all taken care of by us.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Experience the rich fragrances of Provence, encompassing the renowned lavender fields.
  • Enjoy delightful Provençal accommodations throughout your entire journey.
  • Explore Fontaine de Vaucluse, a medieval village presenting the extraordinary spectacle of a river surging up from the earth.
  • Discover captivating sites like the Cistercian Abbey of Senanque, established in 1148, and Gordes, recognized as one of the most picturesque villages in France.

Explore the Plateau de Vaucluse on foot, situated between Mont Ventoux and the Luberon. The walking routes guide you through a rugged limestone landscape, alternating between steep cliffs, deep canyons, strawberry trees, tranquil villages, mysterious "bories," and the Abbaye de Sénanque, beautifully nestled amid lavender fields. Beginning at the renowned Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, the water from the underground River Sorgue surges to the surface. As you traverse this enchanting land, the musical chants of crickets (symbolic of the region), the presence of lizards, fluttering butterflies, and the fragrances of lavender, thyme, rosemary, and pine accompany your journey. There's only one drawback to Provence and the Vaucluse: the reluctance to ever leave this captivating region!

  • Six nights accommodation with on a bed and breakfast basis.
  • Two dinners (on days 2 and 3).
  • Luggage transport on days 2, 4 and 6.
  • Digital detailed route notes and maps in English
  • Access to route information on an app.
  • 24-hour telephone assistance.
  • Transport from/to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse to/from accommodation.
  • Any meals not mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Extra transfers.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Tourist tax.
  • Printed detailed route information (available at an additional charge of £75, and is available at your first hotel)

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Tour Codes

61050

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Fontaine-de-Vaucluse

Accommodation

Arrival at your first accommodation, situated in the heart of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, an iconic village in the Luberon known for being the source of the Sorgue.  If you arrive early there is a short circular walk to the village's heights or round trips to the renowned "Gouffre de Fontaine-de-Vaucluse" and castle ruins. The source, boasting an average total flow of 630 million m³ per year, is the largest in France and one of the world's largest, captivating visitors with its serene summer ambiance and lively spring and autumn flows, intriguing curious minds and researchers since antiquity.  

Day 2

Walk from Fontaine-de-Vaucluse to Saint-Gens

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Distance

    8 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    660/383m

Embark on the initial leg of the GR91, starting with a vigorous ascent through a scenic forest, where the invigorating scents of Provence—pine, thyme, rosemary—delight your senses. Following a lengthy descent, encounter the charming village of Le Beaucet nestled against a steep rock face, then traverse a deep gorge and serene landscapes, passing occasional houses and vineyards, all while relishing the fragrant essence of Provence en route to your guesthouse. Conclude the day with a tranquil dinner at your accommodation, immersed in a serene environment.

Day 3

Circular walk around Le Venasque

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Distance

    7.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    444m

Explore the environs of Venasque, an enchanting hilltop village nestled in the Vaucluse mountains. Regarded as one of the most authentic villages in the Comtat Venaissin area, Venasque has remained sheltered atop a rocky outcrop for centuries, giving rise to the area's name. To the east, the hamlets of Pérégrine and Le Petit Défend maintain their untamed charm, designated as Environmentally-Sensitive Areas. Venasque, perched on a rock, holds the distinction of being one of the most beautiful villages in France. Wander through the narrow ascending streets, admire the ornate doors, building facades, and ancient ramparts. Don't overlook the 6th-century Baptistry near the church, a focal point of a remarkable collection of religious structures, constructed atop the ruins of a Roman temple.

Day 4

Walk from Saint-Gens to Gordes

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

  • Distance

    6.7 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    432/429m

Embark on a journey through serene landscapes as you ascend towards Rochers Rouges today. At the summit, relish panoramic vistas of the Dentelles de Montmirail, Mont Ventoux, and the Rhone Valley. Descend through holm oak woods adorned with rocky outcroppings, reaching the picturesque village of Senanque and its 11th-century Abbey. Following a visit to the Cistercian monks and a sampling of their homemade products, proceed to the renowned town of Gordes, where your hotel offers a splendid view of the village.

Day 5

Circular walk around Gordes - Gorges de la Veroncle

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

  • Distance

    6.6 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    390m

Embark on a delightful walking route today, starting in Gordes and traversing the breath taking Gorges de la Veroncle, renowned for its steep, jagged cliffs—one of the most scenic hikes in the Luberon. Descend to the gorge's bottom, passing by ancient mills, then ascend, encountering challenging sections with ladders and cables. An alternative route to bypass the gorges is available, following a marked downhill trail. Alternative: 11.8 km, 414m ascent, 414m descent 

Navigate serene footpaths and rural roads beneath Gordes, culminating in a steep uphill stretch that leads you back to the familiar Chateau de Gordes.


Day 6

Walk from Gordes to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse

Meals

Breakfast

Accommodation

  • Distance

    6.8 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    225/494m

Embarking from the vibrant town of Gordes, your journey leads you across the tranquil Plateau de Vaucluse, adorned with numerous "bories," creating a mysterious ambiance with their peculiar round structures. In the morning, immerse yourself in the historical atmosphere at a genuine "Village des Bories," a unique site offering a journey through time. Located 4 kilometres from Gordes, on the slopes of the Vaucluse Mountains, facing the Luberon, the village of Bories—constructed in the early 17th century from dry stones—stands as a testament to the exceptional craftsmanship and ancient stone-stacking know-how that has vanished over time.

Before returning to Fontaine de Vaucluse, descend gracefully on a picturesque steep path through the forest.

Day 7

Final day

Meals

Breakfast

Your trip ends today, after breakfast your programme ends. 

Travel Details

Arrival and departure from Fontaine-de-Vaucluse

The nearest airport is Marseille Provence.

Public Transport: From Marseille airport, you can take a train to Avignon or Cavaillon, then arrange an optional taxi transfer (at an additional cost) to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. For further details, go to:  www.marseille-airport.com.

Private taxi: From Marseille airport, you can arrange a taxi transfer to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse (optional extra). Private taxi transfers can be arranged from/to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse back to/from Marseille airport.

You can reach Fontaine-de-Vaucluse by car, with free parking at the hotel all week.

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is an example of the type of accommodation you will be allocated on this holiday. Your final accommodation list will be confirmed on your travel documents, these will usually be with you around two weeks prior to departure.

Hôtel du Poète or similar

Nestled in the heart of the Luberon, along the Sorgue River in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is the Hôtel du Poète which has has a beautiful garden from which you can hear the river, as well as an outdoor swimming pool surrounded by sun loungers and a jacuzzi. Rooms are equipped with ensuite facilities, free Wi-Fi, hairdryer, TV, minibar, A/C and heating. 

La Bergerie Pradel or similar

Nestled in Le Beaucet, La Bergerie Pradel offers Bed and Breakfast accommodations, boasting a seasonal outdoor pool and a garden. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in designated areas. Rooms are equipped with ensuite facilities, toiletries, heating and A/C. Breakfasts are served each morning made from local products.

Le Mas des Romarins or similar

Presenting an outdoor pool and a garden, Mas des Romarins, The Originals Relais is housed in a 19th-century building situated in Gordes within the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Region, just a 10-minute stroll from the village centre. Rooms are equipped with ensuite facilities, toiletries, hairdryer, desk, safe, TV, tea/coffee making facilities, and TV. 

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

Usually, your walk will take up the whole day at a moderate pace. Terrain will often be hilly and paths generally good. Note that on holidays in mountainous areas, expect some rougher paths. An average walk length is 6 miles but expect this to vary from as little as 3 miles on a sightseeing day and up to 10 miles on a full day dependant on the amount of ascent and decent required.  

Usual daily walks - Distance: 6 miles; Ascent/Descent 500m; Terrain: sometimes hilly and undulating on good paths and tracks; Walking Time: Day walks. 

The above statistics are generalisations of a day’s key walk, it does not include distance covered during general sightseeing or daily activity. Detailed information of the daily walking requirements are specified in the specific holidays ‘Daily Itinerary".

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

As you plan your holiday budget, it's essential to account for expenses such as drinks, meals not covered in the holiday price, entrance fees not included, optional local excursions, and any souvenirs or additional services like laundry. For a rough estimate, budgeting around £10-£20 per person per day for lunches and drinks is a helpful guideline.

If your holiday does not include dinners (see itinerary) we recommend budgeting an additional £25-30 per day.

Currency in France

The currency in France is the euro. 

Credit cards are widely accepted. You may be asked to provide ID if you can’t pay by chip and PIN. ATMs are widely available in most towns and villages throughout France.

Tipping

Tips are not included in the holiday price. Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high.  We strongly recommend when receiving good service you make a tip to the local supplier.

Your Travel Details

Arrival and departure from Fontaine-de-Vaucluse

The nearest airport is Marseille Provence.

Public Transport: From Marseille airport, you can take a train to Avignon or Cavaillon, then arrange an optional taxi transfer (at an additional cost) to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. For further details, go to:  www.marseille-airport.com.

Private taxi: From Marseille airport, you can arrange a taxi transfer to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse (optional extra). Private taxi transfers can be arranged from/to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse back to/from Marseille airport.

You can reach Fontaine-de-Vaucluse by car, with free parking at the hotel all week.

Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents

Should you have decided to book any overseas flight arrangements through us, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be clearly outlined in your 'Final Travel Documents'. These will be sent to you approximately 10 days before your departure, ensuring you have all the necessary information for a smooth and well-prepared journey.

Personal Details Check

To ensure the accurate administration of your holiday arrangements, kindly verify that the personal details we have for you are current and correct. Confirm that you've given us all the necessary information for securing your travel and accommodation. Please review your passport details, date of birth, and any other pertinent information crucial for the management of your holiday.

Additionally, please make us aware of any dietary allergies or intolerances you may have. Your well-being is important to us, and this information will help us make appropriate arrangements for your meals during the trip.

You can access and update the provided information or add missing details through the "Manage My Booking" feature on our website at www.rambleworldwide.co.uk. Alternatively, reach out to our Sales and Reservations team at +44 (0)1707 331133. Upon receiving your booking confirmation, promptly check the details. Your cooperation ensures a seamless and enjoyable holiday experience.

Documentation

After booking your holiday, expect to receive a confirmation and holiday information sheet soon after.

Once you've settled your balance, about 2 weeks before your holiday, you'll get instructions on how to log into your ActiveNav App. Grab your Apple or Android smartphone and head to the app store for a quick download. Once installed, the app grants you access to all route information and provides guidance on how to navigate it.

Around 2 weeks prior to your departure, you'll also get a destination manual & road book. This comprehensive guide includes detailed information on your walking route and interesting facts about the areas you'll stay in. Alongside, a trip voucher will confirm all the services booked for you, complete with the names and addresses of your hotels and other service providers. Be prepared to present this voucher as confirmation at your accommodations, and don't forget to bring along a valid form of ID.

Passports and Visas

European Passport Advice

If you are planning to travel to an EU country (except Ireland), or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City, you must meet the Schengen area rules.

Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)
  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

For some Schengen countries your passport may need to be less than 10 years old during your whole visit, and the 3 months at the end of your visit may need to be within 10 years of your passport’s issue date.

Check both the issue date and the expiry date in your passport. If you renewed your passport early, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. This could affect the requirement for your passport to be less than 10 years old.

Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.

Meals

In general all of our self-guided holidays are on a bed and breakfast basis with breakfast provided at your accommodation. Depending on the route you are walking and access to local services such as restaurants, cafes and supermarkets, your itinerary may include packed lunches, dinners or a mix of both. Please refer to the individual itinerary and what is included for accurate information.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Footwear is a walker’s personal choice; however, we suggest lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good, moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support and may be essential for some walks.

Luggage Transfers

On a self guided holiday, the days you walk from one property to another, your main luggage will be transferred for you as part of your holiday arrangements. This leaves you free to just carry what you need for the day. Please refer to your individual itinerary for which days your luggage will be transferred. Before you leave your accommodation in the morning, please speak with your host for where the luggage should be left and by what time. 

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Compass
  • Map case
  • Whistle
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Water bottle - at least 2 litre capacity (more may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat
  • Mobile
  • Power Bank for charging mobile if needed.
  • Phone charging lead

This list is not exhaustive, and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

French Swimwear

Please note that in French public swimming pools men are not permitted to wear baggy swimming shorts but must have ‘Speedo’ style trunks or tight fitting longer shorts. Men with incorrect swim wear will not be allowed into the pool.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
  • Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
  • Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
  • Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
  • A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Electricity in France

Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/

Water To Go

Opting for filtered water from a reusable bottle with its built-in water filter, like the Water-to-go bottle available at www.watertogo.eu, is a sustainable alternative to single-use sealed water bottles. Simply refill it from any water source and contribute to saving the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

Exciting news: Water-to-go has introduced two new bottles to their collection. The Active bottle is designed to fit bike water bottle holders, and the Sugarcane bottle is an even more planet-friendly option. Crafted from fibrous cane, a by-product of liquid extraction, it undergoes a process to create plant-based plastic. Explore the details on the Water-to-Go website for this innovative new range.

As a token of appreciation for your commitment to the environment, we've secured an exclusive 15% discount with Water-to-Go for you. Visit www.watertogo.eu and use the code RWW15 during your order.                        

Note: If you're booked on a long-haul holiday departing after November 1, 2023, you'll receive a complimentary Water to Go bottle, sent to your home address 2 or 3 weeks before your holiday. Thank you for being a part of our sustainable journey!

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements in destination can change, and it's crucial for you to take responsibility in staying informed. Ensure that you consult a professionally qualified source and comply with any health requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before your departure. Your GP can provide advice on vaccinations. Stay proactive about your health preparations to ensure a safe and enjoyable travel experience.

Health Advice for France

No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to France.

You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK.

You may wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus and Tick-borne Encephalitis

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

It’s a condition of booking that you obtain adequate travel insurance, from a reputable provider, to undertake the holiday, including UK trips chiefly due to the cancellation element of cover.

The policy must cover the period from the date of booking to the last day of your trip and should include, as a minimum, cover for: medical expenses (including the consequences of a Covid positive test result), mountain rescue including helicopter rescue, death, repatriation, cancellation and curtailment and shall not have exclusion clauses limiting cover for the activities you will partake in on your trip, including altitudes reached in the holiday arrangement. It is your responsibility to check that your policy is adequate for the nature and destination of the holiday booked.

Once you have obtained your travel insurance, please provide us with the name of your travel insurer, the policy number and the insurer’s 24 hour emergency assistance number.

In the event that you fail to obtain suitable Travel Insurance we shall not be liable for any costs incurred or claims made against us due to your failure to comply with this term.

If travelling outside the UK you must carry proof of insurance with you and produce it if reasonably requested to do so by RWH Travel staff, tour leaders or suppliers. No refunds will be made should you be excluded from the walking programme through being uninsured or you being unable to demonstrate that you are insured.

Our house broker MPI should be considered for whom we are an affiliate and contact information is on our website and will be referred to in your booking confirmation.

If you are travelling to an EU country or Switzerland please also ensure that you have either an existing valid EU EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) or a valid UK GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card). You can apply for a UK GHIC free of charge on the NHS website at https://services.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/cra/start.

EHIC & GHIC Cards

Starting January 1st, 2021, you, as a UK traveller, can continue using your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) throughout its valid five-year period, granting you access to medical assistance during your holiday until its expiry date. Be aware, though, that this coverage will no longer extend to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland. In case you don't have a valid EHIC, you can apply for a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which will replace the EHIC as it gets phased out.

It's essential to emphasize that the EHIC/GHIC, while valuable, should not be regarded as a substitute for comprehensive medical or travel insurance. For your peace of mind and comprehensive coverage, considering additional insurance is highly recommended.

For more information, please visit www.nhs.uk/ehic

Personal Safety

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office is your go-to for the latest info on security, local laws, and the nitty-gritty of passports and visas at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Make sure to take a quick peek at the current advice for your upcoming destination—it'll only take a few minutes.

When you're out and about, stay aware of your surroundings. Take smart precautions with your credit cards and passport, and maybe tone down the flashy accessories. Less is more, especially when it comes to carrying cash—just enough for the day will do. Consider using a money belt for that extra layer of security. Stay alert, stay safe, and make the most of your travels!

Cultural Awareness

The Ramble Worldwide Outdoor Trust

Unlike many other tour operators, we take pride in our unique approach. Ramble Worldwide channels its surplus profits back into various outdoor, walking-related, or environmental conservation projects in the UK through our own trust. When you choose us, you contribute to this impactful initiative.

The primary focus of our Trust's financial support is directed towards Britain's premier walking charity, The Ramblers. They play a crucial role in advocating the benefits and significance of walking to the British public. Additionally, our Trust invites applications for small grants from local organizations in the UK that require support for walking-oriented activities. This encompasses initiatives such as establishing footpaths and bridleways, funding for the reconstruction of bridges and refurbishing huts, and bursary funding for organisations that support individuals to enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors..

For more comprehensive details, please visit the 'About' section on our website and click on the Charitable Trust link. Your choice to travel with us goes beyond a memorable vacation; it contributes to meaningful projects that have a positive impact on our community and environment.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

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Useful Information

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France

  • Capital

    Paris

  • Currency

    Euro; CFP Franc

  • Language

    French

  • Time Difference

    UTC +02:00

  • Flight duration

    1.5hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    4°C

    Avg. Rain: 65mm

  • February

    5°C

    Avg. Rain: 56mm

  • March

    8°C

    Avg. Rain: 55mm

  • April

    10°C

    Avg. Rain: 59mm

  • May

    14°C

    Avg. Rain: 66mm

  • June

    17°C

    Avg. Rain: 58mm

  • July

    19°C

    Avg. Rain: 51mm

  • August

    19°C

    Avg. Rain: 56mm

  • September

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 66mm

  • October

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 79mm

  • November

    8°C

    Avg. Rain: 76mm

  • December

    5°C

    Avg. Rain: 74mm

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