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At a Glance

Your Holiday at a Glance


 
Independent Walking Holiday
  • Les Alpilles:

  • Van Gogh's Provence

Dates for 2019
  • Everyday during March, April, May, June, September and October (subject to availability)
Price 6 nights
  • £795 (single supplement £325)
  • €875 (single supplement €360)
Grade
  • moderate walking difficulty south france
Profile
  • 6 nights, 5 days independent walking moving between guest houses
Highlights
  • Beautiful Provence landscapes with olive groves in the Alpilles Regional Park.
  • Classic historic provence villages of Baux de Provence, St-Remy-de-Provence & Fontvieille
  • Visit the Roman amphitheatre and Van Gogh museum in the historic town of Arles
  • Historic sites and places to visit in Avignon
Accommodation and Meals
  • Small guest house accommodation and hotels often in beautiful historic properties, many with swimming pools. Accommodation located for the most part within the towns and villages
What's included
  1. Transfers between Arles and the start of the first day's walk and after the last day's walk to Avignon.
  2. 6 nights' accommodation.
  3. All breakfasts and 2 evening meals
  4. Full walking notes and maps (see more information)
  5. Transport of luggage between guest houses
  6. Transfer on day 6 to the start of walk
  7. Read more information about our independent walking & trekking holidays
What's not included

 

  1. Travel to Arles at start of walking holiday and from Avignon at the end of the trip
  2. All lunches, 4 evening meals
  3. Any excursions or entrance fees
  4. Travel insurance

 

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  2. Return to Home Page
Walks

Les Alpilles: Van Gogh's Provence

Les Alpilles means little Alps, but don't worry, the walking is easy to moderate exploring the wonderful villages in this stunning part of Provence, including St Remy de Provence, celebrated as the place where Van Gogh created 150 of his famous paintings. This Provence walking tour goes around and through the little Alps where limestone crags shine in the cloudless, blue sky, sheltering olive groves from the mistral winds. You’ll also explore another beautiful historic village - Baux de Provence perched atop a jagged ridge and crowned by its castle ruins. Your walking holiday starts by visiting Arles where you can visit its famous Roman amphiteatre, whilst the walking holiday finishes in Avignon, which includes such famous sites as the Palais des Papes and the Pont d’Avignon.

Walking Profile

Walking on this holiday is moderate in grade mainly due to the nature of the terrain which can be rocky, and because it is possible to do a longer option on one of the days. Otherwise the walking is easy for the most part in terms of distances and amount of ascent. Mainly on good paths, tracks and quiet lanes. Average distances are about 14km with about 250m of ascent. Some small sections can be steep. Maximum altitude is 400m in one day (550m on more difficult option).

location map alpilles st remy de provence walking

Day 1: Arrival

Explore Arles and its Roman treasures including its Roman Ampitheatre. Take in the atmosphere of this lively Provence town, Van Gogh’s second home.

Day 2: Fontvieille - Baux de Provence

10 minutes transfer to Fontvieille a picturesque village with its ancient houses built from local stone. Fontvieille is the village where Alphonse Daudet wrote his famous "Lettres de Mon Moulin". Your walk starts by climbing the small hill to visit the "Moulin de Daudet" and from where there is a superb view of the Alpilles and the "Chateau de Montauban" where Daudet lived from time-to-time. Walk through a landscape of limestone, olives, pine-trees and oaks before climbing to the perched village of Les Baux de Provence: its homes packed tightly on top of the hill and listed as one of the prettiest villages in France. 13km, +290m

Day 3: Circular Tour from Les Baux de Provence (optional)

Explore Baux de Provence with it 22 architectural treasures classified as "Historic Monuments" (including the church, chateau, town-hall, hospital, chapels, houses, doorways etc. This car-free village has plenty of ancient houses that have been carefully restored, beautiful Renaissance facades and several magnificent "hotels particuliers". Above all, are the ruins of the citadelle which crown the hill. Visit the chateau ruins, cost about 8 euros. You also have the option of a walk to the village of Maussane in the heart of the most important olive producing area in France. Visit the famous 17th century Cornille mill where you can taste one of Provence’s best olive oils. 12km, +250m

Day 4: Baux de Provence - St Remy en Provence

A beautiful walk from Les Baux, back into the Alpilles (little Alps) rugged limestone hills. Walk along good hill top tracks along the ridges with good views before dropping down to St Remy en Provence one of the most famous villages of Provence and celebrated for being the adopted home of Van Gogh. Visit its pretty squares, fountains, Medieval buildings and cobblestone streets enclosed by the remains of its 14th century walls. On the way you can also explore the remains of the Roman town of Glanum. 15km, +390m

Day 5: Circular Tour from St Remy en Provence (optional)

Spend the day visiting St Remy en Provence and/or do an optional walk.
Among the possible visits in St Remy is the Saint-Paul de Mausole monastery where Van Gogh created 150 paintings in a year. Vincent Van Gogh had been living in Arles during 1888-89. In May 1889 he was voluntarily confined in the Asylum of Saint Paul de Mausole where in a productive year he painted two of his most notable works: Starry Night and Self-Portrait. Saint Remy de Provence is also home to the historic remains of Glanum which was founded in the 3rd century BC, before control passed to the Romans under Julius Cesar. Two important monuments are visible next to the site: l'Arc de Triomphe and the Mausolee des Antiques.

Your optional walk climbs onto a rocky ridgeline with fantastic views in all directions. The longer walk is quite tough with a steep rocky section. There is an easier and shorter option available. Return to St Remy.
Optional extra night in St Remy to relax and explore the sites. 10km, +250m or 18km, +550m

Day 6:  Baux de Provence - Chapel of Saint Gabriel Provence

Short transfer to the village of Les Baux de Provence to start your walk in the heart of the hills. Head west on good ridge top paths and tracks with outstanding views of Mont Ventoux, and the Rhone Valley. Descend to the end of the Alpilles hills. Descend through hills and the 12th century Romanesque Saint Gabriel Chapel. Short transfer to one of the prettiest cities in Provence, Avignon which includes famous sites such as the Palais des Papes and the Pont d’Avignon. 16km, +100m

Day 7: Departure

Holiday ends after breakfast. Option to book extra nights in Avignon.

Contact us about this self-guided walking holiday

 

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lavender fields in provence on independent walking holiday in France

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For useful advice about independent walking and preparing for your self guided holiday please take a look at the articles in our top-tips section.

Once you have booked on this independent walking or trekking holiday, further information about the walking, the region and what to bring, will be sent to you. We do have a web page dedicated to what clothes and equipment you should bring. In addition, our travel shop has direct access to all the top walking and travel retailers. Please contact us if you need any further information.

Bed

Accommodation & Meals


A mixture of small B&B style guest houses full of character providing wonderful home-cooked meals and charming friendly hotels. They are all 3 star or equivalent in quality, & are traditional properties offering an authentic and very comfortable stay. They are often in historic properties which have been beautifully renovated. Mixture of rural and village locations. Many have swimming pools.

Name Type Details Rating  
Mas d'Aigret hotel Charming small hotel at the foot of the village of Baux de Provence with swimming pool and lovely restaurant 3 star  
Travel Options

Travel Options


Holiday starts in Arles.

Train: Trains direct from Marseille, Lyon or Paris to Arles or change in Valence, Nimes or Avignon. Transfer to first walk on day 2.

Flights: The closest airports are Avignon and Marseille. Regular flights from a number of UK airports to Avignon. Flybe has services from Exeter, Southampton, Birmingham, Manchester & Leeds. Fly to Marseille Marignane: There are regular flights from Bristol, Edinburgh, London Stansted and London Gatwick. Shuttle bus every 20 minutes between 6.30am and 8.50 pm for the station SNCF Marseille Saint-Charles.

Holiday ends in Avignon. Train services towards Marseille, Nice, Lyon and Paris.

Please visit our travel shop for links to useful sites for reserving airport parking or booking train tickets in the uk

Note: Please check concerning the availability of a holiday before booking any flights. If you need further information or would like to discuss any aspect of your travel arrangements, please contact us, we’re here to help you.

We would be happy to book travel arrangements to France on your behalf for this self guided walking holiday.

 

Self Drive

Channel ferry crossings from Dover are provided by a number of operators including P&O Ferries, Eurotunnel and DFDS Seaways.

Once in France, the journey from Calais to Vaison la Romaine takes about 11 hours (excluding long breaks).

Tolls amount to about 45 euros each way.

Non secured parking is available in Vaison la Romain. Please inform us of this at the time of booking so when can provide you with directions to the first guest house. A short transfer would be provided at the end of your walking holiday to collect your car.

Photos

Photos


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