• At a glance
  • Locality & Walks
  • Accommodation & Meals
  • Travel options
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At a Glance

Your Holiday at a Glance


   
Independent Walking Holiday
  • Tour of Ardeche: Rustic Trails

Dates for 2018
  • Everyday (subject to availability) during April, May, June, September & October
Price
  • £850 (single supplement £245)
  • €935 (single supplement €270)
Grade
  • grade moderate challenging walking holiday
Profile
  • 8 days: 7 days walking moving between guest houses
Highlights
  • A great circular trail far from the crowds
  • Rugged Ardeche with spectacular ridges offering vast panoramic views
  • Historic villages clinging to terraced valleys
  • Beautiful rivers where you can bathe
  • Rustic guest houses & great hospitality
Testimonials
  • "We have both enjoyed a terrific week! We had a really delightful time. All of our hosts were so friendly and welcoming. We very much enjoyed all of our days of walking, and the variations in landscapes and changing flora in the forests. I really loved walking along the ridges ....." M. Ma, UK read more
Accommodation and Meals
  • 8 nights in very comfortable small guest houses & hotels with charm & character. Warm welcome and great local cuisine.
What's included
  • 8 nights' full board accommodation (except 3 evening meals & one lunch). Full walking notes and 1:25,000 maps, transport of luggage between guest houses.
What's not included
  • Travel to Aubenas, France; 3 evening meals, some drinks, one lunch, any excursions or entrance fees, travel insurance
 
Walks

Ardeche & Walks

The Ardeche is an amazingly diverse region making up the eastern extremity of the Massif Central in southern France. With wild, rugged mountains and picturesque historic villages clinging to terraced hillsides it makes an ideal location for an independent walking holiday away from the beaten track. This walking tour is located in the picturesque central Ardeche mountains in the heart of its Regional Natural Park.

You’ll start and finish your self guided walking tour in the historic hilltop town of Aubenas before following a dramatic circular tour which becomes higher and more remote with each passing day as you head into the Tanargue with ridges offering vast panoramic views. The valleys are as magical as the mountains are wild with historic bridges and chateaux, cliff-lined rivers and terraces of orchards and vines.

Your walking holiday in the Ardeche includes wonderful heather-clad ridges with great panoramic views; pretty chestnut forests; beautiful rivers where it's possible to bathe; and sun parched, olive and vine covered slopes. The Ardeche landscape is rugged and sometimes wild but wherever you look man's interaction with these mountains is evident with rustic stone-built villages, old terraces with stone walls and beautiful medieval bridges spanning the steep valley slopes.

Walking Profile

7 days independent walking moving between guest houses. The days average 6 hours walking with an average of 17km and +700m per day. Maximum altitude gain in one day is +950m. The Ardeche is rugged and mountainous - the paths are generally good, although some sections can be rocky and quite steep. You should be reasonably fit, be able to navigate in the mountains and be comfortable walking on paths in mountainous areas.


 

location of ardeche france

Day 1: Arrival

Welcome at your first guest house in Aubenas.

Day 2: Aubenas - Antraigues sur Volane

A fairly long first day's walking passing through a number of rustic hamlets before crossing the Sandron Valley and climbing to the Volcan de Craux and its historic chateau. You’ll end the day at Antraigues sur Volane, a pretty historic village perched on a ridge between two valleys. 18km, +600m

Day 3: Antraigues sur Volane - Chirols

Today your walking trail heads west through pretty forest to reach the tiny hamlet of Juvinas before turning south. You’ll then climb over open hilltops with great expansive views before descending through forest to reach Chirols overlooking the Fontauliere River. 17km +900 m

Day 4: Chirols - La Souche

A great day's walking which first crosses a hillside to reach the Ardeche River which has cut an erratic course between steep slopes and rocky bluffs. On the far side of the valley is the thermal spa of Neyrac les Bains. You then have two choices of trails. The first hugs the chaotic valley slopes above the river Lignon through forest and terraced orchards to reach the pretty village of Jaujac, situated on the river, which is hemmed in by volcanic rocks. The second climbs to wild mountain summits including Rocher de Ladenne, at over 1000m with fabulous panoramic views. 17 or 20km, + 450m or +950m

Day 5: La Souche - Valgorge

The 4th walking day of your holiday climbs steeply through a wild landscape of ravines to reach an open ridgeline where you have the chance to climb Mont Aigu at 1316m with vast panoramic views towards the Alps and of the surrounding Tanargue mountains. You’ll then follow a trail along the ridgeline following the Tour of Tanargue. You'll reach over 1,400m before it’s time to descend rapidly to Valgorge in the narrow Baume Valley. 17km, +900 m

Day 6: Valgorge - La Roche

From Valgorge climb through mixed forest to reach another beautiful heather-clad ridgeline and cross several summits above 1000m. Follow the tour of Tanargue on a good trail before descending to La Roche, perched above the Baume River. Your guest house has a patio with great views and a sauna & pool to help you unwind tired muscles. 16km, +550m 

Day 7: La Roche - Haute Maurelle

Today’s walking trail crosses the Baume Valley and climbs to the isolated summit of Tour de Brison for great panoramic views. Afterwards a mix of chestnut forests and terraced valley slopes bring you to the hill-top village of Montreal and then the medieval village of  Largentiere clinging to the valley's slopes with its remarkable chateau. 23km, +850m 

Day 8: Haute Maurelle - Aubenas

Your walking trail returns to a less rugged and more tamed landscape. Head north through the hamlet of Chassiers with its remarkable gothic church and medieval chapel. A lower level walk over smaller hills through forest, vines, terraced orchards & historic hamlets brings you back to the medieval hill-top town of Aubenas 22km, +650m 

Day 9: Departure

Holiday ends after breakfast

 

chirols village ardeche walking

areche ridges

southern French walking tour in Ardeche

medieval bridge ardeche france

terraces orchards vines olives in ardeche

ardeche mountains french walking holiday

ardeche vines france walking holiday

self guided walking ardeche mountains tanargue

ardeche ridges hills walking France

 

Bed

Accommodation & Meals


8 nights in very comfortable small guest houses & hotels with charm & character. The guest houses vary in their style, character and quality, ranging from rustic auberges to luxury B&B's. They all have comfortable en-suite rooms. Some have swimming pools and beautiful outside patios with great views. Warm welcome and great local cuisine.

 

Name Type Details Rating  
L'Angelot B&B 17th century stone property with large pool and great views near the village of Antraigues with large rooms   angelot antraigues guest house
La Petit Cour Verte B&B A 16th century stone house set in peaceful countryside with modern rooms, pool and sauna   Accommodation
Travel Options

Travel Options


Train and bus

You'll need to make your own way to your first accommodation in Aubenas.

Eurostar trains from London St Pancras to Paris or Lille. Change for TGV trains to Valence direct or via Lyon. Change at Valence TGV station & take bus to Aubenas which is run by TER train company (frequency every 2 hours). Also less frequent buses from Avignon TGV and Montelimar station (with change).

Flights

The closest airports are Lyon St Exupery & Avignon. The airlines Easy Jet, Flybe and British Airways have scheduled flights from the UK - Luton, Birmingham, Gatwick, Edinburgh and Heathrow - to Lyon St Exupery airport. Regular flights from a number of UK airports to Avignon. Flybe has services from Exeter, Southampton, Birmingham, Manchester & Leeds. Trains from Lyon and Avignon to Valance TGV before catching bus service (every two hours) to Aubenas. Also possibility of bus direct to Aubenas from Avignon TGV. There are a number of car hire firms at the airports including Avis, Europcar and Hertz.

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.

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 the Ardeche takes about 9 - 10 hours (excluding long breaks).

Tolls amount to about 50 euros each way.

Non secured parking is available at the guest houses or in Aubenas.

 

Photos

Photos


antraigues perched village in ardeche regional park
panoramic view of ardeche mountains tanargue
view from aubenas ardeche walking tour
self guided walking holiday Ardeche France
river ardeche independent walking tour
tanargue mountains ardeche walks France