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

Your Holiday at a Glance


   
Independent Walking Holiday
  • Historic Hill-top Villages of Drome Provencale

Dates for 2018
  • 1 April to 6 July & 24 August to 31 October
Price
  • £775 (single supplement £235)
  • €850 (single supplement €260)
  • Extra night near Poet Laval £80/€85 Full Board
Grade
Profile
  • 7 nights, 6 days self-guided walking moving between guest houses. Option of extra day and night at Poet Laval.
Highlights
  • A unique linear trail through a beautiful landscape of rolling hills and craggy summits
  • Relatively quiet part of France with many stunning perched, historic villages
  • A multitude of landscapes and vegetation with lavender fields, vines, olives groves & forest
  • A warm and sunny climate
  • Delightful guest houses full of character, five with swimming pools
Testimonials
  • "We LOVED this holiday - the rhythm of walking and arriving tired but ready for a lovely dinner was marvellous. Delicious picnic lunches with fabulous views were definitely our style. We enjoyed the beauty and variety of walking valley to valley. We especially enjoyed walking along the ridges. We will definitely come back to do another trip with you." M. Brodhead, UK.
Accommodation and Meals
  • 7 night's accommodation in delightful, quality guest houses, in historic properties which have been beautifully renovated, five with swimming pools. Charm and originality. Great hospitality and fine local cuisine.
What's included
  1. 7 night's accommodation, all breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 evening meals, transport of luggage between guest houses, wine tasting in Venterol, detailed walking notes and maps
What's not included
  1. Transport to Crest and from Nyons in France, lunches on arrival and departure days, plus lunch on first day, 3 evening meals, visits, travel insurance
 
  1. Holidays of same grade: Secret Provence - Tour of Baronnies, Pyrenees Coastal Trail, High Beaujolais Hills, Tour of Ardeche - Baronnies Explorer
Walks

Drome Provencale & Walks

This unique self-guided walking holiday traverses the Drome Provencale from north to south, exploring varied and beautiful landscapes linked by several stunning historic perched villages. Starting in Crest in the Drome Valley, which boasts the highest keep tower in France, you’ll pass through scented lavender fields, secluded woods, vines of the Cote du Rhone and finally the olive groves of Nyons in the Baronnies.

This is a French region of quiet picturesque hills in the south of the Drome nestled between the Alps to the north and the Provence to the south, where your undulating trails have superb views of the surrounding mountains. Your walking holiday passes through wonderful historic villages perched on the Drome hills overlooking rows of lavender or olive groves below. Bourdeaux, Venterol, Taulignan and of course Poet Laval, one of the prettiest villages in France are all on your week's walking trail. Your delightful guest houses, five with swimming pools will mean you can relax and indulge yourself after your day’s walking. They are all located in historic guest houses which have been beautifully restored.


Walking Profile

6 or 7 days independent walking moving between guest houses. This walking holiday is suitable for most walkers of a reasonable level of fitness (with a minimum of preparation). You should be used to walking on a variety of paths. The landscapes are hilly rather than mountainous with the exception of a couple of the more challenging options. The walking holiday is at the upper end of the moderate grade—average day is 18km with 500m ascent. Maximum ascent on the moderate grade is 650m. The more challenging options include more ascents.

 

location map drome france walking tours

Day 1: Arrival

Welcome at your guest house in Crest. Small historic town overlooking the Drome Valley guarded by the highest dungeon tower in France. Stay in a 19th century house near the centre of town with large garden and pool.

Day 2: Crest - Saou

Your first day's walk climbs away from the Drome Valley, exploring rich woodland and undulating farmland. You’ll then traverse underneath the craggy tops of Roche Colombe before your trail then enters the pretty village of Saou at the spectacular and narrow entrance to the Saou Valley, an enclosed wooded gorge, overlooked by towering limestone cliffs. From here it’s a short walk to your guest house. You can shorten the walk by going straight to your guest house before Saou. 20km, +640m

Day 3: Saou - Bourdeaux

Your second day has two very different options. The moderate option follows close to the Roubion Valley passing through the historic villages of Francillon and Poet Celard with its chateau. After a climb through picturesque farmland you'll descend to the beautiful historic perched village of Bourdeaux. The challenging option climbs steeply to reach the summit of the Grand Pomerolle for amazing views over Saou and of its wooded valley and vertical cliffs. A ridge walk brings you to the Porte de Barry from where it’s a long and picturesque descent to Bourdeaux, as lavender fields start to appear. Guest house in heart of village with pool. Moderate: 17km, +400m, mod/chall: 22km, +950m

Day 4: Bourdeaux - Poet Laval

Your walking trail takes you up through the historic village of Bourdeaux, before making a detour to the ruins of its Chateau where you get great views towards the mountain known as 3 Becs. The trail undulates through a patchwork of forest and lavender fields, with great panoramic views. After passing the isolated Romanesque church at Comps, you’ll contour around the Montagne des Vents in the forest before descending to Dieulefit, a historic village famous for its pottery. Your walking trail then traverses across the valley sides to reach the magnificent historic village of Poet Laval, classed as one of the prettiest villages in France. Stay in a 3 star hotel in the heart of the medieval village. 19.5km, +650m

Optional extra day at Poet Laval

Have a rest day and enjoy the swimming pool and views from your wonderful hotel,  explore Poet Laval and its surroundings or undertake the ascension of Serre Gros (optional walk 18km, +600m).

Day 5: Poet Laval - Taulignan

Today’s walk climbs a pretty ridge with great views back towards Poet Laval to reach the summit of Mont Rochas which at about 900m in altitude provides wonderful views in all directions. You’ll then descend through forest before emerging onto the vine and lavender covered slopes which surround the beautiful historic village of Taulignan. Stay in a lovely guest house with pool in rural location. 18km, +590m

Day 6: Taulignan - Venterol

Explore the delightful medieval walled village of Taulignan. After, you’ll traverse slopes between steep forested hills above vine covered slopes stretching out below, peppered by lavender fields. Pass by the small perched villages of Pegue and Rousset-les-Vignes before reaching your beautiful guest house located on a vineyard in a historic fortified farm with great views. 20km, +340m. Extra walking to view points can be added to the walking trail.

Day 7: Venterol - Nyons

Your day starts by exploring the historic perched village of Venterol before the easy option traverses the valley slopes, as vines give way to the famous olive groves of Nyons. A more challenging option is available climbing up onto the Montagne des Vaux to follow its ridge top with wonderful panoramic views. The trail then follows a spectacular descent into the historic town of Nyons, perched overlooking the Eygues Valley. Explore this quaint provence town which has a mediteranean feel and is gateways to the Baronnies. Nyons is home to a wonderful climate and is bathed in the smell of lavender. Mod: 11km, +140m, mod/chall: 17km, +500m

Day 8: Departure

Your self guided walking holiday ends after breakfast. Possible to book extra nights at Nyons.


 

crest view hills walking holiday drome france

venterol lavender fields walking holidays in france

bourdeaux castle french walking holiday

crest historic town perched villages in Drome

view from hotel poet laval france provence

independent walking holiday provence panoramic views

domaine provensol vineyard cote du rhone self guided walking holiday

crest drome valley walking tour france

 

 

Bed

Accommodation & Meals


You'll stay in 7 different guest houses. They are delightful, quality guest houses, in historic properties which have been beautifully renovated. The majority are in small B&B style guest houses whilst at Poet en Laval, you'll stay in a 3 star hotel. Five of the guest houses have swimming pools where you can relax after your day's walking. Charm and originality. Four evening meals are included in the holiday price where you'll enjoy fine local cuisine, whilst on the 3 other nights you have a free choice among the numerous restaurants. Below we have listed 3 guest houses which are representative of the accommodation that you'll be staying in.

Name Type Details Rating  
Domaine de Provensol B&B Renovated fortified farm which is now a vineyard and beautiful guest house in superb setting. Wine tasting 3* eq. domaine de provensol venterol drom provence
La Tulip Sauvage B&B Town house with character in the centre of the historic village of Bourdeaux. Warm welcome, great food and pool   pool guest house la tulip sauvage Bourdeaux
Les Hospitaliers Hotel 3 star hotel in the historic heart of Poet Laval. Pool & great views from terrace. 3 stars les hospitaliers poet laval walking holiday drome france
Travel Options

Travel Options


Meeting at your guest house in Crest in the Drome Valley, France.

Train & bus: TGV trains run from Paris and Lyon to Valence TGV. Shuttle bus or local train to Valence Ville. Regular regional TER trains from Valence Ville to Crest (direction Die & Gap). Return from Nyons by bus, line 36 to Montelimar (operated by TER train company) & take return TGV or TER trains from Montelimar station.

Flights: The closest airports are Lyon St Exupery & Avignon. The airlines Easy jet, BMI regional and British Airways have scheduled flights from the UK - Stansted, Manchester and Heathrow - to Lyon St Exupery airport. Regular flights from a number of UK airports to Aignon. Flybe has services from Exeter, Southampton, Birmingham, Manchester & Leeds.

Self-drive: Chanel crossing by ferry with P&O or DFDS ferries and by rail with Eurotunnel. Once in France, drive time from Calais to Crest is about 9 hours, excluding long breaks and costs about £45 in motorway tolls. Leave car at first guest house in Crest. Cost of return taxi from Nyons to Crest about 160 euros.

Please check that the walking holiday is available before making any travel arrangements. Please visit our travel shop page for links to useful travel websites.

 

Photos

Photos


bourdeaux drome walking holiday in Provence
venterol lavender fields self guided walking france
bourdeaux drome walking holiday in Provence
crest drome valley france
manoramic trails drome provence independent walking tour
perched village drome french walking holidays
bourdeaux historic village walking break southern france
bourdeaux historic village walking break southern france walking holiday
independent walking holiday south france nyons olives