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Your Holiday at a Glance
|Guided walking Holiday||
|Dates for 2020||
|Accommodation and Meals||
|What's not included||
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Les Baronnies - Secret Provence
Our guided walking holiday explores a remarkably beautiful area of northern Provence as Les Baronnies. Les Baronnies is a secret and unspoilt corner of France where the Alps meet the Provence with beautiful historic villages clinging to rocky mountain sides decorated in purple lavender flowers.
Sheltered by the mountains, its privileged position and distinct climate gives the region a remarkable light that draws you into the rugged and beautiful landscapes laid out before you. But it's not just your sight that will be bombarded on this unique guided walking holiday, it is also a region where wild Thyme, Lavender, herbs and pine produce a wonderfully scented landscape. Each corner of this fascinating area has its own characteristics. Rocky bluffs and cliffs define summit tops from which steep slopes marked by ravines descend into narrow gorges or wide fertile valleys covered in Lavender, fruit trees and olive groves. Oak forests, scrub and moorland add to the tapestry of vegetation covering the hills on this French walking holiday.
The historic legacy of the region is rich and is said to go back to Hannibal, the Carthaginian leader who crossed les Baronnies with his elephants around 200BC. There are a large number of well-preserved fortified medieval villages clinging to steep hillsides established by the barons of Mévouillon and Montauban in the 11th century. Their towers, walls and alleyways are now altered by a succession of historic events that have marked the region.
The double influence of the Alps and the Mediterranean has created an exceptionally rich fauna and flora including orchids such as the Sabot de Venus, vultures, chamois, wolves and wild boar. It is therefore not surprising that this secret and untamed area has recently been designated a Natural Regional Park - Baronnies Regional Park.
The walking on this guided holiday is mixed allowing walkers of moderate ability to enjoy the ever changing views and landscapes. Some moderate ascents up and down valleys and hills are included in the week. Average distances are about 13km with about 400m of ascent. Most walks are well within the grade, although due to the nature of the landscape some small sections can be relatively steep. Paths are generally good and well defined, although they can be rough in places. The steep terrain means that it would be unwise to do this holiday if you suffered from vertigo.
Day 1: Arrival
Your walking holiday in France starts with a welcome, pick-up from Lyon airport or train station and drive to northern Provence
Day 2: Around Montbrun-les-Bains
Our day starts by a visit to the nearby hamlet of Reilhanette, which has little changed since the middle ages. Our day's walk then starts and finishes at Montbrun les Bains, a beautiful historic village perched on the hillside. It is classed as one of the prettiest villages in France and has buildings progressing up the hillside on 6 levels, with the remains of a renaissance chateau sitting prominently above. Our walk will explore this fascinating village before doing a short circuit contouring around the surrounding hills. 11km 240m climb
Day 3: Tour of Fort de Mévouillon
Once you have booked on this guided walking 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.
Please note: Further information about the walks in the Baronnies will be sent to you prior to your holiday. We will endeavour to keep to these walks as far as possible on our guided walking holiday; however they are subject to change. In addition, we like to maintain a certain degree of flexibility to take account of the group’s abilities and interests, and the local conditions. The final selection of walks will be made by your guide during the week after consultation with the group.
Accommodation & Meals
We will be using two small B&B style guest houses in traditional historic properties during the course of our guided walking holiday. They are exquisite properties in peaceful rural surroundings offering authentic and very comfortable accommodation with swimming pools. The exact guest houses or hotels used will depend on availability and the size of your group.
A hearty and healthy continental breakfast provides the perfect opportunity to discover the local specialities such as home-made jams and local cheeses. At midday we will eat packed lunches prepared by our hosts and they will be eaten during the course of the walk. All evening meals will be taken at your guest house and will embrace the fine selection of local specialities from the Baronnies with its selection of fine herbs.
|La Honas||B&B||Renovated 17th century farm house situated in beautiful surroundings in the heart of the Baronnies||3 corns|
|La Maison de Marguerite||B&B||Renovated traditional 19th century farm house situated close to the historic village of Montbrun les Bains||3 corns|
Transfers on this French walking holidays are between Lyon Airport or Lyon train station and the Baronnies region of Provence in France. This is included in the price of your guided walking holiday.
Transfers from Lyon airport
The airlines Easy jet, BMI and British Airways have scheduled flights from the UK - Manchester, Stanstead and Heathrow to Lyon St Exupery airport.
Please visit our travel shop for links to useful sites for reserving airport parking or booking train tickets to the UK airports
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 Lyon, France on your behalf.
Eurostar and the TGV provide a relaxing journey from London to Lyon Part Dieu changing at Lille. Please use Rail Europe's train finder in our travel store to organise your train journey.
There is a practical train time leaving London at 9am and arriving in Lyon at 3pm. Please contact us before booking to check for other practical times.
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 Baronnies takes about 10 hours (excluding long breaks).
Tolls amount to about 45 euros each way.
Non secured parking is available at the guest houses. Please inform us of this at the time of booking so when can provide you with directions to the first guest house.