- At a glance
- Vercors & Walks
- Accommodation & Meals
- Travel options
Your Holiday at a Glance
|Guided walking holiday||
|Accommodation and Meals||
|What's not included||
Vercors - Jewel in the Alps
The Vercors is a magical destination for a guided walking holiday, where gleaming vertical cliffs meet wild and desolate plateaux. Designated a French Regional Park, the Vercors in the French Alps is made up of large valleys, limestone plateaux, deep gorges and gigantic cliffs several hundred metres high. The main mountain summits are to be found on the eastern fringe of the range where the Grand Veymont reaches 2341 metres in height.
The south-eastern corner of the Vercors, the Trièves, is known affectionately as the French Dolomites and forms an ideal base for our walking holiday. The centre piece of this amazing alpine region is without doubt the Mont Aiguille, an awesome rock tower cast off from the main cliffs. In addition, the mountains of the Vercors are home to a host of natural wonders including extraordinary caves, underground glaciers, fantastic waterfalls, rock arches, and a natural well 120m deep. Set amongst this are a number of remarkable alpine villages, including Pont-en-Royans in the Bourne Gorge where historic houses perch perilously on rocky outcrops suspended over the river.
The Vercors is a haven for wildlife with deer, wild boar, hares, chamois, marmottes and the famous alpine ibex (Bouquetin) roaming the upland slopes. As for the flora there are 80 protected species represented on these alpine crags and mountains.
Find out more about Vercors Regional Park and Nature Reserve
For the most part, the walks on this guided walking holiday are Moderate/challenging in grade. However, the tour of the Grand Veymont mountain is a particularly long day for the grade. In addition, the nature of the alpine landscapes means that many of the walks necessitate a good head for heights. The paths are in general good though often rugged and on mountainous terrain. Average days are about 6-7 hours long with 800m of ascent.
Day 1: Arrival
Welcome at Lyon Airport and drive into western Vercors in the pre-Alps via spectacular scenery
Day 2: Pic St-Michel
After visiting the village of Pont-en-Royans, our first day's walk in the Vercors mountains climbs the Pic St Michel which at just over 1900m in altitude offers stunning views across the Alps. Time permitting we will visit the natural well at Malaterre
Day 3: The Vercors High Plateau
First we ascend the impressive gorge that leads to the Pas de l’Aiguille, where there is a poignant memorial to the soldiers who lost their lives at this remote spot. Next, we traverse a real wilderness. The desolate high alpine plateau is a chaotic maze of limestone blocks that stretch to the horizon. To finish, we descend to the col just west of the Mont Aiguille to admire its incredible beauty close up.
Day 4: Grand Veymont - 2 341m
This is a classic and challenging day's walking that takes in the highest mountain summit in the range. It is also a spectacular insight into the vertical world of the Vercors. By completing a circular walk we will get to see the full range of stunning faces and ridges that make up the mountain, as well as its varied and important wildlife. We also get impressive views of the Mont Aiguille. 1250m of ascent that is worth every step.
Day 5: The valleys, cirques and gorges of Glandasse
A partial rest day will allow us to recharge our batteries, whilst exploring the remarkable Combau Valley and the Cirque d’Archianne where the scale of the alpine rock faces will leave you feeling very small. Later you will have some free time in the historic town of Chatillon-en-Diois.
Day 6: Le Jocou
Set just apart to the south east, this gentler summit, at 2051m, allows us to admire the mountains of the Devoluy alpine range to the east and the rock faces of the Vercors to the west. Depending on how the group is faring there are a number of possible circular walking trails to attain its lofty mountain summit.
Day 7: Font d’Urle
Our final day's walking has two possible starts that lead onto the open pasture of the Ambel Plateau and its rounded summit, the Tete de la Dame. Next we traverse a cirque edge allowing great views across its meandering cliffs to reach the edge of the plateau at Font d’Urle.
Day 8: Departure
Return to Lyon and transfer from France to the UK
Once you have booked on this alpine 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.
Further information about your guided walking holiday in the Vercors will be sent to you prior to departure. We will endeavour to keep to these walks as far as possible; 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.
Look at the full list of guided walking and trekking holidays
Accommodation & Meals
We will be using three traditional Vercors guest houses during the course of your alpine guided walking holiday. They are exquisite properties offering authentic and very comfortable accommodation. The exact guest houses used will depend on availability. Below is a representative selection of the ones we use. The guest houses or hotels will depend on availability and the size of your group.
A hearty and healthy continental breakfast sets you up for your day's walking and 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 alpine specialities from the Vercors such as the mouth-watering Beef fillet in mushroom and cheese gratin.
|Ferme de la Source||B&B||Historic farmhouse dating from the 19th century. Overlooks a quiet valley in the southern Vercors planted with pine, vines and lavender.||3 Corns|
|Le Cholet||B&B||Magnificent château built in the 19th century, set in 10 hectares of greenery near to the Bourne Gorge||3 Corns|
|A la Crecia||B&B||A 16th century farm that has been authentically restored to retain its wooden features. Rural location in the northern plateau.||3 Corns|
|La Ferme de Ruthieres||B&B||Historic farm located in a hamlet in the shadow of the Mont Aiguille. Vaulted living room.||3 Corns|
Transfers between Lyon Airport or train station and the Vercors region of the French Alps are included in the price of your tailor-made guided walking holiday.
Transfers from Lyon
The airlines Easy jet, BMI and British Airways have scheduled flights from the UK to Lyon airport.
Please visit our travel shop for links to useful sites for reserving airport parking or booking train tickets
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 for this guided walking holiday.
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 about 7am and arriving in Lyon at 3pm. Please contact us before booking to check for other practical times.
If you cannot get a service to match your request, phone the number on the rail europe website for further information. We would be delighted to organise your travel arrangements for you if needed.
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 Lyon area takes about 7 hours (excluding long breaks).
Tolls amount to about 35 euros each way. Controlled parking is available at the airport for 50 euros. Other secure but non-surveilled parking is available free of charge.
Parking is available at the guest houses if you wish to drive direct to the walking holiday destination in the Vercors. Please inform us of this at the time of booking so when can provide you with directions to the first guest house.