- At a glance
- Locality & Walks
- Accommodation & Meals
- Travel options
Your Holiday at a Glance
|Independent Walking Holiday||
|Dates for 2020||
|Price 6 nights||
|Accommodation and Meals||
|What's not included
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 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).
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
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. One of the must-see sites close to the village is the Carrieres de Lumieres, where artistic works are projected on enormous quarry walls. At the moment Van Gogh's works are being shown.
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. 11km, +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. 14km, +390m
Day 5: Circular Tour from St Remy en Provence
Spend the day visiting St Remy en Provence and/or do an optional walk.
You have the choice of two relatively easy walks around St Remy, one staying low wandering through the olive groves and vineyards which inspired Van Gogh or one which climbs onto the Plateau de la Caume for wonderful views. Return to St Remy via the beautiful Lake Peirou.
Day 6: Tour from Eygalieres
Short transfer to the historic village of Eygalieres. This small village is less busy than St Remy but has lots of Provence charm. There is a wonderful Provence market on Fridays. Your walk takes via a gentle path into the surrounding hills with wonderful panoramic views throughout. A great walk to finish your Alpilles experience. Short transfer to Avignon one of the prettiest cities in Provence, 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.
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.
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.
|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|
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.
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 Arles takes about 11 hours (excluding long breaks).
Tolls amount to about 45 euros each way.