- At a glance
- Locality & Walks
- Accommodation & Meals
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Your Holiday at a Glance
|Independent Walking Holiday||
|Dates for 2020||
|Accommodation and Meals||
|What's not included
Alpine Provence: Part 1, Baronnies Regional Park
This independent walking holiday is the first leg of a unique trek which crosses Alpine Provence from Nyons near the Rhone Valley to Grasse in the foothills above Cannes. This spectacular trip takes you through some wonderful mountain scenery where the Alps meet Provence. The first part of this journey through Provence explores a remarkably beautiful area known as Les Baronnies. The Baronnies Regional Park is a quiet and unspoilt corner of France with wild and rugged peaks which rise above cultivated valleys with beautiful historic villages surrounded by olives, fruit orchards and rows of lavender.
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. 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 where alpine meadows provide stunning 360 panoramas of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Below steep slopes marked by ravines descend into narrow gorges or wide fertile valleys. Oak forests, scrub and moorland add to the tapestry of vegetation covering the hills.
This walking holiday is ideal for those walkers who are looking for a unique challenge, off the beaten track but who are also keen to discover the traditions, history and culture specific to the Baronnies region. 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. You'll stay in the two main centres and market towns of the region, Nyons and Buis les Baronnies where you can explore their pretty alleyways, visit their Provence markets (if days correspond) and learn more about their histories.
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 self-guided holiday is graded level 4. The walking days average about 900m of ascent and range between 550m and 1050m. The trails average about 22km each day. On some days it is possible to increase or reduce the difficulties. On the third walking day it is possible to have a rest day, as there is a circular trail on that day. Walking is on a mixture of narrow paths, tracks and occasionally quiet roads
Due to the nature of the landscape some sections can be relatively steep. Paths are generally good and well defined, with regular waymarking, but there are sections which can be rough and mountainous in places and some sections follow open alpine pasture where the trails are less well defined. The steep terrain means that it would be unwise to do this holiday if you suffered from vertigo. This holiday is recommended for walkers with some mountain walking experience.
Day 1: Arrival
Travel to Nyons in the Baronnies Regional Park in northern Provence and welcome at your guest house. Exlopre the historic town of Nyons.
Day 2: Nyons - Buis les Baronnies
A short transfer. Your alpine trek through Provence starts by climbing into the hills along the GR9. You can climb to Garde Grosse at 944m before descending through a pretty mix of ravines and terraced fields. Afterwards, continue on the GR9 going via Col de Milmandre and Col de Malpertuis across expansive open mountain slopes. Then descend through apricot groves and olives to reach the historic village of Buis les Baronnies. Historically the Baronnies had two capitals, Nyons and Buis les Baronnies, each for the two Lords who sought control of the region. 18km, +750m
Day 3: Buis les Baronnies - La Honas
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
On this independent walking holiday crossing the Baronnies of Alpine Provence, you will stay in a number of charming bed & breakfasts full of local character and small hotels. They are a mixture of styles and have been chosen for their charm, welcome and location. All rooms at the guest houses have private bathrooms, except at Eourres where you may need to share a bathroom depending on the number of other bookings at the property. Examples of the guest houses used on the holiday are shown below. They each have unique character and include renovated historic farms, a working farm, an old chateaux and town house where you'll be treated to a warm welcome. The style and comfort varies from chic to rustic, but each has their own charm and your hosts will enjoy giving up their time to make your stay extra special.
A hearty and healthy continental breakfast provides the perfect opportunity to discover the local specialities such as home-made jams and local yoghurt. At midday you will eat packed lunches prepared by your hosts, except the days leaving from the two market towns. Five evening meals will be taken at your guest houses, where you will be treated to delicious local delicacies and wine. Your evening meals in Nyons and Buis les Baronnies are not included in the price and will be taken in a local restaurant.
|La Honas||B&B||Renovated 17th century farm house situated in beautiful rural surroundings in the heart of the Baronnies with swimming pool||3 star eq.|
|Hotel Les Arcades||Hotel||A charming 3 star hotel in the heart of the historic centre of Buis les Baronnies. The hotel which is accessed via the historic arcade has been a hotel since 1661.||3 star|
Train & bus: Eurostar trains run from London to Lyon (some direct) some via Paris or Lille. From Lyon regular regional TER trains run to Montelimar. From Montelimar to Nyons by bus, line 36 (operated by TER train company).
For the return journey either take a direct TER train to Marseille Saint Charles and take a TGV train from there to connect with your Eurostar, or go via Gap by TER to Valence and onwards to Lyon
Flights: The closest airports are Lyon St Exupery, Avignon and Marseille. The airlines Easy jet, BMI regional, Ryan Air 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. Ryan Air has services to Marseille
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 Nyons is about 10 hours, excluding long breaks and costs about £50 in motorway tolls. Leave car at first guest house in Nyons (if possible depending on whether the guest house is busy). Cost of return taxi from Laragne Monteglins to Nyons is 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.
Also see our Baronnies Slideshow