- At a glance
- Beaujolais & walks
- Accommodation & Meals
- Travel options
Your Holiday at a Glance
|Independent Walking Holiday||
|Dates for 2020||
|Accommodation and Meals||
|What's not included||
High Beaujolais Hills
This independent walking holiday in the Beaujolais hills is a unique and inspiring circuit, ideal for those who are looking for a more challenging walk in the Beaujolais, through varied upland landscapes, as well as staying in charming guest houses with a very warm welcome.
The Beaujolais region of France, located to the north and east of Lyon, is a series of rolling hills summiting around 1000m above sea level. Despite the relatively gentle nature of their slopes, the scale of the peaks and the depths of the valleys create a landscape of great panoramas and rich contrasts. The character of the hills changes with altitude as the vines give way to forests and pastures on the higher slopes.
Your independent walking tour takes in the region known as the Haut (high) Beaujolais, with its rich variety of beautiful landscapes beyond the famous vineyards. Grazing goats on upland pasture, valley meadows, dense and gloomy forests, and the vines encroaching up to 600m in altitude, create a tapestry of colours and textures across the ridges and valleys.
Famous for its wines, the high Beaujolais is little known, even in France, for its great walks, beautiful scenery and dense network of well kept trails. Except during the busiest holiday days you'll have these wonderful trails all to yourselves as you pass through enchanting villages in green secluded valleys.
The walks on this self-guided circuit average 20 km and include some sizeable ascents and descents, although they are generally no more than 400m at a time. Average daily ascent is 550m. This holiday has been included in the moderate to challenging grade due to the length of some days and the reasonably sustained nature of the walking throughout the week. There is however, the possibility to take shorter options on a couple of days to reduce the difficulty of the holiday. The paths are generally good, although they can be rough and stoney in places.
Day 1: Arrival
Welcome, drive to B&B in the heart of the high Beaujolais and settle in to your first guest house - a wonderful B&B serving great food.
Day 2: Ouroux to Propieres
Your first day's walking climbs steadily through the pretty Carelle valley with its lush pasture, meandering brook and chateau. After some great views down the Ardieres Valley, you'll plunge into the forests of Mont St Rigaud, which at 1009m is the highest point of the Beaujolais and was the former site of a priory held by the monks of Cluny. There is a viewing tower on its summit to allow amazing panoramic views. You'll then descend the secluded Sornin Valley to arrive at your guest house. 22km, +550m
Day 3: Propieres to Poule les Echarmeaux
This is a relatively short day's walk with an optional detour, undulating between small ridges and quiet valleys. The scene is one of remote farmland and old farmsteads little changed for centuries. After passing through a number of pretty hamlets, you'll descend to the village of Poule, once a large economic centre for the Beaujolais hills. 12 or 19km, +300 or 400m
Day 4: Poule les Echarmeaux to Beaujeu
You'll start by crossing the once glaciated Azergues Valley, which lies at the heart of the Beaujolais and is now home of the local timber industry. After, you'll traverse the slopes of the imposing Mont Tourveon, before reaching Vernay a tiny hamlet in a beautiful setting with its remarkable 12th century Romanesque church. The first vines start to appear as you descend to Beaujeu, the former historic capital of the Beaujolais, home to the powerful lords of Beaujeu who ruled here for over 400 years. Here you can visit it's hospice and 12th century church before the short walk to your guest house. Wine tasting at guest house on vineyard. 19km, +440m
Day 5: Beaujeu - Quincié
Another day's walking exploring the heights of the Beaujolais region, with the option of walking to the Summit of Mont Soubran. After taking in views of the intimate valleys to the east, where vines and forests meet, you will follow a picturesque ridge offering breath-taking views across the Beaujolais and beyond. On a clear day, the Mont Blanc stands out proud on the horizon. Descent to your guest house in lovely secluded location. 22km, +770m, shorter options are available.
Day 6: Quincié to Chiroubles
Today's walk explores the vineyards that spread out in all directions across the lower slopes of the Beaujolais. On route you will have time to admire a number of chateaux and villages, such as Regnie-Durette, with its impressive double spired church. Your walking trail gradually rises back towards the hills with the views becoming more and more extensive, the most impressive reserved for the outdoor patio at your welcoming B&B. 15km, +550m
Day 7: Chiroubles to Ouroux
A great day's walking to finish the week. After a steep ascent away from the vines you'll visit the quaint village of Avenas with its lovely 12th century church and remarkable limestone altar, and its ramshackle stone properties. After another climb you follow a high level traverse taking in some great views across the upland Beaujolais and across to the Alps. From the summit at the Croix de Rochefort you literally look straight down upon Beaujeu. Your route follows the ridges in and out of forest all the way back to your guest house at Ouroux. 19km, +540m
Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, transfer to Lyon
For useful advice about independent walking and preparing for your self guided holidays 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 self-guided or independent walking holiday in the French Beaujolais you will be stay in charming bed & breakfasts full of local character (3 corns quality). All rooms have private bathrooms. Below is a representative selection of the guest houses you will stay in.
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 you will eat packed lunches prepared by your hosts. Most evening meals will be taken at your guest houses with your hosts, where you will be treated to local delicacies.
|Domaine de Romarand||B&B||Beautiful farm house built from local stone in a great setting among the vineyards at Quincie en Beaujolais. Swimming pool.||3 Corns|
|Ferme du Planet||B&B||18th century farm of great character at 550m in the northern Beaujolais. Great rooms with original wooden features and stone walls.||3 Corns|
|Le Fetre||B&B||Renovated wine producers property with superb views in the parish of Chiroubles, one of the 10 Beaujolais Crus .||3 Corns|
Transfers between Lyon Airport and Lyon train stations and the Beaujolais region of France are included in the price of your independent walking holiday.
Transfers from Lyon airport
The airlines Easy jet, Flybe and British Airways have scheduled flights from the UK - Luton, Birmingham, Gatwick, Edinburgh 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 direct and changing at Lille or Paris. Please use Rail Europe's train finder on our travel shop page 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 & DFDS seaways. Crossings are also provided by train with Eurotunnel.
Once in France, the journey from Calais to the Burgundy area takes about 6 and a half 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.