- At a glance
- Locality & Walks
- Accommodation & Meals
- Travel options
Your Holiday at a Glance
|Independent Walking Holiday||
|Dates for 2020||
|Accommodation and Meals||
|What's not included|
This self-guided walking holiday in the Beaujolais region of France explores the full range of beautiful landscapes found throughout this relatively quiet French area. Starting in the north, the walk crosses the luxuriant High Beaujolais hills where fields of pasture give way to forest on the highest hills with breathtaking views. You'll then descend to cross some of the famous Beaujolais vineyards on the slopes of the Saone Valley, before crossing a series of deep valleys covered in vines. 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. Your experience quickly changes from secluded intimate valleys to panoramic ridges and back again.
Further south and you'll pass into an area known as the “Golden stones country”, so called due to the colour of the limestone used in the buildings. Here you will find some of the prettiest villages in France, set in a sumptuous landscape of interlocking hills receding to the horizon. Wherever you look, you'll find fortified remains, chateaux or churches adorning the vine covered slopes. This picturesque wine growing area is often referred to as the local Tuscany due to the similarities in their expansive landscapes.
This walking holiday is in the moderate to challenging grade, although the walking is never challenging. The days range from about 14km to 23km in length and have daily ascents ranging from 300m to 700m. The paths are generally good, although they vary greatly in character. Some sections of the trail are rough and stoney in places with the odd steeper section. This holiday includes parts of the trails used in parts of our other independent walks in the Beaujolais.
Day 1: Welcome
Welcome and pick up from Lyon and transfer to first guest house in northern Beaujolais. Guest house on farm with great character.
Day 2: Ouroux - Chiroubles
Your first day is a superb start to the week, with a gentle climb through the lush green pastures of the pretty and peaceful Carelle Valley, with its small fields, hedgerows and winding stream. You'll then rise onto a series of hills and ridges each one slightly higher than the last, taking you to the Croix Rochefort for vast panoramic views of the ridges and valleys you'll be crossing later in the week. Your next guest house is at a wine growers property in a lovely spot on the upper limit of the vines on the slopes of the Saone Valley. Wine tasting of the Chiroubles cru, 17km, +450m
Day 3: Chiroubles - Beaujeu
Today is an easier day descending gently through vines and pretty villages to reach the ancient capital of the Beaujolais, Beaujeu. This is where the lords of Beaujeu reigned over a large part of the Beaujolais region from the 10th century for over 400 years. After visiting the town, it's a short climb to your next guest house in a remote location. 14km, +280m
Day 4: Beaujeu - Vaux en Beaujolais
Today is the toughest day on the traverse and takes you up onto the hills and ridges above Beaujeu, crossing pasture and forest with views down a number of picturesque valleys. Your route then takes you along an open ridgeline protected for its wildlife value, with stunning views out on both sides. Relax and admire the birds of prey gliding in the thermals. From the ridge you'll descend by a delightful trail to the attractive village of Perreon. Great views of the vine covered hills. Guest house in village centre. 23km, +700m
Day 5: Vaux en Beaujolais - Cogny
Another longish day packed with interest. You'll traverse a number of interesting smaller valleys that characterise this part of the Beaujolais. Your day starts by following a picturesque ridge with great views all the way. You'll then have the option between two walking trails, one following the ridgeline of the Beaujolais hills with wonderful views towards the Alps. The second option takes you past the fairy-tale like Chateau de Montmelas, before a picturesque decent to your delightful guest house. 21km, +600m.
Day 6: Cogny - Oingt
Today you'll pass through a number of the prettiest villages in the region. Your day starts by visiting Jarnioux, with its well-preserved 13th century chateau (possibility of guided visit) before following a former railway line over viaducts and around pretty valleys to the historic village of Theizé. Here you can admire the elegant houses glowing golden in the sun. Afterwards, you'll climb a picturesque ridge to arrive at the medieval hill-top village of Oingt (classed one of the prettiest villages in France). Explore its narrow quaint street, and enjoy the amazing views from its promenade, before descending to your guest house on a vineyard in the pretty village of Moire. A great day's walking with points of interest throughout. 17km, +380m
Day 7 Oingt - Chatillon
Your final day traverses gentle valley slopes covered in vines and passes through the picturesque village of Bagnols with its pretty square and chateau. Great views across the Azergues Valley of the Mont Lyonnias hills and beyond. Choice of walks via the picturesque hilltop village of Charnay or via a pretty river walk alongside the Azergues. Descend to the beautiful village of Chatillon d'Azergues with its hill-top chateau and 12th century chapel. 16km, +300m
Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, transfer to Lyon for onward journey
Please note that other nearby guest house locations maybe used depending on availability. The walking trail would remain largely unaltered.
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
During your self-guided walking holiday we will use 7 different, 2 and 3 star (equivalent) charming and traditional guest houses, all with private bathrooms. Below is a representative selection of the guest houses we use. They are small, very comfortable "chambre d'hôte" style guest houses where you'll receive a warm welcome from the hosts who will make you feel part of their life for an evening.
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 lovely lunches prepared by your hosts . Your evening meals will be taken at your guest houses with your hosts, where you will be treated to local delicacies.
|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|
|Domaine des Averlys||B&B||Wine producers house, in a wonderful setting near the pretty village of Cogny. Wine tasting with friendly and welcoming hosts.||3 Corns|
|Domaine des Aloets||B&B||Beautiful historic wine producers house in the pretty village of Moiré. Wine tasting with friendly and welcoming host.|
Transfers from Lyon airport
Transfers between Lyon Airport or train station and the Beaujolais region of France are included in the price of your independent walking holiday.
The airlines Easy jet, Flybe and British Airways have scheduled flights from the UK - Luton, Edinburgh, Birmingham, London Heathrow and Gatwick - to Lyon St Exupery 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 walking 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 direct to Lyon Part Dieu, as well as trains changing at Lille or Paris.
Please use Rail Europe's train finder on our travel 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 Beaujolais 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.