- At a glance
- Locality & Walks
- Accommodation & Meals
- Travel options
Your Holiday at a Glance
|Independent Walking Holiday||
|Dates for 2020||
|Price 7 nights||
|Price 5 nights||
|Accommodation and Meals||
|What's not included|
Lyon's Beautiful Secluded Hills
The Mont Lyonnais are a series of beautiful rolling hills rising to the west of Lyon, France's second city. Less well-known than the neighbouring Beaujolais hills, this hidden country presents a picturesque rural scene where vines are replaced by a patchwork of lush grazing land, cherry orchards and forested tops. You have the choice between a self-guided 6-day traverse or a 4-day circular walking trail to discover these inviting, off the beaten track hills. The walking is reasonably gentle as you progress south from the Beaujolais to the edge of the Cotes du Rhone vines. At times you’ll follow the long distance GR7 trail and at others you’ll discover wonderful local paths following pretty valleys or panoramic ridges.
Starting on the edge of the southern Beaujolais you'll first head east climbing towards the highest summits in the Mont Lyonnais which reach 1000m in altitude. These quiet picturesque hills see few walkers despite beautiful rolling countryside, wonderful vistas and pretty hamlets and villages. Your walking trail then heads south crossing the Brevenne Valley which cuts through the region. Here you'll pass through cherry orchards and fields of strawberries and raspberries. These hills are the garden of Lyon. Your trail heads back east to reach the village of Yzeron which is perched on the edge of the Lyonnais hills which descend steeply towards Lyon. You'll stay at altitude as your walking trail heads towards the southern end of the Mont Lyonnais where perched villages overlook the Pilat mountains to the south, passing Roman remains as you go.
On this self-guided walking holiday there are different walking trail options on some of the days meaning that you can vary the difficulty. On the 7 night version of the walking holiday the average length of walk is 17km with 550m of ascent. Maximum distance in any one day is 22km and 700m of ascent. The 5 night version is easier as it does not incude one of the harder days and only has only 4 days walking. Average walk on this version includes 16km and 500m of ascent. Maximum ascent in the day on the 5 night version is 600m. Hills are generally moderate in steepness. Good paths, tracks & small lanes. The paths are on granite rocks and can be stony in places.
Day 1: Welcome
Welcome and pick up from Lyon and transfer to first guest house in Mont Lyonnais with great panoramic views.
Day 2: Sain Bel - Forgeux
A delightful walk between two wonderful guest houses. Climb through pasture and orchards onto the Lyonnais hills. A chance to summit Mont Popey overlooking the Turdine Valley before a choice of two trails, one via the village of St Romain de Popey. The other one goes via a great ridge walk and then descends to St Forgeux. Your accommodation is in a secluded valley. 17km, +600m
Day 3: Forgeux - Villecheneve
A remote and more wooded walk as you approach the highest summits between the Beaujolais and the Loire Valley. Rustic sturdy farms are scattered across the landscape as you spend most of the day above 700m with quiet trails and fantastic rural views. Your accommodation is in a lovely old farm built from granite. 12km or 16km, +500m or +630m
Day 4: Villecheneve - Brullioles
Continue south on the GR7 through lush green rolling hills to reach the historic hill-top village of Montrottier. Traverse across the slopes of Mont Pothu and descend to your hotel in the village of Brullioles. Great views across the Mont Lyonais. 17km, +380m
The 4 day circular trail heads back towards Sain Bel the next day. The 6-day walk continues to traverse south.
Day 5 (short break holiday): Brullioles - Courzieu
Continue south on the GR7 passing through the Brevenne Valley. After, climb through cherry orchards,which is a hive of activity in early June, to bring you back into the hills covered in pasture with magnificent views. Follow a picturesque ridge with great views until you descend to the pretty village of Courzieu. Short transfer to your guest house. 16km, +430m
The short break walking holiday finishes after breakfast the next day.
Day 5: (6-day traverse) Brullioles - Yzeron
Continue south on the GR7 passing through the Brevenne Valley. After, climb through cherry orchards to bring you back into the hills covered in pasture with magnificent views. You’ll then reach the small village of Yzeron perched on the edge of the hills which plunge towards Lyon. 15km, +680m
Day 6: Yzeron - Riverie
From Yzeron your trail traverses around the valleys with views out across the hills towards Lyon and the Alps. Then climb to join the GR7 and reach the historic site of Rochefort. A short walk then takes you to the large village of St Martin en Haut. The hills become more gentle as you climb to almost 1000m on the edge of the Lyonnais Hills where pasture and fields give way to steeper wooded slopes. Below these, the fruit orchards spread out towards the Rhone Valley. Your day finishes in the pretty hill-top village of Riverie and your beautiful guest house. 22km, +610m
Day 7: Tour from Riverie
A beautiful walk from Riverie with great views of the south towards Mont Pilat. After reaching Ste Catherine you’ll climb up onto the edge of the plateau. By staying close to the edge you’ll have great views before turning north to reach an isolated chapel. You’ll then follow an easy trail traversing the valley slopes with typical views across the Mont Lyonnais. Return via part of an old railway line 15km, +350m
Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, transfer to Lyon for onward journey.
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 use mainly small guest houses in historic rural buildings and one small country hotel. A mixture of styles and settings with lots of character and warm welcomes. Lovely home-cooked cuisine, using fresh produce from the region. They are mainly 3 star equivalent in quality offering a comfortable stay. You have the opportunity to book extra nights at Riverie.
|La Source Doree||B&B||La Source Doree is a stunning guest house in a wonderful house built in 1903 with great panoramic views. Gastronomic restaurant and spa on site. Fresh produce from their farm.|
|Chateau de Riverie||B&B||Chateau de Riverie is located in an 11th century chateau in the heart of the village of Riverie with views of Mont Pilat, the Rhone Valley and Alps||3 corns|
Transfers from Lyon airport
Transfers between Lyon Airport or train station and the Mont Lyonnais/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.