Self Guided Walking - The Best of Provence

Physical rating: Active 

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From 16 years old - Group size: For individuals

Accomodation: Standard 

The best of Provence!

Day 1: ARRIVAL; Arrive in Apt at any time
Arrive in "Apt" and stay in the 2 star "hotel Aptois”. The family run hotel is perfectly comfortable and well located, within walking distance of many restaurants and cafés.
Apt is a market town and offers stalls with delicious food every Tuesday and Saturday morning. The real beauty of Apt is the old town, "vielle Ville" hidden behind the tall buildings. Its long, narrow streets wind in and out uncovering little alcoves waiting patiently to be discovered.

 

Auberge des Seguins

Day 2: SELF GUIDED WALK; Apt to Buoux
Very few walks offer so much variety as Apt to Buoux. Cross the "Claparèdes plateau" which is rich in limestone, providing building materials for walls and sheds. There is the spectacular "Bories" to feast your eyes on and the "Aiguebrun Gorges" with all its dense natural flora. Retire for the night in the "Auberge des Seguins", a beautiful example of stone architecture which is sheltered by high surrounding cliffs.
Dinner at the Auberge.
Ascent: 350 m,10km (5 to 6 hours including breaks).

 

 

May for the poppies!

Day 3: SELF GUIDED WALK; Buoux to Apt
From your hotel, walk up to the magnificent 13th Century "Buoux fort" built on a rocky spur in a valley surrounded by cliffs. The ruins are from the Middle Palaeolithic Age and one must use their imagination to see the old fortress in its former glory. Return from the fort and begin the walk to Apt. You can either walk directly to Apt or visit Bonnieux, with its variety of natural and historical sites: its two churches, its fortifications and its remarkable streets, not to mention Pont Julien (a bridge commissioned by Julius Caeser), which is one of the most prestigious sites on the route. Stay the night in Hotel l'Aptois.
Ascent 150 m, 10km (5 to 6 hours including breaks).

 

 

Digne-les-Bains

Day 4: TRANSFER TO CASTELLANE; Visit Digne-Les-Bains
Take a bus trip to "Digne-les-Bains" (2hrs). The town has approximately 16,000 inhabitants and is the capital of the "Alpes-de-Haute" Provence. The medieval town was a popular stopover for Napoléon in the 19th Century and is now at the heart of the main provencial lavender production. The compact centre is beautifully set with many authentic shops and cafés to explore. In the evening, take a bus trip to "Castellane", a charming town at the entrance of the "Verdon Gorges" and stay in the 2 Star "Hotel du Levant". Dinner in Castellane incl.

 

The Verdon Gorges

Day 5: SELF GUIDED WALK; Castellane - Chasteuil - Rougon
Visit the heart of the Verdon gorges, a spectacular canyon that forms a border between the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and the Var. The gorges runs from Castellane to the Sainte-Croix lake (21Km). Visit Chapelle St Jean along the way, a beautiful site to see have lunch. Continue to "Rougon", a village perched on a spur where the ruined medieval castle still overlooks the valley. Stay the night at the local Gite "le Mur d'Abielle" in Rougon, to complete the experience in the gorges.
Ascent: 700m, 16Km (6 hrs 30 min including breaks).
Optional: Stay in the "Auberge du Point Sublime" (higher standard).

View from Rougon

Day 6: SELF GUIDED WALK; Rougon, Point Sublime, Trigance
Explore a majestic part of the "Verdon" gorges, the "Point Sublime" where you will be graced by a spectacular view of the turquiose river plunging into the narrow rock face. Cross the river over the Tusset bridge and you will encounter a series of breathtaking sights. On arrival at "Trigance", you will be charmed by the antique beauty of the medieval village. Stay in the Gite "Fontaine Basse". Dinner incl.
Ascent: 600m, 10km (6 hrs including breaks).
Optional: Stay in the "Hotel le Vieil Amandier" (higher standard).

Trigance village

Day 7: SELF GUIDED WALK: Trigance - Jabron Gorges - Castellane
For a truly memorable final day, cross over the rushing rivers (Jabron and Verdon) and climb the "Pertuis de la Colle" pass, where you can enjoy further views of the gorges and the "Jabron Valley". The descent back to Castellane is pleasantly mild as you go through a preserved forest "Forêt Domaniale des Gorges du Verdon". Spend the last night in the 2 Star "Hotel du Levant" in Castellane. Dinner incl.
Ascent: 750m, 15km (6hr 30 min including breaks).

 

Castellane town

Day 8: FAREWELL!

Spend the last morning how you choose, maybe you can stroll around the the local market  for your last taste of "Castellane" culture. Two transfers available to Nice: 

  • Morning: bus to Digne-les-Bains then train to Nice (change over in Digne, lovely journey) (4 hrs 30 min).
  • Evening: direct bus to Nice (2 hrs).

Transfer to Marseille by direct bus and to Avignon by bus through Digne.

By plane:

-From Dublin access to Marseilles and Nice.
-From London access to Marseilles and Nice.

By high speed train

-Access to Aix-en-Provence from Paris "Gare de Lyon" train station & from Nice train station
-Access to Avignon from Paris "Gare de Lyon" train station

Regular bus shuttles from Marseilles airport to "Aix en Provence" city centre (bus station) and from Nice airport to Nice city centre (train station).

By public bus:
access to Apt:
-From Avignon TGV train station (4 departures daily except Sundays & bank holidays, one departure on Sundays)
-From Aix-en-Provence bus station (2 departures daily)
access to Nice and Marseilles from Castellane.




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