High above the celebrated vineyards of Cornas and St Péray, your first guest house awaits you in the calm of a plateau at 600 metres overlooking the Valley of the Rhône. Fine walks to look forward to, along with the clear air of forest and meadow. To the west the first volcanic hills of the Ardèche may be seen. To the East, beyond the valley, the Alps stretch from Mont Ventoux to the snowy summit of Mont Blanc.
rambling 'off the beaten track' in the Ardèche
staying in delightfully restored traditional dwellings
ridgeways with fabulous views over the Rhône Valley and the distant Alps
Dinner and night in a former Ardèche farm guest house ('chambre d'hôtes').
Loop walk out from Champis and back
6.5 km with total uphill around 100m - an outing of about 2hrs30.
This first outing is a circular walk that helps you get to know your travelling companion, the donkey. All along the way you'll enjoy superb views over the Rhône valley as you wind through the vineyards and woods. Towards the end of the day, your route is along a little narrow road punctuated left and right by beautiful old stone-built farmhouses.
Dinner and night in the chambre d'hôtes.
Walk from Champis to Colombier-le-Jeune
Stage 13.3 km with total uphill 350 m – Around: 4hrs30
And there you are on the way to your next chambre d'hôtes! Taste the joys of wandering from place to place in carefree independence, roaming at your own pace across an evolving landscape, through out-of-the-way forests, over plateaux, and across broad meadows. Magic!
Dinner and night in 3 épis (classification ‘very comfortable’) farm accommodation with home-cooked food.
Walk in thearea of Colombier-le-Jeune
11.2 km stage with total uphill 290 – estimated 3hrs30
This is an easy, enjoyable country walk along centuries-old paths . Wonderful chestnut forests – the very essence of the Ardèche ! Further north you stroll over broad pastures between many old farms that are still active today.
Dinner and night at your farmhouse chambres d’hôtes.
From Colombier-Le-Jeune to Saint Sylvestre
11 km stage with total uphill 350 m – About 4 hrs.
An enjoyable ramble along the line of a ridge that takes you to all the way to the village de St Sylvestre. An opportunity to appreciate fine views towards the mountains of the Massif Central to the west.
On the way, you get to see the impressive remains of the so-called ‘Roman Bridge’ over the Duzon river. In the middle ages, it was a river crossing used by travellers walking beside their mules, especially when the river was in flood!
A quick look at the Chapel of St Martin de Galéjas and you’ve arrived!
Dinner and night in a chambre d’hôtes (home cooking !) in a traditional old farmhouse.
Walk from Saint Sylvestre to Champis
12 km outing with total uphill 410 metres – Around: 4hrs30.
Lovely traverse from St Sylvestre to Le Mazel. The beginning of your outing is marked by the passage of brooks flowing down successive valley floors. Then fairly soon, as you walk up through the forests of Scots Pine, you reach a point where the view opens out majestically onto the mountains known as the Pre-Alps, and the region of Provence that stretches down towards the Mediterranean sea. On a clear day, you can even see the Ecrins Range, the Mont Ventoux and even the distant Mont Blanc!
There is an optional addition you may enjoy – a return stroll up to the Belvédère du Pic (panoramic viewpoint).
Once in Champis, you exchange your donkey companion for your vehicle and return to Saint Sylvestre for your last night.
(If you come by public transport, a taxi will bring you back to Saint Sylvestre)
Dinner and night in a traditional Ardèche farm guest house.
Transfer by taxi on Day 6 (travellers without car)
Return transfer from Home to the first accomodation
Facultative cancellation and repatriation insurance
Characteristics of circuits
Walking holiday with a donkey, suitable for families with children of 4 and over.
Daily stages: 7,3 to 13,2 km (3 to 4,45hrs walk) daily.
Total daily uphill: 202 - 360 metres.
Altitude from 350 to 700 metres .
These walks are much more about relaxed exploration than athletic performance. Your roadbook will guide you from beginning to end, and at each stage you'll find a place for the donkey to drink, eat and rest. We provide the logistical and technical support necessary.
Leading a pack donkey: travelling with a donkey is a superb way of enjoying a family walking holiday at the slow rhythm of the animal. They are great company for children and adults alike.
The donkey's role is to carry your baggage for the day (or the whole trip in the case of short stays). It can also, under your supervision and at your own risk, carry the children one-at-a time if they start to feel too tired, provided that
1) they are at least 4 years old and capable of holding themselves seated upright on the animal;
2) the terrain is even, and
3) the donkey's total load is less than 40 kilograms.
Looking after a donkey requires some attention, which is why we only provide one donkey per family per holiday.
On longer holidays you change accommodation every other day, which gives you the chance to better explore your surroundings or simply take the time to relax...
Accommodation (3 'épis' guest houses) has been chosen for its atmosphere, warm welcome and environmental and architectural excellence.
N.B : the accommodation described above is given as an indication and may vary according to availability at the moment your reservation is finalized.
Highway A7 - 18 km
Marseille-Provence airport or Lyon St-Exupéry airport + train to Valence ville + bus (see below)
Merveilleuse région à découvrir en marchant, lentement, au milieu de la nature.
Très bonne première expérience avec Louisette notre ânesse...
Thank you for a fantastic experience. I'm 66 years old, not in great shape. Althrough we spent time getting ready, the hills and rugged terrain were a bit hard for me. We only walked for 3 days, but still, we loved doing it and had a great time.
The hosts are very nice! The food was great and the donkey was cute! Everything perfectly organized!
Magnifique semaine dans une nature de toute beauté avec le confort de gîtes charmants tenus par des amoureux de la région et des bons produits, en toute simplicité !
Très belle expérience de cheminer avec un âne, à son rythme, et de le bichonner nous-mêmes.
High above the celebrated vineyards of Cornas and St Péray, your first guest house awaits you in the calm of a plateau at 600 metres overlooking the Valley of the Rhône. Fine walks to look forward to, along with the clear air of forest…
Here is an invitation to venture into the remote wild beauty of the Ardèche and plunge into its distant past. In a natural environment where man seems to have left but a passing trace, you'll weave among the rocks between swallowholes and…