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Gorges of the Ardeche with a donkey

Walking in family in the South of Ardeche
  • Duration 7 days
  • Activity Walking holiday with a donkey
  • Holiday among adults, with family
  • Theme rivers and canals, countryside
655€

Information : Gorges of the Ardeche with a donkey

  • Comfort
  • Difficulty
  • Note
  • Roadbooks French

Presentation

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 caves - some of which may be visited. This holiday is fun and physical and a delightful human experience appealing to all the senses, as you follow in the footsteps of the prehistoric peoples who once lived here so long ago.
Then it's back to the present, and what better to wake you from such dreamy meanderings than to stroll through lovely sunny villages - maybe take a dip in a nearby stream - whilst enjoying the cheerful presence of the ever-faithful pack donkey by your side?

You'll love

  • Taking a dip in the cool waters down in the Gorges of the Ardèche!
  • Visiting the Aven d'Orgnac, a swallow-hole listed 'Grand Site de France'
  • Strolling through a forest of Holm Oaks (quercus ilex)
  • Staying in rather atypical accommodation - a tent-lodge overlooking the Gorges!
     

Program : Gorges of the Ardeche with a donkey

  • D1 Arrival at Vallon Pont d'Arc

    Reception late afternoon in Vallon Pont d'Arc.
    Settling in at the hotel.

    Dinner and night in 3 star hotel with pool, Vallon Pont d'Arc.

  • D2 Walk from Vallon Pont d’Arc to Vagnas

    9.3 km stage with 220 metres total uphill (level of difficulty 1/5). Time about 4hrs.
    This first outing will help you and your travelling companion to get to know each other. You leave Vallon Pont d’Arc by a pretty path, then go over the Ardèche river to get to Salavas and the ‘Garrigues’ (heathlands) of the region.  Take the time to appreciate this rugged and beautiful scenery and make sure you see the Neolithic Dolmen of Champagnac before your arrival at the campsite.

    Dinner and night in either a bubble dome or tent lodge, camping in cosy comfort!

  • D3 Walk around Vagnas

    11.7 km stage. 210 metres total uphill. (Level 1/5). Around 4hrs.
    Today you gain a bit of height.  Looking down from the Rochers de Saleyron, you’ll enjoy lovely views over the Gorges of the Ardèches and the famous Pont d’Arc, the famous natural stone bridge.   On the way down you may like to visit the silkworm farm, fascinating for both young and not-so young, at the Château des Roure.


    Dinner and night in the comfort of a bubble dome or tent lodge.

  • D4 From Vagnas to Orgnac l’Aven

    11.2 km stage. 180 metres total uphill. (Level 1/5). About 4hrs.
    The day begins with a walk through the village of Labastide de Virac, then continues in the midst of the garrigue of the Ardèche. It’s worth taking your time as there’s plenty to see: menhirs, the St Roman Chapel, sinkholes (‘aven’ in French)…then at the end of the day a spectacular visit to the  Aven d’Orgnac, listed as one of the ‘Grand Site de France’. Some programme, during which you’ll learn much about the famous Gorges de l’Ardèche!

    Dinner and night in 2-star hotel in Orgnac.

  • D5 From Orgnac to the Mas de Serret

    8km stage with total uphill of 100 metres. About 2hrs30. Level 2/5.
    + a short walk without the donkey (3.7kms), total uphill 170m - about 2hrs00.

    A short walk passing by the remarkable Dolmen of the Plain brings you to the next stage, in the heart of the gorges of the Ardèche.
    You can leave your donkey and do a little loop walk during which you have the choice of several places to bathe.

    Dinner and night in the tente lodge (canvas-walled cabin) at the campsite.

  • D6 From Mas de Serret to Vallon Pont d'Arc

    Option 1: 15 kms with 200m uphill. Duration around 4hrs20. Level 3/5.
    Option 2: 20 kms with total uphill 315m. About 6hrs. Level 5/5.

    Fine natural walk through holm oaks back to Vallon Pont d'Arc. If you decide to take the Rocher de Saleyron option you'll see the amazing natural bridge known as the "Pont d'Arc" from an excellent viewpoint.

    You leave your donkey and using your own vehicle drive back to the campsite.

    Dinner and night at campsite.

  • D7 Departure

    Breakfast.
    If you wish you could go off and enjoy the beaches of Savalas or Le Pont d'Arc (accessible by car).
    Or perhaps visit the Caverne du Pont d'Arc, a fantastic replica of the now world-famous Grotte Chauvet. But you must book well beforehand.

    Departure.

Tariffs high season

From July to August, departure every 2 days

In family room

Adult : 685 €
Junior (12-17) : 685 €
Child (2-11) : 445 €
Baby (0 - 1) : 70 €

In double room

Adult : 745 €
Junior (12 - 17) :  745 €
Child (2 - 11) : 685 €
Baby (0 - 1) : 70 €

In single room

865 €

Solo traveller

910 €

Tariffs low season

From April to June and from september to october, departure everyday

In family room

Adult : 655 €
Junior (12-17) : 655 €
Child (2-11) : 425 €
Baby (0-1) : 70 €

In double room

Adult :  715 €
Junior (12 - 17) : 715 €
Child (2 - 11) : 655 €
Baby (0 - 1) : 70 €

In single room

835 €

Solo traveller

880 €

What's included?

  • Halfboard + picnic lunches
  • 3 and 2 star hotels, tent cabins on camp site.
  • Entry to the swallow hole at Orgnac and the museum of prehistory.
  • Detailed roadbook and maps provided.
  • Logistical and technical support.
  • Baggage transfers
     

Optional

  • Donkey rental:  290 €

What's not included ?

  • Beverage and extra
  • Return transfer from Home to the first accomodation
  • Facultative cancellation and repatriation insurance

Characteristics of circuits

  • Walking from place to place in the company of a pack donkey, suitable for families.
  • Daily stages: between 6,5 and 18 kilometres, around 2hrs30 to 6hrs walking.
  • Total uphill: between 100 and 380 metres per day.
  • Altitudes: from 100 to 350 metres.

Organisation

  • These walks are much more about relaxed exploration than athletic performance. Your roadbook will guide you from beginning to end, and at the end of each stage there's 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 gentle 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. It can also carry each of your smaller children in turn, under your entire responsibility, should they get tired.
Nevertheless you should bear in mind some commonsense safety principles:
- children must be at least 4 years old and capable themselves of remaining safely seated on a moving donkey without being held (max weight 25 kg)
- riding is permitted only over even ground
- the donkey's total load must not exceed 40 kilograms.
Looking after a donkey requires close care and attention, which is why we only provide one donkey per family per holiday.

  • Accommodation has been chosen for its atmosphere, warm welcome and environmental and architectural appeal.

When at the campsite you will be in a "tente-lodge" (canvas-walled cabin) with hotel-like service: beds and cleaning done, fresh towels provided... and to complement the bohemian chic, there is an awesome view over the gorges! For the 'castaways' there are several spacious shower-rooms, washbasins and toilets at about a hundred metres. Breakfast and dinner are served in the campsite restaurant.
 

N.B : the accommodation described above is given as an indication and may vary according to availability at the moment your reservation is finalized.

Access

Arrival by car recommended

By car

Highway A7, exit Montélimar nord or sud - 50 km

By air

Marseille-Provence airport or Lyon St-Exupéry airport + TGV or train to Montélimar + car rental from Montélimar to Vallon Pont d'Arc

By train

Montelimar railway station. Then, car rental to Vallon Pont d'Arc to the accomodation.

Comments

Global note
5.0
  • Thank you for this very well paths, offering nature, culture and bathing in still wild places. Very well adapted for interests and walking ability for our daughter (9 yers)!

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Gorges of the Ardeche with a donkey
I agree to receive newsletters from Safran Tours
The General Data Protection Regulation - GDPR, or RGPD in French - is the new regulation that determines how businesses may handle customers’ computerised personal data. In accordance with the provisions of French legislation, namely Act No. 78-17 of 6th January 1978 as amended variously up to, we inform you that the personal data you provide will be computerized and treated with the utmost confidentiality. Only authorized persons may access your data and this for strictly internal purposes. You have the right to access, correct or delete information about yourself by simply contacting us at reservations@safrantours.com *