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The Lavender Way

Self drive and walking holidays in Provence
  • Duration 8 days
  • Activity Self-drive
  • Holiday among adults
  • Theme lavenders
640€

Information : The Lavender Way

  • Comfort
  • Difficulty
  • Note No note
  • Roadbooks French / English

Presentation

From Grignan to Montbrun les Bains, our route meanders along 100 km of wandering roads, deep within old Provence with its natural charm and cultural heritage...vineyards, olive orchards, and of course, fields of lavender. The ephemeral flower of this mountain herb is said to have almost magical virtues, and over the centuries it has indeed gained a worldwide reputation.
On foot you'll enjoy breathing the perfumed air whilst roaming through the unspoilt countryside of Provence. The walks all begin in some iconic place or emblematic site. They are generally fairly short and without any particular difficulty.
The road links that guide you through the remarkable sites dotted along the itinerary also provide you with an opportunity to meet lavender growers and distillers.

You'll love

  • visiting the stately Château at Grignan
  • the luxury of a hydro-massage suffused with lavender essences after your walk in the Valley of the Toulourenc
  • deliciously comfortable accommodation
  • the virtually traffic-free little roads
  • seeing the Plateau of Albion, the very heart of lavender cultivation

Program : The Lavender Way

  • D1 Arrival late afternoon in Grignan

    Dinner at restaurant and night at 3 star hotel in Grignan.

  • D2 In the steps of Madame de Sévigné

    Visit: Château de Grignan. (You have a ticket - "pass").
    Walk around Grignan and its surrounding countryside (7 or 10 kms - total uphill 100 or 150 metres, around 2hrs or 2hrs45).

    Pleasant walk to get you going whilst exploring the surroundings of the famous castle and village.
    Holm oak scrubland ("garrigues"), lavender and vine plantations, truffle zones...and fine views of the Château de Grignan and the surrounding mountains.

    Dinner where you will and night in Grignan.

  • D3 Deep in the Baronnies of Provence

    Road link: 60kms through the Pope's Enclave, the Gorges of the Eygue, Sainte Jalle and finally the Col d'Ey to come to the Baronnies of Provence and the eponymous Buis les Baronnies.
    Visits: Grignan, Nyons, Saint-Jalle (villages, distilleries).
    Walk: Sentier (path) de l'Aiguille (8kms, total uphill 350 metres, around 3hrs).

    Fine hike, lot very long but fairly tough. Immersion in the typical countryside of the Baronnies in all its splendid floral beauty of which to be sure the celebrated fine (therapeutic) lavender. Great views over Buis, the Rocher of Saint Julien and the majestic Mont Ventoux.

    Dinner and night in charming guesthouse with pool.

  • D4 In the land of aromatic plants

    Visits: village of Buis les Baronnies, the Maison des plantes Aromatiques.
    Ramble: the tour of Saint Julien (9kms, total uphill 500metres, about 3hrs30).

    With the Mont Ventoux as horizon, the countryside of Buis les Baronnies is a veritable Elysium of aromatic and medicinal plants, rich with the scents and colours of fields of lavender, vineyards, olive orchards and apricot trees. The immense 120 metre limestone blade named Rocher de Saint Julien has been a favourite target for climbers since the first ascension in 1946. You get to walk around it along lovely wild paths through the Garrigue.

    Dinner as you like and night at Buis les Barronies.

  • D5 A walk and a thermal spa in Montbrun les Bains

    Road link: 40kms along the upper valley of the river Ouvèze, Saint Auban and the lime tree road, village /castle of Aulan and the descent through the Gorges of the river Nesque.
    Visits: castle of Aulan, village of Montbrun les Bains
    Walks possible: the tour round the citadel (5kms, 150m uphill, about 2hrs). Nice walk that takes you into and around the village of Montbrun before coming to its Citadelle. From the rocky outcrop on which Montbrun was built you get fine views of neighbouring Reilhanette and the more distant distant Mont Ventoux.


    The summit of Chomatton via the Col de la Bohémienne starting from Aulan (14kms, total uphill 650 metres, around 4hrs 30). This walk, going through some isolated, practically uninhabited and remote places, is very varied.
    Dinner and night at 3 star hotel or pretty guesthouse in Montbrun les Bains.

  • D6 Sault, la capitale de la lavande

    Visits: village and distilleries of Sault.
    Return walk in the Gorges of the Nesque - 7kms, total uphill 200 metres, about 2hrs30.

    Lovely walk near Monieux, this, to explore the Gorges of the river Nesque with prehistoric caves and the chapel of St Michel.

    Aromatics cares session at the Montbrun Spa.

    Dine as you will and night at Montbrun les Bains.


    Dîner libre et nuit à Montbrun les Bains.

  • D7 Departure

    Departure after breakfast.

Tariffs high season

From July to August, departure everyday

In triple room

Adult : 575 €
Junior (12-17) : 575 €
Baby (0 - 1) : 70 €

In double room

Adult : 675 €
Junior (12 - 17) :  675 €
Baby (0 - 1) : 70 €

In single room

975 €

Solo traveller

975 €

Tariffs low season

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

In triple room

Adult : 545 €
Junior (12-17) : 545 €
Baby (0-1) : 70 €

In double room

Adult :  640 €
Junior (12 - 17) : 640 €
Baby (0 - 1) : 70 €

In single room

940 €

Solo traveller

940 €

What's included?

  • In Grignan: 1 night in half board accommodation (plus, on the longer holiday a second night with breakfast in 3 star hotel).
    In Buis les Baronnies: 1 night in half board accommodation (plus, on the longer holiday a second night with breakfast in charming guesthouse).
  • In Montbrun les Bains: 1 night in half board accommodation (plus, on the longer holiday a second night with breakfast in 3 'épis' guesthouse or 3 star hotel).
  • Detailed roadbook and maps for the 6 walks.
  • Detailed roadbook for the 2 road sections.
  • Entry to Grignan and Aulan castles, plus the Aromatic Plants Centre ("maison") in Buis les Baronnies.
  • 1 care session of hydromassage bath with lavender salts at the Spa in Montbrun: + access to the "Espace Détente" (relaxation rooms).
  • Trip dossier including documentation about lavender.
  • Private parking
  • Technical and logistical help.
     

Optional

  • Pic-nics for the whole stay : from € per adult and per teenager
  • Optional: car hire from Montélimar or Valence

What's not included ?

  • Dinners on days 2, 4 et 6
  • Beverage and extra
  • Return transfer from home to the first accomodation
  • Facultative cancellation and rapatriation insurance

Characteristics of circuits

  • Walking holiday with 2 attractive drives linking the stages, without guide.
  • Level: 1/5.
  • Daily walks between 5 and 14kms, around 2hrs to 4hrs30.
  • Total uphill between 150 and 650 metres per day.


How it works: it's simple: two driving legs (60kms + 40kms) along gorgeous country roads link the 3 walking stages based around Grignan, Buis les Baronnies and Montbrun les Bains.
There's a choice of walks from a menu of 6.
And there are 7 lavender distilleries, 2 castles, 10 remarkable villages, and a spa!
In fact we suggest the ingredients and you create your holiday dish according to your wishes and the weather...

Organisation

The emphasis is on discovery and exploration rather than sporting achievement...and you are free to concoct your own programme among the outings proposed according to your tastes and of course the weather.
We reserve your accommodation and furnish a roadbook to guide you all along the way.
We also provide logistical and technical support.

Accommodation (2 or 3 star/"épis" guest-houses or hotels) has been chosen for its atmosphere, warm welcome and environmental and architectural interest.
N.B : the accommodation described above is given as an indication and may vary according to availability at the moment your reservation is finalized.

The circuits are half-board or - on certain evenings in places with lots of restaurants to choose from - night + breakfast only . In these cases you dine where you wish and pay the restaurant directly yourself. Picnics are extra. You may like to order these at reservation.

Access

By car

Highway A7, exit Montélimar Sud - 20 km

By air

Marseille-Provence airport or Lyon St-Exupéry airport

By train

Montélimar railway station then by bus from Montélimar to the accomodation in Grignan

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