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In the footsteps of the Huguenots - Part I

A unique route that reveals the Huguenot heritage in panoramic scenery
  • Duration 8 days
  • Activity Walking holiday
  • Holiday among adults
  • Theme countryside

Information : In the footsteps of the Huguenots - Part I

  • Comfort
  • Difficulty
  • Note
  • Roadbooks French


This is a unique trip which brings together the scenic splendour of varied countryside with the discovery of the cultural and historical heritage of the Huguenots.
In 1685, Louis XIV of France (the Sun King!) revoked the Edict of Nantes which had provided freedom of religious conscience for almost a century. There followed interdicts and persecutions which were to push up to 200,000 protestants towards exile in Switzerland and Germany.
You'll walk along the centuries-old paths - many of them peddlers' ways and even Roman roads - which served as escape routes for the fleeing Huguenots. A visit to the Musée du Protestantisme Dauphinois provides the why and the how of the exodus and you'll also pass through the lovely ancient towns of Dieulefit, Bourdeaux and Die (say 'Dee'), marked then as now by the presence of the protestant community.
The scenery, superb, combines beauty and variety. From the plain of the Jabron river through the narrower valley of the Roubion, you come to the "Bio Vallée" (region specializing in organic agriculture) of the Drôme. Indeed, in going over these little passes you cross a 'frontier' between Provençal Drôme with its typical flora and fauna and the Drôme Valley where lavender and olives become rare, replaced by beech and oak forests in all their splendour.
The route from Poët-Laval to Die is the first stage of the protestant exodus stretching 1400 kilometres through Switzerland all the way to what was to become today's Germany.

You'll love

  • visiting the unique Museum of Protestantism
  • the ascension of Le Veyou and the mountain in the form of a 'stone ship' - the Trois Becs
  • taking a refreshing dip in the Gorges of the Roanne river, a wild yet discrete beauty spot in the surprising Drôme department
  • villages which remain the heartland of Huguenot Protestantism

Program : In the footsteps of the Huguenots - Part I

  • D1 Arrival at Poët Laval

    Arrival late afternoon.
    Visit to the lovely old village.
    See the Musée du Protestantisme, created in 1961, which details the great periods of Protestantism in the Dauphiné.
    Dinner and night in a guesthouse in the old village.

  • D2 From Poët Laval to Bourdeaux

    22km, total uphill 750 m (level 4/5) - duration about 5hrs30
    This often shaded leads you along the old road which once linked Poët-Laval and Dieulefit through the forest of Vitrouillères.
    You cross the town of Dieulefit, renowned for its potters and pottery. The GR9 (GR is 'grande randonnée' - long distance footpath) follows the flanks of the mountain of Ventes to bring you to the Church of Comps. Then you go along a bridle path beneath the trees, along the Comps plateau and up to the Col (pass) de Bouitière. The day's walking ends with a downhill stretch which descends gently to Bourdeaux.

    Dinner and night in 2 épis guesthouse in the old centre.

  • D3 Around Bourdeaux

    7 km with total uphill 170 metres. (Level 1/5) - duration about 2hrs
    This is the 'little protestant circuit'. It reveals the traces left over the centuries by the protestant presence. It is well signposted and you will have plenty of time to relax and visit the charming little town of Bourdeaux.

    Dinner and night at the guesthouse in Bourdeaux.

  • D4 From Bourdeaux to the Col de la Chaudière (mountain pass)

    12,7 km with total uphill 815 metres. (Level 4/5) - duration about 5hrs
    The route today has an impressive uphill element. First you come to the Crête de la Tour, then on a more level part along the hillside to the gîte de Fonderesse. After a stretch which descends slightly, you come to the Col du Gourdon with another steady uphill part. Finally, before the Col de la Chaudière, you come to your guesthouse in a quite unspoilt natural setting.

    Dinner and night in guest house, in the middle of the countryside.

  • D5 Around the Col de la Chaudière

    Two walk options to choose :

    * 14,7 km with total uphill 450 metres. (Level 2/5) - duration about 4hrs
    Nice walk in the forest without major difficulties. The aim is to get to the chapel of the Sadous in its magical setting.

    * 5,8 km with total uphill 740 metres. (Level 4/5) - duration about 2hrs
    Veyou's ascent, top of the "Trois Becs" mountains. Now you are really in the mountains. Fantastic views over the southern Pre-Alps.

    Dinner and night in the same guest house...

  • D6 From the Col de la Chaudière to St Benoit en Diois

    13,7 km with total uphill 200 metres. (Level 2/5) - duration about 3hrs30
    From the foot of the Trois Becs ('3 beaks' mountain), you'll walk on to the Col du Perrier along a gentle slope. A second stretch downhill brings you to the charming village of Saint Benoît-en-Diois.
    Here, you may like to go down to the river Roanne and enjoy a splash in its turquoise waters.

    Dinner and night in a guest house in the heart of the beautiful Roanne Valley.

  • D7 From Pontaix to Die

    You will be taken down to Pontaix from Saint Benoît at 09.00 hours.
    In Pontaix, you can visit the 'temple' (protestant church), saved from demolition because it 'reconverted' to catholicism before the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.

    19 km with total uphill 380 metres. (Level 3/5) - duration about 5hrs30
    This last stage, with milder changes in altitude than others, leads you to the Col de Vachères, then down to the pretty village of Sainte-Croix through part of the forest of Saint Genix. Afterwards you walk alongside the river Drôme (maybe take a dip?) all the way to Die, splendid little borough that has the personality of a Dauphiné town and
    the colours of Provence.
    Le circuit de visite de Die will tell you more about its long history.

    Dinner and night in a hostelry in Die.

  • D8 Return to Poët Laval

    You return by coach or train to mediaeval Crest.
    Then a taxi takes you back to your first accommodation in Poët Laval.

Tariffs high season



Adult : 700 €
Junior (12 - 17) :  700 €


Adult : 735 €
Junior (12 - 17) :  735 €


895 €


975 €

Tariffs low season

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


Adult : 665 €
Junior (12 - 17) :  665 €


Adult : 705 €
Junior (12 - 17) :  705 €


865 €


945 €

What's included?

  • Half board.
  • Guest houses and 2 star hotels, (for guest houses, 2 or 3 'épis')
  • Detailed roadbook and maps provided
  • Transfer from Saint Benoît en Diois to Pontaix
  • Train (or coach) ticket from Die to Crest
  • Return taxi transfer from Crest to Poët Laval
  • Technical and logistical support
  • Car parking at first accommodation


  • Picnics for the whole trip:  66 € per adult or junior

What's not included?

  • Beverage and extra
  • Round trip transfer from Home to the first accomodation
  • Facultative cancellation and rapatriation insurance

Caractéristiques techniques

  • A to B walking holiday, without guide
  • Daily stages from 7 to 22 kilometres, around 2hrs to 5hrs30 walking..
  • Total daily uphill from 170 to 800 metres.
  • Altitude from 330 to 1050 metres.


These walks are much more about relaxed exploration than athletic performance. Your roadbook will guide you between stopovers and we provide the logistical and technical support necessary.

On longer holidays you change accommodation every other day, which gives you the chance to better explore your surroundings or simply take your time and relax...

Accommodation is half board in either 2/3 star hotels or 2/3 "épis" guest houses chosen for their atmosphere, warm welcome and environmental and architectural setting.
N.B : the accommodation described above is given as an indication and may vary according to availability at the moment your reservation is finalized.

These are half board cicuits. Picnics are extra and may be ordered at reservation.


By car

Highway A7 exit Montélimar Sud - 15 km

By air

Aéroports de Lyon St Exupéry ou Marseille Provence ou Avignon

By train

Montélimar railway station then by bus or taxi to the accommodation in Le Poët-Laval


Global note
  • Randonneuse expérimentée. Première rando avec Safrantours qui a été excellente.

  • Nous sommes très satisfaites de l'ensemble de la prestation et nous vous en remercions.

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