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Walking across the Drôme, the Huguenot Way part 1 & 2

A mix between the scenic splendour and historical heritage of the Huguenots
  • Duration 8 days
  • Activity Walking holiday
  • Holiday among adults
  • Theme mountain, countryside
810€

Information : Walking across the Drôme, the Huguenot Way part 1 & 2

  • Comfort
  • Difficulty
  • Note No note
  • Roadbooks French

Presentation

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.
From the small town of Die, you'll follow the hill paths up into the Upper Diois. The scenery is a blend of wild nature and more ordered terrain modelled by man around small market towns such as Châtillon, famous for its vineyards. Journey's end is up on the borderline between the Diois and Trièves regions, on the edge of the High Plateaux of the Vercors Regional Nature Park, near the Col de Menée, the mountain pass which in the 17th century served as a nocturnal gateway for Huguenots fleeing religious persecution...

You'll love

  • visiting the unique Museum of Protestantismthe 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
  • encountering the idyllic Abbey of Valcroissant nestled at the foot of the Dôme
  • strolling round the pretty village of Châtillon-en-Diois
  • stunning views from the summit of Beaupuy in the High Plateaux of the Vercors
  • swimming in the heated pool at the end of a day's walk
     

Program : Walking across the Drôme, the Huguenot Way part 1 & 2

  • 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 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.

  • D4 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.

  • D5 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.

  • D6 From Die to Châtillon en Diois

    1st option: Die - Châtillon en Diois, 19 km with 1400 m uphill (difficulty 4/5) - duration about 6hrs30
    2nd option: taxi transfer from Die to Valcroissant, followed by 11 km walk to Châtillon en Diois with 800 m uphill (difficulty 3/5) - duration about 4hrs

    On this fine walk you will see Notre Dame de Valcroissant, a 12th century Cistercian abbey listed as a historic monument in 1971. Peacefully situated beside the eponymous mountain stream, the abbey is a haven of calm surrounded by greenery at the foot of the impressive cliffs of the Glandasse.

    Dinner at the restaurant, night in guest house.

  • D7 From Châtillon en Diois to Les Nonnières

    Option 1: Châtillon en Diois - Les Nonnières via the village of Menée: 18 km - 1250 m total uphill - Difficulty 4/5 - duration about 6hrs10
    Option 2: Châtillon en Diois - Les Nonnières via Archiane: 11km - 1250 m total uphill -Difficulty 4/5 - duration about 5hrs

    A walk along a deep cornice path around the Cirque (corrie) d'Archiane which borders the southern limestone plateau of the Glandasse mountain at the extreme south of the Vercors range. Here is a world of impressive height, with ocre, pink and grey rocks lending colour to the needles, filigree, and bold cliffs. The attractive village of Les Nonnières was a thoroughfare for the Huguenots.

    Dinner and night at the 2 star hotel with pool.

  • D8 Departure

    Breakfast followed by taxi transfer to Poet laval, departure.

Tariffs high season

FROM JULY TO AUGUST, DEPARTURE EVERYDAY

IN A TRIPLE ROOM

Adult : 800 €
Junior (12 - 17) :  800 €

IN A DOUBLE ROOM

Adult : 840 €
Junior (12 - 17) :  840 €

IN A SINGLE ROOM

1000 €

SOLO TRAVELLER

1140 €

Tariffs low season

From May to June, departure everyday

IN A TRIPLE ROOM

Adult : 770 €
Junior (12 - 17) :  770 €

IN A DOUBLE ROOM

Adult : 810 €
Junior (12 - 17) :  810 €

IN A SINGLE ROOM

970 €

SOLO TRAVELLER

1110 €

What's included?

  • Accommodation half-board.
  • Hostelry, guesthouses and two star hotel with covered and heated swimming pool.
  • Detailed road book and maps.
  • Taxi transfer from Saint Benoit to Pontaix
  • Return transfer in taxi from the Nonnières to Poet laval.
  • Technical and logistical assistance.
  • Baggage transfer.
  • Parking at first accommodation.

Optional

  • 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

Characteristics of circuits

  • A to B walking holiday, without guide
  • Daily stages from 13 to 22 kilometres, around 3hrs30 to 6hrs30 walking..
  • Total daily uphill from 200 to 1400 metres.
  • Altitude from 330 to 1500 metres.

Organisation

This walking tour, although fairly challenging, puts the emphasis on exploration rather than performance...
We transport your luggage from lodging to lodging.
A roadbook and maps are provided for the entire trip.
We assure logistical and technical assistance.
On long stay holidays you change accommodation every other day, which gives you the opportunity to explore your surroundings or simply relax and take it easy.

Accommodation is in either 2 or 3 star hotels or guest houses (the latter classed similarly by 'épis' - literally 'ears of wheat'!), all 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.

You'll be in half-board accommodation. Picnics are extra; you may like to order these at reservation.

Access

By car

Highway A7 exit Montélimar Sud - 15 km

By air

Lyon St-Exupéry airport

By train

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

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