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Hiking tours

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Provence Hiking Tour

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Provence Hiking Tour Write a review

  • Location: France
  • Duration: 8 Days/7 Nights
  • Departing from: Avignon, 9 a.m. on Sunday, Day 2
  • Tour finishes: Avignon, 10 a.m. on Day 8
  • Departures 2024: April 27, May 18, June 1, Sept 21, Oct 12 plus private departures.
  • Price 2024: Euro €3,600 per person in double occupancy. Single supplement Euro €480. One guide accompanies departures of 2 - 8 people, two guides for 9 or more.
  • Departures 2025: April 26, May 17, May 31, Sept 20, Oct 11 plus private departures.
  • Price 2025: Euro €3,800 per person in double occupancy. Single supplement Euro €490. One guide accompanies departures of 2 - 8 people, two guides for 9 or more.

Provence is blessed with many of life’s treasures: beauty, art, fine food and wine, and irresistible joie de vivre. We lead you along our favorite paths, redolent with the scent of wild thyme, to isolated hilltop ruins, where you are rewarded with magnificent views over Provence's forests, vineyards, and hilltop towns. We bring you to our favorite village bistros where you will sample the many delicious foods of Provence, usually accompanied by a glass of crisp rosé, while soaking up the relaxed ambiance. You will explore Roman ruins at Vaison-la-Romaine, experience the color and chatter of a Provençal market, and marvel at the ancient ochre quarries of Roussillon. The combination of natural beauty, vibrant local culture, and superb food and wine make Provence one of our most beloved destinations, which is why we have been creating fabulous travel experiences here since 1996.

Provence Hiking Tour Includes

  • Accommodation: 7 nights accommodation in 3- and 4-star hotels (1 night Avignon, 3 nights each Vaison-la-Romaine and Roussillon)
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts, 1 winery lunch, and 5 dinners
  • Luggage: Bags are transferred starting from pick up at Avignon hotel on day 2, to drop off at Avignon train station on day 8
  • Special events: Entrance to the ochre quarries of Roussillon; winery lunch and tasting at top producer; entrance to the prehistoric ruins of the Fort de Buoux
  • Transport: Private van transfers as indicated in the itinerary
  • Active days: 6 days of guided hiking
  • Guides: At least 1 bilingual Customwalks guide accompanies departures of 2 - 8 people; 2 guides accompany departures of 9 or more people
  • Max group size: Tours are capped at 14 people

Booking: Please e-mail us at info@customwalks.com to receive a booking contract or simply click on the BOOK NOW button or the 'Contact Us' tab. Thanks!

Provence Hiking Tour itinerary Request full itinerary

Saturday, Day 1:

Arrive in Avignon anytime today. There are many trains from Paris, and the travel time is about 3 hours. Depending on when you get in, you may have time to explore this historic Provençal city, deemed a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Sights include the magnificent Papal Palace, home to the Popes during the 14th century, the famous medieval “Pont d’Avignon” bridge, and “Les Halles,” its historic covered market square. Avignon is a beautiful introduction to our tour. It is full of blue-shuttered buildings of old, inviting cafés, and shaded squares where you can take in your first sample of the colors and flavors of Provence. Our four-star hotel (Hotel de l'Horloge, or Cloitre Saint Louis, or similar) is located in the heart of old Avignon, within its famous Medieval walls. Overnight: Avignon Hotel included. Dinner not included.

Sunday, Day 2:

Meet your guides and the rest of our group of hikers at 9:00 this morning and depart for a 40-minute drive to the lovely stone village of Gigondas. You will have time for a mid-morning croissant and café au lait before departing on foot through vineyards, olive groves, and oak forest to the village of Vacqueyras, whose tiny streets are dappled with the shade of massive plane trees. Our trail then skirts beneath the cliffs of Montmirail to take us to the chapel of Notre-Dame d'Aubune. A jewel of Romanesque architecture, it was built in the 12th century as a tribute to the Franc's victory over the Saracens. It sits serenely overlooking verdant orchards and terraced vineyards. We soon arrive in the village of Beaumes de Venise, where we sit for the first of many delicious Provençal culinary experiences. After lunch, we will jump in the van and gain some height to start a spectacular hike to la Roque Alaric, a tiny village perched atop a rocky outcrop amongst the jagged peaks of Les Dentelles di Montmirail. A final twenty-minute van transfer brings you to Vaison La Romaine where you check into our centrally located hotel. Depending on the departure, we either stay at the 3-star Le Burrhus, whose large and luminous rooms overlooking the central market square are always appreciated, or at Le Beffroi, a charming Auberge composed of two mansions dating from 1554 and 1669 and situated up in the cobblestoned center of medieval Vaison. We dine tonight at a family-run restaurant (husband, wife, and daughters) serving traditional specialties with a sophisticated twist. The food here is simply excellent. The Morning Hike:  9.2 km/5.7 miles. Elevation gain 65m/210ft. Elevation loss 200m/640ft Duration: 2.5 hours The Afternoon Hike:  4.2 km/2.6 miles. Elevation gain 200m/640ft. Elevation loss 200m/640ft Duration: 1.45 hours Overnight: Hotel Burrhus or Le Beffroi or similar in Vaison la Romaine. Hotel, breakfast, and dinner included.

Monday, Day 3:

A short transfer brings you to a 12th-century church dedicated to St. Cosmo for the start of your hike. The trail will take you amongst gnarled grenache vines, past twisted olive trees to an unlikely artisanal chocolate maker in an old stone building once dedicated to the production of raw silk. After this sinful stop, you will head towards the distant church steeple in the village of Sablet, where we stop at a very local brasserie where you can enjoy a delicious Salade de Chèvre Chaud, among the many local specialties on offer. After lunch, a scenic hike takes you to the perched village of Séguret, which sits like a cresting wave of ancient walls and stone houses on the side of a hill. We enter through a 12th-century gate to wander among its cobbled streets. The views from the ramparts extend across the Cotes du Rhone wine villages to the Cevennes hills, in the west. You can admire the view while sipping a cool glass of rose on a shaded terrace. Eventually, we will take you back to Vaison La Romaine, where you'll have free time to explore its extensive Roman ruins, do some shopping, or just relax on the terrace of our hotel. The Hike: option 9 km/5.6 miles. Elevation gain 190m/590ft. Elevation loss 210m/670ft Duration: 2.5 hours Overnight: Hotel Burrhus or Le Beffroi or similar in Vaison la Romaine. Hotel, breakfast, and dinner included.

Tuesday, Day 4:

Today is Le Grand Marché in Vaison. This colorful and vibrant weekly market is full of stalls selling wonderful artisanal wares such as linens, ceramics, herbs, and scented soaps. You can also sample dozens of different types of cheese, sausages, and olives, as well as buy a screwdriver because the locals also frequent this market. After this quintessential Provençal shopping experience, you will depart on foot and follow your guides out of town through “old” Vaison’s alleyways and cobbled streets to the hilltop village of Le Crestet. Our vans will be in place to whisk you up to La Chêne Bleu (or you can continue to hike). In this absolutely beautiful winery, you will taste their award-winning wines while enjoying lunch beneath a luxuriant trellis of greenery. You have an easy afternoon walk back down to Le Crestet and then a short transfer back to Vaison. Dinner tonight is enjoyed while overlooking the village from the chic Bistro Oi. The Hike: short option 6.9 kms/4.4 miles. Elevation gain 190m/590ft. Elevation loss 107m/330ft Duration: 2 hours or long options  10.3 kms/6 miles. Elevation gain 250m/800ft. Elevation loss 30m/100ft Duration: 3 hours. Overnight: Hotel Burrhus or Le Beffroi or similar in Vaison la Romaine. Hotel, breakfast, lunch with wine tasting, and dinner included.

Wednesday, Day 5:

We transfer to Gigondas this morning to begin a hike through the Dentelles de Montmirail, the jagged limestone mountains overlooking the Rhône valley. Although not high in elevation, the peaks have a distinctly Alpine appearance and create a striking backdrop against the valley of terraced vineyards below. We offer you two options; you can do “The Billy Goat” trail which is a challenging hike for fit, experienced hikers with good balance or opt for the easier and lovely lower trail. Either way, you will have lunch at a colorful bistro in the village place next to the ubiquitous village fountain. After lunch, we drive to the 12th-century Cistercian Abbey of Senanque. If it is June, the beautiful abbey will be set amongst a purple haze of flowering lavender. You will then ascend the trail for incredible views of the abbey below. The trail takes you into the elegant perched village of Gordes, one of the gems of the Luberon. Take some time to explore the shops and alleyways or just relax with a pastry or a cool glass of something. We finish the day in Roussillon, whose bright red and orange ochre quarries have been mined for their precious pigments for centuries. You will have time for a swim and some downtime at our lovely hotel before walking into the village for a sunset terrace dinner. The Morning Hike: Billy goat: 5.8kms/4 miles. Elevation gain 314 m/1030 ft. Elevation loss the same. Duration: 2.5 hrs. Easy hike: 4.9kms/3 miles Elevation gain 214m/685ft, elevation loss the same. Duration: 2 hrs. The Afternoon Hike: 8.5 km/5.3 miles. Elevation gain 130m/416ft, elevation loss 283m/905 ft. Overnight Les Sables d'Ocre (or similar) in Roussillon. Hotel, breakfast, and dinner included. 

Thursday, Day 6:

This morning, you have a beautiful loop walk that initially follows a stream through a lush forest. The trail gradually climbs out of the gorge to the tiny village of Sivergues whose honey-colored stone houses seem to grow out of the living rock. We then loop back staying on the high route. You will walk along the edge of the canyon to admire vast views of this rocky, canyon-riven wild side of Provence. We drop down to our lunch spot, a wonderfully welcoming old auberge that sits tucked in under a rocky overhang. Here you will have a sampling of delicious quiches, salads, charcuterie, and cheese. Afterward, we can return to the hotel for a relaxing afternoon or do another short but spectacular hike to the impressive ruins of the Fort de Buoux. Situated atop a craggy precipice, the site was first inhabited some 10,000 years ago. Latterly, it was a village and fort that commanded the area throughout the Middle Ages. Tonight is a “free night,” so you are free to dine where you like in the village or maybe even just enjoy some cheese and wine on your balcony. The choice is yours. The morning Hike: 7 km/4.3 ml. Elevation gain 157 m/515 ft. Elevation loss 159m/521 ft. Duration: 2.5 hours The afternoon Hike: 2.5 km/1.6 ml. Elevation gain 130 m/415 ft. Elevation loss: same. Duration: 1 hour. Overnight Les Sables d'Ocre (or similar) in Roussillon.   Hotel and breakfast included. Dinner not included.

Friday, Day 7:

The hilltop villages of the Luberon await us this morning. This famed area of quaint hamlets and natural beauty is protected as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. We will drop you off in Bonnieux this morning so you can enjoy the ambiance of its lively weekly market. We will then hike to the nearby village of Lacoste. The ruined remains of the castle of the infamous Marquis de Sade serves as a beacon. You will enter Lacoste through an arched 12th-century gate to walk up its cobblestoned streets past ancient cottages and town-houses that have been lovingly restored. Lacoste has inspired numerous artists who live amongst its stone walls, and whose work is displayed in the many galleries that decorate the village. We have one final scenic lunch at the Cafe de Paris. From the terrace, the view looks back over the valley to Bonnieux whose church tower punctuates the horizon. We return to Roussillon for a short walk through its colorful quarries. You will walk amongst a surreal landscape of eroded cliffs and bizarre peaks, all colored in soft shades of red, yellow, and green. The week is topped off with a superb final dinner in a chic dining room overlooking a beautiful valley. The Hike: 5.2 km/3.2 ml. Elevation gain 131 m/430 ft. Elevation loss 121 m/397 ft. Overnight at Les Sables d'Ocre (or similar) in Roussillon. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.

Day 8

Today we shuttle everyone back to Avignon for the 10:00 train to Paris or other destinations. We can also tailor our departure to the group's departure plans. Breakfast and transfer included.

Please note: Some details of the itinerary may change according to the departure date of your tour. Whenever we run a tour we make new discoveries. Sometimes they are good discoveries, like a wonderful new trattoria, and sometimes they are bad, like a trail has been washed away. The result is that we sometimes change our itinerary to improve it by adding new wonderful elements to the tour or by removing something that does not work anymore. Rest assured, our goal is to always provide you with the best possible experience. We will advise you of any changes to the original itinerary prior to departure.  

 

 

Activity rating: 2+ out of 5 = Easy-to-Moderate-Plus: This is an easy-to-moderate tour for fit hikers and will be a little challenging but doable for less fit hikers.

Terrain: Flat to gently rolling terrain but with some rocky, rugged terrain. There will be some short, relatively steep climbs and descents, but nothing longer than 30 minutes. The walks are shorter in distance than those on a 3-rated tour. 

Actual hiking time: Between 2 - 4 hours per day, mostly in the morning but sometimes in the afternoon

Distances: Distances: 6 - 9.2 km (4. - 6 mi). The longest single hike is 9.2 kms. If you do both hikes on day 5 the total combined distance is 14.3km (8.9 mi)

Surfaces: Trails consist mainly of compact earth and gravel and sometimes gravel roads, with frequent rocky and uneven trails.

Footing: Good, but on occasion you have to pay attention to where and how you place your feet. Proper hiking shoes with thick soles and good treads are required. Sports sandals, running shoes, and tennis shoes are not adequate. 

Specifics: Daily activity between 2-4 hours, mostly in the morning and afternoon. The maximum distance is 10 km (6 mi.). There is only one challenging day (where we hike up to the Dentelles de Montmirail), which involves some tricky hiking on a rocky trail, but there is an easier option.

Hiking Poles: Not required, but if you habitually use hiking poles, you will find them helpful. 

Compared to the Cinque Terre: This tour is significantly easier than the hikes in the Cinque Terre.

Other: This tour is appropriate for fit first-time “hikers” who enjoy walking and have good balance.

Other Easy to Moderate Plus Tours: Tuscany Val d’Orcia & Maremma Hike, Dordogne Hike,  and all of our boat–based tours in Turkey, Croatia, and Greece if you decide NOT to do all the hikes on offer. On those tours, we usually hike in the morning, return to the boat for a swim and lunch, and then cruise to drop off for a late afternoon hike. If you skip one or both of the hikes, you can relax on the yacht, and it will be an elementary activity level! Your guides will advise you of the difficulty level for each hike. 

As a point of reference, what is a 1 out of 5 Activity rating? A 1 out of 5 rated tour is a tour without any hiking. Walks would be in towns, cities, and villages, and the countryside walks would be on paved, or gravel/dirt roads, and occasionally on some packed earth trails. Elevation gain and loss would be negligible.

As a point of reference, what is a 5 out of 5 Activity rating? A 5 out of 5 rated tour is a tour that would be physically challenging and technically difficult even for very fit and experienced hikers. The hikes would have steep ascents and descents on narrow, exposed trails with challenging footing, such as on scree fields or through rock falls and boulders. Distances would be up to 25 km/16 miles per day and feature ascents of over 1,000 m/3,200 feet in a day. A 5 out of 5 tour would also mean you would carry a heavier-than-normal pack. None of our tours are rated 5 out of 5. Our most challenging tours are 4.5 out of 5. They are the Dolomites Alta Via (because of some exposed trail that requires some technical expertise) and our Republic of Georgia tour, which has some long hikes with over 1,000 meters of elevation gain.

Getting There: the trip starts in Avignon, which is easily accessible by air and rail.

Air: most intercontinental flights fly into Paris “Charles de Gaulle” but you can also fly into smaller airports in Provence like the new Marseille “MP2″ airport, the small Avignon airport, or the Nimes airport served by Ryan Air flights. For a complete list of French airports and a selection of low-cost airlines, see our "Transport Info" page. At the bottom of the page you will also find information about the French railway system (the SNCF).

Rail: Avignon is on the direct TGV (high-speed train) line from Paris, journey time around 2 hrs 45 minutes. Trains from Marseille take about 40 minutes. See current train schedules at the SNCF website here.

Note: there are 2 train stations in Avignon, one in the center for regional trains and the newer TGV station, which is connected to the central station by TER regional train (or of course taxi).

Getting Away at the End of the Trip: the trip ends in Avignon, with a van transfer to the TGV train station. There are 10:00 trains to Paris as well as Marseille.

If you book a trip with us you will receive detailed information about how to get to the start of your trip, or feel free to e-mail us with any specific travel questions.

5/5
RatingRatingRatingRatingRating  
5 out of 5
Ratings based on 14 Verified Reviews



Average ratings
5.0
Guides
5.0
Quality of itinerary
4.9
Food quality & variety
4.9
Value for money
4.9
Right amount of activity
5.0
Overall satisfaction

Reviews
5
by Don B
Posted Nov 29, 2023

We have always had great experience with Customwalks, but for our Provence tour in 2023, Brett and his staff took things to another level for us. My wife came down with Covid the day before the tour was to start and I came down with Covid two days later. This could have ruined the tour for us, but Brett made it possible for us to complete the tour while staying isolated from guides and tour participants for all indoor activities. He paid for all the meals we had been promised, even arranging outdoor seating at restaurants and letting us use his credit card to pay! We rented a car to transport from location to location so no one was exposed. This level of personalized treatment was truly exceptional and we will never forget it.Of course, the hikes and all other activities were spectacular, as always. We recommend Customwalks highly and look forward to future tours with them.

5
by John & Linda
Posted Oct 08, 2023

This is our third walking tour with Custom Walks and like the two previous walks, we were treated to beautiful scenery and delicious food and wine, locally sourced. Brett does a wonderful job keeping us safe and entertained by hiring capable staff and attracting like minded fellow walkers.

4.8
by Margie H
Posted Oct 05, 2023

We just completed the Provence Walking Tour and made many indelible, core memories. The towns and vistas of Provence are breathtakingly beautiful - I only hope my photos do the experience justice. We came away with a deep appreciation for the food and wine of Provence, the history of the region, and of course, the natural beauty. Our guides, Brett and Vanessa, were wonderful - fun, attentive, knowledgable (and so facile in many languages!) We loved the hikes, although some were quite challenging for us (seniors in good health). We highly recommend Custom Walks - this is our third tour and we plan for more!

5
by Mtn_hiker
Posted Jun 22, 2019

Great hikes in a beautiful location. This was my second time (10/2018) with the CW Provence hike and the modifications made a very good trip a great trip. Melissa and Manu are always fun to travel with no matter the location. The history of the region, the countryside, and hikes through valleys, villages and visiting ancient ruins make this a memorable trip.

5
by Mtn_hiker
Posted Jun 22, 2019

Great hikes in a beautiful location. This was my second time (10/2018) with the CW Provence hike and the modifications made a very good trip a great trip. Melissa and Manu are always fun to travel with no matter the location. The history of the region, the countryside, and hikes through valleys, villages and visiting ancient ruins make this a memorable trip.

4.8
by lgraham
Posted Oct 16, 2018

Bonjour! Customwalks certainly knows how to put a trip together! The guides are always knowledgeable, interesting, accommodating, and perhaps most importantly, fun! The itinerary includes points of interest and beauty, great hikes, wonderful meals, local markets, and takes you to spots you may overlook without the expertise of the Customwalks guides. For the Provence walking tour, we had two amazing guides with Manu and Melissa. They are an amazing team, helping the guests to have a full experience throughout the trip. With Customwalks, you get the history of the area, outstanding meals that incorporate local foods and wines, comfortable accommodations, and great groups of like-minded travelers. As a traveler, you get to experience a location by being in it, not just driving through it. Provence was my seventh trip with Custom walks. Yes, I will be going somewhere with them again!

5
by W Rice
Posted Oct 10, 2018

Wow. Another 5+ star Custom Walks trip. This was our 3rd, and the second year in a row with Melissa. This year, we were also treated to another fantastic guide, Manu. The itinerary was superb but great guides like Melissa and Manu make the country come alive. In addition to beautiful hikes, we saw gorgeous hill towns, ate amazing food, visited local markets, learned about Provence history, and were able to mingle with locals. Every day, there were options available to us depending on if we felt like a rigorous hike or if we would rather spend time wandering through winding streets in town. For me, the highlights were the hikes that took us from hill town to hill town. I'm already planning another Custom Walk for 2019,

5
by jschultz
Posted Oct 06, 2018

What an amazing trip...due in large part to our incredible guides - Manu and Melissa! Quite simply put, these incredible ladies are a joy to be around! Their passion and enthusiasm for exploration are contagious, and they allowed us to feel part of the local Provencal culture with their personal insights and expeiences. Traveling with Customwalks is so easy - everything was taken care of behind the scenes and my only decision each day was whether to drink white, red or rose wine! I've been traveling with Customwalks for over 10 years, and am already planning my next trip with them!

4.8
by R Sorenson
Posted Oct 05, 2018

We are return customers, and all the people on our tour were return customers, so that is a great review in and of itself. Everything on the trip was great, but the guides made it even better with their humor, observations and information, and incredible organization skills. The transfers and transportation were all flawless and all the behind the scenes efforts by the guides made the trip a great success. We truly appreciate all these efforts and will be return customers in future. We look forward too our next adventure with Customwalks.

5
by C Sias
Posted Jun 28, 2018

This is my second year on a tour with our guide, Melissa. Last year was the Dordogne walk and this year Provence. This year I herded a group of my friends on the tour and they all loved Melissa as much as I do. Melissa is a perfectionist taking care of everything. The rain was rather pesty our week so every day she would be watching the forecast and re-planning the itinerary to accommodate nature. And it all was seamless to us...we were just along for the ride/walk. We had a few unexpected adventures...walking in a river after a huge downpour but we all had a GREAT time and finished that walk off with the most delicious lunch of charcuterie, cheeses, salads, and, of course, wine and beer. Did I mention food???? Ah oui, the food is fabulous because Melissa loves good food and wines. Only the best for us. Not one bad restaurant and not one bad bottle of wine. Also, she has extensive knowledge of the history and botany of the area. I guarantee that you will love the country, the villages, the markets, the food, wine and Melissa. This trip was the best of my lifetime...I want to go back and stay longer.



If you have any questions or specific requests about any of our tours, we’re here to help. You can fill in the form below, send us an email, or call us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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Italian operations office

We have always had great experience with Customwalks, but for our Provence tour in 2023, Brett and his staff took things to another level for us. My wife came down with Covid the day before the tour was to start and I came down with Covid two days later. This could have ruined the tour for us, but Brett made it possible for us to complete the tour while staying isolated from guides and tour participants for all indoor activities. He paid for all the meals we had been promised, even arranging outdoor seating at restaurants and letting us use his credit card to pay! We rented a car to transport from location to location so no one was exposed. This level of personalized treatment was truly exceptional and we will never forget it.Of course, the hikes and all other activities were spectacular, as always. We recommend Customwalks highly and look forward to future tours with them.
by Don B


This is our third walking tour with Custom Walks and like the two previous walks, we were treated to beautiful scenery and delicious food and wine, locally sourced. Brett does a wonderful job keeping us safe and entertained by hiring capable staff and attracting like minded fellow walkers.
by John & Linda


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Wine gigondas sign on rock
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Gigondas lunch
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