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What can be more ubiquitously Provençal than lavender? A sea of fragrant purple flowers carpeting the rolling hills and extending into the horizon. It’s the stuff dreams and postcards are made of, and your chance to check it off the top of your bucket-list.
We’ll begin in the town of Vaison la Romaine, France’s largest Roman archeological site. From here – not quite high enough in altitude for lavender – we’ll stroll through some of the most famous vines in Provence, around the village of Gigondas. A free day In Vaison will allow you to explore the great & famous Tuesday-morning market, one of the best in Provence, and perhaps check out the impressive Roman ruins.
And then we head into the lavender, on the plateaus east of Mont Ventoux, where we meander to Sault through the heavenly rows of flowers in bloom and find an idyllic picnic spot to enjoy some Provençal specialties. We visit a working family-run lavender distillery before reaching the village of Gréoux les Bains. Around the village of Valensole we enjoy a 100% lavender walk through the stunning fields.
Our holiday ends in Aix en Provence, a beautiful city with its wide, tree-lined boulevards and stunning architecture. You will enjoy on your last day its great & famous Saturday market !
Our journey begins in Vaison la Romaine, three towns in one: Roman Vaison, its ruins discovered a century ago, sprawled out in the plains, France’s largest Roman archeological site. Medieval Vaison, perched up on a rocky crag, centuries-old majestic stone buildings separated by cobbled streets, all intact, made complete by the ruins of its 12th century castle. And new Vaison, centered around its open square, bustling with cafés and restaurants, and housing one of Provence’s best weekly markets. Our hotel sits just above the main square, a perfect base from which to explore the town.
6PM : The group meets the guide at the hotel. Together you stroll through the streets to get your bearings, have a drink, enjoy dinner together (included) and go over the week’s itinerary.
Aperitif + dinner included. Night in Vaison
Access : Vaison is accessible via a regular bus line from Avignon or Orange stations(closer). We can also organise a taxi transfer: contact us
Our walk takes us up to the Dentelles de Montmirail: a chain of awe-inspiring and sheer limestone cliffs that soar high above the rows of vines. We follow farming tracks laced at the foot of these cliffs, between vines and mountains, with panoramic views along the way. Back in Gigondas we enjoy a wine-tasting before returning to Vaison for a second night.
- The Roman ruins in Vaison are also worth a visit, as is the medieval village perched atop the hill. You can go for a guided visit- If you are interested, we can also help organize a visit or walk to the summit of Mont Ventoux, Provence’s highest mountain, from where a view of the entire chain of Alps is waiting for you!- If you’re adventurous you may choose to rent bikes ( or e-bikes) and discover the genuine countryside and villages around Vaison
WALK : Aurel > Lavender fields > Aurel ( 3h, 5.5 miles)
We leave our base in Vaison la Romaine and head eastward, through the remote Toulourenc Valley, on the northern slope of the imposing Mont Ventoux. We pass the village of Brantes, just a handful of homes perched up on a hill, facing Ventoux, the giant of Provence.Rounding the eastern edge of the mountain we reach the sleepy village of Aurel, lost in a sea of lavender. It’s a common misconception: most people think of Provence and lavender together, yet lavender only grows up on the plateaus. And so here we are: endless rows of fragrant purple flowers, with Provence’s highest mountain as a backdrop.
Lavender not only smells and looks good: it has proven medicinal qualities! From the Latin lavare, the Romans used it to perfume their baths; its aroma is a calming agent while its essential oils work as a strong antiseptic.
Our cameras will be firing non-stop through the idyllic fields, while we find the perfect setting for a gourmet Provençal picnic. And where we can lay our heads under our backpacks, under the shade of an almond tree, listening to the cicadas sing us into a sieste, accompanied by some lavender aromatherapy… does it get any better? We return to Gréoux for a second night.
Picnic included. Dinner is on your own. Night in Greoux
You have the afternoon to discover this beautiful city. Your hotel in Aix en Provence is set in the very heart of town, a perfect base from which to explore its treasures..
Picnic included. Dinner is on your own. Night in Aix en Provence.
GUIDED TRIP - The rates and supplements are per person and subject to availability
Go to the TRIP INFO section:- to check the minimum of person BASIS of this trip- to check the single room ( 1 pers. ) supplement
For a single room ( 1 pers. ) a single supplement will be charged.> Refer to our TRIP INFO section
Set in the main square of Vaison la Romaine with a quaint terrace overlooking the town.
The owners have a penchant for modern art: the hotel and its rooms are used as a gallery, showcasing art and regularly hosting new exhibits.
Simple but comfortable rooms and an exceptionally warm welcome!
A charming little hotel - family-run - in th heart of the lovely village of Greoux. Greoux is a typical villag of Provence, ideally located between the famous rolling lavender fields of Valensole and the entrance to the Verdon Gorges.
You will feel home -- just like a local -- and will surely enjoy the warm welcome, the terrace and the heated swimming pool.
© Walk Inn Provence 2018