Alpilles Walking Holiday

Alpilles Walking Holiday

Your 5 day Classic Provence Short Break tour includes 4 nights in 2* and 3* hand-picked hotels, 4 break- fasts, maps, route notes and a comprehensive information pack.

On our Alpilles Walking Holiday walk in the footsteps of Van Gogh on this short break tour in Provence. Beginning in St Rémy, a town nestled in the foothills of Les Alpilles Mountains, continue to the medieval village of Les Baux, set atop a rocky crag and finish your walk in the magnificent Roman town of Arles.

This area of Provence is an artist’s dream, with its clear blue skies that highlight the deep green fields, the silvery leaves of olive trees, golden sunflowers and the white jagged peaks of Les Alpilles. Enjoy walking through countryside dotted with thick-walled Provençal farmhouses, medieval villages and marvel at the dramatic vistas and the very landscapes that inspired Van Gogh’s brush strokes.

Arrive in St Rémy, a picturesque Gallo-Roman town with a marvellous old quarter. It is encircled by the remnants of its14th century wall and protective buildings. From here you embark on a walk that takes you in a loop beginning in the foothills of Les Alpilles and ascending slowly past lone cypress trees, farmhouses and the Romanesque monastery that Van Gogh called home. After reaching the crest of the mountain revel in the dramatic views enjoy a walk on a former Roman road back into St Rémy.

Follow a fragrant trail which is carpeted with thyme, rosemary and the cistus flower and which leads you initially past old farmhouses, through woods and past groves of olive and fruit trees. As you climber higher you can see the rocky limestone crest in the distance and upon arrival at the top there are views over to Avignon and Mont Ventoux. As you approach you can see the exceptional medieval village of Les Baux de Provence which has an incredibly diverse architectural heritage.

After spending a night within the medieval walls of Les Baux, descend into the Val d’Enfer, or the “Valley of Hell” and along scenic paths to the charming town of Mausanne. Continue to the impressive city of Arles, with its wealth of Roman ruins and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend time exploring the Arles Roman Coliseum and Theatre, with a stop for a glass of local wine in one of the many outdoor cafés.

Alpilles Walking Holiday Highlights

  • Following in the footsteps of the artist Vincent Van Gogh
  • Walking across the windswept crest of the Alpilles Mountains
  • Basking in the soft, yet brilliant Provençal sunshine
  • Strolling along trails carpeted with fragrant herbs and flowers
  • Exploring the extraordinarily beautiful perched village of Les Baux-de-Provence

Alpilles Walking HolidayMarkets

  • St Remy de Provence: market on Wednesday & Saturday morning
  •  Maussane: market on Thursday morning
  • Arles: market on Wednesday & Saturday
Destination France
Start/Finish St Remy de Provence/In Arles
Duration 5 days / 4 nights
Grade 3 days of walking.Easy to moderate level of walking (from 2h30 to 3h30 hours).
Distance 27km.
Season Year round. Perfect for Spring & Autumn.

Day 1 – Saint Rémy de Provence
Your walking adventure begins in Saint Rémy de Provence, nestled against the foot of the Alpilles mountains. Saint Rémy is easily accessible by bus from Avignon (30 mins.), itself connected to the TGV train from Paris. Provence has always attracted painters and Saint Rémy is no exception: its blue Provençal skies highlight the greens of the fields and cypress trees, the silvery leaves of its olive trees, the golden sunflowers, and the white jagged peaks of the Alpilles mountains. It’s an artists’ dream: so much so that Vincent Van Gogh spent the last year of his life in Saint Rémy, completing some of his most renowned works, including his Starry Night. Spend the evening strolling through the tiny labyrinth of streets in the centre of town, taking the time to choose between sev-eral excellent restaurants. Enjoy dinner on your own this evening.
Dinner on your own and night in St Remy de Provence

Day 2 – Saint Rémy de Provence > Saint Rémy de Provence
Loop walk from Saint Rémy de Provence
-Walking time about 6 miles/10 km – Ascent: 300m – Descent:300m
> St Remy de Provence: market on Wednesday & Saturday morning
You begin by following the Van Gogh path, heading away from the town centre and towards the foot of the Alpilles, retracing the very steps the artist took more than a century ago. Enamel reproductions of his works face the very landscapes that inspired his brush strokes: the lone cypress trees and farmhouses, with the serrated peaks of the Alpilles mountains as a backdrop. You can visit the Romanesque monastery that Van Gogh called home, converted into an asylum well before his arrival in Saint Rémy. You then follow a shady track through the forest, winding slowly up to the crest of the mountain. Though culminating at only 400m, the Alpilles are in an otherwise flat Rhône valley, and at the top you are rewarded with jaw-dropping views of the windswept plains, the mountain ranges to the north, and in clear weather the Mediterranean Sea to the South. An equally pleasant track takes you back to Saint Rémy, walking along olive groves and a former Roman road.
Dinner on your own and night in St Remy de Provence

Day 3 – Rémy de Provence > Les Baux de Provence
Saint Rémy to Les Baux
-Walking time about 6 miles / 10km – Ascent: 250m – Descent: 100m
> St Remy de Provence: market on Wednesday & Saturday morning
Today’s walk takes you back up to the crest of the Alpilles, to a forestry track that makes its way along the ridge. Your route is lined with veritable carpets of thyme, rosemary, and cistus flower, their odours intensified under the soothing Provençal sun. A massive silvery olive grove dots the plains to the south, while to the north the views extend to Avignon and to Mont Ventoux. You reach a hilltop where your goal comes into sight: the medieval village of Les Baux de Provence, its majestic stone homes set atop a rocky crag, crowned by the ruins of its castle, the whole lot hovering high above the plains below. Listed among the “most beautiful villages in France”, Les Baux’s stone architecture has withstood the centuries, its small group of homes separated by a handful of cobbled streets. You can head up to the castle ruins, imagining what life would have been like a thousand years before. Enjoy dinner on your own. Staying in the only hotel in the medieval centre, you’ll have the whole village to yourselves at night.
Dinner on your own and night in Les Baux de Provence

Day 4 – Les Baux de Provence > Maussane
From Les Baux to Maussane
-Walking time about 4 miles / 7 km – Ascent: 50m – Descent: 200m
> Maussane: market on Thursday morning
You head out of Les Baux through its original medieval gate, the only way into and out of the village. You descend into the Val d’Enfer, or “Valley of Hell”, named as such because of the strange limestone formations created after millions of years of erosion from the winds and rains. Through scenic paths you reach the village of Maussane, a lively little town filled with cafés and restaurants, and producing some of the best olive oils on the planet. You can taste some of the regional olive oil before a short transfer takes you to the Roman town of Arles. It’s a town that has the best of the old and the new: its Roman coliseum, ranked among the largest built during the empire, and along with many other Roman ruins in town, juxtapose with the vibrant nightlife in the town squares and bistros, inviting you to stroll endlessly through and watching the world go by.
Dinner on your own and night in Arles

Day 5 – Onward Travel
Arles
> Arles: market on Wednesday & Saturday
Your trip ends this morning, but you can take the time to wander through the streets of Arles, enjoying the sights, and perhaps walking through the colourful Saturday market stalls, one of the few remaining authentic markets in the region.

Low season March 1st to March 01st-18th Oct 10th to Nov 15th
4-6 people (price per person) €475
2-3 people (price per person) €500
1 person travelling alone €850
Single Supplement €210

High season March 19th to June 30th Sept 1st to Oct 9th
4-6 people (price per person) €500
2-3 people (price per person) €525
1 person travelling alone €889
Single Supplement €212

Extra nights – Estimated rate > upon request
Town: Avignon
Hotel: Hotel d’Angleterre ***
Single BB: €155
Double / Twin BB: €169

Town: Arles
Hotel: Hotel Le Forum ***
Single BB: €119
Double / Twin BB: €140

Included
4 nights double occupancy with private facilities, in ** / *** hotels or guesthouses 4 breakfasts
3 self guided walks
Luggage transfers days 2 to 4
Day 4: taxi transfer from Maussane to Arles
Our Road Book with detailed walking itineraries, and integrated maps – available at the st hotel
Urgency telephone for clients 7/7

Not Included 
Transportation to your 1
Transportation from Arles at the end of the tour  easy access by train Lunches & dinners not in the itinerary
Drinks
Entrance fees into museums
Insurance
Items of personal nature.

Getting there
Fly to Marseille

By TGV to Avignon city center, 2h45/3h from Paris.
By local train from Marseille Airport
Bus line Avignon > St Remy de Provence Train line from Arle

Return

Train from Arles to Marseille (20-47min)

 Train schedule on sncf.com

From Price pp

€435

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