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Between Aix, Avignon and the Vaucluse mountains

MULTI DAY TRIPS INCLUDING HALF-DAY HIKES

 

Gordes, its dry stone huts
and Abbaye de Sénanque 

During this walk, you will see one of France’s most beautiful little towns, Gordes, located less than 25 miles east of Avignon. And you will be able to discover the amazing rural architecture of Gordes surroundings : dozens of huts and other ancient farm buildings, such as cisterns, vats, ovens, and sheep shelters, all built in dry stone. Another major attraction is Abbaye de Sénanque, an abbey nested in a narrow valley at the foot of the Vaucluse Mounts, whose harmonious ensemble of buidings is considered as one of the purest examples of the cistercian architecture.

Walking time : 3.5 hours (not including the visit of « Village des Bories »)
Rating : moderate (stony ground)

 

In the footsteps of Van Gogh

St-Rémy de Provence, where Vincent Van Gogh spent one year, lies only 12.5 miles from Avignon. This beautiful hike begins in the old town and gets its name from the fact that it takes you to many of the places where the Dutch painter set up his easel and painted more than 70 works. You leave the town through plains where vineyards and olive groves carpet the landscape, before climbing up to the Alpilles crest through a pine grove, soon enjoying outstanding 360° views. This hike could also have been called the Rocher des Deux Trous (Rock with two holes), due to a cliff at the base of which two big holes, invisible for long, suddenly appear, as you are getting closer. Before the end of the walk, you pass near the site of Glanum, Greco-Roman remains of a settlement that developed 2,200 years ago. 

Walking time : 3 hours
Rating : moderate (steep and rocky sections)

Rocher des 2 trous sur une randonnées des Alpilles de Provence

In the footsteps of Cézanne 

Landmark of the countryside around Aix en Provence, Montagne Sainte Victoire has not ceased to inspire painters, before and after Cézanne, the one who has probably the most intensely immortalized the rocky mount. Trying to capture the ever changing contours, he painted more than 80 pictures of the mountain. On this trail, you too will have the opportunity to admire the different views of Montagne Sainte Victoire, like the famous painter used to. 

Walking time : 3 hours
Rating : leisurely (stony ground)

Between Aix, Avignon and the Vaucluse mountains

MULTI DAY TRIPS INCLUDING HALF-DAY HIKES

 

From Fontaine de Vaucluse to Gordes,
through the site of Abbaye de Sénanque

This hike will lead you to one of France’s most beautiful little towns, Gordes, and allow you to explore the terrific rural architecture of its surroundings : hundreds of miles of walls, dozens of huts and numerous ancient farming buildings, such as barns, cisterns and sheep shelters, all built in dry stone. Another major attraction will be Abbaye de Sénanque, nested in a narrow valley at the foot of the Mounts of Vaucluse, whose harmonious ensemble of buidings is considered as one of the purest examples of the cistercian architecture. But, the most amazing spot that you will discover may be Fontaine de Vaucluse, the largest spring in France and one of the most important in the world.

Walking time : 6 hours 
Rating : moderate (stony ground)

A circular route from St-Rémy to
Les Baux
 through the Alpilles

This round hike is, for its first half, the same than the one described above in the half-day hike section. After walking one mile away from Les Baux, a lookout will allow you to get a last attractive view of the village and ruined castle on their rock spur. To get back to the little town of St-Rémy, you will have to recross the chain of the Alpilles, following different trails than the one taken earlier in the opposite direction. The vision of olive trees’ silvery leaves will be the sign that you have reached the lower slopes but the route through orchards and olive groves will be a good half hour long to see the first squares and enjoy the ambiance of the café terraces, shaded by plane trees.

Walking time : 6 hours
Rating : challenging (long itinerary / rocky sections)

On the way up to Montagne Sainte Victoire’s western ridge 

This beautiful hike will take you to Montagne Sainte Victoire‘s ridge without requiring the physical necessary efforts needed to get to Croix de Provence, its western summit. Starting from Le Tholonet, at the southern foothills of the mountain, you will have, after one hour of warm up, to climb a steep slope for 30-40 minutes. Once on the Costes Chaudes ridge, you will enjoy a fabulous 360° view, especially the one of the famous triangular rocky peak that so much fascinated Cézanne, visible just in front of you. You will then have to leave it behind you and follow the ridge down towards the Bimont Dam and its lake before heading back to Le Tholonet.

Walking time : 5 hours
Rating : challenging (stony ground / steep slopes)