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Great hikes in the outdoors from Avignon to Mont Ventoux

 

 

Half-day trips from Avignon and around Mont Ventoux

 

Through the vineyards of Gigondas 
around the Dentelles de Montmirail

Just a 40 minute drive from Avignon, the Dentelles de Montmirail are three sharp limestone ranges that owe their name to the unique outline of their peaks, as “dentelle” means lace. Steep but not very high nor very long, these needle-thin ridges and spikes overlook vineyards that cover hillsides and small valleys all around, especially the ones of the famous Gigondas designation. During this walk you will enjoy roaming through the terraces and hiking up to the top of one of these Dentelles de Montmirail. And if you are a wine lover, you may be interested in making a stop in one of the Chateaux nearby so typical of the Provence wineries to taste the outcome of their last harvest.

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

The western foothills of Mont Ventoux :
 walking in landscapes for painters

This itinerary offers a lovely hike in the foothills of Mont Ventoux. You will roam around the typical Provence landscapes : vineyards, olive groves and pine woods. And after reaching the top of the hill, when the view becomes wide, you will enjoy the beauty of the scenery all around : the mountain, on one side, the plain of Comtat Venaissin, on the other, with the rocky hills of the Dentelles de Montmirail, not very far.

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

Gordes, its dry stone huts
and the Abbaye de Sénanque 

During this walk, you will see one of France’s most beautiful little towns, Gordes, and discover the terrific rural architecture of its 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 the 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.

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

Walking the short trail up to the top of
Mont Ventoux, the “Giant of Provence”

This hike to the summit of Mont Ventoux (1,911m) is one of the most beautiful walking route up to the “Giant of Provence”. It is only 3 miles long, but with an elevation gain of 1,730 feet. Starting from the Mont Serein ski resort, around 1,400 m high on the northern slopes, it climbs all the way up, mainly through a mixed forest of pine, fir and beech trees : a real alpine atmosphere. But the last kilometer is very different : you move forward through an endless scree up to the top ridge : a lunar ambiance, this time !

Walking time : 2.5 hours
Rating : challenging (significant elevation gain and scree hiking)

 

Half-day trips from Avignon and around Mont Ventoux

 

 

Day trips from Avignon and around Mont Ventoux

 

All the way around
the Dentelles de Montmirail

Starting in the village of Gigondas, famous for its wines, you will hike all around the Dentelles de Montmirail, walking on the crest of two of these sharp ranges to whom its shaped rocks gave the name (dentelles means lace).  All day long you will enjoy beautiful views over the vineyards all around and over the Mont Ventoux and the Comtat Venaissin plains in the distance. A very pleasant hike to do in the spring or fall.

Walking time
 : 5.5 hours 
Rating : challenging (significant elevation gain and stony ground)

The full ascent of Mont Ventoux

This hike is the great adventure to live in the area if you like long-term physical efforts. On the north side, 90% of the ascent of Mont Ventoux takes place in the middle of forests : first, among oaks and pines, then mostly under beech trees and firs, and in the highest forest zone, under mountains pines. It is only during the last half-hour of your climbing that trees disappear ; you then walk among stones, millions of stones all around and can watch an immense panorama in your back. After several hours of loneliness and silence, you finally reach the top and meet dozens of cyclists and other excursionists. At last, you have the right to contemplate the southern slopes and foothills of the mountain and to enjoy the view all around.

Walking time : 5 hours
Rating : difficult (very high elevation gain)

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