Near Gordes, Avignon & Aix-en-Provence
Check out the 10 walks below & build your multiday guided tour









    Les Baux de Provence, perched on a rocky outcrop



Half-day trips in the outdoors of Gordes, Avignon & Aix-en-Provence


In the surroundings of Aix en Provence :
the val de l’Arc and Montaiguet hills


Starting at the gates of the town, this half-day hike allows you to explore two contrasted landscapes : the green and shady banks ot the Arc river that passes through the southern districts, and the dry and open Montaiguet hills rising above. During your nature walk along the river, a stone’s throw from Aix-en-Provence, you can immerse yourself into a countryside atmosphere. Firstly, you pass between two of the forty monumental piers of the famous railway viaduct, the Arc de Meyran. This semi-circular arch bridge was painted seventeen times by Cézanne. Then, leaving the river banks, you head towards the foot of the Montaiguet hills.  The gentle climb up there will give you access to some great views of the Aix countryside and Mont Sainte Victoire.

Walking time : 3 hours
Rating : leisurely
Season calendar : year-round (summer : 8am – 11am only, not allowed on fire risk days)

In the vicinity of Avignon :
strolling on the hills along the Rhône River

This gentle hike leads you uphill above Villeneuve les Avignon. This town faces the Palais des Papes in Avignon, on the other bank of the Rhône, second longest river flowing through France. During this nature walk, you will stroll through pine groves, garrigue scrubland and pass by one or two dairy goat farms. On a bend, the landscape opens and you see Mont Ventoux and the Dentelles de Montmirail in the distance. But the best views are over the river, especially the ones from the Château Pointu built on a cliff towering the Rhône valley : you can admire the river and the Ile des Papes at your feet, the Fort St André in Villeneuve les Avignon, and can make out a little farther the towers of the Palais des Papes. An easy and pleasant hike to get some fresh air just outside Avignon.

Walking time : 2.5 hours
Rating : easy
Season calendar : year-round (summer : 8am – 11am only, not allowed on fire risk days)

 A half-day trip from Gordes to Roussillon 

Gordes and Roussillon, along with Bonnieux, Ménerbes and Saignon, are among the most beautiful of the Luberon hilltop villages. There, you enjoy life by walking down cobbled streets or savoring a terrace lunch. Midway between the towns of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and Apt, they have contributed to the reputation of this Provence region all over the world. On this gentle walk from Gordes to Roussillon, you wend your way through pretty rural villages with your hiking guide. You roam delightful landscapes, made of rolling hills, vineyards, olive or truffle groves and pine woods. En route, you hike at the foot of the Monts de Vaucluse. And you keep in sight on your right the range of the Luberon mountains on the horizon. 

Walking time : 3.5 hours (not including the visit of Roussillon former ochre quarries)
Rating : easy 

The Rocher des deux trous

In the footsteps of Van Gogh near St. Remy

This beautiful hike starts in the old town of St. Remy de Provence, that lies only 12.5 miles from Avignon. Its name comes from the fact that you walk to many of the places where Vincent Van Gogh set up his easel. The Dutch painter spent one year in St. Remy. He painted there more than 70 works, transfixed by the luminous nature sceneries. You leave the town through plains carpeted by vineyards and olive groves. Then, you walk amidst a Mediterranean vegetation, surrounded by a diverse avifauna. As you climb through a pine grove up to the Alpilles crest, you soon enjoy outstanding 360-degree views. This nature walk could also have been called “Le Rocher des Deux Trous” (the Rock with two holes) because of a stone formation : at its base, two big holes, visible from far away, disappear as you are getting closer, before reappearing suddenly. Close to the finish, you pass near the ancient site of Glanum: there can be seen Greco-Roman remains of a city that developed 2,600 years ago.
One of the loveliest day trips from Avignon

Walking time : 3 hours
Rating : moderate (steep slopes and rugged sections of terrain)

Van Gogh’s Provence
Photographs of sceneries that could have inspired the Dutch painter

In the footsteps of Cézanne 

Mont Sainte Victoire is a nature landmark of the countryside around Aix en Provence. Its impressive white limestone cliffs are 10 kms long, with a drop over 470 m (1,500 feet) on its south-facing side. The rocky mountain has not ceased to inspire artists, before and after Paul Cézanne. This one is probably the painter who has the most intensely immortalized it. Trying to capture the ever changing contours, he painted more than 80 pictures of the mount. With your local guide, all along this trail, you too have the opportunity to admire the different views of Mont Sainte Victoire, like the famous painter used to. 

Walking time : 3 hours
Rating : leisurely (rugged terrain)

Gordes, its dry stone huts and Abbaye de Sénanque

During this nature walk, you can see one of France’s most beautiful little towns, Gordes, located less than 25 miles east of Avignon. And you 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. Its 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 (rugged terrain)











A dry stone sheepfold


Day trips from Aix-en-Provence, Avignon and Gordes



From Fontaine de Vaucluse to Gordes
via Abbaye de Senanque

This hike finishes in the beautiful little town of Gordes, allowing you to explore the prodigious rural architecture of its surroundings. Before, it leads you to another major attraction: Abbaye de Senanque, the cistercian 12th c. abbey. You will find more information in the previous description above. But, on this trail, the most amazing spot that you discover is not the creation of man but of nature : Fontaine de Vaucluse, the largest resurgent spring in France and one of the most powerful in the world. The giant source is not far from L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, this charming town surrounded and crossed by the arms of the river Sorgue and located 15 miles east of Avignon.

Walking time : 6 hours 
Rating : moderate (rugged terrain)

A circular walk from St-Remy to Les Baux
through the Alpilles

This loop 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 allows you to get a last attractive view of the rock spur where the medieval village and ruined castle lie. Later, on your way back to the little town of St-Remy, you have to recross the small range of the Alpilles. Your local guide leads you on different nature trails than the one taken earlier in the opposite direction. The vision of olive trees’ silvery leaves is the sign that you have reached the lower slopes. But the route through orchards and olive groves is another half hour long to see the first town squares. Then, you can finally enjoy the ambiance of the café terraces, shaded by plane trees!

Walking time : 6 hours
Rating : challenging (long itinerary / rugged sections of terrain)

The western ridge of Mont Sainte Victoire

In the surroundings of Aix en Provence, this beautiful hike takes you up to the western ridge of Mont Sainte Victoire. You reach the altitude of 767 m (2,500 feet), as compared to 1,011 m for the top, in the central part of the mountain. Without requiring the physical necessary efforts needed to get to Croix de Provence, the most famous summit, it offers an outstanding panorama. Starting from Le Tholonet, at the southern foothills of the mountain, you firstly  undergo one hour of warm up. Then, you climb a steep slope for half an hour. Once on the Costes Chaudes ridge, you can enjoy a fabulous 360° view. In front of you, the sight of the famous triangular rocky peak that so much fascinated Cézanne is visible. But you have to leave it behind you and follow the ridgeline down towards the Bimont Dam and its lake. Finally, you walk back to Le Tholonet through the Nature Reserve of Sainte Victoire.

Walking time : 5 hours
Rating : challenging

Hiking along the ridge of Mont Sainte Victoire

On this legendary hike, your walking guide takes you from the bottom of the northern slopes of Mont Sainte Victoire up to the ridge. As you get to it, you find the Priory, built in the 17th c., before reaching the most famous peak of the mountain, the Croix de Provence. As its name tells us, it is topped by a monumental cross made of metal and stone, which is visible 10 miles around. While following the east ridgeline for almost 2 hrs, you enjoy a fabulous 360-degree panorama. You then walk down to the valley toward the medieval village of Vauvenargues on a trail that enters progressively the wood.

Walking time : 6.5 hours
Rating : difficult
Season calendar : 1/1 – 6/15  &  9/15 – 12/31

All the beautiful hikes on and around Mont Sainte Victoire can be considered as attractive day trips from Nice, the city being less than a two hour drive from Aix-en-Provence  and its surroundings.


Click map of Provence
to get an overall view of the region

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