Home » Regions » Guided hiking & walking tours on Mont Ventoux & Montagne de Lure

Half-day & Full Day hiking tours around and on Mont Ventoux and Montagne de Lure 
Provence highlands, a region rich in scents and flavours under France’s clearest sky 

 

Walking the short trail to the top of Mont Ventoux
Half-day

 

This hike up to the summit of Mont Ventoux (1,911m / 6,270ft) is one of the most beautiful walking route up to the “Giant of Provence”. Starting from the Mont Serein ski resort, around 1,400 m high on the north-facing slopes, it is only 3 miles long, but with an elevation gain of 1,730 feet. Under the leadership of your local guide, you walk constantly uphill, 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 across 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)
Season calendar : year-round (on snow-covered land, choice of a shortened route and use of snowshoes)

 

 

 

 A guided hike up to amazing viewpoints
over Haute Provence and the southern Alps
Half-day

 

Starting from a mini ski resort located on the south-facing side of Montagne de Lure (1,826m / 5,990ft) in Haute Provence (Provence highlands), east to Mont Ventoux, this walking route takes you through a mixed beech and fir forest, up to the ridge and its fantastic vistas : from up there, the landscape opens up onto the valley on the other side and onto a large number of Alpine peaks, on the horizon: northward, from the left to the right, the Vercors, the Ecrins ; eastward : the Estrop massif and the mountains dominating the Verdon canyon ; and southward : Mont Sainte Victoire and the Luberon mountains ; in one word, most of the part of the south of France located east of the Rhône river! And if lucky, you may enjoy seeing some chamois, these mountain goats that live on the steep and stoney north-facing slopes of the range.

 

Walking time : 2.5 hours
Rating : moderate
Season calendar : year-round (on snow-covered land, choice of a shortened route and use of snowshoes)

 

 

 

Through the vineyards of Gigondas
among the Dentelles de Montmirail
Half-day or Full Day

 

The Dentelles de Montmirail are four jagged limestone ridges, each one between 3 and 4 kilometers long (about 2 miles), that owe their name to the unique outline of their crags : “dentelle” in French means lace. Just a 40-minute drive from Avignon, these needle-thin rocky crests, made of dramatically steep cliffs and spikes, tower up to 300 meters (1,000 feet) over vineyards that cover hillsides and small valleys all around, especially the ones of the famous Gigondas designation. During this walk you will enjoy roaming among the terraced vineyards and hiking up to the top of one of these Dentelles de Montmirail. And if you are a wine lover, your local guide will set up a visit to one of the Chateaux nearby so typical of the Provence wineries in order to taste the outcome of their last harvest.


Walking time
: 3.5 or 4.5 hours depending on pace and route
Rating : moderate (rugged terrain)

 

 

 

A medieval chapel in Haute Provence
Half-day or Full Day

 

Located in Haute Provence on the south-facing slopes of Montagne de Lure, the chapel of Notre-Dame de Lure (1,236m) is the remaining part of a 12th century abbey. In front of the church, four majestic trees, three linden and one walnut, have been guarding the place for centuries. To reach this peaceful site from the small town of St-Etienne les Orgues, at the base of the mountain, you have to climb up through different areas of vegetation, some with native shrubs and trees, others with plantations, as your local guide will show you. Just before destination, as the Mediterranean climate influence is tempered by the altitude, you will penetrate the last one, a beech grove, where the ambiance delightfully changes.

 

Walking time : 3 or 5 hours, depending on whether you walk down back to the village or not 
Rating : challenging (significant elevation gain) 
Season calendar : year-round

 

 

 

 Hiking an alternate trail up to the “Giant of Provence”
Full Day

 

If you enjoy taking in a panoramic view and guessing what are the names of the mountains visible on the horizon, this day hike must be for you. But you’d better not choose one of these few days when clouds stay over the summit of Mont Ventoux (1,911m / 6,270ft) from morning till evening. Do not go neither when wind gusts reach 100 mph or more (Provence’s record with 200 mph) ! Along this trail you will spend 2 hours following the ridge up to the top, coming upon a mere few trees during the first hour, and only some dwarf junipers during the last one.

 

Walking time : 4 hours
Rating : challenging
Season calendar : year-round (on snow-covered land, choice of a shortened route and use of snowshoes)

 

 

Walking in the footsteps of the
Haute Provence’s writer, Jean Giono
Full Day 

 

This guided hike takes place in a part of Provence out of the tourist way. The south-facing slope of Montagne de Lure, that nourished Jean Giono‘s dreams, is partly made of these uplands “where deserts are really desert lands”, as he wrote ; a limitless stretch of land, an area of shepherds, dry stone walls, barrenness and wind ; a land of uncountable starry nights, where winters are harsh and soils stubborn. From this hike, in addition to the tales about Giono‘s works by your local guide, another key event will probably remain engraved in your memories : the sight of three dry stone sheepfolds on different sites, each one built of half a million stones. Truly a world apart.

 

Walking time : 6 hours
Rating : challenging
Season calendar : year-round

 

 

 

The climb up Montagne de Lure
Full Day

 

The ascent of the south-facing slopes of Montagne de Lure (1,826m / 5,990ft) from St Etienne Les Orgues (700m), the small town which lies at its foot, offers numerous highlights including the chapel of Notre-Dame de Lure and the vast scenery from the top ridge ! Another interesting feature of the hike is the variety of vegetation types you will walk through : lavender fields and wild thyme moorlands around the village, downy oak woods, black pine groves, a beech forest where firs are more and more numerous as altitude increases, and finally the grasslands of the subalpine zone. And if coming at the right time, you will learn the names of the flowers from your local guide.

One of the significant advantages of this trail in the heart of Haute Provence is its coolness, even in hot summer periods. 

 

Walking time : 6 hours
Rating : challenging (high elevation gain)
Season calendar : year-round (on snow-covered land, choice of a shortened route and use of snowshoes) 

 

 

 

 The full ascent of Mont Ventoux
Full Day

This hike is the great adventure to live in the area if you like long-term physical efforts. You climb the north-facing side of Mont Ventoux, where 90% of the ascent takes place in the middle of forests : first, among oaks and pines, then mostly under beech trees and firs, and finally through 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 everywhere and can watch an immense panorama when you turn around. 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 south-facing slopes and foothills of the mountain and to enjoy the view all around.


Walking time :
 5 hours
Rating : difficult (very high elevation gain)
Season calendar : year-round (on snow-covered land, choice of a shortened route and use of snowshoes)