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Hidden Gems
The Vercors Massif Circuit

The Vercors Massif Circuit

Overview

Located at the French Alps’ foothills, the Vercors Massif offers some of the most attractive and accessible terrains in France for exploration on foot. This Vercors Massif walking itinerary will take you on a week-long walking adventure in the Vercors Nature Park, France’s biggest. Along the way, you will discover one of the most magical – and still off the radar – regions for hiking in France: rugged ridges, deep gorges, dense forests, lush valleys, limestone plateaus and traditional villages.

Vercors is also known for its abundant wildlife: is one of the very few regions in western Europe harbouring six species of wild ungulates — Ibex, Chamois, Red Deer, Roe Deer, Mouflon and Wild Boar all occurring here.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Lans en Vercors

Gateway to the Vercors Four Mountains, Lans-en-Vercors is a mountain village located in the heart of the Regional Natural Park of Vercors, just 30 minutes by train from Grenoble and 1.15h from Lyon. You can do a short walk around the Lans hamlets or relax in the hotel’s swimming pool.

Day 2: Lans en Vercors – Autrans | 5-6 h

Today you will walk along the Vercors northern ridges, by the Pas de Bellecombe and the Pas de l’Ours. On the Molière mountain pasture, you’ll have a beautiful view over the Alps – seven massifs including the Mont Blanc. A pleasant descent to Autrans follows, located in the middle of several hamlets. Today’s hotel also has a swimming pool where you can relax after the walk.

  • Walking for the day: 5 to 6 hrs, ↑650 m ↓650 m
  • Accommodation: Hôtel le Vernay*** (or similar with swimming pool) in Autrans

Day 3: Autrans – Rencurel | 5 h

Today you pass towards the Pas way of Pertuzon by following the GR9 route that will lead you on a beautiful path to Rencurel, a charming little village; the hotel has a swimming pool.

  • Walking for the day: 5 hrs, ↑400 m ↓650 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel le Marronnier** (or similar with swimming pool) in Rencurel

Day 4: Rencurel – Pont en Royans/Choranche | 6-7 h

Again following the Pas way you will walk Ranc and the caves of Choranche. A great day with exceptional sites: Choranche, the waterfalls at Choranche and the unique cave with thousands of stalactites. You continue to Pont en Royans and its hanging houses over the Bourne.

  • Walking for the day: 6-7 hrs, ↑500 m ↓1000 m
  • Accommodation: Hôtel Beau Rivage** (or similar) in Pont en Royans or Choranche

Day 5: Pont en Royans/Choranche – La Chapelle en Vercors | 5-6 h

A short transfer will bring you to the pass of Mézelier. Climb to Central Vercors by the Pas way of Voûtes and the Grand Goulets. The panoramas are superb over the entire massif. You cross the beautiful forest of the Allier; you will see one of the most impressive sites of the Vercors: The Grand Goulets, a narrow gorge sculpted in the limestone. You end your stage in Chapelle en Vercors.

  • Walking for the day: 5-6 hrs, ↑900 m ↓600 m
  • Accommodation: Hôtel Bellier** (or similar) in La Chapelle en Vercors

Day 6: La Chapelle en Vercors – Bois Barbu | 5-6 h

A short transfer will bring you to Tourtre; then walk to Bois Barbu, above Villard de Lans by the Pas way of St Martin and the valleys of Herbouilly and Valchevrière.

Day 7: Bois Barbu – Villard de Lans – Lans en Vercors | 5 h

A short transfer will bring you to Conversaria, above Villard de Lans. You will reach Lans en Vercors by the path of Sentier Gobert, Col Vert (and optionally climb St Michel Peak). You will walk on a beautiful balcony eco path, where you will discover the typical North Vercors flora and offering great views onto the entire Villard valley.

  • Walking for the day: 5 hrs, ↑350 m ↓400 m
  • Accommodation: Hôtel Col de l’Arc** (or similar) in Lans en Vercors

Day 8: Departure

End of the stay following breakfast.

What to expect

Accommodations

Accommodation is in welcoming 2-star hotels (most of them with swimming pools), 3-star hotel in Autrans. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates it will be replaced with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide you with full accommodation details after booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast and dinner are included and served at the accommodation. Packed lunches are available at an extra cost – or you can buy products in the villages.

Difficulty & terrain

The walking sections require good fitness level; there are no steep descents and ascents (read more about difficulty grades). We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to go

This trip is available to commence on any date between 8 May and 10 October. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date in the season – so please indicate desired beginning date when booking.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airport for this holiday is Grenoble (GNB).

By train or bus
  • Lyon St Exupéry airport is located at 1 hour of Grenoble. Shuttle service info: http://fr.ouibus.com/fr/franchise/bus-faure-ouibus-lyon.
  • By train: Train to Grenoble (T.G.V), and then bus by VFD buses. Return by bus from Lans to Grenoble. For train schedules, see www.oui.sncf. For bus schedules, see www.transisere.fr or use the Omio planner above. Lans is less than 8 hours by train from London St Pancras (see details).
  • By car: Take the highway Lyon – Grenoble, exit Saint Egrève Centre Commercial (shopping centre) and then direction Villard de Lans.

Inclusions

Included

  • 7 nights accommodation on half-board basis (breakfast and dinner included) in 2 and 3-star hotels, private en-suite rooms
  • Transfers on walking days as described in the itinerary
  • Luggage transfer on all walking days
  • Detailed info pack
  • 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and airport transfers
  • Lunches, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is NOT available for solo travellers
  • Optional six picnic lunches (can also be bought on-site)
  • Extra nights in Lans en Vercors

Gallery

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