fbpx
Skip to content
Provence Wine Trails 21

Walking the Wine Trails of Provence

Overview

Arrive at Avignon and discover one of France’s most prestigious wine villages, Chateauneuf du Pape. The best way to explore the vineyards is by foot, strolling from one estate to the next. You then continue walking in the heart of the Cotes du Rhone region into the foothills of the Dentelles, enjoying the breathtaking views. You finish your trip in Vaison la Romaine, France’s largest Roman archaeological site, also famous for its Tuesday morning market. And of course, there will be numerous wine-tasting opportunities during this unforgettable trip to the heart of Provence!

  • An incredible variety of scenic walks, giving you an immersive experience of Provence
  • Walking through the famed vineyards of Chateauneuf du Pape
  • The majestic Dentelles de Montmirail mountains
  • The medieval Vaison la Romaine: France’s largest Roman archaeological site

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Avignon – Châteauneuf du Pape

Arrive in Avignon, easily accessed by train from Paris, Marseille, and Marseille Airport. Or you can arrive the day before to explore the medieval town and its cobbled streets, the famous Papal Palace and St Benezet Bridge. At 16:30 h meeting at the train station with your taxi for your transfer to Châteauneuf du Pape. Translated as the New Castle of the Pope, Chateauneuf du Pape village was the summer residence of the Popes of Avignon, complete with a castle built atop the hill, today only a set of ruins from which the views extend far into the horizon. It was the popes who brought the vines here in the 14th century, making world-famous wines. Overnight in Châteauneuf du Pape

Day 2: Châteauneuf du Pape Circular Walk – Vaudieu, Nalys & Solitude | 7 km

A splendid easy loop walk stays within the heart of the Chateauneuf appellation, strolling on farming tracks in between the parcels of vines of the Vaudieu & Nalys & Solitude wineries, which lead from one estate to the next. The itinerary takes you to 3 widely-known wine estates – Vaudieu, Nalys, and Solitude – all centuries-old, all happy to share their savoir-faire with you during a wine tasting. The reds are deep and heavily spiced, while the surprising whites have notes of almond, spice, and honeysuckle.

NB!: The Vaudieu & Nalys & Solitude wineries are closed on Sunday (as most of the wine estate) The Mont-Redon is open on Sunday for tasting (the cellar visit is however not possible on Sunday) Therefore, if your trip starts with the first walk on Sunday we recommend that you do the Mont-Redon walk on Sunday and the Vaudieu, Nalys, Solitude on Monday.

  • Accommodation: The Wine B&B or similar
  • Walking for the day: 7 km, 2-3 h, ↑100 m ↓100 m

Day 3: Châteauneuf du Pape Circular Walk – Mont-Redon | 11 km

With such a prized terroir, every square meter is planted with vines, mostly Grenache and Syrah. A splendid afternoon loop walk stays within the heart of the Châteauneuf appellation, strolling on farming tracks in between the parcels of vines, which lead from one estate to the next. The itinerary takes you to three widely-known wine estates – Chateau Vaudieu, Nalys and Solitude, all happy to share their savoir-faire with you during a wine tasting (not included). The reds are deep and heavily spiced, while the surprising whites have notes of almond, spices, and honeysuckle. We recommend the full loop option that passes by the famous estate of Château Mont-Redon. Afternoon transfer from Châteauneuf-du-Pape to Gigondas, a renowned winemaking village. Overnight in Gigondas, dinner included.

  • Accommodation: Les Florets or similar
  • Walking for the day: 11 km, 3-4 h, ↑150 m ↓150 m (full loop) or 8 km, 2-3 h ↑100 m ↓100 m (easy option)

Day 4: Gigondas – Dentelles – Gigondas | 11 km

Today’s walk is through the vines of Gigondas. The town of Gigondas sits high above the Rhône, overlooking a sea of vines. Narrow cobbled streets separate the old stone houses with their clay-tiled roofs. Take the time to explore the village before the walk that takes you to the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail, a set of chiselled limestone cliffs that soar in the sky. The steep hills have been carved into terraces, planted with rows of seemingly inaccessible vineyards. Views of the Rhône Valley and Provence’s highest mountain, Mont Ventoux, paint the backdrop. There are plenty of wine tasting opportunities in the village. Picnic lunch included and second overnight in Gigondas.

  • Accommodation: Les Florets or similar
  • Walking for the day: 11 km, 3-4 h, ↑300 m ↓300 m (standard option) or 5 km, 1-2 h ↑200 m ↓200 m (shorter option) or 12 km, 4-5 h ↑450 m ↓450 m (Dentelles ridge option)

Day 5: Gigondas – Séguret – Vaison la Romaine | 10 km

Today is the last walking day of the trip, with a lovely walk to Séguret, considered one of the most beautiful villages in France. The walk follows a trail underneath the rugged peaks and above the Rhône Valley, on paths and farming tracks through the vines and olive orchards. You pass above the village of Sablet before reaching the medieval wooden entrance gates of Séguret, its houses set in superposed rows and all clinging to the rock. You’ll find a tea house with delicious cakes along the cobbled streets in a setting overlooking the Rhône Valley: the perfect reward after a day’s walk. At the end of the walk, transfer in the afternoon to Vaison la Romaine, France’s largest Roman archaeological site. Dinner on your own, and overnight in Vaison la Romaine.

  • Accommodation: Eveche B&B or similar
  • Walking for the day: 10 km, 3-4 h, ↑300 m ↓380 m

Day 6: Departure

End of the trip after breakfast. Before leaving, take some time wandering through the expansive Roman ruins before crossing the 2000-year-old bridge and up to the Medieval village. Perched dizzyingly on the rock above the Ouvèze River, the cobbled streets between Vaison’s medieval houses lead up to the ruins of the 12th-century feudal castle, from where the view extends to the entire town and the countryside. Don’t miss the fabulous Tuesday morning market!

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in charming 2 and 3-star hotels and country inns in private en-suite double/twin rooms. 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. Optional hotel upgrade is possible.

Sample standard hotels

Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Sample upgraded hotels


Chateau des Fines Roches (Chateauneuf du Pape) – with swimming pool, Le Beffroi (Vaison la Romaine). The hotel in Gigondas is the same – Les Florets – as no option for a charming hotel here.

Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

All breakfasts are included, as well as one picnic lunch (Day 4) and one dinner (Day 3). Lunch packs for the next day can be pre-ordered at each accommodation, or you can buy bread, cheeses and meats as well as fresh fruit and vegetables at local markets. For dinner, you can visit one of the restaurants in the villages or order from the a la carte menu in your accommodation.

Local Markets

  • Avignon: Les Halles indoor covered market every morning except Monday
  • Chateauneuf du Pape: market on Friday morning
  • Vaison la Romaine: market on Tuesday (the big one), Thursday and Saturday

Difficulty & terrain

This holiday is appropriate for walks with an average level of fitness; average walking time is 3-4 hours per day with minimal elevation gains, on some days there are alternative shorter or longer options (read more about difficulty grades). We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to 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 on any date from March till mid-November. 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. In July and August, it may become too hot, and the trails are usually closed due to forest fire danger.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended arrival airport for this holiday is Marseille. Alternative airports are Nice, Paris, Montpellier, Toulon, Nimes.

By train or bus
  • Arrival: Train journey by TGV from Paris to Avignon is 3 hours, while a local train from the nearest international airport of Marseilles takes 2 hours to reach Avignon. Train schedules in France can be checked here: Train travel around France and Europe by OUI.sncf
  • Avignon is 5.5 hours by rail from London St Pancras (see details).
  • Departure: By bus from Vaison to Avignon (1 h) and then train to Marseille airport or Paris. By bus from Vaison to Orange (1 h) and then high-speed train to Paris. Or by bus from Vaison to Carpentras (50 min) then train. Bus schedule can be checked here: Lieutaud Lignes Régulières et Scolaires.

Inclusions

Included

  • 5 nights double occupancy with private facilities, in 2 and 3-star hotels and guesthouses
  • 5 breakfasts
  • 1 picnic lunch on day 4
  • 1 dinner on day 3
  • Day 1: transfer from Avignon to Chateauneuf du Pape
  • Day 3: transfer from Châteauneuf-du-Pape to Gigondas
  • Luggage transfers
  • Travel kit with roadbook and integrated maps (1 set per room), vouchers for restaurants & transfers
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Flights and airport transfers
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Tourist tax, if due
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Entrance fees for attractions and museums
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Extra nights before or after the holiday
  • Upgraded hotels with a supplement on request
  • Winetasting tour

Reviews