Etoile des Cévennes - Guided

One centre holiday
In the Southern Cévennes lies a magical landscape of ridges and valleys. Based in a small auberge, nestled in a sheltered valley, we invite you to discover some of our favourite walks. For more than 20 years this is the adopted home of Sarah our guide with a true passion for the region. This area is one of the last places in France where the ‘transhumance’ – the seasonal movement of sheep between the valleys and the high mountain pastures – still takes place, on foot, following ancient drovers’ paths. Our walks follow these same paths, with stunning views, varied landscapes and pure, soft mountain air.
  • View southern Cévennes
  • Group 4 Jasses
  • col de l'Homme Mort
  • Troupeau visit François
  • Bonperrier, Col de L'Asclier, Cévennes
  • Transhumance, Cevennes
  • River swimming Cevennes
  • Auberge and pool  Cevennes
  • Visit berger vallée de bonheur
  • Mont Aiguoal
  • Walking Bonperrier
  • Swimming Herault
  • Transhumance Col de Pierrefiche

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Meeting in Montpellier and Transfer to your Auberge

    Transfer time 1h30

    Meeting at Montpellier train station at 11h00 or at 13h00 at your auberge in the Southern Cévennes. Presentation of the holiday by your guide, followed by a 2-3 hour walk allowing you to discover the charm of the Cévénol landscape straight away. Ancient terraces are today planted with sweet onions for which this area is famous. The presence of old mulberry trees (“the tree of gold”) are a reminder of the past importance of the silk industry in the Cévennes. Dinner in your auberge.

  • Day 2: Cévenol landscapes – sweet onions and chestnuts

    4 h walking, 10 km, 350m ascent/descent

    For our first walk we have a spectacular introduction to the region of Les Grands Causses and the gorges. Easy paths lead us across the Causse Noir to a cliffside medieval castle perched in a seemingly impossible position high in the gorge of the Jonte. After picnicking amongst the rock formations, we explore a nearby 11th century priory (as well as other surprises) hidden deep in the forest. We return with plenty of time for an invigorating dip in the river before dinner!

  • Day 3: Le Pic de Barette

    4h30 walking, 12 km, 320m ascent/descent

    We start our walk at 1190m. Superb stretches through forests of beech and spruce are interspersed with mountain streams, waterfalls and panoramic views. These rugged slopes are home to the mouflon (an ancient breed of wild sheep) and the summit of our walk offers an ideal viewing point for the observation of numerous wild animal and bird species. We return with time to enjoy the swimming pool before dinner in your auberge.

  • Day 4: Le Mont Aiguoal

    4h30 walking time, 11 km 320m ascent/descent

    Today we discover the mythical summit of Mont Aiguoal. In clear conditions, the view encompasses the Alps, the Pyrénées and the Mediterranean. At 1567m, the summit is the second highest point in the Cévennes and is home to the last manned mountain weather station in France. A circular walk on forest paths provides us with vast vistas and allows us to visit the weather station. On our way back to the auberge, we visit an onion grower in the Hérault valley.
    Dinner in your auberge.

  • Day 5: Le Col de L’Asclier

    6h00 walking time, 13 km, ascent/descent 560m

    A spectacular walk which explores one of the most magical sites of the Cévennes: the Col de l’Asclier. With its « pont moutonnier » (sheep bridge), this pass has been famous for centuries for the passage of sheep on transhumance – their spring migration up to the mountain pastures. In following the ancient ‘draille’ or drovers’ path along the ridge, we enjoy some of the best panoramic views that the Cévennes has to offer.
    This walk is a little more demanding than others during the week but our efforts will be richly rewarded by the discovery of these wild, little known landscapes.
    Dinner in your auberge.

  • Day 6: Return to Montpellier

    Return transfer to Montpellier train station for 11HOO

    If you are leaving directly from the auberge with your own transport, then your holiday will finish after breakfast.

Disclaimer

The above itinerary may be modified due to weather or terrain conditions, equipment concerns or the physical condition of the participants. The final choice of the walks will be decided by the guide who may adapt the programme for reasons of security.

Dates & prices

From To Price Status
€725
Guaranteed
Départ Spécial Transhumance
€695
Guaranteed with 4 pers. min.
€695
Guaranteed with 4 pers. min.
€695
Guaranteed
€695
Guaranteed with 4 pers. min.
€695
Guaranteed with 4 pers. min.
€695
Guaranteed
€695
Guaranteed with 4 pers. min.

En option :

  • Supplément chambre simple : €300

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS

4 to 15

PRICE OF THE HOLIDAY

From 695 €

We also organise holidays on request for ready constituted groups.


OUR PRICE INCLUDES

  • Guiding and management by a local ‘Accompagnateur en Montagne’ (mountain leader)  throughout the holiday
  • 5 nights in a charming auberge with swimming pool, in a shared double room
  • Transfers between the train station in Montpellier and your auberge at the start at end of the holiday
  • Full board accommodation from the picnic on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 6
  • The visits as mentioned in the programme


OUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • Travel to reach Montpellier  
  • Booking fees (15€ per person) – FREE if you pay by French cheque or by bank transfer
  • Personal expenses, drinks
  • Cancellation or repatriation insurance
  • In a general sense, everything that is not included in ‘Our price includes’

OPTION

Single room supplement : 290€ / person . Subject to availability at the time of booking

REDUCTION

Price reduction for those coming with their own car: -50€ / person
NB: those receiving this price reduction will need to use their own car to reach the departure point of the walks  

Comfort

Accommodation

5 nights in shared double rooms in a simple, charming auberge with a swimming pool. Twin and double bedded rooms avaialble.

Single room supplement: 300€/person

Meals

Dinners are served to the group in the auberge. Delicious home cooking using local produce.

The Auberge



Practical info

MEETING POINT:

On Day 1 there are 2 meeting points possible:-
  • At 11h00 at Montpellier train station (Saint Roch)
  • At 13h00 directly at your auberge if you have your own transport

Meeting point at Montpellier Train Station:
In front of the car hire office, which is situated on level 1, just before the exit ‘Pont de Sète’.


AT THE END OF THE HOLIDAY:

On day 6, your holiday will finish : 
  • At 11h00 at Montpellier train station
  • After breakfast, if you are leaving directly from the auberge with your own transport


TRANSFERS BETWEEN MONTPELLIER AND THE AUBERGE

There will be one outward and return transfer only at the times shown above. This will be in a 5 or 9 seater vehicle, driven by your guide

GUIDING AND MANAGEMENT:

This walk is accompanied by Sarah WRIGHT, local Accompagnateur en Montagne (mountain leader). You may have a different guide on certain departure dates.

HOW TO GET HERE:

In order to limit your carbon missions, we encourage you to use public transport.


→ IF YOU COME BY TRAIN

Montpellier train station (Saint Roch)

→ IF YOU COME BY CAR

You will receive the address of the auberge before departure

→ IF YOU COME BY PLANE

Montpellier ‘Méditerranée’ airport  


EQUIPMENT


RUCKSACK

This should be large enough to carry your personal affairs for the day, ie. around 30 litres.  A rucksack with a hip belt will be more comfortable (as this allows the weight to be spread more evenly, notably across the hips), padded shoulder straps, and a chest strap.

You should always carry a warm piece of clothing, a rain coat, water bottle, first aid kit and personal items including part of the picnic.As well as these daily necessities, a bin bag and 2 freezer bags are invaluable to protect your belongings in case of rain.

LUGGAGE

This remains in the auberge throughout this walk in the Cévennes.

WALKING BOOTS

Choose boots with ankle support and non-slip but supple soles. Your shoes are one of the most important elements of your walking holiday. They should be above all comfortable, light, water proof and breathable. Do not come on holiday with brand new shoes ! Make sure that you have already done at least 2 or 3 walks in them before your trip.

CLOTHES   

  • A wind and waterproof jacket that is breathable (GORETEX or similar). Ponchos are not acceptable. 
  • A fleece (the mountain weather can be changeable and turn cold)
  • A pair of walking trousers, a pair of shorts, t-shirts (choose modern breathable, fast drying materials rather than cotton)
  • A change of clothes for the evenings
  • A swimming costume and towel


OTHER ITEMS

  • Water bottle (2 litre minimum per person).
  • A pair of telescopic walking poles (highly recommended)
  • Sun glasses and sun cream
  • Sun hat
  • Personal tolietries and a towel  
  • A pair of sandals/comfortable shoes (for the evenings)
  • Camera
  • Small first aid kit (plasters, compeed, elastoplast, head ache pills, after bite etc


LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY OF THE WALKS

Easy (E) – between 2h30  and 6h walking  per day. Between 280m et 560m uphill each day.


AMOUNT CARRIED :

All you need to carry each day is a small rucksack with your water, picnic, first aid kit and other personal essentials (see above equipment list).

PUBLIC :

To prepare for this holiday you should exercise regularly and undertake an endurance sport (walking, cycling) at least twice a week for the 2 months prior to the trip.

NATURE OF THE TERRAIN :

The walking is on the whole easy but is on rocky paths that may be uneven and steep in places. Accessible to all those in good physical condition.

WALKING TIMES:

These are given as a general guideline only and take into account the terrain. They are based on an average walking speed and do not allow for breaks, picnic stops etc. They are calculated by using an average speed of 300m per hour for a climb uphill and 450m per hour for a descent.

WATER:

The use of a “camel back” (water pouch which fits in your rucksack with a tube and mouth piece) is recommended. (You may also want to bring a small thermos flask for a tea or coffee during your walk).

THE WALKING ITINERARIES:

These may be modified due to weather or terrain conditions, equipment concerns or the physical condition of the participants. The final choice of the walks will be decided by the guide who may adapt the programme for reasons of security.

THE CLIMATE

This is dominated by a Mediterrannean influence. Conditions can change quickly in the mountains. For local forecast see link: Meteo France 

Reviews

2018 SEASON


Transhumance in the Cévennes with the sheep

A superb walking experience, meeting the flocks of sheep leaving on transhumance. Marvellous landscapes and contact with locals, enriched by the comments of our guide Sarah, passionate about Cévenol culture. Nice accommodation, on a gastronomic level appreciated as much for the picnics as for the dinners. Good coordination between the guide and the hoteliers.
Daniel 04/06/18

Special Departure ‘Transhumance’

The auberge was perfect. As for Sarah, our guide, she deserves credit: warm, competent, reliable, adaptable to the fitness level of the group and the weather, a professional who knows just when to make you smile, a gifted photographer, bilingual, with the tact to give just a touch of help to my Anglophone friends when needed, whilst all the time maintaining a great feeling of group solidarity. In addition what wonderful moments shared with shepherds and farmers who obviously have respect for her. And sautéed wild mushrooms that she gathered for us in the forest!
Albert 04/06/18


2017 SEASON


“The  Cévennes  - unmissable”

This walk in the Cévennes is top. The guide introduced us to fascinating people, who love their  land and their work. The walks are all really nice. The food is good and the accommodation offers a view that makes you happy.  Didier, July 2017


“Star of the  Cévennes ”

Wonderful stay in the Cévennes : the discovery of the transhumance paths, meetings with shepherds and producers, the ascent of wooded summits… with Sarah, our guide, attentive, informative, who shared with us her enthusiasm for this region and those who live in it.  Corinne, August 2017

"Walk in the  Cévennes"

This walk iin the Cévennes was a very lovely discovery, and that thanks to Sarah, our guide. Sarah is enthusiastic, kind, attentive to our needs and our innumerable questions. She loves sharing her knowledge of the region (she knows it really well) and it shows! I highly recommend this walk of discovery with Sarah.  Patricia, August 2017.


"More than one Star"

We were the pioneers of the first departure of this holiday – what a success! Our charming guide Sarah knew how to share her knowledge and her passion for this very beautiful region with cheerfulness, energy and humour. A special mention too for Louise et David, our welcoming hosts who spoilt us each night after a dip in the pool, with their delicious authentic cuisine and Robert the shepherd, Michel, the producer of chestnuts etc… astonishing meetings. The Cévennes, with stars in our eyes. Sylvie, July 2017


 “The cevennes with Sarah”

A really enjoyable stay, especially thanks to our guide Sarah, who shared with us her enthusiasm, her great knowledge and her love for the Cévennes, always with good humour and kindness. Sarah is one of the best guides that I have met. Nathalie, July 2017


"On the Transhumance Paths of the Cévennes"

Excellent experience in a wild and authentic setting. Sarah, our passionate and fascinating guide knew how to introduce us to sumptious landscapes and local characters, both emblematic and sometimes hidden, following the tracks of flocks of sheep.  Thierry, August 2017

(Above comments translated from French)