Hiking trip in the Mediterranean Cévennes - Self Guided
Arrival in Le Vigan
Transfer (10mins) to your auberge
We will meet you in Le Vigan* to drive you to your first B&B set in a quiet village in the foothills of the Cévennes. This comfortable B&B with pretty gardens, charming rooms and a swimming pool will be your oasis for the next 2 nights.. Your hostess is a qualified chef and will serve you with creative and delicious dinners using seasonal, local produce.
Cévenol landscapes – silk and chestnuts
4h walking, 10km / 6.3 miles, ascent/descent: 400m
A circular walk takes you through an isolated hamlet, situated on one of the main ‘drailles’ (drovers’ paths) into the mountains. Passages through woods of evergreen oak and sweet chestnuts are interspersed with fine views. The importance of silk production in previous centuries is evident both in the architecture and by the presence of numerous old mulberry trees.
Into the mountains
5h walking, 8.75 miles / 14km ascent 753m, descent 214m
You have a 5 minute transfer to the start of today's walk to lessen the ascent, although this is gradual and rewarded by fine views throughout. An ancient drovers' path takes you to a mountain village just below Mont Aiguoal. Rocky paths for the first half of the day give way to springy forest tracks in the afternoon. You stay in a simple mountain hotel (2*) where your day's efforts are rewarded by warm hospitality and good home cooking.
Return to the Valleys
5h walking, 20km/12.5 miles, ascent 420m, descent 1120m
Today's walk offers you some of the most exhilarating views of the southern Cévennes. Once again you follow a drovers' path, climbing up to a col at 1300m, then descending gradually to a peaceful auberge set just outside a south facing village. You stay here for the next 2 nights with plenty of time to make the most of the swimming pool.
Hidden valleys and sweet onions
4h walking, 12 km/7.5 miles, 380m ascent/descent
Small paths lead you through beautifully restored old terraces now used to cultivate the "oignon doux des Cévennes" or sweet onions for which these valleys are famous. You descend to a hamlet where once silk production was the mainstay of the ecomony but today apples and onions are the all important crops. A delightful walk on tiny paths, winding through a succession of picturesque villages. Alternatively you may choose to have a leisurely day, making the most of the peace and quiet of your rural auberge to recuperate mid-trip.
The Col de Peyrefiche
4h30 walking, 11km / 6.9 miles, ascent 330m, descent 620m
A gentle climb up through chestnut woods brings you to a pass with stunning mountain views. From here you flank the hillside on a tiny path before descending to the village of Saint André de Majencoules. Time for a village tour or a cool drink in the square before continuing your descent to the the valley of the Hérault. On the way you pass an unusual and fascinating garden which you may enjoy visiting.
Your B&B is set in the heart of a tiny hamlet.
The Col de Peyraube
4h30 walking, 10.6km/6.6 miles, ascent 365m, descent 440m
Today you climb gently up to a ridge, offering views back to Mont Aigoual. You pass through a couple of small villages before descending back to the valley where a 13th century château awaits you for your final evening.
Transport back to Nîmes and Montpellier from outside the château
Buses to Nimes or Montpellier (1h30) leave from just outside the chateau. Alternatively, we will be happy to book a local taxi for you at whatever time is needed for your onward travel plans.
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.
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IF YOU COME
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IF YOU COME BY PLANE:
- 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
- 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)
- Small first aid kit (plasters, compeed, elastoplast, head ache pills, after bite etc)