Mediterranean Cévennes - Self Guided

Itinerant walking holiday
The Mediterranean Cévennes holiday takes you off the beaten track and explores the ridges and valleys of the southern Cévennes. It is a week of contrasts, where you are often walking at altitudes of 1000m or higher, following ancient drovers’ paths with panoramic views, soft mountain air and alpine flowers.  One of your walks takes you over the summit of Mont Aiguoal, fom where the views stretch from the Alps to the Pyrénnées and down to the Mediterranean. Eagles soar on the thermals and little disturbs the daily peace but the sound of distant sheep bells carried on the breeze. 
  • Paysage Cévenol

Itinerary

  • Day 1: 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 just outside a quiet village in the foothills of the Cévennes. You stay here for two nights. The south facing rooms look over the valley and there are plenty of quiet corners to relax outdoors as well as a swimming pool.
    Either on this first evening, or the following morning, we will discuss your holiday with you and answer any questions that you may have.

  • Day 2: Cévenol landscapes – sweet onions and chestnuts

    3h30 walking, 10km / 6.3 miles, ascent/descent: 490m

    A circular walk takes you through peaceful villages nestled in the Cévenol foothills. Passages through woods of evergreen oak 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. Ancient terraces are cultivated for the production of oignons doux (sweet onions) for which these valleys are now famous.

  • Day 3: Le 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 to your riverside hotel.

  • Day 4: Bonperrier, walking in the steps of shepherds...

    5h walking , 15km / 9.4 miles, ascent 615m, descent 600m

    An exhilarating day’s walking lies ahead of you today, along one of the most famous “draille” (drovers’ paths) of the Cévennes, still used for the passage of sheep during the transhumance, the seasonal migration up to the high mountain pastures. You spend the night back in the valley in a gîte set just outside the village of Valleraugue.

  • Day 5: Les 4000 marches

    6h30 walking, 14.5 km / 9.1 miles, ascent 1230m, descent 365m

    Today’s walk follows one of the mythical footpaths of the Cévennes, ‘les 4000 marches’ (the 4000 steps). Don’t worry - the name doesn’t refer literally to steps – the path follows the line of a ridge out of Valleraugue to the summit of Mont Aiguoal. At 1567m altitude, this is second highest point in the Cévennes and from here the view stretches from the Alps to the Pyrénées and down to the Mediterranean. A challenging day but taken slowly perfectly possible, the views more than justifying your efforts!
    A simple mountain hotel with delicious home cooking awaits you for the night.

  • Day 6: Return to the Valleys

    6h walking, 17 km / 10.6 miles, ascent 255m, descent 1131m

    Tracks lead you out of the village of L’Espérou through a magnificient forest of beech and silver fir and back into the sheltered valleys of the Pays Viganais. A comfortable B&B with pretty gardens, charming rooms and a swimming pool will be your oasis for the night.

  • Day 7: Departure Day

    Transfer 10 mins

    We will drop you into Le Vigan for your return to Nimes or Montpellier by public transport.

    Why not consider an extra night to make the most of your last B&B and have a well earned rest at the end of your week's walking?

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

SEASON DATES

From the 2nd May to the 30th September 2018.
Choose whatever dates suit you best within this season.

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS :

From 2

PRICE OF THE HOLIDAY:

795 €

OUR PRICE INCLUDES :

Advice from a local ‘Accompagnateur en Montagne’ (mountain leader) at the start  of the holiday
Telephone back up throughout your holiday to ensure all runs smoothly
6 nights half board accommodation in a shared double room: 2 nights in a rural auberge, 2 nights in simple country hotels, 2 night in charming, characterful B&Bs.
Transfers between Le Vigan and your accommodation at the start and end of your holiday
Picnics on the 5 walking days
Bag moves throughout the trip
Maps and detailed directions that are checked and updated regularly

OUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:

Travel to reach Le Vigan
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’

Comfort

Accommodation

Your first 2 nights are in a simple but charming auberge with stunning views, 2 nights are in rural hotels and 2 nights in characterful B&Bs with excellent home cooking. Your first auberge and last B&B both have swimming pools.  Double, twin or single rooms available. All rooms have an en-suite bathroom and wc.

Meals

Dinner is served in your hotel/B&B each night and picnics will be provided for you each morning, ready for your departure after breakfast.






Practical info

MEETING POINT:

We will meet you in Le Vigan and drive you to your first auberge (10mins). Le Vigan is served by regular buses from Montpellier and Nîmes.
NB: If you prefer not to use public transport to reach Le Vigan we can book you a taxi (not included in the holiday price). Please request this as soon as possible in advance.

AT THE END OF THE HOLIDAY:

On day 7, we will organise your return transfer from your last auberge to the bus stop in Le Vigan, to coincide with your onward travel plans.
As for arrival, if you prefer to use a taxi for the return leg of your journey (not included in the holiday price) please request this as soon as possible in advance.

MANAGEMENT:

A local Accompagnateur en Montagne (mountain leader) will oversee your holiday. They will meet you at, or near, the start of your trip (dependant on availability) to answer any questions that you may have and remain contactable by telephone should you be in need of assistance.

HOW TO GET HERE:

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


IF YOU COME BY TRAIN:

Montpellier or Nîmes train station

IF YOU COME BY CAR:

You will receive the address of your hotels before departure

IF YOU COME BY PLANE:

Montpellier or Nîmes 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 will be transported for you between your hotels/B&Bs, all you need to carry with you are your peronal affairs for the day (see above).

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 :

Medium (M) – between 4h  and 6h30 walking  per day. Between 400m et 1200m 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 equipment list).

PUBLIC :

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