Around the Dentelles de Montmirail
vast vistas, pristine nature trails, in the shadow of Le Geant, Mt Ventoux

Circumnavigate the Dentelles de Montmirail national park on one of the most compelling nature walks in Provence. The Dentelles is an area of dramatic limestone ridges, reminiscent of lace from where it gets its name, with expansive views of vineyards and farm country cultivated since Roman times.

Start from Gigondas, founded by Julius Caesar's Roman legions as an R&R camp for their troops. They called it Jocunditas, place of pleasure, and planted the first vines here. Today Gigondas is one of the premiere wine villages of the southern Cotes du Rhone. From here your trail leads to Beaumes de Venise, a village best known for its fortified sweet wines, where you can also visit an olive oil mill. Then it's on through more vineyards and forests of oak and Mediterranean pine to Le Barroux and its fairytale medieval castle. A picturesque crossing of a ridgeline brings you to the ancient town of Malaucene in the shadow of mile high Mt Ventoux and then you continue to Roman-medieval-renaissance Vaison la Romaine for its famous market day, passing through the pristine perched hamlet of Le Crestet. You close the circle back to Gigondas through charming Seguret, one of the 100 prettiest villages in France according to a popular community ranking.

Use this itinerary, custom designed for a client, to inspire yours. Start on any day. Walk for as many days as you like. On your own time, at your own pace.

Day 1  Arrival and Transfer to the Dentelles de Montmirail National Park
You will be met at your airport of arrival or TGV station and transferred by private car to your small welcoming family-run hotel nestled at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail national park, a natural playground of limestone ridges, secluded valleys, tranquil vineyards, pilgrims' paths, and panoramic views.
Day 2  Gigondas circular walk
Distance: 11 miles    Difficulty: Moderate
Set out from picturesque, low key Gigondas, a principal Cotes du Rhone wine village, into the heart of the Dentelles de Montmirail. Walk through a timeless, hidden valley of herb-scented forests and vineyard vistas between limestone ridges on the way to an optional ascent to the highest point in the Dentelles. Then circle back to Gigondas for a leisurely round of wine tasting before dinner if you like. Longer or shorter options available.
Day 3  Gigondas - Le Barroux
Distance: 12 miles    Difficulty: Moderate
Descend to the southern edge of the Dentelles and enter Cotes du Ventoux wine country as you turn east on the way to Le Barroux. Pass through Beaumes de Venise, especially known for its sweet wines. Continue to the well-preserved perched village of Le Barroux dominated by its 12th century castle built for protection from southern invaders. Longer option available.
Day 4  Le Barroux - Malaucene
Distance: 6 miles    Difficulty: Moderate
Today the trail takes you to Malaucene, an ancient market town with a massive fortress cathedral and nicely preserved old section.The trail is relatively short but offers outstanding views as you leisurely climb to a pass from where you descend to the north toward the Alps.
Day 5  Mont Ventoux Foothills Circular
Distance: 8 miles    Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Head out on a circular walk to explore the foothills of Mont Ventoux, towering to the east. Petrarch, the Italian poet, walked up Mont Ventoux in 1336 and was credited with starting the obsession of climbing mountains only because they are there. Discover a series of tiny 13th century pilgrim's chapels among the fruit orchards, vineyards and pine forests along the way.
Day 6  Malaucene - Vaison la Romaine
Distance: 14 miles    Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
Head north to Vaison la Romaine today, a well preserved market town dating back to Roman times with the ruins to prove it, at the northern edge of the Dentelles de Montmirail. Your path is overlooked by Mt Ventoux along the way. The trail is wild and challenging at times to your interim goal, the spectacularly perched village of Le Crestet and its fortress, from where it is an easy stroll into Vaison.
Day 7  Vaison la Romaine - Gigondas
Distance: 11 miles    Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Today you may buy a picnic in Vaison first thing in the morning before setting off into the vineyards and forests above the town on your last walk, heading for Gigondas to close the loop on your Dentelles circumnavigation. Your route takes you through the pristine village of Seguret, a lovely break enroute.
Day 8  Departure from Provence
Transfer by private car to your departure airport or TGV station for the trip home.

8 days, 7 nights
Northern Vaucluse
best time April to October

six walks, mostly moderate, some challenging, up to 14 miles per day, shorter and longer options; comprehensive self-guidance package; in-person breifing

Where You'll Stay
Classic: charming B&Bs
and small family run hotels
Superior: high end B&Bs
and superior hotels
Deluxe: top country house hotels
Mix choices if you prefer

Field Support
In-person briefing on arrival; English speaking background support throughout the trip; optional GPS support

(per person double occupancy)

Classic: from $1,734
Superior: from $2,099
Deluxe: inquire

indicative prices - actual quotes
may vary; mixing accom. choices also varies price
single supplement - inquire

• all accommodation
• all baggage transfers
• all breakfasts
• briefing on arrival
• comprehensive Trip Kit    including all official IGN    maps, Trail Guides, and other    guidance material

• any transportation except
   for transfers if indicated
• meals/picnics other than    breakfasts
• any form of insurance

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