Provence - Fragrances, fine dining and artistic inspiration
Discover the brilliant colors of the wild landscape of Provence: the purple of the lavender, the lime-green of fresh vine leaves and deep red of the cherries in Spring, the glorious russets of Autumn, the vivid blue of the Mistral sky and the fabulous sunsets â the landscape that inspired so many Impressionist painters. Inhale the fragrance of the herbs of the Luberon - wild thyme, marjoram and sage - crushed underfoot as we walk. We traverse age-old paths through fields, vineyards and olive groves, and we stop to sample the wares of a traditional wine grower.
We walk from one perched village to another: Lacoste, castle home to the infamous Marquis de Sade now owned by Pierre Cardin, Menerbes, where Peter Mayle wrote 'A Year in Provence', breath-taking Gordes where we explore dramatic limestone gorges and Fontaine de Vaucluse where the ancient source of the river Sorgue, an eternal underground siphon, gushes out from the deep heart of the mountain.
Our Provence walk is also a truly exceptional fine-dining experience. The region is famed for its abundant Mediterranean produce, enriched with the warmth of the sun, and its superb Chefs who pride themselves on creating imaginative and delicious dishes. From the simplicity of stuffed golden vegetables and salads at lunch to the elegant dining room of Edouard Loubet, a brilliant young 2-star Michelin Chef, every day you will sample the food of a lifetime!
Read the profile of Chef Loubet on our blog where you can also download one of his recipes!
Walk Rating: Moderate. Firm ground, contoured rocky paths. 8-12 miles walking per day.
US$4695.00 per person double occupancy
US$4695.00 per person double occupancy
Walk begins in Lourmarin, with arrival at Avignon TGV Rail Station and ends in Gordes, with departure from Avignon TGV Rail Station.
We walk in a landcape full of flowers, herbs and fragrances in springtime and a dazzling display of rich colors in autumn. We walk to the village of Vaugines for lunch, and continue through vineyards in the afternoon to end the day at the 14th-century castle of Lourmarin. Try an aperitif of Pastis, a well-known aniseed beverage and "Symbol of the South", before dining in our hotel.
Following a sparkling river, we explore deep and dramatic gorges bounded by dramatic cliffs and inhabited only by birds of prey. An old pack-horse trail brings us to lunch at a traditional Auberge. Our walk today is punctuated by stunning Provençal panoramas viewed from the hills we climb. We hike to the hilltop village of Bonnieux where we stay for dinner and overnight.
We explore Bonnieux, then follow a winding path through woods and vineyards to the Marquis de Sade’s picturesque village of Lacoste for lunch. The heady scents of rosemary, cedar and wild thyme accompany us past craggy stone walls and almond trees to old Ménerbes, a former Calvinist stronghold in the Middle Ages. We finish our day by visiting a local wine grower to taste the Luberon wine.
We walk to the beautiful multi-hued village of Roussillon for a guided visit to an ochre museum and time to browse the market and village shops before lunch. We continue across the valley to the stunningly situated, tiered village of Gordes, perched on the rocky face of the Vaucluse Plateau.
We visit the source of the River Sorgue at Fontaine de Vaucluse and follow an ancient silk route to Cabrières d’Avignon for lunch. We return along rocky hillsides to Gordes where, in this village of centuries-old dwellings and vaulted passageways, we enjoy our Farewell Dinner.
The Wayfarers take you back to Avignon TGV station and see you safely on your way.
This itinerary represents a typical Walk. We prepare itineraries well in advance of the trip and therefore we reserve the right to make changes due to weather, local events or other circumstances - but always to improve the experience of our guests.
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La Bastide de Capelongue - Tuesday & Wednesday
84480 Bonnieux en Provence
La Bastide de Capelongue (the Country House of Capelongue) was once a private country house perched on a hill and is set in 15 acres of grounds. Now beautifully renovated, the decoration and furnishings have been carefully selected to exude a feeling of calm and relaxation. Spacious bedrooms each have either a balcony or a terrace, air conditioning, ensuite bathroom, hairdryer, modern facilities including satellite TV, and have exceptional views over the countryside and the village. All are individually decorated in Provençal style, with locally-produced wooden furniture and delicate, personal touches.
A highlight of your stay is the light and refined cuisine from Edouard Loubet, a remarkably talented young 2-star Michelin Chef, served in the very elegant hotel restaurant. He draws inspiration from authentic dishes of his childhood and, as the ingredients are taken directly from the garden and supplied by the best local producers, they reflect the changing Provençal seasons.
In this remarkably peaceful setting, there is also a swimming pool surrounded by the scent of the lavender plants and with panoramic views across the valley of Bonnieux. Wi-Fi internet access if available in the reception and bar area but not the individual bedrooms.
Hotel les Bories - Thursday & Friday
Route de l’Abbaye de Sénanque
Located in 20 acres of fragrant gardens, hidden amongst olives, green oak and Cyprus trees, this hotel brings together the past and present in perfect harmony. Bedrooms look out across the stunning Luberon landscape and each features an en-suite bathroom with hair dryer, mini-bar, Satellite TV and video, phone and personal safe. There is Wi-Fi available throughout all rooms in the hotel.
Whether dining in the old house or outside on the dry stone terraces, the cuisine is enriched with typical Provence flavours. As well as an outdoor swimming pool with sun terraces, there is an indoor heated swimming pool as part of the hotel's luxury health spa, La Maison d'Ennea, including sauna and fitness room. A variety of spa treatments may be booked in advance - direct with the hotel.
This hotel list is a provided as an example. We may use different hotels of the same quality and style on specific trips. The Wayfarers will notify confirmed travelers of any changes to the hotels.
Before & After
- Extend your stay in Avignon - stroll around this beautiful city, visit the mighty 14th century Pope's Palace and explore the numerous lively local markets
- Visit Aix en Provence - Cézanne's home
- Try ballooning over the Provencal countryside
- Spend a few relaxing hours with a paintbrush and oil, watercolors or a camera and match your composition skills to those of Van Gogh and Matisse
Spring and Autumn are mild in Provence. Average daily temperatures are 70°F (21°C) in May, 77°F (25°C) in September and 72°F (22°C) in October but sometimes temperatures can be significantly higher at the peak of the day. Short sleeves will be fine in the daytime but you may need a light sweater or jacket in the evenings. There is unlikely to be much rain in May, September and October but short, very heavy, rain showers can occur at any time during the year so bring good quality, lightweight rain protection.
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Are there any hidden costs?
Our Vacations do not include the cost of air or rail fares to and from the destination or tips for your walk leader and manager.
How large are the Groups?
Our maximum group size is 16, but groups average between 8-12 people.
Will I feel welcome as a single traveler?
Yes! Our walks are the perfect environment of comfortable camaraderie for the single traveler.
Can you accommodate special diets?
How physically fit do I have to be to do a Wayfarers Walk?
If you are in good health and reasonably fit you will be comfortable participating in a walk.
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