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Colours of Provence

Villages Perchés & Mont Ventoux
 
With hire car included, you’re free to explore a wide range of walking options from your base at a charming hotel and to visit hill-top villages and Roman monuments on this self-guided, single-centre walking holiday.
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday in Provence

Purple lavender, houses of honey-coloured stone, ochre mines, yellow sunflowers tilted towards the blue sky, silver-green olive trees, plump red tomatoes, the white chalk of towering Mont Ventoux… Provence delights with its colours. It would seem that the region was made for leisurely exploration and, with a week with a hire car in the medieval village of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, you can do just that, walking and exploring – or even canoeing – as the mood takes you.
There is so much to see and do within a 35-mile radius of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse that you may well return home thinking that a week was not enough! With countless picturesque villages, historic Avignon and Roman monuments such as the Pont du Gard nearby, you could easily devote the whole week to exploring by car or, alternatively, spend the entire week walking; we recommend a combination, however, to get a better feel for the area. At the end of each day, you can return to the welcoming Hotel du Poète, a charmingly converted water mill that is an oasis of calm and tranquillity.
 
Gallery
 

Walking & more

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights. There’s no fixed itinerary, so take your pick of our suggested walking routes as the mood takes you.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.

    The lavender blooms in late June/early July.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 10 12 15 18 22 26 30 29 25 20 14 11
    mm 60 64 55 53 52 38 22 47 71 114 67 62
  • An introduction
    There are some excellent walks both from the door of your hotel and a short drive away. We provide notes for nine routes, several of which have been conceived so that you can combine a half-day’s walk with a couple of hours of sightseeing.
  • Choice of routes: 6km to 17km

    Colours of Roussillon: 8km, 3hrs
    Stroll through the handsome village of Roussillon and marvel at the startling array of colours in its ochre quarries before enjoying an easy circular route through wide-open fields that command views of the hill-top villages of Gordes and Joucas. (Drive to starting point: 25 mins)

    Famous Gordes: 10km, 3.5hrs; longer option: 17km, 6hrs
    Gordes is perhaps Provence’s most famous hill-top village. For a complete contrast to its bustling streets, strike out along little-used paths through lavender fields to Sénanque Abbey, a lovely spot for a picnic before retracing your steps back to Gordes. A more challenging extension allows you to explore further. (Drive to starting point: 10 mins)

    Back in time: 6km, 2.5rs
    From Maubec, paths lead to Oppède le Vieux, which clings to the slopes of the Luberon Massif. Abandoned houses, silent, cobbled streets and a ruined castle serve as reminders that this intriguing village was abandoned for decades, and is only slowly returning to life. (Drive to starting point: 10 mins)
    Oppède le Vieux option
    Colours of Roussillon - Roussillon ochre quarries pathway
  • Choice of routes: 6km to 21km

    Through the Monts de Vaucluse: 13km, 4.5hrs
    Dotted with centuries-old shepherds’ huts, this circular walk from the door of your hotel follows seldom-used paths and mule tracks through the hills north-west of the village to medieval Saumane de Vaucluse.

    Le mur de la peste: 15km, 5.5hrs
    Also starting in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, this fascinating route leads through the forest to meet the mur de la peste, a 30-kilometre wall built in 1720 to protect the popes in Avignon from the plague which ravaged Marseille. You follow the wall for a few kilometres before looping back to the village.

    Roussillon to La Falaise de la Madeleine: 15km, 5.5hrs
    This is a lovely walk, which descends to the agricultural plain and crosses it to arrive at the pretty hamlet of Le Château, where Pierre Cardin has renovated the château which gives the hamlet its name. Your route then climbs the dramatic cliff of Falaise de la Madeleine to reach an old windmill. Descending on the other side, you come back down to the plain and wind your way back towards the red rock of Roussillon. (Drive to starting point: 25 mins)

    Cherry trees & vines: 16km, 5.5rs
    Starting in Venasque, an exquisite village perched on a rocky spur which boasts a 6th-century baptistery, this circular route winds through the vineyards and cherry orchards of the Monts de Vaucluse, passing two sleepy hamlets. (Drive to starting point: 15 mins)

    The jagged Petit Luberon: 6km, 2.5hrs
    Explore the western slopes of the Luberon Massif, known as Le Petit Luberon. (Drive to starting point: 15 mins)

    Mont Ventoux: 14km, 4.5hrs; longer option: 21km, 6.5hrs
    Choose a fairly leisurely walk or a more demanding route across the flanks of this iconic peak, whose distinctive summit (1,909 metres) dominates the skyline for miles around. Both routes reward you with inspirational views over the surrounding landscapes.
    Le mur de la peste
    Roussillon to La Falaise de la Madeleine - Roussillon
  • Pretty villages & Roman treasures

    Fontaine-de-Vaucluse
    Fontaine-de-Vaucluse itself deserves some exploration – as well as the source of the River Sorgue (one of the most powerful natural springs in the world, best seen in early spring), there is a handful of small museums, including one devoted to the spring, and another detailing life under the Vichy regime.

    Villages of the Luberon
    There are numerous other lovely villages just a short drive away... In Roussillon, the village houses echo some of the many colours found in the spectacular ochre mines nearby, whereas picturesque Gordes is a hill-top village crowned by a church and castle. You may also like to discover some of the area's other villages, such as Bonnieux, Saignon, Lacoste and Ménerbes, all made famous by Peter Mayle in ‘A Year in Provence’.

    Market towns
    Crisscrossed with canals and known for its interesting antiques shops and flea market, l'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is well worth a visit. Also under half an hour's drive away is France’s melon capital, Cavaillon, a pretty market town.

    Avignon
    Once the papal seat, it's great to explore the Old Town of this wonderful city, and visit the fortified Palais des Papes.

    The Pont du Gard
    A magnificent feat of Roman engineering, which carried the aqueduct transporting water to Nîmes across the River Gardon. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Canoeing
    For a different perspective of the region, hire a canoe (pay locally) from the rental company in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse and paddle down the River Sorgue. A minibus service is available to transport you back to Fontaine.
 

Accommodation

Medieval Fontaine-de-Vaucluse owes its name to its location beneath tall cliffs and the nearby source of the River Sorgue (the Provençal ‘Vau-Cluso la Font’ translates as ‘spring in a closed valley’). Here you stay at a charming hotel which receives consistently high praise from our guests.
Hotel du Poète

Bedrooms

 

Extend your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter.
Currency converter

We can only accept payment in GBP, but you can use this converter to find out how much the holiday equates to in your own currency.

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  • 7 nights: 01 September 2019 - 31 October 2019, 01 April 2020 - 17 July 2020 & 01 September 2020 - 31 October 2020

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 30 Sep 2019 £945 £550
    1 - 24 Oct 2019 £898 £525
    1 - 30 Apr 2020 £945 £560
    1 - 21 May 2020 £970 £570
    22 May - 29 Jun 2020 £995 £580
    30 Jun - 10 Jul 2020 £1040 £585
    1 - 30 Sep 2020 £995 £580
    1 - 24 Oct 2020 £970 £570
    3rd & 4th person discount -£85 to -£125
    Single traveller supplement £85 to £125

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Price includes: 7 days' category B car hire (eg Peugeot 208 or similar with manual transmission and air conditioning)

    Driving time to the first hotel: Marseille 1h30, Montpellier 1h45
    Driving time from the final hotel: Marseille 1h30, Montpellier 1h45

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

    7 nights: 01 September 2019 - 31 October 2019, 01 April 2020 - 17 July 2020 & 01 September 2020 - 31 October 2020

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 30 Sep 2019 £1198 £550
    1 - 24 Oct 2019 £1148 £525
    1 - 30 Apr 2020 £1195 £560
    1 - 21 May 2020 £1225 £570
    22 May - 29 Jun 2020 £1260 £580
    30 Jun - 10 Jul 2020 £1295 £585
    1 - 30 Sep 2020 £1260 £580
    1 - 24 Oct 2020 £1225 £570
    3rd & 4th person discount -£85 to -£125
    Single traveller supplement £85 to £125

    Includes all elements in the 'walk price', plus standard-class travel by Eurostar from London St Pancras or Ebbsfleet International to Lille or Paris, with onward travel as described below.

    Included travel from the UK: UK-Avignon (Eurostar direct or Eurostar/TGV via Paris), approx duration 6h plus 1h30 drive. Home, Avignon-UK (Eurostar direct or TGV/Eurostar via Paris), approx duration 7h15 plus 1h30 drive.
    Price includes: 7 days' category B car hire (eg Renault Clio with manual transmission or similar)

     

    If you book your holiday less than 6 months in advance of your travel date, seats may no longer be available at the tariffs on which our prices are based, but we may be able to offer you seats on the same services at a supplement.

    7 nights: 01 September 2019 - 31 October 2019, 01 April 2020 - 17 July 2020 & 01 September 2020 - 31 October 2020

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 30 Sep 2019 £880 £550
    1 - 24 Oct 2019 £828 £525
    1 - 30 Apr 2020 £875 £560
    1 - 21 May 2020 £895 £570
    22 May - 29 Jun 2020 £920 £580
    30 Jun - 10 Jul 2020 £920 £585
    1 - 30 Sep 2020 £920 £580
    1 - 24 Oct 2020 £895 £570
    3rd & 4th person discount -£60
    Single traveller supplement £60

    Includes all elements in the 'walk price', plus a return ferry crossing between Dover and Calais with P&O Ferries for your party and one car.

    A supplement of approximately £35 per car per single journey applies on certain dates over the Easter holidays. A supplement of approximately £45 per car per single journey applies outbound on Fridays & Saturdays and inbound on Saturdays & Sundays in late May/early June and during the school summer holidays. Please contact us for more details.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Hotel du Poète, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse
    'Mélodie': 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £29
    'Mélodie': 01 Apr - 17 Jul 2020 £30
    'Mélodie': 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £30

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Prices include extra days' car hire.
    Hotel du Poète, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £110 £180
    01 Apr - 17 Jul 2020 £118 £192
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £118 £192
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Marseille, Montpellier

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Paris CDG.  To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Marseille (via Paris) Air France 
    Birmingham - Montpellier (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Marseille easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Marseille Ryanair 
    Edinburgh - Marseille (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Edinburgh - Marseille (via Amsterdam) Air France 
    Edinburgh - Marseille (via Paris) Air France 
    Edinburgh - Montpellier (via Amsterdam) Air France 
    Edinburgh - Montpellier (via Paris CDG) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Marseille easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Humberside - Marseille (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Marseille easyJet 
    Gatwick - Montpellier easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Marseille British Airways 
    Heathrow - Montpellier (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Marseille easyJet 
    Luton - Montpellier easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Marseille Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Marseille easyJet,  Ryanair 
    Manchester - Marseille (via Paris) Air France 
    Manchester - Montpellier(via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Marseille (via Paris) Air France 
    Newcastle - Montpellier (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Southampton - Marseille (via Paris) Air France 
    Southampton - Montpellier (via Paris CDG) Air France 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Paris CDG.  To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 1 dinners
    7 breakfasts
  • route notes and maps
  • 7 days' category B car hire
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to France, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • The official language is French. The currency is the Euro. French time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s been confirmed that flights will continue as normal and that you won’t need a visa to go on holiday (the limit on stays is 90 days). What you will need if there’s no deal is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival (extra months added because you renewed your passport early do not count) and adequate travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illness in case reciprocal health deals are suspended. If you are driving while on holiday, you will probably need an International Driving Permit (plus a Green Card if you are taking your own car to Europe). More information >
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
  • You are the best judge of your child’s/children’s capabilities. We are happy to take bookings for families of older children/teenagers if they walk regularly, love the outdoors and are comfortable with the distances and ascent/descent involved. Please note that the bedrooms at most of the accommodation we use will normally only sleep a maximum of 3 people, and sometimes only 2.
Last fetch time is : 11/11/2019 11:05:57 PM