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Secret Provence

Drôme Provençale – all the beauty without the crowds
Relish the freedom of self-guided hotel-to-hotel walking (with your luggage sent ahead) to boutique rural guesthouses, all with a pool, on a picturesque route of lavender fields, vineyards, oak forests to hill-top villages with far-reaching views.

Holiday information


A walking holiday in Drôme Provençale

The story goes that when Pope John XXII felt unwell in Valréas while returning from his election in Lyons to his home in Avignon in 1317, he was given the local wine to drink and immediately felt better. In fact, he liked it so much he bought the city for 16,000 francs to ensure his future supply. Such is the attraction of this quintessentially Provençal region with its medieval fortresses, where history and nature combine to provide beguiling landscapes and an irrepressible charm, that the French have followed in the footsteps of the Pope, choosing to keep the region ostensibly for themselves.
Devoid of large hotels and tourist developments, the region instead possesses charismatic chambres d'hôtes which lie hidden in the landscape, their traditional, honey-coloured stone walls and pastel shutters looking out over fields of corn, lavender and vines.
In the heart of little-known Drôme Provençale, this gentle journey takes you from the medieval splendour of Grignan with its imposing castle and literary heritage, through oak forests whose roots conceal le diamant noir (black truffle) for which the region is known, and across hillsides embossed in fragrant lavender, silver olive trees and robust vines, to reach charming St-Paul-Trois-Châteaux with its cobbled streets and buzzing restaurant scene.

Improved itinerary coming soon!

We are currently revamping this holiday for 2021. If you would like us to let you know when the revised itinerary is finalised, please contact us.


The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on almost any day of the week, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 9 10 14 17 22 25 28 29 24 19 13 9
    mm 68 47 41 67 49 24 17 20 52 76 96 72
  • Arrival in Chantemerle-lès-Grignan
    Night 1: at Le Domaine du Bois des Dames (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Linear walk from Grignan to Chantemerle-lès-Grignan: 14km, 4.5hrs; ascent 300m/descent 310m
    Your first full day starts with a transfer to the magnificent hill-top town of Grignan. Strolling its characterful streets with their craft shops and pavement cafés, you ascend gently to the ramparts of the 12th-century castle within whose walls the original village lay and where, in the 17th century, Madame de Sévigné (mother of the Comtesse of Grignan and celebrated scribe of a series of letters to her daughter), stayed on visits. You may wish to take a tour of this splendid Renaissance castle before joining a delightful, woodland path that runs through the grounds of an equestrian centre to reach the village and feudal dungeon tower of Chamaret – standing like a finger pointing to the sky – from where views open up across the landscape. Vineyards, lavender fields and oak forests accompany your onward route before you emerge back into the handsome hamlet of Chantemerle-lès-Grignan.
    Linear walk from Grignan to Chantemerle-lès-Grignan: 14km
    View from Grignan's chateau
  • Chantemerle-lès-Grignan to Val des Nymphes: 15km, 4.5hrs; ascent 315m/descent 325m
    You join a superb route which takes you along a broad ridge at the top of the white sandstone cliffs of Les Crevasses. The result of an earthquake in 1774, the limestone plateau of Rouverge shifted, creating a narrow ravine bordered by sheer cliffs that plunge 70 metres from their panoramic tops to the valley floor. After taking a 'poet's path' along the ridge, you enjoy expansive views across the Rhône Valley before continuing along country lanes, and paths that skirt lavender fields, to reach the Knights Templar chapel and tower at Clansayes, a conspicuous landmark visible across the entire valley. Descending through woodland from Clansayes, your onward path takes you through the heart of an extensive vineyard before continuing into the verdant Val des Nymphes alongside the distinctive village perché of La Garde-Adhémar to reach your accommodation for the next two nights – either the delightful Le Mas Bella Cortis or the stylish Les Esplanes.
    Chantemerle-lès-Grignan to Val des Nymphes: 15km
  • Circular walk from La Garde-Adhémar: 11km, 3.5hrs; ascent/descent 240m
    Today we suggest a circular route which takes you from the door of your chambres d'hôte and through dense oak forests where wild black truffles grow, to reach the hill-top village of La Garde-Adhémar – one of the plus beaux villages de France – where you might linger over lunch in its pretty square and amble through the cobbled streets with their bijou restaurants. After visiting the Jardin Remarquable herb garden with its 200 medicinal plants, descend from the village along a quiet woodland path, passing ancient sacrificial stones and visiting the magical Val des Nymphes with its Romanesque chapel, waterfall and shady glades, before returning to your guesthouse.
    Circular walk from La Garde-Adhémar: 11km
    Circular route via La Garde-Adhémar
  • Val des Nymphes to St-Paul-Trois-Châteaux: 8.5km, 2.5hrs; ascent 80m/descent 165m
    This easy walk traverses a pastoral valley alongside fields of sunflowers and corn, and meadows grazed by horses, to arrive at your final destination, St-Paul-Trois-Châteaux, in time to enjoy lunch at one of its bustling restaurants. Spend the afternoon strolling through the town, taking in its 12th-century Notre Dame cathedral, white-stone houses and truffle museum before heading to the genteel Hotel La Villa Augusta, where your final two nights are spent.
    Val des Nymphes to St-Paul-Trois-Châteaux: 8.5km
    The streets of Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux
  • Circular walk from St-Paul-Trois-Châteaux: 12.5km, 4hrs; ascent/descent 410m
    A stunning circuit on your final day takes you up into the woods to follow a marked truffle trail where you uncover the mysteries of these 'black diamonds', how and where they grow, and their culinary uses. This delightful route continues to the white-stone village of St-Restitut and its 15th-century chapel, from where a balcony path provides glorious views across the entire valley, before arriving at another chapel and 360-degree views across Drôme Provençale. On your final night, use our recommendations to choose from one of St-Paul's many excellent restaurants.

    Circular walk from St-Paul-Trois-Châteaux: 12.5km
    Art installation at St Restitut


Outstanding boutique guesthouses set within traditional stone buildings, each with a swimming pool, and a four-star hotel on the outskirts of St-Paul-Trois-Châteaux, provide welcoming accommodation that's as beguiling as the surroundings.

Occasionally, due to availability, we may offer an alternative hotel, as shown below. You will be informed of any change to the usual hotel (along with any price implication) prior to us confirming your holiday to you.
What is included
  • 6 nights
  • 5 dinners
    1 picnic
    6 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • transfer on day 1

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 >



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 sincerely hope that your holiday experience will be as enjoyable as it would have been before the pandemic – walking holidays are ideal in these times of social distancing, and we’re not operating holidays if the key highlights can no longer be delivered – but, naturally, there will be some changes to ensure your and other people’s safety.
    Your holiday experience: what to expect >
    Safety measures being taken by hoteliers & others >
  • 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, there’s a £35 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £60 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to 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.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • 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 take out our recommended travel insurance policy (if you live outside the UK you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    We'll ask you for the details of your policy (insurer, policy number and medical emergency phone number) so that we can help out if the worst happens while you are on holiday. It's up to you, though, to check that your policy covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs; we don't check alternative policies.
  • 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 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 for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • 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.
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit

    At Inntravel we work in close partnership with our hoteliers, taxi drivers and other local suppliers to provide our self-guided holidays directly to you. We are entirely confident that you will continue to receive the usual warm welcome from them, regardless of what is happening in the European political sphere.
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) 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 : 3/3/2021 5:54:59 PM