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Secret Provence

Drôme Provençale – all the beauty without the crowds
 
Relish the freedom of a self-guided walking holiday featuring intimate hotels and guesthouses – all with a pool – that have been hand-picked for their location or great charm, on a picturesque route through lavender fields, vineyards and 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 small hotels and chambres d’hôtes which promise a serene location or an abundance of charm – or both.

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.
 

Book with confidence

We are accepting bookings for our holidays to France. Our flexible booking arrangements, commitment to safety and financial protection mean that you can book with confidence.

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Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You have a choice of start days, 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 Grignan
    Night 1: at La Bastide de Grignan (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.
  • Circular walk from Grignan: 12.5km, 4hrs; ascent/descent 135m
    Your accommodation is a stone’s throw away from the magnificent hill-top town of Grignan. Strolling its stately 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 taking country lanes and farm tracks through the truffle oak plantations. A short detour to the top of a hill offers sweeping views of Grignan and the Cévennes mountains beyond. You reach the Montine wine estate with an opportunity for a tasting before winding back to Grignan through quiet vineyards dotted with attractive stone villas.
    Circular walk from Grignan: 12.5km
    View from Grignan's chateau
  • Grignan to Val des Nymphes: 13.5km, 4.5hrs; ascent 300m/descent 350m
    After a transfer to nearby Chantemerle-lès-Grignan, 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: 13.5km
    Sundial
  • Circular walk from La Garde-Adhémar: 10.5km, 3.5hrs; ascent/descent 215m
    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: 10.5km
    Circular route via La Garde-Adhémar
  • Val des Nymphes to St-Paul-Trois-Châteaux: 8.5km, 3hrs; ascent 70m/descent 150m
    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 380m
    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
 

Accommodation

Superbly located hotels and guesthouses, each with a swimming pool, 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.
 
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. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
Currency converter

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  • 6 nights: 19 April 2021 - 02 July 2021, 01 September 2021 - 31 October 2021, 19 April 2022 - 02 July 2022 & 01 September 2022 - 31 October 2022

    Start Monday, Thursday or Friday | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    19 Apr - 21 May 2021 £1040 £495
    22 May - 26 Jun 2021 £1095 £530
    1 - 30 Sep 2021 £1095 £530
    1 - 25 Oct 2021 £1040 £495
    19 Apr - 21 May 2022 £1095 £520
    22 May - 26 Jun 2022 £1145 £560
    1 - 30 Sep 2022 £1145 £560
    1 - 25 Oct 2022 £1095 £520
    3rd & 4th person discount -£45
    Single traveller supplement £45

    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.

    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.

    6 nights: 19 April 2021 - 02 July 2021, 01 September 2021 - 31 October 2021, 19 April 2022 - 02 July 2022 & 01 September 2022 - 31 October 2022

    Start Monday, Thursday or Friday | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    19 Apr - 21 May 2021 £1335 £495
    22 May - 26 Jun 2021 £1395 £530
    1 - 30 Sep 2021 £1395 £530
    1 - 25 Oct 2021 £1335 £495
    19 Apr - 21 May 2022 £1395 £520
    22 May - 26 Jun 2022 £1465 £560
    1 - 30 Sep 2022 £1465 £560
    1 - 25 Oct 2022 £1395 £520
    3rd & 4th person discount -£90
    Single traveller supplement £90

    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-Pierrelatte via Lyon (Eurostar/local TER rail), approx. duration 8h plus 0h30 taxi. Home, Pierrelatte-UK via Lyon (local TER rail/Eurostar), approx. duration 8h40 plus 0h20 taxi.
    > More about 'by rail' prices
    > The 'rail experience': what to expect

    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.

    6 nights: 19 April 2021 - 02 July 2021, 01 September 2021 - 31 October 2021, 19 April 2022 - 02 July 2022 & 01 September 2022 - 31 October 2022

    Start Monday, Thursday or Friday | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    19 Apr - 21 May 2021 £1110 £495
    22 May - 26 Jun 2021 £1180 £530
    1 - 30 Sep 2021 £1180 £530
    1 - 25 Oct 2021 £1110 £495
    19 Apr - 21 May 2022 £1170 £520
    22 May - 26 Jun 2022 £1240 £560
    1 - 30 Sep 2022 £1240 £560
    1 - 25 Oct 2022 £1170 £520
    3rd & 4th person discount -£120 to -£125
    Single traveller supplement £90

    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.

    We also include a transfer back to the first hotel at the end of your holiday to collect your car.
    > More information about travelling self-drive

    A supplement of £35 per car per single journey applies for outward travel on 26-28 March & 2-4 April 2021, and for homeward travel on 4-5 & 10-11 April 2021. A supplement of £56 per car per single journey applies outward on Fridays & Saturdays 28-29 May & 9 July-14 August 2021 and homeward on Saturdays & Sundays 5-6 June & 17 July-29 August 2021. Supplements also apply at peak times in 2022; please contact us for details.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    La Bastide de Grignan, near Grignan
    Superior: 19 Apr - 02 Jul 2021 £4
    Superior: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2021 £4
    Superior: 19 Apr - 02 Jul 2022 £5
    Superior: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2022 £5
    Le Mas Bella Cortis, Val des Nymphes
    Suite: 19 Apr - 02 Jul 2021 £16
    Suite: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2021 £16
    Suite: 19 Apr - 02 Jul 2022 £18
    Suite: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2022 £18
    Hotel La Villa Augusta, St-Paul-Trois-Châteaux
    Junior suite: 19 Apr - 02 Jul 2021 £48
    Junior suite: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2021 £48
    Junior suite: 19 Apr - 02 Jul 2022 £50
    Junior suite: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2022 £50
    Luxury suite: 19 Apr - 02 Jul 2021 £72
    Luxury suite: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2021 £72
    Luxury suite: 19 Apr - 02 Jul 2022 £75
    Luxury suite: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2022 £75
    'Prestige': 19 Apr - 02 Jul 2021 £20
    'Prestige': 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2021 £20
    'Prestige': 19 Apr - 02 Jul 2022 £22
    'Prestige': 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2022 £22

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

    Hotel La Villa Augusta, St-Paul-Trois-Châteaux (B&B) Double room Single room
    19 Apr - 02 Jul 2021 £104 £182
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2021 £104 £182
    19 Apr - 02 Jul 2022 £110 £192
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2022 £110 £192
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Lyon, Marseille, Nîmes, Avignon or Paris CDG
    As an alternative to flying, we can arrange rail travel from London

    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
    Aberdeen - Paris CDG Air France,  KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Marseille (via Paris) Air France 
    Birmingham - Paris CDG Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Marseille easyJet 
    Bristol - Paris CDG Air France,  easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Lyon easyJet 
    Edinburgh - Lyon (via Paris) Air France 
    Edinburgh - Marseille Ryanair 
    Edinburgh - Marseille (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Edinburgh - Marseille (via Amsterdam) Air France 
    Edinburgh - Marseille (via Paris) Air France 
    Edinburgh - Paris CDG Air France,  easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Marseille easyJet 
    Glasgow - Paris CDG easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Humberside - Marseille (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Paris CDG jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Paris CDG easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Lyon easyJet 
    Gatwick - Marseille easyJet 
    Gatwick - Paris CDG easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Lyon British Airways 
    Heathrow - Lyon (via Paris) Air France 
    Heathrow - Marseille British Airways 
    Heathrow - Paris CDG British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Lyon easyJet 
    Luton - Nîmes Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    London Southend - Marseille Ryanair 
    London Southend - Paris CDG easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Lyon easyJet 
    Stansted - Marseille Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Lyon (via Paris) Air France 
    Manchester - Marseille Ryanair 
    Manchester - Marseille (via Paris) Air France 
    Manchester - Paris CDG Air France,  easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Lyon (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Newcastle - Lyon (via Paris) Air France 
    Newcastle - Marseille (via Paris) Air France 
    Newcastle - Paris CDG Air France,  KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Southampton - Lyon (via Paris) Air France 
    Southampton - Marseille (via Paris) 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 for any of the options listed above except those operated by Ryanair. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service (£60 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.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Unless otherwise stated, connecting travel by rail or bus tends to be from the city centre station, rather than from its airport, and connections between the two should be paid for locally.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Lyon

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Lyon Part Dieu to Pierrelatte (1h45), taxi Pierrelatte to hotel (0h25) £86 in 2021; £90 in 2022 1600
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Pierrelatte (0h20), rail Pierrelatte to Lyon Part Dieu (1h20) £58 in 2021; £60 in 2022 1230 (1400 Sun)

    Connecting travel options - flying via Marseille

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Vitrolles Marseille Airport to Pierrelatte (1h45), taxi Pierrelatte to hotel (0h25) £78 in 2021; £82 in 2022 1600
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Pierrelatte (0h20), rail Pierrelatte to Vitrolles Marseille Airport (1h45) £50 in 2021; £52 in 2022 1200

    Connecting travel options - flying via Nimes

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Nîmes Centre to Pierrelatte (1h55), taxi Pierrelatte to hotel (0h25) £70 in 2021; £74 in 2022 1500
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Pierrelatte (0h20), rail Pierrelatte to Nîmes (1h55) £40 in 2021; £42 in 2022 1230

    Connecting travel options - flying via Paris

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail CDG airport to Pierrelatte (4h15-5h15), taxi Pierrelatte to hotel (0h25) £122 in 2021; £130 in 2022 1130
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Pierrelatte (0h20), rail Pierrelatte to CDG airport (4h15-6h50) £98 in 2021; £104 in 2022 1530
What is included
  • 6 nights
  • 5 dinners
    1 picnic
    6 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation
  • transfer on day 2
 
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.
  • If your holiday plans go awry because of Coronavirus, rest assured that we’ll do right by you. Since the start of the pandemic, our flexible booking policy and prompt issuing of refunds to customers who prefer not to defer their holiday have earned us high praise in the national press.
  • 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, not least taking tests before and after your holiday for many destinations.
    Your holiday experience: what to expect >
    Safety measures being taken by hoteliers & others >
    Entry requirements for non-UK destinations & for re-entering the UK >
  • 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.
  • Yes, prior to going on holiday you will be able to download GPX tracks so that you can follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device if you wish. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you use them – our detailed, step-by-step route notes remain the principal means of guiding you from A to B – but we provide them as a secondary means of navigation for additional reassurance when walking.
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines (but not, currently, with Ryanair). 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 www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein.

    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 : 9/25/2021 10:23:37 AM