A self-guided walk in France less-travelled. Magnificent views, excellent food, poignant history.
This walk takes you into this beautiful and largely undiscovered part of France. Many are the grandiose works of both nature and man that remain and as part of the walk wanders along the ridges overlooking the Eyrieux Valley, the views are superb. As you descend into the valley, pass through chestnut groves to mill streams and secluded corners where refreshing swims are possible.
£659.00 per person based on two people sharing (£699 in July/August). Single supplement: £150 (plus £95 if travelling alone).
Transport to/from home, meals not mentioned above, drinks with meals, insurance.
Daily from 1 April to October 31 (departures in July on uneven days only and in August on even days only)
Arrive Tournon for overnight
Transfer from Tournon to Lamastre and walk to St. Cierge sous le Cheylard. This first walk along the route of the old railway is quite long but offers few difficulties. Varied landscapes with an intimate insight into the ardèchois mountains passing the farms so typical of the area. 17 kms/10.6 miles, 5 hours approx., high point 640m, total up 400m
A walk around St. Cierge sous le Cheylard. This will take you into deepest Ardèche. Landscapes created patiently over generations through the careful exploitation of a wild and austere region: cultivated terraces, fields and orchards. And also, a witness to its unforgiving nature, abandoned farms and neglected projects. 10.5 kms/6.6 miles, 3h 45, 900m, 400m.
St. Cierge sous le Cheylard to Porte de Besse (Chalencon). A charming and varied day accompanied by the motion of the Eyrieux river – swimming is possible in several places. The climb towards Chalencon offers superb panoramas across the valley, as you cross terraces and chestnut groves. 20.6 kms/12.9 miles. 5 hours 45. 700m. 400m.
Circuit around Porte de Besse (Chalencon). The area between the Eyriux valley and the Chalencon plateau offers a host of discoveries to be made, as the route meanders through the chestnut groves typical of the Ardèche from where you see magnificent landscapes and the granite outcrops of the Eyrieux valley. At the end of the walk, you will see the remains of the Château de Chalencon. 16.7 kms/10.4 miles. 5h20. 520 m.
Porte de Besse to Combe Noire (les Ollières/Eyrieux). Two choices of path today, one more difficult than the other. Paths thread and intersect their way across the maze of former terraces and pass through the lovely old village of Conjols. 18 or 20 kms/11.25 or 12.5 miles. 5 to 5.5 hours.
This little circuit will introduce you to other facets of the area, as you recover from the longer walks of preceding days. Pass through orchards as you rise gently above the Eyrieux Valley. Continue through an area of Mediterranean vegetation before descending through woodland where broadleaved trees are mixed with shrubs and boxwood. 10 kms. 2.5 hours. 350m.
Departure after breakfast and transfer to Tournon if required.