The Hilltop Villages of Northern Provence

Provence, France

Holiday overview




Self Guided




Apr - Oct


£ 850 pp


6 nights

The circuit begins not far from the Rhône Valley and plunges into the pre-Alps of Provence, going from one hilltop village to the next.

The circuit begins not far from the Rhône Valley and plunges into the pre-Alps of Provence, going from one hilltop village (“village perché”) to the next. A small guide for each parish helps you understand their similarities and their differences.Conviviality and a warm welcome are the strong points of this journey, which gives you a somewhat different view of the region. Guests often eat at a family table, and may learn a thing or two about the recipes made using local produce.
Daily stages 9 – 21 kilometres/5.5 – 13 miles, 3 – 5 hours walking
Total daily uphill from 100 to 500 metres
Altitudes from 400 to 700 metres



£850 per person (1st April – 15th May & 16th September – 31st October)

£875 per person (16th May – 15th September)

Prices based on two people sharing a room.

Single supplement: £240 (plus £100 if travelling alone).



Accommodation for 6 nights in small comfortable hotels/guest houses (chambre d’hote) in double room with private facilities

6 breakfasts

6 dinners (drinks not included)

Transport of luggage between overnight stops

Transfers as mentioned in the programme

Route instructions and maps, and logistical back-up.

Transfer on final day to Mirmande (for those who arrived by car) or Montélimar (for those who arrived by train or bus) on Day 8.


Not Included:

Transfer to Mirmande from Reys de Saulce – can be arranged.  Cost £33.00 for up to 4 people.

Transport to/from home, meals not mentioned above, drinks with meals, insurance.


Departure Dates:

Daily from 1 April to October 31

Day 1:  Arrive Mirmande. 

The Rhône Valley orchards: cherry, peach and apricot trees.
Dinner and night in Hotel or guest house.


Day 2: From Mirmande to Marsanne  11km/6.9miles (total uphill 500 metres). Duration: 3hrs 40

A walk which takes us away from the tumult of the Rhône Valley. Little by little we gain altitude. Progressively, the noise of the busy plain recedes behind us as we approach the heights of the forest of Marsanne. And when we slip down the other side, we enter the hinterland of the pre-Alps of the Drôme department.  Dinner and overnight in 2 star hotel restaurant in heart of village


Day 3: From Marsanne to Saou  16,5 km with total uphill of 370 metres. Duration around 4hrs.

In the early morning, the taxi will drop you off at the Col de Devès to start your walk. It offers a wide panorama from the Montélimar plain to the cliffs of the Vercors, passing through the mountains of the southern Drôme. This itinerary also allows you to visit two perched villages: Marsanne and Auriples le Péage, before arriving in Saoû, a village nestled at the foot of the perched syncline of the 3 Becs. The mineral excess of the cliffs of Saoû will undoubtedly be the most striking image of this day. Culminating at 886 metres, the Roche Colombe mountain will watch over you.   Night in guest house and Dinner in a restaurant in the heart of the village..


Day 4: Around Saou  9,8 km with total uphill 600 metres. Duration about 3 hrs.

Perched village? The village of Saoû is nestled at the entrance to the Forêt de Saoû, the highest perched syncline in Europe. This hike guarantees you a breathtaking ascent, mostly in the undergrowth, it takes various paths and offers striking panoramas of the Saoû forest and the Vercors massif.
Night in guest house and Dinner in a restaurant in the heart of the village.


Day 5: From Saou to Bourdeaux  13.3 km with total uphill 260 m. Around 3hrs30.

Leave behind the majestic perched syncline of the 3 Becs massif and head south to discover very wild landscapes. Between plains, undergrowth and small hamlets, this walk allows you to discover the agricultural and pastoral activity of the farms in the Bourdeaux area.
Dinner and night in 2 épis guesthouse in the old centre.


Day 6: Around Bourdeaux  13 km with total uphill 430 m. Duration about 3hrs30.

This walk offers a wide variety of landscapes mixing streams, marl and undergrowth. There are many views of the Saou massif and the climb to the Boutière pass is rewarding. The return to Bourdeaux winds between plain and forest; take the time to look around you, you might spot some animals in the undergrowth!
Dinner and night in 2 épis guesthouse in the old centre.


Day 7:

After breakfast the taxi will drive you to Mirmande to pick up you car or to the nearest train station.

Getting there:

  • TGV train from Paris/Lyon to Valence TGV see
  • bus from Valence TGV to Valence centre (there are often buses between the 2 railway stations.
  • bus from Valence centre to Saulce sur Rhone (les Reys), regual service bus number 30 – Valence/Livron/Montelimar.
  • You will be picked up and taken to the first accommodation from  Reys de Saulce (those arriving by bus) or from Montelimar if you arrive by train..

You will be taken to the railway station by Taxi at the end of your holiday.



Night 1: Hotel de Mirmande & Restaurant or Hotel La Capilelle

Night 2: Hotel les Aubergistes

Night 3 & 4: Chambre  d’hotes Chantebise  or Chambre d’hotes Le Pasiou

and Restaurant l’Oiseau sur sa Brance

Night 5 & 6: Chambre d’hotels les Nuits du Taris

or Chambres d’Hotes les Nuitees du Detour and Restaurant

or Chambres d’hotes la Tulipe Sauvage and Restaurant