The Hilltop Villages of Northern Provence

Provence, France

Holiday overview




Self Guided




Apr - Oct


£ 695.00 pp


7 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



£695.00 per person based on two people sharing

(£745 in July/August).

Single supplement: £155 (plus £75 if travelling alone).



Accommodation for 7 nights in small comfortable hotels/guest houses (chambre d’hote) in double room with private facilities

7 breakfasts

7 dinners (drinks not included)

Transport of luggage between overnight stops

Transfers as mentioned in the programme

Route instructions and maps, and logistical back-up.

Also included – transfer to Mirmande from Reys de Saulce on Day 1 for those arriving by bus or train; and to Mirmande (for those who arrived by car) or Montélimar (for those who arrived by train or bus) on Day 8.


Not Included:

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.

Stay for 2 nights at Chambres d’hôtes les Fougères


Day 2: Around Mirmande

This first walk is certainly the simplest in the series. It makes for a nice warm-up and a good opportunity to get to know the hilltop village of Mirmande, with its own special atmosphere and lifestyle.

Dinner and overnight at the guest house.

9 km/5.6 miles (total uphill 250 metres). Duration: 2hrs 50


Day 3: From Mirmande to Marsanne

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 at Hôtel les Aubergistes

11km/6.9miles (total uphill 500 metres). Duration: 3hrs 40


Day 4: From Marsanne to La Répara Auriples

Wonderful views from the plain of Montélimar to the cliffs of the Vercors with the mountains of the southern Drôme between. No less than four hilltop villages may be seen: Marsanne, La Roche sur Grane, Autichamp and Auriples le Péage. (You can if you wish shorten this stage by vehicular transfer.)

Dinner and 2 ovenights at Chambres d’hôtes les Meyas

21 kms/13.1 miles (total uphill 300m). Duration: 5hrs 50


Day 5: Around La Répara Auriples

Note the castle at Soyans, The oak trees along the way are simply superb.
Walking mainly through undergrowth, the walk follows a variety of paths and gives splendid views over Saoû, the mountain of Couspeau and the Vercors range.

Dinner and overnight at the guest house.

14 kms/8.75 miles (total uphill 620 metres). Duration: about 5 hrs


Day 6: From Auriples to Bourdeaux

A varied itinerary through quite unspoilt and countryside. The agriculture and animal husbandry of the Bourdeaux farmlands complete the picture. Very good sign-posting at the “La Plaine”, thanks to the activities ofthe popular “Drôme à cheval” riding club.

It’s worth adding the extension towards Saoû and the Lestang Pass for its astonishing scenery.
Variant: transfer La Répara – Saoû then walk to Bourdeaux. (14 km with 500 m climb, around 4hrs).

Dinner and 2 overnights at Chambres d’hôtes les Junchas

20 or 23 kms/12.5 or 14.3 miles (total uphill 650m). Duration:  5hrs30


Day 7: Around Bourdeaux

Wild natural scenery , cliffs and streams. The views are ample reward for the sometimes rather tough uphill parts.

Dinner and overnight at the guest house.

11.5 km/7 miles (total uphill 500 m) Duration: 3hrs 55


Day 8:

Departure and transfer back to Mirmande.


Mirmande: Chambres d’hôtes les Fougères or La Maison de Marinette

Marsanne: Hôtel les Aubergistes

La Répara Auriples:  Chambres d’hôtes les Meyas or Las Meyas Ferme Soyans

Bourdeaux: Chambres d’hôtes les Junchas  or La Tulipe Sauvage.


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.