Iconic wine, gourmet food - and some great walking too!
To the east of Avignon and its nursery rhyme bridge is an area of extraordinary geological features. At the centre lies ‘le Mont Ventoux’ (the windy mountain), beloved – or perhaps not – of Tour de France cyclists, the view of its lonely summit a constant theme to our walking, although we opt for its greener foothills in this less-visited area of Provence.
The walk starts in a village perched atop a cliff: medieval Venasque, climbing high for views to the peaks of the ‘Dentelles de Montmirail’ (lace points) where you will walk later in the week. From Venasque to Mazan, maybe upgrading to the Marquis de Sade’s former home, tiny Le Barroux, and finally two nights in a top Gigondas restaurant-with-comfortable rooms, your base for an exploration of the Dentelles. And of course as this is France, the food and wine are most definitely not of secondary importance. Three of the four hotels boast a good kitchen delivering meals of greater or lesser complexity and opportunities for tasting not only the well-known regional wines but also Vacqueyras whites and a variety of ‘marcs’. Why not add a night or two in historic Avignon – the Palais des Papes, the bridge and also the fascinating side streets and museums.
Avoid arriving at Gigondas on a Wednesday, as the wonderful restaurant at Les Florets is closed that evening (local alternatives available if necessary).
Walked by On Foot staff: Simon, Debbie and Patrick
Self-Guiding introduction by Régis Leroy (subject to his availability) – accompanying you on your first one or two walking days, or guiding services for whole walking route. See “Prices”.
REVIEWS: For independent walker reviews submitted to the Association of Independent Tour Operators visit Aito.com.
TRAVEL ADVICE: To find the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for UK citizens travelling to France, click here. Citizens of other nations will also find it useful, but should always check their appropriate local agency.
Huw at Les Geraniums (Le Barroux) recommends “2 plats très populaires – Ballotin de volaille farci aux champignons, sauce crème – Vin : Fondreche Rouge, et – La Souris d’Agneau Vigneronne – Vin Gigondas rouge”, while Thierry at Les Florets (Gigondas) suggests “Pigeon : suprême rôti et cuisse confite, pomme farcie au foie gras, jus à la cannelle, avec le vin – Gigondas rouge, Domaine la Garrigue” (this is his own family vineyard!).
Côtes du Rhone and the foothills of Mont Ventoux
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of On Foot Holidays