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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • guided walk
Accommodation
Meals
  • 7 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$1099USD

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Overview

Trip Code: WSS

Trip highlights


  • Walking through the volcanic landscape around Mont Mézenc
  • Exploring authentic and interesting villages
  • Soaking up the way of life in rural France
  • Enjoying typical, regional cuisine

Based in a specially designed hikers hotel in Les Estables (1320m) at the foot of Mont Mézenc, the giant of the Cévennes at 1725m, this unique walking holiday offers a fine balance of activity and indulgence. The village has the highest altitude of all the towns on the Central Massif. Surrounded by ancient volcanoes including the famous Mont Gerbier de Jonc (source of the Loire River), the region offers exceptional natural sights including volcanic domes, deep gorges, vast valleys and an abundance of flora and fauna, making it ideal for walking in the company of a local guide. After the walk, explore the village, relax in the garden, swim in the pool or take a sauna. An ideal trip for lovers of mountain landscapes and the camaraderie of other travellers.

Trip Grading

introductory to moderate

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

Arrive into the village of Les Estables and make your way to the hotel or take advantage of the shuttle service from Le Puy en Velay - refer below for arrival details. A fundamental element of the trip is walking through the village daily to absorb the true French rural way of life. An arrival briefing and welcome drink is held with your hosts at 6:30pm before dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Meals:  D

The walk today takes you across the Echamps plain to Soutron rock which gives you the feeling of being in a suspended world. There is an impressive view of Les Boutières from the summit of a dome volcano. Carry your own picnic lunch (provided) and enjoy on the summit of Soutron Rock.

Meals:  B,L,D

An inspiring walk to the highest point of the Ardèche and the Haute-Loire regions. In the ancient past this area was subjected to intense volcanic activity creating a unique landscape. It is possible to see the alps chain from the highest point. Lunch will be brought to us, with the option to shorten your walk and return to the hotel. This evening enjoy a special 'slideshow' about the Mèzenc massif.

Meals:  B,L,D

Walk in the wildest part of the river, taste the ferruginous spring of Bonnefond and soak your feet in the longest river of France! We’ll carry our picnic in our rucksack to have lunch close to the river.

Meals:  B,L,D

This is a day to relax, explore or visit Le Puy en Velay , an important pilgrimage town (with own transport). There are walking trails from the hotel, a cycling route you can follow with a rented bike (e-bikes also available for rent), or visits to areas of interest in the region such as the Perrel Brothers Farm museum or the fortress of Polignac. Alternatively enjoy the facilities of the hotel such as a massage and jacuzzi (extra cost). Packed lunch provided.

Meals:  B,L,D

The walk takes us to the hilltop village of Saint-Clément which has been built on twelve layers of lava flow. The sweeping views of the surrounding landscape are fabulous. A lunch will be brought to the group offering the option for tired walkers to return to the hotel early for some relaxation time.

Meals:  B,L,D

The focus of the walk today is on the local heritage. From water mills to bread ovens, 'bèate' houses to the ruins of Chapteuil Castle perched on volcanic columns, we meander through the countryside to discover these treasures. Your host will bring you the picnic with the minibus at lunch time to the foot of Suc de Chapteuil. Also if you are tired, you will be able to go back to the hotel after lunch. Returning to the hotel there will be time to purchase honey or cheese in the village before dinner.

Meals:  B,L,D

The trip concludes after breakfast on Saturday morning. A departure transfer to Le Puy en Velay (must be prebooked and paid for locally) can be arranged, and this will arrive at the station in time for the 10.30am train.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners (does not include drinks) – breakfasts are continental style and generally consist of croissants, breads, jams, cheese, yoghurt, coffee, tea and juices. Lunch is picnic style with meats, cheeses, breads, and usually also a hot dish. Dinner will consist of 3 courses which usually include some regional specialties
  • 7 nights accommodation in a 3 star hotel on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Transfers where required for the days activities
  • Guide to accompany specified activities
  • Use of the hotel facilities including swimming pool and recreation room

  • Travel to and from Les Estables - group arrival and departure transfers from Le Puy on Day 1 and to Le Puy en Velay train station on day 8 can be arranged for an additional fee payable locally (must be pre-booked). Further details will be included in the pre departure information provided on booking.
  • Drinks at the bar including wine
  • Local tax of approx EUR7 per person for the week (subject to change)
  • Items of a personal nature (laundry, phone calls etc)
  • Entrance fees, as part of the excursion day with your hosts
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Access to the spa (sauna and jacuzzi), massages and relaxation sessions

Grading

introductory to moderate  

INTRODUCTORY TO MODERATE – GRADE 2 Daily walks are between 5-6 hours on undulating and sometimes mountainous terrain. Flexibility is the key to the walking where you can choose to walk a full or half day, take on a challenging hike or an easy hike (dependant on number of hikers participating). The accent is on keeping a relaxed pace to take in all of the attractions, with time to stop and take photos. You will need a reasonable level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure. Note: Each week there will be either 1 or 2 groups. For weeks when there is one group, the level of the walking will be graded 3. For weeks where there is two groups, one group will be graded 2 (10 to 15 km per day with 300 to 500m ascents over 5 to 6 hours of walking) and the other graded 3 or 4 (14 to 18km with 400 to 700m ascents over 5 to 6 hours walking), depending on the groups fitness. On 3 days there is an option to do a half day walk only.


Departure dates


Notes

H
High Season
DN1
High season is from 2 Jul to 26Aug - supplement applies.
DN2
Each week there will be either 1 or 2 groups. For weeks when there is one group, the level of the walking will be graded 3. For weeks where there is two groups, one group will be graded 2 and the other 3 or 4, depending on the groups fitness. On 3 days there is an option to do a half day walk only.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$1099USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$130
  • Wellness Supplement (access to spa, etc)USD$160
  • Single Supplement (high season)USD$190
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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