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7 days
  • guided walk
  • 6 nights 3 star hotel
  • 6 Dinners
  • 5 Lunches
  • 6 Breakfasts





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 and the facilities of the hotel

Based in a specially designed hikers hotel in Les Estables (1340m) at the foot of Mont Mézenc, the giant of the Cévennes at 1753m, this unique walking holiday offers a fine balance of activity and indulgence. The village, located in the Regional Nature Park of Ardeche, has the highest altitude of all the towns on the Massif Central. 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 us across the Echamps plateau to the chapel of Soutron, perched at the top of an ancient volcano. There's a sense of being in a suspended world. Enjoy an impressive view of Les Boutières from the summit. Carry your own picnic lunch (provided) and enjoy it on the summit. In the afternoon we return to the hotel with time to relax before dinner.

Meals:  B,L,D

An inspiring walk to the highest point of the Ardèche and the Haute-Loire regions, nicknamed the Giant of the Cévennes. In the ancient past this area was subjected to intense volcanic activity, creating a unique landscape. If the weather is clear it's possible to see the Alps chain from the highest point, as well as the Massif Central. Lunch will be brought to us, with the option to shorten the walk and return to the hotel. Afterwards you can take a swim in the hotel pool or stroll in the village. This evening enjoy a special 'slideshow' about the Mèzenc massif before dinner at the hotel.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning is free to relax, explore or visit Le Puy en Velay, an important pilgrimage town (with own transport). There are (self guided) 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. For the afternoon hike, we head 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. Back at the hotel you can enjoy the facilities before dinner.

Meals:  B,L,D

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

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. Our picnic will arrive by minibus at lunch time to the foot of Suc de Chapteuil. If you are tired, you can return to the hotel after lunch. Back at the hotel there will be time to shop in the village or perhaps play petanque before an evening farewell drink and dinner.

Meals:  B,L,D

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

Meals:  B



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


  • 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 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.
  • 6 nights accommodation in a 3 star hotel on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Transfers where required for each day's activities
  • Guide to accompany specified activities
  • Use of the hotel facilities including swimming pool and recreation room
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to and from Les Estables.
  • Optional group arrival and departure transfers between Le Puy station and the hotel are available on Day 1 (departs Le Puy by 5.30pm) and day 7 (departs the hotel at 9am, to be at the station by 10am) are available. The cost is EUR38pp return, payable locally but must be pre-booked. See 'Getting there' below, and further details will be included in the pre-departure information provided on booking.
  • Meals not listed as included, drinks at the bar including wine
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo (and are not matched with another single) or book a single room
  • Entrance fees, as part of the excursion day with your hosts
  • Some facilities in the spa - wellness area (including sauna and jacuzzi, massages and relaxation sessions). There are numerous options during your week - purchase a sauna and jacuzzi for EUR19 per session or EUR80 for the week. Massage sessions are charged by the duration. An option to add a spa package for the week (EUR155pp) which includes unlimited access to the sauna and jacuzzi plus a group relaxation session (45min) and a re-energising massage (45min).
  • Tourist tax - allow EUR7 pp over 18yrs (subject to change)
  • If you have not notified us of any special meal requests prior to your arrival, a supplement of €7 per day will apply (vegetarians included)
  • Items of a personal nature (laundry, phone calls etc)


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 stays when there is one group, the level of the walking will be graded 3. For stays where there are 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 a more 'sporty' group graded 3 or 4 (14 to 18km with 400 to 700m ascents over 5 to 6 hours walking), depending on the group's fitness. On 1 day there is the option to do a half day walk only (return to the hotel by minibus).

Departure dates

Sundays from 5 May to 29 Sep


High Season
High season is from 1 Jul to 19 Aug - supplement applies.
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 1 day there is an option to do a half day walk only.
Your hosts and the guide speak English but it should be understood that as the trip appeals strongly to French speaking walkers, other travellers may not speak English. This varies from week to week.

Want to organise a private group?

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

Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • Single supplementUSD$220
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews

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