Walking and Cycling Holidays in France

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Ardèche Walking Holiday

Location: Ardèche, France.
Holiday type: Self Guided Walking, Inn to Inn
Activity level: Some Strenuous Stretches
Duration: 8 days (7 nights)
Hotels: 2 to 3 * Accommodation
Meals: Breakfasts and 7 evening meals included
Prices from: £690
Also Available: 10 day route, 14 day route, Michelin recommended restaurants as upgrade. Some Hotel upgrades.

Facing the Alps across the broad fertile valley of the Rhone, lies a mountainous region where the Ardèche, Loire and Haute Loire departments meet, a watershed for some of France’s great rivers. This is a walker’s paradise, a country of hidden valleys and tumbling streams which is strangely absent from the guidebooks. Massive ruined farmhouses seem to have grown from the landscape and the bleat of goats and call of a wild bird is often the only sound.

Day 1: Arrival in Le Crestet

Le Crestet is a small village surrounded by woodlands and overlooking the valley of the river Doux.

Hotel La Terrasse website

Day 2: Le Crestet to Lamastre - 14 km / 8.5 miles

Today’s route climbs along an ancient shaded pathway. You will pass terraced Orchards and be rewarded with some incredible far reaching views. You will arrive at the small town of Lamastre with its ivy clad châteaux ruins and bustling traditional market.

Hotel des Negociants website

Day 3: Lamastre to Lalouvesc – 23 km / 14 miles

Today is mainly uphill although this leads to many superb viewpoints including the ability to see the Alps in clear conditions. After a steep climb you will then follow a ridge into Lalouvesc at 1080 metres altitude.

Hotel Voyageurs website

Day 4: Lalouvesc to St Bonnet Le Froid – 18km / 11 miles

After yesterday, you will find today slightly easier with descents through woodlands. You will need to buy a picnic in Lalouvesc before you leave but this gives you the opportunity to eat at one of the most beautiful picnic spots in France.

There is a Michelin highly recommended restaurant in St Bonnet Le Froid so you can opt for a B&B tonight or upgrade your hotel as well.

Hotel Le Fort du Pre website

Day 5: St Bonnet Le Froid to St Agrève – 22 km / 13.5 miles

Similar rolling countryside to walk through today but it is much more open, and offers the opportunity of a swim in the beautiful Lac de Devesset. Arrive at Saint Agrève at 1050m from which there are some exceptional views on clear days.

Hotel Le Fort du Pre website

Day 6: Rest Day.

Various circular walks if you should you wish.

Tonight you can opt for a B&B option and take in the cuisine at Michelin recommended restaurant hotelfaurie.fr.

Auberge des Cevennes website

Day 7: St Agrève to Lamastre – 23km / 14 miles

A downhill day leaving St Agrève (1050m) for Lamastre (366m). Much of the first section of the day’s walk follows a very ancient path that still has old paving visible in parts.

Again, another option to opt for B&B to sample the Michelin recommended Restaurant Le Midi.

Hotel des Negociants website

Day 8: Depart after breakfast.

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