Headwater - Landscapes of the Luberon Walk

9 days
from
£1,329
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Trip code: 
W08PL
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided Adventures
Activity:
Walking
Min age:
8

Wander through vineyards and olive groves to perched mediaeval villages and stay in delightful hotels, full of character along the way.

 

This 8-night walking holiday is based in the glorious Luberon National Park, taking in the lush Provencal countryside and its world-famous Villages Perche, with stunning views across mountains, valleys and plains. This is a land whose natural light and lavender-scented summers have inspired generations of poets, painters and writers from Petrarch in the C14 right up to modern-day, bestselling author Peter Mayle. 

Highlights

  • Delightful walking through the timeless Luberon landscape
  • Heady mix of lavender, wild herbs, olives, pine and colourful flowers
  • Dazzling ochre cliffs; stunningly beautiful villages; endless swaying vines; superb views of Mont Ventoux
  • Wonderful regional wines and classic Provencal cuisine
  • Quality hotels full of local character, all with swimming pools

Key information

  • 8 Nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs Every two days from 13 May '18 to 14 Oct '18
  • Headwater wine service 
  • Route notes and maps provided 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels 
  • Walking transfers

What's included

  • All accommodation
  • All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals
  • Headwater wine service 
  • Route notes and maps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels 
  • Walking transfers

What's not included

  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Travel insurance
  • Single supplements
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

4

Terrain:

Varied walking, mostly along marked paths (with some rocky sections) and quiet country lanes. There are a few ascents and some short sections where the surface may be loose so walking boots are highly recommended.

Day by day breakdown
Day 216.0km/10.0miles
Day 416.0km/10.0miles
Day 611.0km/7.0miles
Day 814.0km/9.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Pernes-Les-Fontaines

    Arrive at your hotel, located just north of the town of Pernes-les-Fontaines. (Staying at Hotel l'Hermitage)

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Pernes-Les-Fontaines to Roussillon

    Today we'll take you to mediaeval St-Saturnin on the edge of the Plateau de Vaucluse. Start the day with a stroll through its narrow streets up to the sprawling chateau ruins which overlook the village and offer your first superb views over the entire Luberon valley. Then head south through classic Provencal countryside - vineyards, cherry orchards, fig trees, olive groves and fragrant lavender - enjoying a magnificent panorama across the Apt plain. Pass the village of Gargas, home to the vast Ochre Mines of Bruoux and continue through pine forest along ochre-red tracks, before descending into Roussillon. (Staying at Les Sables d'Ocre)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    At Roussillon

    Roussillon is famous for its streaked ochre cliffs and is the starting point of the Ochre Trail. It's also considered one of the Plus Beaux Villages of France, with the winding streets full of brightly coloured houses in wonderful shades of red, pink, orange and yellow. You could, perhaps, visit the perched village of Bonnieux, full of art galleries, pavement cafes and little restaurants just perfect for lunch. (Staying at Les Sable d'Ocres)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Roussillon to Les Imberts

    You set off today through vineyards, passing the Domaine de Tara wine estate before following footpaths and quiet country lanes with fabulous views south across the Luberon valley and north to the perched village of Gordes. After a short climb along pine-scented footpaths, you'll descend into Les Imberts where your hotel awaits with a swimming pool and spa. (Staying at Mas de la Senancole)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    At Les Imberts

    Just a few kilometres away is the picturesque hilltop village of Gordes, one of the region's most famous and another of France's Most Beautiful Villages. Made up of wonderfully photogenic houses, terraces and gardens, Gordes is dominated by its Renaissance chateau, which also houses a museum. Explore its streets, crammed with cafes, restaurants and shops. (Staying at Mas de la Senancole)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Les Imberts to Fontaine-De-Vaucluse

    You begin today following quiet lanes past olive groves and vineyards before arriving at the mediaeval village of Cabrieres-d'Avignon with its golden stone houses and old castle (now a private residence). You'll then head up into the hills under the shade of beautifully scented pine forests, past a section of the 27km-long Mur de la Peste, a wall built by locals in 1720 in a vain attempt to stop the spread of the Plague. Continue over the north edge of the valley for spectacular views of the whole Luberon. Descending, the views switch to look north across the Vaucluse, as you head into Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. (Staying at Hotel du Poete)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    At Fontaine-De-Vaucluse

    Today you can explore the village, home to the Fountain of the Vaucluse (the biggest spring in France and the fifth largest in the world). You'll also find the crumbling ruins of the castle of the Bishop of Cavaillon, a museum about the Resistance and a number of lovely cafes and restaurants. Or why not visit the 'island city' of L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, surrounded by the clear waters of the Sorgue River? With its many riverside shops and cafes it makes a good choice for lunch. (Staying at Hotel du Poete)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Fontaine-De-Vaucluse to Pernes-Les-Fontaines

    Ascend through pine and oak forest, then out across the Plateau de Vaucluse for stunning views of Mont Ventoux and the jagged peaks of the Dentelles de Montmirail. Head down through cherry orchards to popular St-Didier; perhaps enjoy a drink before your transfer to Pernes-les-Fontaines. (Staying at Hotel l'Hermitage)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 9

    Leave Pernes-Les-Fontaines

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

France

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

France

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals

Whilst not the most sophisticated of the French cuisines, most dishes use the excellent tasting local fresh produce. Cooking à la Provençale uses local olive oil, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines and wild herbs, all ripened by the sun to give an intensity of flavour. You can browse among the colours and smells, and make picnic purchases at the
lively local markets.The proximity of the sea makes fish and seafood an important element of the local cuisine. Regional dishes include the famous bouillabaisse, a rich fish stew served with aioli and rouille; the bourride – a lighter version of the bouillabaisse; pistou soupe (summer vegetable soup with a blend of garlic, basil and olive oil); authentic ratatouille, large colourful salads an delicious courgette flower fritters. Tapenade and anchoïade are savoury dips made with local olives and anchovies; pissaladière is an onion tart with olives and anchovies and is very likely to have come from the Romans.

Making wine, particularly rosé, has been Provence’s specialty for a long time. The grapes and soil throughout the region vary a lot, but the hot, sunny and dry climate is ideal for the local wines. The local red grape varieties are used because they cope well with strong sun exposure and poor soils: Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Tibouren and Calitor. The rosés are made out of the same varieties but the musts only macerate for a few hours so the fruits’ skin don’t darken the juice or release too many tannins

Weather

Temperatures tend to average around 30°C  during the summer months and fall to an average of 15°C during winter. The infamous Mistral wind can have a great effect on the temperatures, particularly in the western part of Provence. 

July and August are very warm with little to no rainfall. Temperatures tend to climb up to 30°C during the day. At night it cools off considerably, especially on the coast, near a lake or in the mountains. In general, the farther away from the coast the more oppressive the heat becomes during the day. 

The months around the high season are the most pleasant (May, June, September, October) with average temperatures between 22°C and 27°C . October is the most uncertain month of the four, but of course it can also be a splendid month with warm, sunny days and practically no rain.

Is this trip for you?

Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/moderate)
Average daily distance on move on days: 14.25km (9 miles). 
No. of dayswalking: 4
Terrain: Varied walking, mostly along marked paths (with some rocky sections) and quiet country lanes. There are a few ascents and some short sections where the surface may be loose so walking boots are highly recommended. From early July until end September, the local fire authorities restrict access to forested areas after 12 noon so early starts (8am) are advised.

Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can walk at your own pace. 

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. 

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Your itinerary is a real treat for the senses, starting in the striking perched village of St-Saturnin, nestled on the edge of the Plateau de Vaucluse. Heading south you'll pass cherry orchards (with white cherry blossom in spring) and take in wonderful aromas of pine forests, lavender and wild herbs, before arriving in Roussillon with its 17 colours of once-quarried ochre. Vineyards and olive groves dot your route as you head towards Les Imberts and the charming village of Gordes whose architectural delights and tiny streets full of shops and cafes are just perfect for exploring. With the Luberon hills providing an enviable backdrop, you'll make your way to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, with the option to visit the pretty riverside town of L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, before heading north across the Vaucluse plateau for your final day and stunning views of Mont Ventoux and the Dentelles de Montmirail. 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

We've hand-picked high quality hotels for you to stay in, all of which boast swimming pools in their extensive grounds. Your accommodation includes a C19 stately manor house with its own orangery and swimming pool; a charming hotel with heated outdoor pool and spa facilities including a sauna, hot tub and massage room; and a converted water mill whose millstreams are now a tranquil water garden. We've included four evening meals, so you're free to choose from some great nearby restaurants on your remaining nights.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 020 8772 3936