Highlights of Provence Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group
Destinations:
France
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TEA
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

A stunning part of Provence and relatively untouched by tourism, Greoux les Bains offers the perfect base for a walking holiday. We stay in the comfortable Hotel des Alpes in the heart of the town, allowing us to enjoy the variety of restaurants, cafes and shops on our doorstep. During the week we explore the region with a mixture of walks directly from the hotel or following a short private bus transfer. With the bustling market town of Forcalquier, the dramatic Verdon Gorge and depending on the season, fields of lavender or poppies just a short drive away, there is much to be explored.

At a Glance

  • 5 days centre-based walking
  • Well marked trails and paths
  • Altitude maximum 1300m, average 700m
  • Countries visited: France

Trip Highlights

The beautiful Verdon Gorge

Local markets and villages

Relaxed daywalks

Is This Trip for You?

This trip is graded Leisurely/Moderate - Level 2.  Although the pace of the walks is leisurely and there is plenty of time to rest and enjoy the views, we place this itinerary at the tougher end of the leisurely/moderate scale due to several of the walks heading to or descending from hilltop villages. You should expect some ascent and descent and we recommend reading the daily itinerary carefully. The terrain and type of path track will vary from manmade paved tracks to tarmac. All walks take between 4 and 6 hours including lunch stops and require a moderate level of fitness. If you wish to take an extra day out of the programme you can choose to relax by the hotel pool or explore the shops and cafes of Greoux les Bains. 

All walks are optional so should you choose to have an extra day relaxing by the pool or exploring the area independently this will not be a problem.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Group

Throughout the week you will be accompanied by a local French leader, although they will not be staying in the hotel they will coordinate the airport transfers, guide all walks and will join the group for a farewell dinner in the hotel at the end of the week.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
5
Max group size:
15

Itinerary

Provence

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Greoux-les-Bains.

    Start at the Hotel des Alpes, Greoux-les-Bains. In the evening our guide will hold a welcome meeting to discuss the week ahead, give advice on the local area and answer any questions.

  • Day 2

    Walk direct from the hotel to the Valensole plateau, a spectacular area in summer for seeing fields of lavender.

    Leaving on foot directly from our hotel we head to the Valensole plateau. The surrounding countryside is beautiful, especially in the spring when the almond trees are in bloom. In the summer, aromas of lavender and thyme waft through the air confirming the fact that Valensole is one of the most important producers of lavender in Provence. Valensole comes from the Latin 'vallis' and 'solis' meaning the valley of sun. We return to Greoux following a pleasant track alongside the 'Laval' stream.

    Ascent: 281m

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
  • Day 3

    Bus transfer to Forcalquier, known for having the best outdoor market in Provence. Ascend from town with views across the Mourres plateau, a site of geological interest with its mushroom shaped limestone.

    In the morning we take a private transfer to the bustling hilltop town of Forcalquier. One of the largest of its kind in France, the weekly market is bursting with both new and traditional French goods including olive oil, breads and cheeses. After time for exploring the myriad of stalls, we head on to see the Mourres Plateau. A site of geological interest the plateau is covered with strange limestone concentrations that sometimes look like faces, which is how the area earned its name, 'Mourres' meaning faces in Provencal.

    Ascent: 372m

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 11 km / 6 miles
  • Day 4

    Transfer by private bus to the lovely village of Quinson. Follow a walkway along the lower Verdon Gorge with views of the sparkling turquoise waters.

    After a private transfer in the morning to the lovely village of Quison, today's walk will take us to a superb walkway along the lower Verdon Gorges. This walkway follows an old canal previously used to carry drinking water to Aix en Provence. The views of the Turquoise Verdon are truly amazing. The walk continues up to the chapel Saint Maxime, an ideal spot for lunch.

    Distance: 9,5 km Ascent: 400 m

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 8 km / 4 miles
  • Day 5

    Free day in Greoux-les-Bains; optional visit to Aix-en-Provence.

    Today is free to either relax by the pool, visit the nearby shops or take a bus trip to the beautiful town of Aix en Provence.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Take the bus to Moustier-Ste-Marie. Climb the ridge of L'Ourbes with views over the lake of St Crois. After reaching the top descend via old Roman road.

    After a private transfer in the morning to Moustiers St Marie we climb up to the craggy ridge of l’Ourbes with great views over the lake of St Croix. After crossing the summit and descending to a dry riverbed the terrain becomes more open before the final descent to Moustiers on an old Roman road. On our return journey we take a slight detour to enjoy an alternative view of the Verdon Gorge.

    Ascent: 505m

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 11 km / 6 miles
  • Day 7

    Follow the Verdon River and ascend hill for views over Lake Esparron. Arrive for lunch in village of Saint Martin before walking to the plateau of Pauron.

    Today we walk directly from the hotel following the banks of Verdon River before gently climbing a hill to follow the ridge with spectacular views of the turquoise waters of the Esparron Lake. From here we head to the pleasant village of Saint Martin de Bromes where we stop for lunch. Leaving the village we will climb up to the plateau of Pauron on a good GR track (Grande Randonnée).

    Ascent: 434m

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
  • Day 8

    End Greoux-les-Bains.

    Following breakfast we say our goodbyes.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

Accommodation

Hotel des Alpes - 3 Star

The Hotel des Alpes is a family-run hotel is ideally located in the pretty Provencal village of Greoux-les-Bains. All rooms have en suite facilities, air conditioning, Wi-Fi connectivity and hairdryer. The hotel has an outdoor heated swimming pool with an adjacent restaurant serving delicious local specialties. Single supplement from (double room for single use) available on request.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Single supplement from 457,20 €

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts included in the trip. Each day we will stop at a bakery or store for you to buy your lunch. There is a great variety of restaurants to choose from in Greoux les Bains for evening meals and your leader will be able to provide recommendations.

Transportation

All transport mentioned in the itinerary is included, except for optional excursions or where a client may choose to curtail a group walk. Airport and daily transfers will be by private coach (some days will involve walking directly from the hotel and transport will not be needed).

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

Weather in Aix-en-Provence is good throughout the year thanks to its mild Mediterranean climate. The region welcomes hot, dry summers (June to September) averaging around 30 °C, whilst winters (December to February) are cool around 12 to 15 °C but rarely cold, with lows rarely below 10 °C. Spring (March to May) and autumn (October to November) are cool and balmy and perfect for trekking.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 8 days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London
We normally use the scheduled services of EasyJet (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Due to Easyjet's booking system, we can only purchase flights 6 months before the date of your departure. If you book your trip before this date, a booking confirmation will be sent to you advising that flights are subject to confirmation. We will then secure the flights as soon as they become available. In the case that flights are not available at the original budgeted cost once they are released for sale, a flight supplement will be charged. If the supplement exceeds 10% of the original holiday price, you will be given the right to cancel.

Please note that many destinations now require Advanced Passenger Information (API), such as your passport number, date of birth and nationality, to be added to your booking before departure. When booking Easyjet flights through Exodus your sales consultant will do this for you.

Travelling land only: 8 days starting and ending in Greoux les Bains

Your trip normally starts at the hotel in Greoux les Bains on Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided it the Final Joining Instructions - sent approximately two weeks before departure.

This Trip can be combined!

With so much to see and do in the world we know how hard it is to settle just on one destination. That's why we have put together a handy guide of trips you are able to do back‐to‐back.

This trip aligns with several departures of the TEK: Walking the French Riviera. To transfer between the 2 destinations: For logistical ease we suggest you join the Provence trip first. You will then be able to join the return group transfer to Marseille airport from where you can take a bus (they run every 20 minutes) to the train station. From here you can take the train to Menton (the hotel is a short walk from the station). If you do the Provence trip second you will need make your own way to the start point independently (the group flight arrives into Marseille at 10:55). You will need to take a train to Marseille where you can take a bus directly to Greoux.
Please note: both departures need to guaranteed for these trip combinations to be confirmed.

If you are interested in combining this trip, please call us, email us or start a Live chat for further details.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

If you wish to book alternative flights wish do not tie in with the group transfer times you can make your own way to the start point on public transport: On arrival at Marseille airport there is a shuttle bus from the airport to Aix en Provence bus station. Buses depart on the hour and every half hour throughout the day. It takes approximately 30 minutes and prices start from €8.20 payable at the airport at the bus station desk. From here you will need to take Bus 27 ‐ Line 'Marseille‐Gréoux‐Castellane' ‐ there are 3 buses per day leaving Aix en Provence at 9h30 arriving at 10h30; leaving at 14h50 arriving at 16h30; leaving at 17h30 arriving at 18h45. You will need to get off in front of the 'Sumian' office in Gréoux (this is the bus terminal). The Hotel des Alpes is a slightly up hill 10 minute walk from here. If you wish to take a taxi directly from the airport it will be approximately €150.

Taxi du Thermalisme: 0033 4 92 78 02 42
Taxi Claude Auric 0033 6 07 04 93 58

Location start:
Greoux-les-Bains
Location end:
Greoux- les- Bains

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Traditional or lightweight walking boots with good ankle support and a strong sole

Waterproof/windproof jacket (preferably Gortex) and over trousers

A warm 2 season jacket or sweater/fleece

Water containers or Thermos Flask to contain 2 litres of liquid

Day sack of 25/30 litre capacity

Sun hat, sun screen and lip salve

We also advise using dry flow wicking clothing rather than cotton as it dries much quicker and is more comfortable when trekking

Optional Equipment

Walking poles

Swimwear

Tupperware and penknife for the packed lunch

Reading List

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

Practical Information

Passport

France

Most nationalities, including British, require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

France

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

France

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

France's Timezone:
Europe/Paris CEST (GMT +02:00)

Electricity

France's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

Money

France's Currency

The national currency of France is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (October 2017) of approximately 1.1 to the GBP,  0.84 to the USD, 0.67 to the CAD, 0.66 to the AUD and 0.59 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

We recommend you bring your spending money in cash, but credit or debit cards may be useful for shopping/extra excursions. Cash points are available in Marseille and Greoux les Bains.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will need spending money for the meals that are not included in the itinerary. We recommend approximately €5-10 for lunch and €20-€30 for dinner, of course you can spend as little or as much as you choose.

Tipping

Although optional a tip for the leaders at the end of the trip is greatly appreciated. As a guideline we recommend a contribution of between €16- €20 per client for the leader. Smaller groups may wish to give a little more per person. It is customary and appreciated to leave a small tip when settling your drinks bill at group meals.

Responsible Tourism

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… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.