Provence Guided Walking Holiday
Relax in the thermal spring town, explore Quinson and view the Verdon Gorge
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Hills & moorland
Choosing the level of your walks
Our easy grading system shows whether a region offer gentle strolls or more challenging routes to help you choose the right holiday for you. Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we grade our walks 1 to 5 (where 1 is easy and 5 hard). Our challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
Pretty Provençal towns and the surrounding countryside provide delightful walking and plenty to explore. Climb to the vast plateau of Valansole behind Gréoux-les-Bains town, walk above the awe-inspiring Verdon Gorge and visit Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, deemed to be one of the prettiest villages in France.
- Discover unspoilt Provence, famed for its food and wine
- Relax in pretty Gréoux-les-Bains, known for its thermal spring
- Visit charming hill-top villages including Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, officially one of the prettiest in France
- Explore delightful Quinson and enjoy views of the spectacular Verdon Gorge
- Visit the 16th Century windmills while walking in and around Regusse
- A full programme of guided walks with 2 options every walking day
- All transport to and from the walks
- The services of experienced HF Holidays leaders
- "With flight" holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers
- 7 night's accommodation in en-suite rooms
- Half board - continental breakfast and evening meal
The 4-star Villa Borghese has a fine tradition of service and is a member of the prestigios Châteaux Demeures de Tradition and the Relais du Silence groups. The owners of Villa Borghese will be very happy to welcome you to their hotel which is in a lovely, quiet and comfortable setting surrounded by gardens and woodland. Gréoux-les-Bains is close to the Verdon Gorges, the Luberon and the lavender fields in Provence.
|Villa Borghese has 50 en-suite bedrooms have a balcony or terrace.
Facilities in the bedrooms include:
The hotel is surrounded by a small wood and offer pleasant views from the bedrooms.
|There is a small outdoor heated swimming pool next to the pleasant terrace.
Villa Borghese contains tennis courts, table tennis, and a spa offering treatments (extra charge).
Relax at the cosy bar with an open fireplace.
The hotel offers it guests free WiFi.
Holidays at Gréoux-les-Bains are Half Board with a 3-course served dinner.
|The hotel prides itself on serving locally sourced produce from within 20km of the town.|
The friendly atmosphere of our holidays continues into the evening.
Enjoy a glass of wine or local beer before hearing about the next day's activities. Your evening meal is the main focus of the evening. After dinner relax on the terrace or in the bar, with a drink and chat with your fellow guests or try your hand in a friendly game of boules.
Gréoux-les-Bains Guided Walking Holiday
Our experienced leaders offer the choice of two different walks each day - choose the option which best suits your interests and fitness.
We provide flexible holidays. Choose easier walking one day and harder the next or just explore independently or relax around the resort. Our leaders are friendly and welcoming making your holiday fun and sociable.
Easier walks: 4 to 8 miles (6.5-13km) on good paths which are sometimes rocky underfoot. Up to 1,400ft (420m) of ascent in a day.
Harder walks: 6 to 10 miles (9.5-16km) on good paths with some steeper rougher routes. Up to 2,500ft (750m) of ascent in a day.
Our full 2019 itinerary is being finalised by our field advisors and product team, we'll have it published soon! Take a look at our 2018 holiday below for a taste of the holiday.
Day 1: Arrival day
Depending on your arrival time, you will have time to meet your fellow guests over the first evening meal.
Day 2: Introducing Gréoux: between river and plateau
Today both walks start and finish at the hotel.
Easier Walk: We will climb up to the vast plateau of Valansole behind the town to take in the wide sweeping horizon towards Manosque and the mountains. Using an old livestock droving route, passing lavender and olive plantations, we travel across the plateau. Meeting the old road from Manosque we start our descent to arrive eventually beneath the ancient walls of Gréoux castle. We have time to explore before a final short descent into the heart of the old town, where you can choose to explore its narrow streets and linger over a drink or continue back to the hotel and a swim perhaps. 7 miles (11km) with 1,000ft (300m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: The harder walk takes us in the opposite direction to the easier group, starting by crossing the Verdon River on Gréoux’s ancient bridge. We follow the river bank for a short time before climbing steeply up on wooded tracks. Views open up as we travel towards the remote hamlet of Les Maurras, an area known for its truffles. Continuing to climb we pass over the subterranean route of the old Verdon irrigation canal which we will see later in the week. Arriving at the highest point of the day we are greeted by a view of Gréoux’s castle in the distance, before descending and climbing again to pass the remote chapel of Notre Dame des Oeufs, enjoying views over the lower Verdon valley. Our final descent leads us back over the river and into town. 9 miles (14.5 km) with 1,700ft (530m) of ascent and descent.
Day 3: Forcalquier and the Abbey of Salagon at Mane
Today both groups take the coach to the bustling hill town of Forcalquier and its thriving atmospheric weekly market.
Easier Walk: The easier group will have time to explore this historic town and its market, perhaps climbing to the Citadel to see the carillon and observe the magnificent view before setting off. Our tracks are stony in places but never too steep as we cross the wooded limestone plateau on our journey to Mane. We will pass interesting stone bories, old shepherds’ shelters, and it may be possible to visit the ancient Abbey of Salagon and its ethno-botanical gardens. 4 miles (6.5km) with 600ft (180m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: After a brief look around the market we make a steady climb out of Forcalquier to the plateau of Les Mourres to see the strangely shaped limestone rocks created by water and wind erosion over the centuries. On descending we will pass dry stone bories (huts) and old shepherds’ shelters before passing the abbey to arrive at Mane for welcome refreshments. 8 miles (13km) with 1,300ft (390m) of ascent.
Day 4: Discovering Regusse and the view from La Colle
Today both groups will travel by coach to the village of Regusse, crossing the Verdon and into the neighbouring region of Haute Var.
Easier Walk: Starting on the edge of the village we enter mature oak and cedar woodland. We then climb steadily before reaching the lower slopes of La Colle, climbing high enough for good views south over Regusse and the vast forests of the Var that stretch towards Mont St Victoire near Aix en Provence. Returning to the village there should be time to explore and see its two fine 16th century windmills before finishing in a welcoming café/bar. 7 miles (11km) with 600ft (180m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: Starting from the same point, we initially follow a similar route through mature woodland, crossing a minor road before making the steady climb to the summit of La Colle. We then walk the ridge and we are rewarded by panoramic views. To the north is Moustiers and its huge lake, with the plateau of Valansole and Mont Ventoux in the distance; to the south we can see Mont St Victoire and St Baume on the horizon. Our descent is on wide stony tracks, steep in places, with occasional views of Regusse far below. We arrive in the outskirts of the village and follow the route of the easier group into town. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,300ft (390m) of ascent.
Day 5: Free day
Each week there is a free day when no guided walks are offered. This is an ideal opportunity to relax around the hotel, walk independently or visit local places of interest.
Day 6: The ridges above Moustiers St Marie
Easier Walk: We will be dropped off at the ancient monastery of Notre Dame de Segries, now a language school. We walk up its driveway passing the monastery chapel and buildings to reach another part of the huge plateau of Valansole. From here we descend on a minor road and follow woodland tracks to the remote settlement of En Noups with good views. Our route continues to descend into the valley of Pertus, with occasional views of rich ochre coloured cliffs across the valley. After a short steep ascent, we eventually descend onto an old mule track to enter the beautiful village of Moustiers St Marie through one of its ancient protective gates. 6 miles (9.5km) with 1,300ft (360m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: This walk takes us steeply up to the craggy ridge of L’Oubes with great views over the Lac St Croix and the start of the Upper Verdon Gorge. After crossing the summit and descending to a dry riverbed the terrain becomes more open before the final spectacular descent to Moustiers St Marie on a twisting ancient road. 7 miles (11km) with 2,100ft (630m) of ascent.
Day 7: Quinson and the Gorge of the Verdon
A pleasant drive brings both groups to the lower Verdon Gorge. Both groups will have the opportunity to walk in the gorge and see the remains of the old Verdon canal, built to channel water to the city of Aix en Provence. The paths in the gorge are narrow in places but have handrails; there are also occasional metal staircases with handrails.
Easier Walk: We climb up a rough zigzag path to the plateau of Male Sauque to follow fairly level tracks until we descend to the chapel of St Maxime. This is an ideal lunch spot and there is time to admire the view down to the gorge. We descend to a shady woodland path that leads us to the Verdon gorge and old canal. Passing through a short tunnel, we walk on top of the retaining wall of the old canal and eventually follow a suspended wooden walkway (with handrail) that is just a few feet above the river. It is then a short walk to the village of Quinson which has an interesting museum dedicated to prehistoric man’s settlement in this region. 7 miles (11km) with 900ft (270m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: The harder walk starts in the gorge on a rocky, but fairly level, path with occasional steps cut into the rock. There are metal handrails and staircases in places and a timber walkway suspended above the river, before the path follows the top of the retaining wall of an old Napoleonic canal. After passing through a short tunnel we initially ascend through woodland before a final short steep ascent to the ridge and chapel of St Maxime. We return descending a steep, but stepped, route down the side of a gorge, to arrive back at river level, then follow the original route back to the Verdon Bridge and well earned refreshments. There is a short level river walk back to the village of Quinson where our transport awaits. 6 miles (9.5km) with 900ft (270m) of ascent.
Day 8: Departure day
Please note that the itinerary outlined is provisional and could be subject to change. A finalised itinerary will be available at the resort and your leaders will brief you every evening about the following day’s walks.
Immerse yourself in the landscape of Matisse, Cézanne and Van Gogh, in this quiet corner of Provence. Rolling fields, blue skies, gorgeous villages and excellent food and wine epitomise everyone’s image of Provence, and we hope that this holiday will deliver that, and a little bit more. As well as sitting in the Route de la Lavande, an area steeped in the culture of lavender production, Greoux-les-Bains straddles the exquisite Luberon region, and also the mighty Verdon Gorge. The Grand Canyon of France with 800m sheer cliffs sums up this area’s unspoilt countryside. On Mondays the traditional Provençal market at the hill-top village of Forqualquier has run for centuries. Moustiere Ste Marie, deemed officially one of the prettiest villages in France, is a lovely place to drink a beer in one of the many pavement cafés.
Greoux-les-Bains, a former spa town, is off the main Provençal tourist track, and is a bustling town full of local commerce. It has an impressive hill-top castle, reached by walking up pretty pedestrianised roads, and a smattering of tourist shops in the old town. There are good cafés in the pleasant central plaza in the old town. The hotel is 15 minutes walk from the old town.
Colourful port of Marseilles – There is a public bus service which takes you to Marseilles. To get around the city and see the major sights use the Le Grand Tour open-topped, double decker bus which runs each day from 10am until 4pm and costs around €16 for the day. The bus travels between all the main sights and museums taking in Vieux Port, the Corniche and Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde. You can hop on and off throughout the day and the tour includes a 5 language audio guide. The best place to pick up the tour bus is Vieux Port – buy tickets either on the bus or from the tourist office.
Visit the bohemian, chic university town of Aix-en-Provence, home of Cezanne, visited by Van Gogh and the author Emile Zola. The town is packed with bars, cafés, and affordable restaurants. The city itself is rich in culture and has elegant plane tree-lined boulevards and chic boutiques. There is a public bus service but times vary throughout the year; the journey takes about an hour.
Spend the day around the hotel and take advantage of the heated pool and loungers provided by the hotel, or more adventurously book a session at the Hotel Spa!
The Verdon Gorge
in French: Gorges du Verdon or Grand Canyon du Verdon) – is a river canyon that is often considered to be one of Europe's most beautiful. It is about 25 kilometres long and up to 700 metres deep. It was formed by the Verdon River, which is named after its startling turquoise-green colour, one of the canyon's most distinguishing characteristics. The most impressive part lies between the towns of Castellane and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, where the river has cut a ravine up to 700 metres down through the limestone mass.
Explore the old centre of Greoux and walk up to the Chateau des Templiers, which sometimes has concerts and art exhibitions.
We recognise that everyone’s travel arrangements are unique, so all our holidays to Europe can be booked ‘with flight’ or ‘without flight’, giving you more flexibility and choice.
‘With flight’ holidays – the hassle-free option
Book your holiday ‘with flight’ and choose between Heathrow or Manchester (via Heathrow) flights to Marseille airport. For flight times and prices please see the Dates & Prices tab.
If you choose this option we automatically include return transfers between the airport and the hotel. The coach transfer takes approx 1 hour 15 minutes to the Villa Borghese.
‘Without flight’ holidays – the flexible travel option
Alternatively, tailor your journey to suit you by booking your holiday ‘without flight’ allowing you the freedom to book your own flights from your local airport.If you choose this option, transfers are not included in the price. We recommend independent travellers meet our HF Holidays’ transfer coach from Marseilles airport. This is timed to meet the HF Holidays’ flights* (provisional flight times can be found on the dates and prices tab or you can call us on 020 8732 1220 for more information). Cost per single journey is £38.
Transfers must be pre-booked. Please call 020 8732 1220 for more details
* Please note that HF Holidays is not responsible for your onward travel if you fail to meet the transfer coach
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Dates & Prices
|21 Sep 2019||PVLCL - Provence Guided Walking - Without Flights||7||£1,149.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Double room for sole occupancy: £25 per night
- All transport to walks is included in the price of the holiday
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person