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Villa les Roches, 48300 Langogne, France

04 66 46 69 53

 

7-Night Self-Guided Walking Holiday

'The River Gorges and Lakes of Lozère, Haute Loire and Ardèche'

 

Summary of Itineraries

When you arrive for your walking holiday at Villa Les Roches,  a set of detailed itineraries for 6 days' walking plus maps will await you. The itineraries for each day include written directions for one waymarked walk in the morning and another in the afternoon, but the total day's walking never exceeds 10 - 13 km.  You choose how much you want to do.

 

Accommodation: Subject to availability, you can choose to stay in one of our 3 B&B rooms or, if you prefer, you can book in for a week's self-catering in the Pine Tops Apartment. We recommend spring-time as the very best season for walking, when glorious spring flowers are out , too! Summer may be too hot. Autumn is also great! Please try to book early, to avoid disappointment.

 

Please note: We have chosen walks in the most stunning gorges and lakes in this part of France. To get to the starting points, a car will be essential. Please factor in an additional cost for petrol, as the cost of the holiday only covers accommodation + walking instructions.

 

Day 1

Morning: 7.5 km. Walk to the Donozau Waterfall via Lake Naussac

The Donozau waterfallAfternoon: 1.5km. Walk around the historic centre of Langogne

A gentle 'warm-up' start to a week of walking! You need no car today and both walks can be done on foot from Villa les Roches. The morning’s walk is over relatively flat ground and offers lovely views over the 1000 hectare Naussac Lake. The highlight of the walk is the lovely Donozau waterfall. The afternoon introduces you to the historic centre of Langogne, your host town.

 

Day 2

Morning: 6 km. Walk: Gorges de la Haute Loire at Arlempdes

Afternoon: 3.5 km.Walk around Lake Issarlès

Chateau at ArlempdesNow you venture further afield, but only half an hour’s drive away, to the spectacular setting of the village of Arlempdes, in Haute Loire. Classified as one of the Most Beautiful Villages of France, Arlempdes boasts the very first château on the Loire, situated, as it is, not very far from its source. This little village occupies a stunning site on a rocky spur that towers high above the beautiful Gorges de la Loire below. The morning’s walk takes you above the gorge and affords magnificent views. In the afternoon, you drive past the Beaufort Château to Goudet and  and on through lovely countryside to the Lake Issarlès, formed in a volcanic crater.

 

Day 3

Morning: 8 km. Walk in the Gorges du Chassezac at the Pied de Borne

Afternoon: 1 km. Walk around the medieval village of Garde Guérin

Gorges du ChassezacNow you drive a little further to one of the most beautiful corners of Lozère. The landscape here is shaped by three rivers, the Chassezac, the Borne and the Altier and, through time, they have carved deep, dramatic canyons into the granite rocks. Your walk starts in the pretty village of Pied de Borne and criss-crosses the Chassezac, weaves in and out of chestnut groves and passes through perched hamlets. In the afternoon, you can visit the village of Villefort and maybe go to the beach on Lake Villefort. On the homeward journey, you stop off to visit La Garde Guérin. Classified as one of the ‘Most Beautiful Villages of France’ La Garde Guérin is a 12th century, restored medieval town, situated on the ancient Regordane Way. There is an amazing view over the Chassezac canyon from the village.

 

Day 4

The Beaume Waterfall Haute LoireMorning: 6 km. Walk to the The Beaume Waterfall

Afternoon: 3 km. Walk Around the Lake Bouchet

Back again to Haute Loire today, but only a half hour’s drive away. This day consists of 2 easy walks on the Devès plateau of Haute Loire, a plateau tormented by volcanic activity over 2 million years ago. This accounts for the numerous “gardes” - volcanic hills that have been rounded off as a result of erosion, over time. You will also see towering spurs of volcanic lava in several places and (as at Arlempdes) and today you visit another lake that formed inside a volcanic crater - the Lac du Bouchet. The morning’s walk takes you through fields and woodland to the impressive Cascade de Beaume, (the Beaume Waterfall). You follow this, in the afternoon, with a relaxing walk around the Lac du Bouchet, or you can swim, go boating or fish.

 

Day 5

All day: 9 km. Walk in the Gorges du Tarn et the Gorges de la Jonte

Gorges de la JonteNow you visit the real jewel in Lozère’s crown – the magnificent Gorges du Tarn. It will be a good 2 hours’ drive to get there but the drive itself is delightful. Your first stop should be at Ste. Enimie, classified as ‘One of the Most Beautiful Villages of France’. You can wander through the pretty cobbled streets of this restored medieval village and there are numerous places for lunch. You then drive along the spectacular Gorges du Tarn – the road runs right beside the river to arrive at the starting point for the walk. This must take first prize for the most amazing walk in the whole region. As long as you do not suffer unduly from vertigo, this breathtaking walk takes you high above the deep canyons of the Tarn and the Jonte rivers and weaves in and out of fantastic rock formations, the most famous known as the Sèvres Vase and the China Vase.

 

Day 6

Morning : 9 km. Walk Above the Gorges de l’Allier at the Château de Jonchères

Afternoon: 1 km. Walk around the historic village of Pradelles

Gorges de l'AllierNow that your week is nearing its end, you stay fairly local today. This morning’s walk is barely half an hour away. The beginning and end of the walk give you panoramic views over the Gorges de l’Allier and the remainder of the walk wanders pleasantly through fields, woods and quiet mountain villages. In the afternoon, a visit to nearby Pradelles is recommended. Pradelles is a picturesque, medieval, fortified village, dating from the 11th century. Classified as one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in France”, it is full of fascinating ancient buildings, cobbled streets and has a chapel, a church, towers and fortified doorways.

 

Alternative Days

Suggestions for two alternative days are included in the itineraries for the week, in case you should want a walk-free day or a complete change, as follows:

 

Day 7

Visit to the town of le Puy en Velay. Walk in the Historic Centre

Le Puy en VelayLe Puy en Velay is a medieval town built inside a volcanic crater, formed 800.000 years ago. Two soaring volcanic eruptions are dramatically topped with the statue of the Virgin & Christ and the Chapel of St Michel d’Aiguilhe. It is possible to climb up them both! The old town is very attractive and relatively car-free, paved with cobbles and full of interesting shops. Market day is Saturday.

 

Day 8

Non-walking day: A Trip on the tourist train of the Gorges de l’Allier

Allier tourist trainThe stunningly beautiful, wild and rather remote Haut-Allier River Gorge is largely inaccessible by road and therefore, the only way to experience its grandeur is to book a trip on the Train Touristique de l’Allier, which runs between Langogne and Langeac in the summer months. The train line covers 67 km and runs precisely along the side of the river, deep inside the gorge, affording spectacular views. In order to appreciate these more fully, the train slows down at several points. It passes through 51 tunnels and over 16 viaducs.

 

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