Walking in FRANCE




Walk Through Painted Provencal Landscapes

Vincent Van Gogh arrived in Arles in Provence, after a 16 hour train ride from Paris in February 1888. He then commenced the most productive period of painting in his life. He fell in love with the area at once: Arles, the Alpilles, blooming fields, Langlois drawbridges and abbey ruins. ‘My God!’ he exclaimed, ‘If I had only known of this country at the age of 25, instead of coming here when I was 35.’ This may express the feelings of many of us today.
Les Alpilles is a small massif standing out as its white peaks rise apparently sheer from the plain of the Rhône valley. Its slopes are covered in vineyards along with olive and almond trees. Along footpaths dotted with cypress trees and lone chapels we follow Van Gogh’s footsteps through the many landscapes of the Alpilles that he painted from St-Rémy to Les Baux-de-Provence and onto Arles.

Our trip starts in Avignon, where you stay inside Avignon’s fortified city for the first night giving you a bit of time to discover the beauty of one of Provence’s great centres.

You then transfer by taxi towards the Alpilles and Saint Rémy de Provence, the adopted home of the Marquis de Sade and Van Gogh. From here walk into the Alpilles, with great views of the Rhone Valley all the way to the Luberon. Take the time to visit the Saint-Paul de Mausole monastery where Van Gogh painted 150 paintings in a year!

A beautiful day follows from Saint Rémy into the Baux valley in the heart of the Baux de Provence. From the summits of the Alpilles there are views across to the Camargue. Next there is a walk in the Baux Valley to the typical village of Maussane where you can enjoy the centre’s cafés and producers of local wonders, such as Provence’s best olive oils. On the penultimate morning, walk from Les Baux de Provence to the 12th century Roman Saint Gabriel Chapel. Then there is a short transfer to Arles and your hotel in the heart of the city to discover Van Gogh’s second home and the city’s Roman centre!

 Inn to Inn 7 days

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Duration: 6 nights/7 days
Tour Code: JPV
Grade: Introductory-Moderate - 2
Day Stages: Up to 12km

 SELF-GUIDED Dates 2015

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01 Mar- 15 Jun and 15 Sep - 25 Oct


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Sherpa Expeditions, 81 Craven Gardens, Wimbledon, London SW19 8LU (UK)
Tel: +44 (0)20 8577 2717 | Fax: +44 (0)20 8543 8316
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