* France – Aubrac and Ardèche with french incoming
Period : April, May, June, July, August, September, October
Reference : 09B224
Prix : 375€ Ask for a quote
Nature has fashioned the landscapes at its whim here : the wild, windswept moorlands of the Aubrac have a bleak beauty all of their own whilst the winding Gorges of the Ardeche, deep and wide, make a grandiose spectacle. You will taste local specialities of the two regions : cheeses, chestnuts, beer, cured hams and wine, all with hearty natural flavours … Please contact us – French incoming.
D1 The Bishops of Mende (40 km)
Arrive in Mende in time for lunch. Guided tour of the town dominated by its imposing cathedral, giving some indication of the power the ruling Bishops once had here. On to Aumont Aubrac via the old fortress of Villard dating back to the times of the Bishops of Mende.
D2 Aubrac country (100 km)
First stop is to visit a knife workshop making traditional “La Laguiole” knives, high quality folding pocket knives, then on to a cheese dairy and some tasting of the Laguiole cheese, made from unpasteurized cow’s milk from the Aubrac. Local style lunch before continuing to Aubrac village for a short commentated tour and a visit to the “Maison d’Aubrac” Centre dedicated to the region’s traditions and culture. You can taste the local “T” aperitif, based on the gentian planet. Dinner and overnight.
D3 Langogne village and Chestnut Country (210 km)
We make for Langogne where we visit the Wool Museum and its fascinating display of old machinery showing how woollen yarn was spun on old water-powered spinning jennies. Lunch then on to the Ardeche, and a visit to the Chestnut Centre which explains everything about the humble chestnut from collection to conservation and its various uses. Dinner and overnight
D4 the Ardeche Gorges (90 km)
In Vals les Bains they make beer out of chestnuts and we visit the Bourganel Brewery to sample the amber nectar. On to Vallon Pont d’Arc for a local style lunch, then a tour of the Ardeche Gorges along the panoramic road along the rim of the canyon, high above the river, stopping at the famous natural rock arch, the Pont d’Arc. From here we continue to St Martin d’Ardeche for a visit to a wine cellar and a tasting session. Dinner and overnight.
D5 The Ardeche Plateau (130 km)
In Thueyts we stop to admire the basalt rock formations and the Devil’s Bridge. On to the Col de la Chavade and some sampling of local cured hams. Lunch and on to the Issarles Lake, occupying a volcanic crater. We take a stroll and discover some of the troglodyte dwellings on the lake shore. Then we head up to Mount Gerbier de Jonc, a stunning natural viewpoint where the River Loire rises. Continuing via Mezilhac our final stop is at the pretty village of Antraigues, sitting on a rocky spur, second home to famous French singer and writer Jean Ferrat. Dinner and overnight.
D6 Aven Orgnac Caves (45 km)
Fantastic rock formations at the Aven Orgnac underground caves. Lunch follows.
Coach tour :
Single room supplement (5nts) : 135 €
Per meal : 1/4 wine : 3.30 €, coffee : 1.70 €
An evening of local tales and legends in Aubrac : 180 € / group