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Top 10: a selection of autumnal hikes

Autumn brings changes to the landscape and awakens your senses. Make the most of the warmth of the South of France and set off on a walk in a golden setting.

A nature hike in the vineyards

The last vineyard on the right bank of the Rhône before it reaches the sea

There’s no way you can resist the mosaic of plants formed by the plantations of the Domaine de Beaujeu . This wine-growing estate in the Camargue Natural Regional Park has a lot of assets for a nature weekend. Your visit will start with 300 hectares of vines alongside meadows and also woods and enganes, the fields of samphire which are emblematic of the Camargue territory. Autumn sets fire to the colours and offers new shades in each area. The wine-growing estate has been in organic farming since 1974. Open to visitors, you will be welcomed to a tasting area that enhances the white, rosé and red IGP Méditerranée wines.

The Cucuron vineyard path

Your nature stay in the south of France could also follow the Sentier Vigneron de Cucuron which unfolds to the southeast of Avignon, in the Luberon Natural Regional Park . The 5.7 km loop and through vines and orchards around this pretty hilltop village on the flanks of the Grand Luberon is suited to all levels. Have your first break and make the most of the incredible view over the slopes of the Mourre Nègre, the Pays d’Aigues countryside and far away to the south, the Montagne Sainte-Victoire. You can finish off this nature walk with a stop at the Cave des Vignerons de Cucuron.

Green holidays in the forest

A land of contrasts in the Forêt de l’Avenquet

Head north of Sospel, in the Mercantour National Park for one of the most beautiful landscapes in France. Set off on a nature hike in the diverse atmospheres of the park: tall conifers, spruces and massive oak forests. Volumes and colours transform the landscape with every step you take with its mountain and Mediterranean influences. Lavender and garrigue are also part of the setting on this 6-km loop with a 500 metre height difference.


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The Queyras and its larches

Off we go for a hiking holiday in the Queyras organised by Destinations Queyras. You will just love the Lumières et Couleurs d’Automne theme (Autumn light and colour) which promises the most incredible settings. The Queyras is well-known for its serried ranks of larch trees which take on orangey-reddish tones in autumn. Have a go at eco-tourism with this guided 4-6 days hike where you will lay down your backpack in a hotel at the foot of the Col de l’Izoard in Arvieux.

A golden blanket in the Ecrins

A real must among the pretty autumn colour hikes: the nature hike to the Lac de la Douche in the Ecrins National Park. Allow 2½ hours to do the hike peacefully. Walk through a magnificent larch forest where you will recognise the characteristic shape and golden-brown colour of the trees. To add to the incredible charm of this itinerary, you might even come across roe deer at dawn, chamois in the forest and walk beside the little torrent with a marvellous feeling of plenitude. And to top it all, at the end of the itinerary, a turquoise-blue lake offers a dazzling finale to this nature scene.

Hear the roar of the rutting stags in the Autumn

From mid-September to mid-October is the best time to hear the stags roaring. This impressive and moving courtship display is designed to attract females. In the Mont-Ventoux Natural Regional Park, meet up with Pierre, your guide, at around 6.30 pm. Wear discreet not too colourful clothing, no perfume and try and melt into the surroundings. On the lookout and guided by Pierre’s recommendations, your senses will help you pick up the rough cries of the stags, bats passing at nightfall, stars in the sky and the smells of the undergrowth and the forests. A wonderful show for this enchanting nature walk.

Nature hikes by the waterside

Crossing the Calanques

In the autumn, you can make the most of cooler days and hike across the Calanques . For seasoned hikers, the itinerary is made up of three nature hikes: Marseille-La Ciotat, Luminy-Cassis, Cassis-La Ciotat. Right in the heart of the Calanques National Park, the limestone and sea landscapes will give your hike a rejuvenating dimension with orange in the spotlight.

Another aspect for a hike in the Gorges du Verdon

Authentic and gentle, we love this walk along the Garde Canal path in the Verdon Natural Regional Park. This path dates back to the 19th century and shows the layout of the canal which was built to bring water to the Aix-en-Provence area. This easy 10.5 km loop beside the Verdon river and the canal takes about 4 hours. And for those of you who love beauty, are inspired artists or simply nature lovers, the range of colours is fantastic between the emerald green waters of the Verdon, the warm colours of the trees and the red sumacs.

Tourism and ecoresponsible encounters on high

The Alpilles ridge

Set off on an autumn hike in the Alpilles Natural Regional Park . Starting from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, join up with the GR®6 and follow the ridgeline. Warning to seasoned hikers: the 6-h loop has a few difficult parts… We recommend you make the hike easier with a donkey, a faithful companion who will carry your bags! Your progress will be rewarded by the beauty of the Alpilles landscapes, the view of the Vallon de Valrugues and the plains of Avignon and La Crau. And don’t be surprised if you come across a Merino sheep farm around Arles, they live here!

At the top of the Sainte-Baume

Last but not least in our selection of autumn colour hikes with Alexandre Caramello is the “Forêt et Crêtes de Sainte-Baume” outing , labeled Valeurs Parc Naturel Régional. Alexandre was born at the foot of the Sainte-Baume in Saint-Zacharie and he has been committed since 2006 to the protection of this range. He can take you to discover the natural and cultural heritage of the region. The hike starts from the Hostellerie de Plan d’Aups Sainte-Baume, and there are many hairpin bends but all you have to do is let Alexandre guide you.