The walk starts at Fontaine de Vaucluse, with some irony today because this is the end of the mythical pilgrimage not the beginning. There is time to explore this unique watercourse, one of the largest underground systems in the world and the gorgeous town. The walk then climbs away from the water up through pine and cedar forest on seldom-used trails, and up to a plateau. The sweeping views extend to far off hilltop villages, the effect a visual palette that is unique only to France. The walk continues along the 300-year-old Mur de la Peste, constructed when the plague hit Marseille in 1720, as a means to protect the Provence of the Popes from the ravaging disease. Your journey ends at the magnificent village of Gordes, perched up on its rocky crag, its’ majestic greystone homes rising vertiginously from the valley below.
Gordes sits balanced high above the Calavon valley, its majestic stone homes rising dramatically in concentric circles to its castle, crowning the village. If you wish, you can add an additional loop to the Senanque Abbey. The track travels over a vast plateau, crossing lavender and thyme-laden fields dotted with old stone huts, on your way to Sénanque Abbey, a jewel of 12th-century Romanesque architecture. You’ll have time to explore the abbey before returning to Gordes via an ancient cobbled path.
Walking: Moderate to Challenging / 13 – 23 km / 4.5–7.5 hrs/ a shorter option is available / +450m / -200m
Meals: Buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Mas de la Beaume in Gordes