France Tour Plan

As a country that starts with F listed on, the country of France has a lot to offer: In addition to the cultural and fashion metropolis of Paris with its sights, there are a number of bustling cities, such as Marseille, Lyon or Nice, and varied landscapes from wide stretches of coast to high alpine peaks: the highest elevation in the EU – the Mont Blanc – rises 4,840 m on French territory.

France 1

  • Day 1: Arrival day with a welcome evening
  • Day 2: Along the Verdon on the Lac de Quinson
  • 3rd day: To the grotto of Maria Magdalena
  • Day 4: Cotignac – in the heart of the vineyards
  • Day 5: Entrecasteaux and the garden of Le Notre
  • Day 6: Sillans-la-Cascade waterfall
  • Day 7: end
  • Day 8: journey home

The medieval houses, huddled against the rocks, huddle closely together. The tuff formations are full of holes and caves. The bright blue wooden doors and shutters of the buildings catch the eye. The dome inside the Notre-Dame de Grâces church, which used to be a pilgrimage site for women whose desire for children did not come true, also shines blue. In the middle of the stone witnesses of history, it bustles on this day: Today is the weekly market, our guide and chef Andreas advises us on spices, fresh nougat and questions about Provencal specialties.

Our accommodations are just a few minutes’ walk from here. In summer, our guides run hiking weeks in Provence, in winter they run a restaurant and boarding house on Tenerife. Andreas and Carmen also show us enchanted waterfalls, the Mediterranean face of Provence and where the black truffle grows. At noon we sit down under trees or at a beautiful vantage point for a picnic.

We hike along the Gorges du Verdon (lower Verdon Gorge), the largest and probably most beautiful canyon in Europe. It goes up and down. Our hike is accompanied by the white rocks, which stand out clearly from the turquoise water, paragliders and glider pilots circle above us.

Meals: B = breakfast / L = lunch / packed lunch / D = dinner

1st day:

Arrival day with welcome evening

After our arrival at Nice Airport, our guides or a driver will greet us at the exit of the arrival hall with a worldwide hiking sign. As soon as all guests are there, we drive to Cotignac to our accommodation. In the evening everyone meets for dinner and getting to know each other. Our hiking guides Carmen and Andreas will inform us about the course of the hiking week.

Overnight in a guest house in Cotignac
Travel time: 1–2 hours
(- / – / A)

2nd day:

Along the Verdon on the Lac de Quinson

This hike is located in the Verdon Natural Park of the Provencal Pre-Alps. We start on a farm road that meanders over the Quinson Pass with a beautiful view of the mountains of the Maritime Alps and the reservoir to the Plateau de Malasoque at 545 m. We continue to the Chapel of St. Maximin at an altitude of 476 m. We always have beautiful views of the emerald green water of the sluggishly flowing “Basse Gorges du Verdon”. The descent leads us through a beautiful Provencal box forest, covered with lichen, which glows deep green in the sunlight. We reach an old water channel and follow it along the dammed Verdon. Over steps and footbridges it goes with partly spectacular views along the gorge to our picnic area.

Hike: 3–4 hours (approx. 10 km, +/- 300 m)
Overnight in a guesthouse in Cotignac
(B / Picnic / -)

3rd day:

To the grotto of Maria Magdalena

Today we hike in the Massif de la Sainte-Baume with its rugged rock faces. Our path leads to a very special place through a unique, dense and species-rich mixed forest with beech, maple, linden, fir and old yew trees. We reach a monastery that looks like an eagle’s nest built into the rock. Dominican monks live here and watch over the holy grotto of Maria Magdalena. We will visit this cave in which she is said to have lived in repentance and solitude until her death. Then we continue our hike and leave the forest, climb to the plateau of the mountain range and reach the Col du Saint-Pilon with its breathtaking views of the Mediterranean on one side and Mont St. Victoire and the pre-Alps on the other.

Hike: approx. 4 hours (approx. 9 km, +/- 420 m)
Overnight in a guesthouse in Cotignac
(B / Picnic / -)

4th day:

Cotignac – in the heart of the vineyards

Our day of hiking begins with a visit to the Provencal market in Cotignac, one of the most beautiful in the region. We enjoy the scents of spices, cheese, sausages and fresh nougat from Provence. Through the quaint alleys of the old city center, you go along the spectacular rock face, the “Rocher”, the symbol of Cotignac. A 80 m high and 400 m long tuff rock wall. Our hike now leads us into the area around Cotignac through picturesque vineyards and olive groves to Cabanon de Sarah, where we take a short break. In the afternoon there is still time for a walk to the Cotignac waterfall or a small pastis (café) in the village.

Hike: approx. 4 hours (approx. 10 km, +/- 100 m)
Overnight in a guesthouse in Cotignac
(B / Picnic / -)

5th day:

Entrecasteaux and the garden of Le Notre

Today we discover the historic town of Entrecasteaux, first mentioned around 1000 AD, and its magical surroundings. The place is shaped by the chateaux of the same name, whose garden was designed by André Le Notre, architect of the garden of Versailles. It starts at an idyllic river along the city wall on a forest path and driveways in the shade of the old oaks. The first hour is a leisurely uphill climb, and we leave the village with its enchanted medieval houses. Halfway through we pass the hamlet of St. Antonin du Var. The highest point of the hike is reached here. We pass the Chateau Montan winery through remote vineyards on old paths. Here it goes on a paved connecting road back into the beautiful mixed forest of Provence. After approx.

Hike: approx. 4 hours (approx. 13 km, +/- 250 m)
Overnight in a guesthouse in Cotignac
(B / Picnic / -)

6th day:

Sillans-la-Cascade waterfall

Today we start our hike north of the picturesque village of Sillans-la-Cascade, the name of which indicates the nearby waterfalls. Walking along the river Bresque we leave the village and walk past fields into a natural forest. We dive deeper and deeper into a true fairytale forest, always following the course of the river. Kingfishers and wild boars, water turtles and large perch live here. We get back to the picturesque village on the way to an impressive vantage point to marvel at the 44 m high waterfall, which falls crystal clear into a turquoise-blue pool.

Hike: 3–4 hours, (approx. 10 km, approx. +/- 100 m)
Overnight in a guesthouse in Cotignac
(B / Picnic / D)

7th day:


After the hike ended yesterday with a cozy get-together, today we have a well-deserved rest day to personalize. Depending on our mood, we can sunbathe, shop or follow the tips of our hiking guide and explore the sights of the area on our own. In any case, we are accompanied by numerous memories of an eventful and impressive hiking time!

Overnight in a guesthouse in Cotignac
(B / – / -)

8th day:

Home trip

We will have our last Provencal breakfast in the cozy atmosphere of our guest house before we are brought to the airport.
The return transfer to the airport takes place either by private transfer, by taxi or with the official airport shuttle from Brignolles.

(F / – / -)

France 2