NEW YORK -- Burgundy and Provence were among the first regions in
France explored by walking tours, but nowadays, tours are also
heading by foot into the Dordogne Valley, Brittany and other
A sampling of trips follows:
Cross Country International is exploring very different ground
this year with its Lot Valley walk, a journey starting near the
village of Montcuq and ending after about 50 miles at the medieval
town of Cahors. On some trips, hikers will follow the pilgrimage
route to Santiago de Compostela, across the border in Spain.
Walkers are met at Toulouse Airport, driving first to the Roman
town of Moissac for lunch and then to the village of Lascabanes for
the first two nights. Lodgings during the walk will be in restored
farmhouses, manor houses and a 15th-century chateau.
The per-person cost of $2,300 includes seven nights'
accommodations, five days of guided walking, all meals, luggage
transfers and transfers to and from the airport. There are two or
three departures monthly from April 3 to Oct. 16. Cross Country
International, Phone: (800) 828-8768, Fax: (914) 677-6077, e-mail:
Butterfield & Robinson is walking into four regions on
seven-night programs in Burgundy (between four and 10 miles a day)
and Provence (six to seven miles a day) and six-night tours in the
Dordogne Valley (four to 10 miles a day) and the Pyrenees (seven to
12 miles a day) along the French-Spanish border in the Pays
Features on all trips are top class accommodations, most often
at Relais & Chateaux properties; dining at Michelin-starred
restaurants; full van support and trip escorts.
On the Burgundy walk, for example, tour members start in Dijon
and finish in Lyon, visiting vineyards, enjoying food and wine
tastings and staying at the 18th century Hotel Chateau Andre
Ziltener in Musigny, the Hotel le Cep in Beaune and the Chateau de
Bagnols in Bagnols. Departures are scheduled in May, July, August
and September, and the per person cost is $3,925.
The company also offers a program called Paris Walks, both for
individuals or groups and led by expert guides, for a flat rate of
$200 for a three-hour walk and $300 for a full day. Butterfield
& Robinson, Phone: (800) 678-1147 or (416) 864-1354, Fax: (416)
864-0541, e-mail: [email protected], Web: www.buttterfield.com
Wayfarers introduced a Gourmet Walking Tour of Provence, hosted
by culinary expert Nathalie Dupree, departing April 25 and Oct. 3.
Participants will meet some of Provence's leading chefs, bakers,
cheese makers and vintners, on a walk that begins in the village of
Lourmarin and spends a morning with Reine Samut, proprietor of
Michelin-starred L'Auberge de la Feniere. A cooking demonstration
and lunch follow a trip to the market.
Other highlights include a picnic at a local cheese farm, a
visit to the bakery of master baker Roger Auzet, a tour of an olive
mill, wine tasting at the Cotes du Luberon cellars and other
Priced at $2,600 per person, the program includes six nights'
lodging at country inns, all meals, transport of baggage and the
services of a walk leader and manager.
The Wayfarers, Phone: (800) 249-4620, Web: www.thewayfarers.com
Europeds' walks in France focus on Provence and the Dordogne
The company takes advantage of the pet-friendliness of this
country and offers two weekly walking tours for people and their
dogs. The six-night Dordogne Doggie Walk is in the southwest region
of France, known for its castles and prehistoric cave art, with
departures on May 13, Sept. 12 and Oct. 3. Average daily walking
distance for this trip is about 5.5 miles, with five hours of
There is also a Provence Doggie Walk, starting in Avignon and
visiting Les Baux, St.-Remy and picturesque byways in the Luberon
Valley. Departures on this six-night tour are scheduled for May 23
and Sept. 23, and the daily walking distance is about four
The cost of both programs is $2,495 per person, double.
Included in the company's fact sheet for humans is advice such
as the following: Dogs must be at least eight weeks old and weaned
at least five days before flying; they must also be well socialized
to other dogs and humans. The French government, however, has more
stringent requirements on bringing in a pet that clients should
check prior to departure.
Europeds also has walking tours for travelers without dogs:
trips for the whole family, such as the Dordogne Family Loops and
the Provence Family Loops; Singles Loops in Provence and the
Dordogne, and just plain walking tours in those regions as well as
in Alsace and Burgundy. Europeds, Phone: (800) 321-9552 or (831)
646-4920, Fax: (408) 655-4501, E-mail: [email protected]
Abercrombie & Kent's newest walking destination is the
Dordogne, where an intermediate-level tour takes travelers through
unspoiled, stone-built villages and towns as well as along roads
and trails through the countryside of the Vezere.
The six-night tour starts in Brive and covers a circuit that
includes St.-Cyprien, Domme, Le Bugue, Les Eyzies, Montignac,
Lascaux, Sarlat and St.-Amand-de-Coly. Most meals, lodgings, trip
escorts and support vans are included in the walk price of $2,950
per person, double; departure dates are June 20, Sept. 19 and Oct.
In France, A&K also offers walks in Provence and Burgundy,
plus a barging/walking six-night tour, also in Burgundy.
Abercrombie & Kent, Phone: (800) 323-7308 or (630) 954-2944,
Fax: (630) 954-3324, Web: www.abercrombiekent.com
Marketing Ahead, which promotes almost 50 properties in
Brittany, including four-star chateaux, three-star inns and private
homes, manages to link them in seven-day hiking treks.
A seven-day walking circuit takes travelers from the Bigouden
region, where Breton traditions still thrive, to nature reserves
near Pointe du Raz. The average walking distance per day is 15
miles. The trip features lodging in two- and three-star hotelsand
roundtrip boat crossing from Audierne to Sein Island. It is priced
at $750 per person, double. Marketing Ahead, Phone: (212) 686-0271
or (800) 223-1356, Fax: (212) 686-0271, e-mail: [email protected]