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Has anyone walked from Les Baux to St. Remy?

Has anyone walked from Les Baux to St. Remy?

Oct 17th, 2012, 05:05 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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Has anyone walked from Les Baux to St. Remy?

I'm planning to be in Provence in mid-April and love the idea of a scenic walk with a destination in mind. An old Rick Steves guidebook mentions walking from Les Baux to St. Remy, and it sounds right up my alley. However, the walk seems to be downplayed in a newer edition that I just picked up.

Does anyone have any recent experience doing this walk?

The most recent post in the forum that I could find was from '02, and the wonderful sounding "The independent walker's guide to France" by Frank Booth seems to have been written in 1998. Lots can change, and I'm hoping it's still scenic and doable in 2.5 to 3 hours.

(As a little background, my husband, now-2.5-year-old son and I will be using Arles as our home base for a leisurely visit to the area. My son currently rides in a backpack for walks like this at home. The plan would be to take a bus or taxi, as needed, to get around.)

Thanks so much for any experience and tips!
greengiant is offline  
Oct 17th, 2012, 06:58 PM
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Ha, I love this. All I'll say is that you'll be doing plenty of walking when you get to Les Baux because it's on a big hill.
thorspecken is offline  
Oct 17th, 2012, 06:59 PM
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I can't imagine doing that, and I've traveled between St-Rémy and Les Baux a dozen times at least. I doubt Rick Steves ever did this. It's on a hugely winding, hairpin-turn road, and really, really steep, up and down. If that's your thing, do it, but it's not as though there are sidewalks or anything, and there are usually lots of cars going pretty darn fast. Sounds nightmarish to me.
StCirq is offline  
Oct 17th, 2012, 08:22 PM
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I haven't done this walk, but I've driven it on the road StCirq describes many times.

I found this info (in French) about the walk http://www.randogps.net/randonnee-pe...0DE%20PROVENCE. It looks like it's 17.6 km for the circular walk, 5-1/2 hours. This would be mostly on footpaths... not all on the main road. Click on the second little icon at the top to see the elevation changes.

This would be a pretty serious day hike. It's a beautiful area though, and you could probably find a shorter, less hilly hike to do. You could check with the Tourist office in St. Remy to see what they suggest. They probably have some hiking resources available.

KathyWood is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 12:12 AM
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Yep, there's a path through the Alpilles Hills from St. Remy to Les Baux...you don't walk on the road. I've done half of this hike and its lovely and easy (I'm not a big hiker). The Tourist Office in St. Remy can give you a map and tell you how to find the path. There are also many other nice hikes at the foot of the Alpilles and through it, on both sides of the hills. Enjoy!
JulieMautner is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 08:11 AM
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Wonderful! Thanks so much for the feedback and the link.

Yes -- I was definitely thinking of a non-road walk : )

It's great to know the TI in St. Remy can help, and that there are more walks in the area as well.

Thank you!
greengiant is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 08:51 AM
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the hike sounds great and I am penciling it into my next time in the area. Of course not on the main road but as usual in France on GR type footpaths.
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 09:19 AM
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I've cycled that route a couple of times on a road bike, though on the paved road. Bit of a hill but certainly not particularly difficult or steep.
RedStater is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 09:32 AM
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I have also biked on the main road St Cirq describes and yes a long hill and also no fun for me biking on such a narrow road with speeding traffic. No fun!
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 10:00 AM
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@PalenQ: I suppose it depends on which route one takes. My lady wife and I rode the D27 southeast out of Les Baux to link up with the D5, heading north into St. Remy. You're right - that was a misery, as I recall. Long road, steep climb to the col, and lots of fast traffic. The only advantage to this route is that it takes one by the archeological digs at Glanum.

The smaller local road - I don't see a number designation on my map - heading directly north out of Les Baux, though a climb, was not nearly as steep or as busy. The Michelin map gives it a 'scenic' designation, also, and as I recall, it was. I remember the conversation between my wife and I after we got into St. Remy using this road - something along the lines of "why the hell didn't we take this way the first time?!"

This is the trip on which my sister joined us, and despite my warnings ahead of time, she hadn't bothered to put some miles on her bike in preparation. It was exactly here, on this climb out of Les Baux, when I asked her how she was doing, she offered the priceless observation..."How am I doing?! I'm tired. I'm hot. My a$$ hurts. AND I'M SUPPOSED TO BE ON VACATION!!"
RedStater is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 10:38 AM
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I cycled UP to Les Baux from St Remy (in the 90s that day), so it's certainly doable because I'm a pitiful cyclist. And if you have a trail, I think it's a fabulous idea. Is it the famous Le Chemin d'Arles? I heard of that and I think it goes through the area.

Happy walking!
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 10:51 AM
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GR Grande Randonee (sp?) links Les Baux with St Remy according to my Michelin atlas and the main road is the D5 (departmental road) and yes there seems to be minor roads forming a trianle - meaning longer distance but perhaps not so straight up as D5.
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 11:40 AM
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hi julie, I enjoy your blog on Provence
and speaking of Provence, Kathy, did you tell
your husband I enjoyed his book, especially as I know all those Provencial villages.
cigalechanta is offline  
Oct 18th, 2012, 11:48 AM
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That's about it, PalenQ - coming out of Les Baux, one loses quite a bit of elevation on the D27 before the linkup with the D5. Which of course means one has to make it up on the latter - every downhill has its price! Not the case with the minor road coming north out of LB. Still a climb, but not bad (whatever my sister thought), and then one has a nice downhill going into St. Remy.

Eight years later, my lady wife still talks about that climb up the col on the D5 with dread and horror. I seem to remember that it was about the only time on the whole trip that she had to dismount and walk the bike because of elevation.
RedStater is offline  
Oct 20th, 2012, 12:00 PM
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Great info! I'm getting really excited about this. Thanks!
greengiant is offline  

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