May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine

The Trip-Finder, January 1999
Hiking in the Diois and Vercors
Outfitter Price Accommodations
Above the Clouds
$1,475-$1,675 tourist hotels

The Route: A nine- to 10-day hike through a rural pocket of valleys and chalk mountains tucked between Provence and the Alps. From the Roman town of Die, you'll pass by fields of lavender, the sacred peak of La Glandasse, and the vineyards that produce the sparkling Clairette de Die wine.

When to go: May, June, October

Difficulty: Moderate

Travel advisory: The June trip coincides with Die's Fete de la Transhumance, a raucous annual festival celebrating the 1,000-year-old tradition of herding the sheep to higher summer pastures.

High/low points:

  • Ambling down country lanes feeling as if you've landed in a bicycle-and-baguette pre-War France.
  • Noticing that the majority of locas are old enough to have actually fought in World War II; the ailing economy drives away most young folks.

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