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Via Aurelia from Aix-en-Provence to Arles

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ramble-on

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2010; LePuy 2011; VdlP 2013/14; CdN (to Oviedo) & Primitivo 2016
This question may be in the wrong area, but as a precursor of the Via Tolosana, I’m wondering if anybody following the Arles threads has walked the Via Aurelia (GR 653A) from Aix to Arles. If so, I’m interested in finding out stages, distances, and availability of gites (is there a guidebook?) but more importantly, general impressions of that stretch.

I’m thinking about (or perhaps even planning?) a walk through southern France, possibly in April/May 2020, and have read a lot here about the challenges, beauty and solitude of the way from Arles to Somport. I’m intrigued by the thought of experiencing it firsthand. My plan is to visit my daughter in Geneva first, then get the train to Aix and start walking west from there, possibly ending in Puente la Reina, or not, depending on how it’s going.

Many thanks to any who can help me.
 

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
Hi ramble-on!

Maybe try this site?

I'm on the Arles route at the moment. Some parts are spectacularly beautiful (currently walking through the Haut Languedoc national park, just glorious) but it's also very challenging - not so much the physical part, but more the lack of any services for 20-30km stretches (and then finally arriving at your destination to find you can't get the gite key as the mairie is closed on certain afternoons, or the epicerie you were counting on for resupply is no longer open...)

For the stretch from Arles onwards, Miam Miam Dodo seems to be the best resource. Not great if you're after historical/interesting reading material, but they seem to be the only guide that provides opening times for gites, supermarkets, etc. This info really is crucial if you want to enjoy/survive the trek through less populated regions.

I'll try and write a more detailed report when I get home next week (no wifi in the gites so my data is almost finished! Yikes)
 

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