Hiking Mont Ventoux: what you need to know about hiking to the top of Mont Ventoux!

The Mont Ventoux (also called Mount Ventoux) in France is known for the tough but beautiful bike ride that thousands of people make every year. But did you know that you can also hike to the top of Mont Ventoux? In this blog we tell you everything you need to know about hiking on Mont Ventoux.

The Mont Ventoux

There I am, on a sloping ski slope overgrown with grass and heather while the top of Mont Ventoux towered above me. The view is beautiful, as far as the eye can see you see hills covered with vineyards, narrow rivers and mountains. We are in the Vaucluse, a department in the north of Provence. The Vaucluse is known for lavender fields, forests and of course: the Mont Ventoux.

With 1913 meters altitude, Mont Ventoux is the highest mountain in Provence. It rises well above the landscape and is known as the “wind mountain”. And that’s not surprising, because the wind at the top can reach speeds of 300 km/h.

The Mont Ventoux is famous for the thousands of cyclists who make the arduous journey to the top here every day. It is also a well-known cycling stage in the Tour de France.

More about Provence: read all about Aix-en-Provence in this blog!Mont Ventoux Provence France

Hiking to the top of Mont Ventoux!

By the way, we are not here to cycle, but plan to hike the last part to the top of Mont Ventoux. Where we normally prepare everything well, we now only have information about where to start (at Station du Mont Serein). After a bit of searching (during which I sulk that I didn’t make a better plan) we find the right signs after 20 minutes and we start the sloping journey up. The sun is breaking through and with the wooden houses of the Serein ski resort behind us, it feels like we are in Switzerland instead of the South of France.

From green hills to a moonscape

The route we walk to the top of Mont Ventoux is about 2 hours long. We already start at some height (1410 meters), so we first walk between the trees. But the higher we go, the more barren it gets. Less green, more white rocks. The stone path meanders upwards in hairpin bends. In between we cross the road once. This road is used by the cyclists, who climb this famous mountain all the way by bicycle. Hard work, and they are often followed by one or two cars with auxiliaries and cheerleaders.View along the way to the Mont Ventoux Provence France

The top of Mont Ventoux

When there is hardly any green to be seen, we suddenly see it: the top of Mont Ventoux. A bald mountain with a high tower (telecommunications) that sticks out like a thick hair. Certainly not the most beautiful mountain peak we have ever seen, but spectacular nonetheless. We continue on the white rock path, while the wind blows harder.

And then suddenly… we can’t go any further. The road is blocked by dozens of sheep who, accompanied by a few sheepdogs, come walking down the mountain. Carefully we maneuver between the animals, especially the rams with their large horns are quite scary on this narrow mountain path. Once past, we can just hear the shepherd shouting orders to the dogs above the wind in the distance.Sheeps and cattle on our way to the summit of Mont Ventoux France

Cyclists and wind

While we have not even encountered more than four people on the hiking trail, it is very busy on the last part to the top of Mont Ventoux. Hundreds of cyclists make the tiring climb to the top, spectators cheer along the side and day trippers park their cars and campers in the parking lot.

The wind blows hard up here, a bleak, cold feeling that beats directly on your lungs. But the view that stretches almost to the Mediterranean Sea, and the euphoria with which we are surrounded by the cyclists, makes up for everything. We take some pictures and watch the cyclists pat each other on the back, drink thirstily from their water bottles and proudly call those left behind at home. After 10 minutes we get really cold and we decide to start the way back. The route is exactly the same as on the way there. However, it is now faster. In less than 1.5 hours we are at the parking lot of the village of Serein, we get into the car, and we drive towards a winegrower. Just to replenish the moisture that we have lost ;-).Wine tasting with a view Mont Ventoux Provence France

Everything you need to know about a hike on Mont Ventoux

Be better prepared for the Mont Ventoux then we were and immediately find the right path to the top? Then read on quickly for more information about hiking on Mont Ventoux!

Route to the top of Mont Ventoux

Hereby the description of our hiking route to the top of Mont Ventoux. This walk takes about 4 hours in total and you ascend (and descend) 500 meters.

Starting point:

In the village of Serein, drive all the way to the campsite (turn down the road that is a large parking lot all the way to the end). The route starts to the right of the entrance of the campsite. Here you will see a post with several signposts. Follow the arrow pointing to Mont Ventoux (this is part of route GR4).

Climbing & following signs

After a while, the trail starts to climb a lot and you start to see signs along the way that read “Accès pédestre au Sommet” (Pedestrian access to summit). Keep following this until the paved road. Cross the road and climb up a bit. The route then continues clearly following the signs. Keep following it until you walk along the top of Mont-Serein, from where you can already see the Mont Ventoux.Mont Ventoux Trail to the summet hiking France

Arrived at the top

You are now walking over a parking lot with a beautiful (but open, and cold) plain on your right for a picnic. Then you follow the bend of the paved road, and you walk a little bit up along the guardrail, after which the path continues over the rocks. Finally, cross the paved road one more time (watch out for cyclists) and you’re there!

The way back is the same way back again. You can consider cutting off a bit and already on the slopes where you see ski lifts, get off the path and walk down. Note: only do this if there is no snow/ice and you have good mobility.

Climbing the entire Mont Ventoux

If you want to climb the entire Mont Ventoux by foot, there are other routes you can follow. To hike the entire Mont Ventoux, you need at least 7 hours. You ascend (and descend) 1500 meters, and walk more than 23 km.Mont Ventoux Provence France

We also visited Grimaud, a beautiful authentic village near Saint-Tropez. Read more about it in our travel guide!

Tips for Mont Ventoux

Below are some tips for when you want to hike to the top of Mont Ventoux.

  • Bring warm clothes and rain gear: it can be very cold at the top and the wind blows hard.
  • Wear good walking shoes and bring sunscreen.
  • The road to the top of Mont Ventoux is only accessible by car from May to October. The route to the summit is closed from November 15 to April 15.
  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast on the day you want to go hiking. The weather can change quickly and that can be dangerous.
  • Would you like to see the sunrise from Mont Ventoux? In July and August you can take a night walk accompanied by guides. For more information contact the tourist office in Bedoin or Malaucene.

Parking at Mont Ventoux

You can park for free everywhere in the village of Serein, but we recommend that you drive as far as possible towards the campsite (the starting point of the route).

The perfect stopover on the way to the South of France: Stay overnight in the Mâconnais, the southern Burgundy region! Want to see more of Burgundy? Visit Chablis or Noyers-sur-Serein.

Hiking in the Provence France Charlotte Plans a Trip

Other walks/routes at Mont Ventoux.

There are many more cool hiking trails that run over the Mont Ventoux. From Serein you can walk 3 beautiful routes (red, yellow and green), with a length varying from 2.2-5.5 km. These routes are indicated with colored arrows and depart from the information point in Serein. You can also go hiking around the Mont Ventoux. For more information & beautiful routes in the area of Mont Ventoux, we advise you to visit the tourist office in Bedoin or Malaucene.Hiking itinerary to summit of Mont Ventoux

Road tripping through France? Then also add the Champagne region to your itinerary and visit these champagne houses in Épernay!

Hotels near Mount Ventoux

Do you want to spend the night near the Mont Ventoux? Nice, there are more than enough nice hotels, campsites and B&Bs in the area. Below is an overview of three accommodations that we like!

Le pigeonnier

Le pigeonnier

In cycling mecca Malaucène you will find this cozy apartment, 16 km from Serein on the Mont Ventoux. You can sleep here in the heart of the old town from €73 per night.

Click here

La Terrasse de Tiss

La terrasse de Tiss

This trendy apartment is located in the center of Bedoin, 22 km from the top of Mont Ventoux. A large roof terrace and a kitchen are at your disposal. From €120 per night.

Click here

La Bastide des Bourguets €€

la bastide

This beautiful adults only chambre d’hotes is located in Sault-de-Vaucluse. About 33 km from Serein on the Mont Ventoux. You sleep here from € 130 per night including breakfast.

Click here


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