The June Highlights Newsletter of High Point Holidays

Highlights                                               June 2014

Welcome to High Point Holidays' June edition of Highlights. We focus on the magical landscape of the Vercors, where 70 years ago, whilst the allied forces stormed the Normandy beaches, French Resistance fighters helped the cause by occupying several German divisions.  We have a brand new competition to win a copy of "The Walkers Anthology", a fine compilation of walking related writing from more than 50 literary figures. You can also read snippets from our latest blog and see what happened to Madonna and the Ramblers.

Best Wishes
Mark Armstrong
Vercors, Mont Aiguille

Focus on the Vercors

The Vercors is a magical destination for a self-guided walking holiday, where gleaming vertical cliffs meet wild and desolate plateaux. Designated a French Regional Park, the Vercors in the French Alps is made up of large valleys, limestone plateaux, deep gorges and gigantic cliffs several hundred metres high.
The mountains of the Vercors are home to a host of natural and man made wonders including extraordinary caves and waterfalls, natural wells, awesome gorges and some remarkable alpine villages, including Pont-en-Royans in the Bourne Gorge where historic houses perch perilously on rocky outcrops suspended over the river.
The Vercors is a haven for wildlife with deer, wild boar, hares, chamois, marmottes and the famous alpine ibex (Bouquetin) roaming the upland slopes. As for the flora there are 80 protected species represented on these alpine crags and mountains.

We are able to offer a range of alpine walking and trekking holidays which explore this beautiful part of the Alps.
We offer a Self Guided Walking Holiday, Panoramic Vercors which is a single centre based 5, 6 or 7 night holiday. Your walking guide will contain a selection of walks to choose from, in fact more walks than number of days in your walking holiday and slightly larger choice if you have your own car as you can drive further afield.
  • 5 nights £435 (£405 with own car) single supplement £90
  • 6 nights £535 (£495 with own car) single supplement £110
  • 7 nights £635 (£575 with own car) single supplement £130
We can also offer a Tailor-Made 'Jewel in the Alps' Guided Walking Holiday
Price dependent on number in the group

Take a look at our other alpine self-guided walking holidays:
Tour of Queyras - Marvels of Mercantour - Tour of Vanoise

Some Photos from Vercors Walking Holiday

Walking Holiday Updates

Confirmed Guided Walking Holidays:
Secret Provence: Les Baronnies
21st-28th June - Fully Booked
Queyras: Best Kept Secret in the Alps 
6th-13th July
- Fully Booked

High Point Holidays' 2014 Walking & Cycling Holidays Brochures
If you would like one please e-mail us and let us know.
Please note the brochure is also available online on our website.

New Independent/Self Guided Walking Holidays for 2014:
Beaujolais Wine Trail: Chateaux & Medieval Villages
This walking holiday follows on from our Grand Crus wine trail & traverses a number of pretty valleys harbouring pretty chateaux and quaint villages.
Les Ecrins: Panoramic Alpine Trail
This spectacular trail takes you past high alpine lakes, through stunning valleys and along beautiful balcony paths following one of the best sections of the Tour of the Ecrins.
Tour of Ardeche: Rustic Trails
This walking tour is located in the heart of the Ardeche Regional Park & includes wonderful heather-clad moutains with great panoramic views; pretty chestnut forests; beautiful rivers  and sun parched, vine covered slopes.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any queries on any of our holidays.

Ever disappointed that we do not do walking holidays in a particular country or region, then why not send us your suggestions to
The Walker's Anthology

Latest Competition

Win a copy of The Walker's Anthology compiled by Deborah Manley for Trailblazer publications.
We have 2 copies to give away
Deborah Manley has drawn on writings of more than 50 literary figures from around the world - including Dickens, Defoe, Robert Louis Stevenson and Mark Twain among many others.

You can also
Win a copy of Monty Don's book "A French Garden Journey - The Road to Tholonet."
We have 3 copies to give away.
It's a book that any visitor to France, whether gardeners or not, will want to read both as a guide and an inspiration. It is a portal to get under the French cultural skin and to understand the country, in all its huge variety and disparity, a little better.

For more information on how to enter either competitions please visit our competition page.

Vercors French Resistance

The Maquis du Vercors was a rural free forces resistance ("maquis") group who fought the 1940-1944 German occupation of France in World War II and used the Vercors Plateau as a refuge.
70 years ago, as part of an allied plan to allay fears that it was not just about Normandy, the Maquis raised a Flag with colours of the Republic, declaring the Vercors a free French state, visible from the valley. As the allies made progress in Normandy, so the Germans took revenge on the Vercors. Many villages were raised to the ground with 600 Resistance fighters and 200 civilians killed. By the end of July the Resistance in the Vercors was crushed, but despite the heavy price paid, it is widely recognised that the Resistance helped to occupy several German divisions during the landings in Normandy and Provence. On our independent walking holidays in the Vercors, you'll get to visit some of the places where this tragic story took place. For example the village of Valchevrière was chosen as the site of a Maquisard encampment during the Second World War...MORE
Win Green, Cranborne Chase

Madonna and the Ramblers

When we created the Wonders of Wessex walking holiday, we had 3 paths we could have used to descend from Win Green to Tollard Royal on the Dorset/Wiltshire border.  Mike Parker, writing in his book The Wild Rover,describes how he took the path down into Madonna's Ashcombe Estate from Win Green, the highest point in the Cranborne Chase and describes it as the single most idyllic walk that he had all year.
"We just fell in love with it" said Madonna about the first visit to Ashcombe. "In the summertime it's the most beautiful place in the world. It just stayed with us, haunted us for a really long time."
Madonna and Guy Ritchie, bought the Ashcombe Estate on the Wiltshire-Dorset border in 2001. British press speculated about how the new CROW Act could see some of the Ashcombe downland classified as 'open access' and could result in ramblers picnicking on her front lawn. In all of this Press stirring, the public rights of way across the estate were never closed.
Based on Mike's comments, it would be amiss of us not to investigate the option of going through the Ashcombe Estate as a new route to reach Tollard Royal... Read More
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