Rambling on the high plateaux of Mézenc and Ardèche. Discover unspoilt hamlets and farms with stone roofs, and old extinct volcanoes like Gerbier de Jonc, the source of the Loire. You will be surprised by the very open landscapes.

One or two groups are formed, depending on the number of participants. Everyone meets up at lunchtime for a picnic, which is brought to you three times in the week by one of your hosts in a minibus, thereby allowing anyone who is tired out to return to the hotel after lunch.

At the end of the afternoon, back at the hotel, you can relax in the sauna or in the jacuzzi, bathe in the indoor heated swimming pool, have a drink on the terrace, play billiards or table tennis, etc…

In the middle of the week, enjoy a free day to relax and discover the region from a different perspective.

We handle all the transfers by minibus to the point of departure of the trekking circuits.

Activité Rando à pied

Durée8 jours

Durée des activités5 jours

Difficulté Average

TypeGuided walking

Day 1 : welcome

Check-in the first day at the hotel La Découverte at Les Estables from 4.00pm. After a day of car or train, relax in our indoor swimming pool.
After the information meeting at 6.30pm, dinner !

Day 2 : Walk of Borée Rocks

Across the Echamps plain, let’s go to the Soutron rock, a sort of suspended world. A nice viewpoint of les Boutières, on the summit of a dome-volcanoe. For this first walk, we’ll carry our picnic in our rucksac to have lunch on the summit of Soutron Rock.
After the walk, try the hotel sauna* or Jacuzzi* before dinner.
*Extra cost.

Day 3 : Mont Mézenc and the Cirque des Boutières

Climb to the highest point of the Ardèche and the Haute-Loire départements, the site of intense volcanic activity in the distant past. From the summit, we’ll probably see all the chain of Les Alpes.
Your host will bring you the picnic at lunch time.
Back to the hotel, try the sauna (extra cost) or visit the village of Les Estables.
After the dinner, and before going to bed, we’ll offer you a « home-made » slideshow about the Mézenc massif.

Day 4 : Giants steps of Saint-Clément

We’ll go to the village of Saint-Clément, hilltop village perched on twelve layers of lava flow. What’s a beautiful panorama !
Your host will bring you the picnic at lunch time.
When we’ll be back, you’ll be able to ask a collective relaxation session (extra cost).

Day 5 : free day

In the middle of the week, this free day will provide an opportunity to relax, to discover the surroundings or the town of Le Puy en Velay.
Your hosts will be able to propose you :
  • A walking trail to do from the hotel without guide,
  • A cycling route to do with electrically assisted cycles (rental in the tourism office of Les Estables),
  • Ideas to visit the surroundings (the Perrel Brothers’ farm museum, Blue Lake Lauzière Park, fortress of Polignac…),
  • A topo-guide to discover the historic town of Le Puy en Velay (cathedral, starting point for the pilgrims to go to Santiago de Compostela, Saint-Michael romanesque chapel, built on the summit of an old volcanic vent…).
We’ll give you an individual picnic.
To finish the day, why don’t you ask Virginie a massage (extra cost) ?
Dinner at the hotel.

Day 6 : Gorges of Loire river

Walk in the wildest part of the river, taste the ferruginous spring of Bonnefond and soak your feet in the longest river of France !
We’ll carry our picnic in our rucksac to have lunch close to the river.
Back to the hotel : why not a bath in the indoor heated pool ?

Day 7 : Chapteuil watermills

Today, it will be a heritage walk : water mills, bread ovens, "béate" houses and the ruins of Chapteuil castle, perched on volcanic columns.
Your host will bring you the picnic with the minibus at lunch time at the foot of Suc de Chapteuil. Also if you are tired, you will be able to go back to the hotel after lunch.
We’ll be back earlier than usually, so you’ll have more time to buy some cheese or honey in the village, unless you prefer to go in the heated pool.
After the last dinner with your friends, take à glass on the hotel terrace or play bowls on the hotel green !

Day 8 : check-out

Check-out after breakfast on the last day.

N.B. : The above programme is only an example; your host chooses the circuits on a daily basis, depending on the group and on weather conditions. For those who stay 2 following weeks, the program will be different for the second week.

Other example of walks which can be proposed to you :

  • Trek in the Massif du Meygal : from the village of Boussoulet with its charming church and its Rocher de la Tortue at the summit of the Testavoyre ;
  • Mont Mézenc and the Devil’s Teeth : climb to the highest point of the Ardèche and the Haute-Loire départements, the site of intense volcanic activity in the distant past ;
  • Trek to Saint-Martial lake: on the "10 hamlets circuit" in the Boutières ;
  • Trek through the Sucs of the Ardèche plateau : Montfol and Taupernas… a stone's throw from the Gerbier de Jonc ;
  • The Loire gorges : walking in the wildest part of the river : Arlempdes ruined castle, the « first castle of the Loire Valley».


Stays start on Saturday in the late afternoon and end on the following Saturday after breakfast. Check-in from 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm on the day of arrival (with an information meeting at 6.30 pm). The dinner will be served at 7.45pm

If you come by train, we’ll welcome you at Le Puy en Velay station for the timetable given at the booking (usually 5.20 pm).

In case of problems or late arrival, contact us on (+33)(0)4 71 08 30 08.


Check-out after breakfast on the last day, between 9.00 am and 10.00 am.

If you come by train, we’ll drive you to Le Puy en Velay station for the timetable given at the booking (usually arrival at the railway station at 10.00 am).



  • Contact us by phone or by e-mail to request an option.
  • We’ll send you a booking form. To confirm the booking, fill in the form and return to the hotel, together with a deposit of 30 % of the total amount, with the optional insurance amount if chosen (payment by secure credit card by phone).
  • The hotel will send you a receipt for the deposit and the confirmation of the booking by post or e-mail.



  • On the web page of the stay, a table give you the availabilities and the rates. You can choose the date and book online.
  • You will confirm directly your booking online by paying with our secure credit card system.
  • If required, you can select the options and the insurance for cancellation and interrupted occupancy.
  • When the payment will be done, you will receive your confirmation booking by mail.


PAYMENT OF BALANCE : at the latest 21 days before beginning of stay. 



  • Our stays sales are governed by our general conditions of sale. These will be automatically applied in case of cancellation, whatever it is.
  • We suggests at the time of booking an insurance contract covering consequences of certain cases of cancellation. Subscription to the contract is optional however really recommended and must intervene at the time of booking.
  • Some credit cards include this insurance. Ask for information from your bank.



  • The customer's signature of the booking form implies acceptance of these general terms of sale.
  • The stay registration implies acceptance of the rates, the technical sheet and the general tems of sale.
  • Your stay registration means that you heard about the program, you are healthy and you have no medical contraindication to the practice of mountain sport.

The guiding is provided by professional mountain leaders who have a third party liability insurance. However, you are solely liable for any property damage and / or physical injury caused by you inside and outside the hotel during your stay. So you must have an individual and multi-risks third party insurance covering the activities provided for during your stay.


1 or 2 groups, depending on the number of participants :

  • Sporty, athletic : 14 to 18 km, differences in height from 400 to 700 metres, 5 to 6 hours' walking.
  • Unhurried: 10 to 15 km, differences in height from 300 to 500 metres, 5 to 6 hours' walking.
  • Intermediate if only one group.

Stays are not suitable for children under 12.

The stay is for people who have an occasional or regular physical training.

Yours leaders will adapt the routes and their difficulties to the groups.


You will stay at Hotel La Découverte, in a family, double or single room.

A stone's throw from the village, built to blend into the landscape with its wood-faced façades, La Découverte des Estables, a 3-star hotel, offers quality accommodation specially designed for ramblers and hill-walkers. Its 20 rooms all have the save conveniences (bathroom with a roomy shower, separate toilet*, direct phone line) and all face south onto the valley*. An indoor heated swimming pool (with aquabiking, aquarunner, crosstrainer), a spa and a massage room (see below), a tennis table room, a billiards table, a lounge with fireplace and free Internet station, a self-service bar, a restaurant with panoramic view, a bowling green, a garden, a terrace and a private car park are among the facilities at your disposal for a quality stay. Near the hotel, 50 metres away there is also a tennis court. Wifi connection in the hotel.

Meals (breakfast and dinners) are served in the hotel at a communal table.

The hotel is a partner of the Regional Natural Park of Ardeche.

* except for the bedroom for PMK (Person Most Knowledgeable) : toilet in the bathroom. Bedroom face east.


Hotel spa

Discover our spa for a relaxing break and a delightful moment, to forget the stresses and strains of daily life ! Thanks to the large windows, you will benefit from the landscape and the view of the high plains.

Remember to bring your bath towel !!

You will find in the spa :

  • an indoor heated swimming pool open in summer and in winter : water temperature between 80° and 82°F (27° and 28°C), size 31ft x 12 ft (9m50 x 3m80), depth 4.6 ft (1m40) ; opening hours : from 7.30am to 8.00pm ;
  • a sauna with hot stones oven ;
  • a multi-jet shower and a bucket shower (of cold water, after the sauna) ;
  • a jacuzzi with 5 seats and 1 lounge seat, with jets ;
  • a massage room (massage performed for non-therapeutic purposes).


To use these accommodations, several solutions :

  • Free access all the day to the pool and the multi-jet shower.
  • Access to the sauna and jacuzzi by session (€ 13 /pers) or unlimited access for the week (€ 58 /pers).
  • Massage sessions : several durations (on reservation) : 30 minutes (€ 55 /pers), 45 minutes (€ 65 /pers) or 1 hour (€ 75 /pers).
  • Collective relaxation sessions of 45 minutes (€ 17 /pers, minimum 3 persons).
  • Spa package for the week at € 120/pers : included the unlimited access to the sauna and jacuzzi, a collective relaxation session of 45 minutes and a 45 minutes re-energising masssage. If there's not enough people for the relaxation session (minimum 3 pers), this session is replaced by 15 mn of massage more.

A deposit is requested for a loan or a rent for the well-being (€35 for a bathing robe, €10 for a bath towel). We'll give you back the deposit in the end of the week if the linen is in good state (be aware with essential oils).

The village of Les Estables

At the boundary of the Haute-Loire and Ardèche départements, at the foot of mount Mézenc (the giant of the Cévennes rising to 1753 m), the village of Les Estables is the highest commune in the Massif Central, 1340 metres above sea level. From May to October, many activities in addition to trekking are on offer : Mountain biking, tree-climbing, cycling tours, electrically assisted cycling, 4-seasons sledge, hang gliding, orienteering, climbing, fishing. Horse-riding, via ferrata and swimming are also on offer nearby…

From December to March, the snow covers the high plains of Mezenc and Les Estables ski station : you can practise snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, nordic skiing, downhill skiing and snowboarding (thanks to the 8 tracks of Les Estables), dog sledding, snowkiting, igloo building, 4-seasons sledge…

The village of Les Estables is in the Regional Nature Park of Ardeche.


Your hosts

Nadine, Gilles and Alexandre will reserve you a warm welcome ; they will help you discover this region and fall under the spell of these immense landscapes.



Christophe, cook chef in the hotel since 2000, prepare meals from many local products. Most of the meals are homemade and you will enjoy traditional dishes. Our meals, in form of a unique menu, are diversified, balanced and adapted to the walkers efforts.

Our prices are studied for a unique menu : if special menus, ONLY ON REQUEST BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF THE STAY and with a possible extra until € 7 per day.

For information, we don't accept personal beverage and food at the restaurant.


A minibus service is available for guests travelling by train, from Le Puy en Velay station, only subject to booking and on a fixed timetable :

  • from Le Puy en Velay to Les Estables: departure of the shuttle before 5.25 pm,
  • from Les Estables Le Puy en Velay: day 8 for the train departing at 10.30am.

To book this service, please call +33 4 71 08 30 08 at least one week in advance. Limited number of places.

Please enquire for train timetables and numbers.

During your stay, we organize transport by minibus to the starting points of the trekking circuits we offer. We have one 8-seat minibus, one 15-seat minibus and one 19-seat minibus.


No luggage to carry. You only need to carry your personal belongings during the day; you only carry a picnic in your rucksack twice in the week. On other days, one of your hosts will bring the picnic by minibus.

A 30-litre rucksack is adequate in principle.


Wether you are alone, in couple or with friends or with your club, we’ll welcome you and will do 1 or 2 level groups, depending on the number of participants.


During the 5 days of walking, you will be guided by Alexandre and/or Maxime, two local mountain guides.


Each evening, Alexandre will offer you a hiking route, adapted to the forecast and the group level. The routes and landscapes will be varied. The routes will be able do be adapted to the season and the flora.

Trust us to offer you the best hiking routes !


All the material for picnic is provided : plates, cutlery, hermetic containers.



Trousers suitable for trekking, mountain jacket (waterproof windbreaker), shorts or Bermuda shorts, T-shirts, warm pullover or fleece, cap or hat (to prevent sunstroke), gloves and cap (in case of bad weather), rambler's socks (several pairs), leggings (in case it rains), comfortable evening wear , swimming costume/trunks and a towel for the hotel's swimming pool (for for trekking if you have a picnic by the water's edge!), a pair of over-ankle or ankle-length hiking boots (firm ankle support is important), pair of shoes for the evening and possibly a pair of sandals for an hypothetical river crossing during a walk.



Sunglasses, sun cream, a rucksack (30-litre capacity about), a flask of at least 1.5 litres (above all for the day when you take the picnic with you), personal first aid kit* (double thickness sticking plasters for blisters, disinfectant, dressings, etc.), needle and thread (just in case), camera, binoculars, etc…

* Many products or drugs are only available on prescription (Doliprane, Bétadine, etc.). Your guide will therefore not be able to give you them, unless so instructed by the SAMU (ambulance and emergency service) in an emergency. So you are advised to bring your own.


Each week from May 7th to October 8th, 2022, from Saturday to following Saturday.

From 725 euros in 2022. The single rate is obligatory for singles, except for people who accept to share their bedroom.

Two-week stay : discount 5% for the two weeks (different program for each week). Not available for the e-booking, contact us directly.

Children over 12 staying in the parents' room: 20% of.

Group prices: please enquire.

Visitor’s tax : 1 €/adult/day in 2022.


Options :

  • Spa package for the week at € 120/pers, included the unlimited access to the sauna and jacuzzi, a collective relaxation session of 45 minutes and a 45 minutes re-energising masssage.
  • Unlimited  access for the week to the sauna and jacuzzi : € 58 /pers.
  • The station to hotel shuttle service : 30 € per people return.
  • Optional insurance : the cancellation and interrupted occupancy : 3,9 % of the total amount of the stay.

General Terms of Sale for organised stays


  • The full board, from Saturday evening to following Saturday morning (accomodation in double or single room, breakfasts, picnics and dinners) ; our prices are studied for a unique menu : if special menus, ONLY ON REQUEST BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF THE STAY and with a possible extra until € 7 per day ;
  • the access to the indoor pool and to the multi-jet shower (during opening hours) ;
  • guides on the treks,
  • our ideas and help to organise the free day,
  • the transport during your stay for the organised activities.


  • cancellation and interrupted occupancy insurance ;
  • the station to hotel shuttle service ;
  • the access to the spa (sauna and jacuzzi) ;
  • the massages and relaxation sessions ;
  • any museum visits ;
  • drinks at the hotel bar and during meals, extras ;
  • visitor's tax (adults only).


  • Treks guided by local mountain leaders, adapted to the group ;
  • If you have already come, we will do our best to choose new routes ;
  • You won’t need your car : we’ll do the transport with our minibus ;
  • Picnic brought 3 times with the minibus. In this case, possibility to walk only a half-day ;
  • The indoor heated pool in free access, the spa in option (sauna, jacuzzi) ;
  • the station to hotel shuttle service, organised by ourselves.

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