Provence is one of Frances cycling heartlands. The landscape is a mix of wide valleys, small mountain ranges, such as the Alpilles, and dramatic gorges. The landscapes majesty is matched by the charm and beauty of the towns and villages that sit within it, where French caf culture is at its finest and the cuisine is built on the regions excellent local produce, served alongside refreshing local wines. Whilst soaking all of this in, the silhouette of Mont Ventoux is never far from view. Will you go for the summit?
Day 1 | Arrive at St-Rmy-de-Provence
Arrive at Marseille or Avignonand transfer to your hotel in St-Rmy-de-Provence. Enjoy a stroll about town and perhaps a visit to the Roman ruins at Glanum or to St Pauls Mausoleum, where Vincent Van Gogh spent his later years.
Day 2 | Round Trip to Baux de Provence
Your first day on the bike starts with 4km on the flat, before a 3km climb up to Baux de Provence, a picturesque hilltop fort and a great vantage point over the Rhne valley. You descend the other side and head out on a loop around some typical Provenal countryside, covered with olive groves and garrigue. After looping through Eygalieres and Orgon, you branch off at Maussane-les-Alpilles for another climb over the Alpilles and back into St-Rmy-de-Provence. A shortened route of 63km is also available.
Day 3 | St-Rmy-de-Provence to Roussillon
Todays ride starts out with 30 or so flat kilometres as you head east and pass through the market town of Cavaillon, famous for delicious melons. From here you skirt the southern edge of the Luberon valley, taking in the picturesque hilltop villages of Menerbes, Lacoste and Bonnieux. After Bonnieux, you drop back into the valley, across the Roman bridge of Pont Julien and up a final climb, through ochre and lavender, to Roussillon.
Day 4 | Rest Day in Roussillon
After two hilly days, today is a chance to rest and recharge. Perhaps a day by the pool is in order. For those more active a hike around the ochre cliffs is recommended, or you may even wish to take an easy ride on the old railway line to the town of Apt.
Day 5 | Roussillon to Mazan
Today you travel towards the Ctes du Rhne wine region and the town of Mazan. We have three routes to choose from today. Two of the routes start with a visit to Gordes, one of the regions most spectacular hilltop villages. From here you can either opt for the easier route via the Col des Trois Termes and Venasque (54km + 720m), a longer route via Fontaine de Vaucluse (73km + 975m). A third option is to climb over to Monieux before passing back towards Mazan via the Gorges de la Nesque (73km + 1,245m).
Day 6 | Round Trip to Mont Ventoux
For those who want to tick Mont Ventoux off of their bucket lists, today is your chance. The route tackles the famous slopes from Bedoin, the most iconic starting point. From Bedoin, its a 21km climb at an average gradient of 7.6%, which is every bit as tough as it sounds. That being said, the euphoria of reaching the summit and the 21km descent back down is sure to put a smile on your face. Its an easy ride back to Mazan at the end of the day. For those not interested in taming this monster climb, a gentle ride to Bedouin and back is recommended, or even a day by the pool at your hotel.
We say au revoir.Trip extensions are available upon request.
- Fully serviced aluminium road bikes with carbon fibre upgrade options
- Water bottle and accessories
- Bed & breakfast basis as standard
- 3 & 4 star accommodation (unless otherwise stated)
- Tour information pack upon arrival
- Detailed navigational material often including GPS maps
- Local support whenever needed
- Flights and transfers not included as standard but available on request
- Full financial protection through ABTA and ATOL