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Ref CN04

Backroad cycling FranceCYCLING IN SECRET PROVENCE A backroad cycling tour in the Drôme Provençale

Water is a major feature in this tour which follows the Drôme River as it winds its way between the plateau of the Vercors and the small mountains of the Diois. A delicious mix of the Alps and Provence… We ride through quiet valleys full of orchards, vineyards and sunflower fields, and through rolling hills of boxwood, pine and lavender. Imposing mountains and cliffs loom overhead, in an alpine decor of beech and spruce forests. Crystal clear rivers and streams abound, offering plenty of opportunities to stop for a swim. We cross numerous sleepy hamlets and villages full of traditional stone-built houses and pretty squares and fountains. Small, shaded café terraces offer us a welcome break from riding… The Diois is a major wine producing area (famous for the Clairette de Die), and we pass plenty of "caves" offering wine tasting opportunities...

Self-guided tour: from 165€ - Details Duration : 3 or 4 days | Level : Customer satisfaction : - 1 reviews
+33 458 140 435 A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.
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Highlights

  • Home of the founder of France Bike Trips.
  • A little-known cycling paradise!
  • An area that remains relatively undiscovered, retaining its charm.
  • The mountains, but with the climate of the south.
  • Plenty of swimming opportunities in crystal clear rivers.

Description

Comments

  • This trip exists in 3 versions : V1=1 wheel / V2=2 wheels / V3=3 wheels.
  • Special offers for private groups. Please ask us for a quotation.

Day 1: Die- Luc-en-Diois – Le Claps – Saut de la Drôme - Châtillon-en-Diois

Itinerary start: The tour begins on day 1 at 9am at Die SNCF train station.

On request we can book the previous night's accommodation for you in Die.

After a short vehicle transfer from Die to Luc-en-Diois, we begin our tour by heading to a local Diois curiosity: "Le Claps". A gigantic rock chaos, result of a huge rock slide during the 15th century, blocking the passage of the Drôme River for over 300 years! The result was the formation of two lakes, the “Grand lac” (upstream) and the “Petit lac” (downstream). Only a small lake remains to this day. The rock slide also caused the formation of a waterfall, the "Saut de la Drôme” which we take the time to visit.  We then drop back down to Luc-en-Diois and on to the broad Drôme Valley. On a mix of quiet roads and forest tracks, we make our way through fields of walnut trees and pine forests, discovering several typical sleepy Diois villages along the way. We see our first vineyards, used for the most part in the making of the local speciality: the Clairette de Die. We reach the pretty, medieval village of Châtillon-en-Diois where we take the time to discover the labyrinth of lanes and alleys, known locally as “viols”. A charming village square with a circular fountain, plane trees, church bell tower and a cafe terrace offers us the perfect place for a well-deserved drink. The nearby Bez River offers some great opportunities for a post-ride swim…

From the Claps, the level 3 route then climbs up towards the remote village of Lesches-en-Diois, located on a plateau with superb panoramic views, before returning towards the Claps and continuing the route to Châtillon.

The level 2 route embarks on an out-and-back ride from Châtillon to the nearby Cirque d'Archiane. Impressive cliffs in a horseshoe shape dominate the hamlet of Archiane, where Ulysse (a local character) serves drinks at his refreshment bar…

Distance and altitude gain:

  • Level 1: approx. 35 km / 400 m
  • Level 2: approx. 45 km / 500 m
  • Level 3: approx. 55 km / 700 m
Day 2: Châtillon-en-Diois – Gats gorges – Grimone - Châtillon-en-Diois

Today's ride is a loop that begins and ends in Châtillon-en-Diois. We begin the day by pedalling through the Gorges des Gats, following the River Bez, an affluent of the Drôme. The narrow gorge with its steep sided cliffs is a highlight of the tour. As we follow the river, a succession of bathing spots entices us to stop for a swim. After around 10 kilometres, the valley splits: we gain some altitude on a wide track that leads us to a pretty view of the village of Grimone. Yet another charming, remote village with its period houses set in a dramatic decor. The mountain of Toussière and its abrupt cliff face loom over the valley. Optional halt at the "Bar du Colombier", a superb example of local period architecture. A great descent on a mountain road takes us through a series of short tunnels cut into the rock. Numerous swimming spots offer the chance for a welcome dip as we make our way back through the Gorges des Gats towards Châtillon.

For the levels 2 and 3, from the Gorges des Gats we make an out and back journey to the Sucettes de Borne, curious vertical blades of limestone rock, that we reach by way of a quiet lane, following a brook up a narrow valley. We pass through the sleepy hamlet of Borne, where the road ends before turning into a track that leads to the "Sucettes".

For the level 3, we make an out-and-back loop to the Cirque d'Archiane.

Distance and altitude gain:

  • Level 1: approx. 30 km / 300 m
  • Level 2: approx. 40 km / 500 m
  • Level 3: approx. 55 km / 600 m
Day 3: Châtillon-en-Diois – Die – Romeyer and Chamaloc valleys - Die 

Time to discover the vineyards of the Diois, and opportunity to visit one of the Clairette de Die wine cellars (but also the “altitude 640” red wine producer, which owes its name to the relatively high altitude of its vines). After the village of Saint Roman and its pretty stone-built houses, we gain some altitude on a small country lane that winds its way through the vineyards. A superb view of the Drôme Valley opens up gradually as we climb. We reach the ruins of a tower from where we launch into a superb descent that takes us to the edge of the Drôme River. We cross the river and follow a quiet country lane that offers panoramic views of the imposing Glandasse cliffs, emblematic symbol of the Diois, and southern limit of the Vercors Plateau. We then reach Die, “capital” of the Diois. A charming, small town with a labyrinth of quiet streets and lanes to discover. The remaining sections of wall fortifications testify to the town's rich history…

Levels 2 and 3: From Die, we then head off towards the Glandasse by way of a small valley which narrows little by little before reaching a rock passage, leaving just enough room for the small road and the river to pass between the cliffs. We pass through yet another sleepy village, before climbing to a small col that enables us to join a parallel valley and a gentle descent back down to Die.

Distance and altitude gain:

  • Level 1: approx. 35 km / 200 m
  • Level 2: approx. 50 km / 500 m
  • Level 3: approx. 55 km / 800 m

Itinerary end: The trip ends in Die at around 4pm.

On request we can book the following night's accommodation for you in Die.

Distances and altitude gain are an indication only and may vary.

Day 1: Die- Luc-en-Diois – Le Claps – Saut de la Drôme - Châtillon-en-Diois

Itinerary start: The tour begins on day 1 at 9am at Die SNCF train station.

On request we can book the previous night's accommodation for you in Die.

After a short vehicle transfer from Die to Luc-en-Diois, we begin our tour by heading to a local Diois curiosity: "Le Claps". A gigantic rock chaos, result of a huge rock slide during the 15th century, blocking the passage of the Drôme River for over 300 years! The result was the formation of two lakes, the “Grand lac” (upstream) and the “Petit lac” (downstream). Only a small lake remains to this day. The rock slide also caused the formation of a waterfall, the "Saut de la Drôme” which we take the time to visit.  We then drop back down to Luc-en-Diois and on to the broad Drôme Valley. On a mix of quiet roads and forest tracks, we make our way through fields of walnut trees and pine forests, discovering several typical sleepy Diois villages along the way. We see our first vineyards, used for the most part in the making of the local speciality: the Clairette de Die. We reach the pretty, medieval village of Châtillon-en-Diois where we take the time to discover the labyrinth of lanes and alleys, known locally as “viols”. A charming village square with a circular fountain, plane trees, church bell tower and a cafe terrace offers us the perfect place for a well-deserved drink. The nearby Bez River offers some great opportunities for a post-ride swim…

From the Claps, the level 3 route then climbs up towards the remote village of Lesches-en-Diois, located on a plateau with superb panoramic views, before returning towards the Claps and continuing the route to Châtillon.

The level 2 route embarks on an out-and-back ride from Châtillon to the nearby Cirque d'Archiane. Impressive cliffs in a horseshoe shape dominate the hamlet of Archiane, where Ulysse (a local character) serves drinks at his refreshment bar…

Distance and altitude gain:

  • Level 1: approx. 35 km / 400 m
  • Level 2: approx. 45 km / 500 m
  • Level 3: approx. 55 km / 700 m
Day 2: Châtillon-en-Diois – Gats gorges – Grimone - Châtillon-en-Diois

Today's ride is a loop that begins and ends in Châtillon-en-Diois. We begin the day by pedalling through the Gorges des Gats, following the River Bez, an affluent of the Drôme. The narrow gorge with its steep sided cliffs is a highlight of the tour. As we follow the river, a succession of bathing spots entices us to stop for a swim. After around 10 kilometres, the valley splits: we gain some altitude on a wide track that leads us to a pretty view of the village of Grimone. Yet another charming, remote village with its period houses set in a dramatic decor. The mountain of Toussière and its abrupt cliff face loom over the valley. Optional halt at the "Bar du Colombier", a superb example of local period architecture. A great descent on a mountain road takes us through a series of short tunnels cut into the rock. Numerous swimming spots offer the chance for a welcome dip as we make our way back through the Gorges des Gats towards Châtillon.

For the levels 2 and 3, from the Gorges des Gats we make an out and back journey to the Sucettes de Borne, curious vertical blades of limestone rock, that we reach by way of a quiet lane, following a brook up a narrow valley. We pass through the sleepy hamlet of Borne, where the road ends before turning into a track that leads to the "Sucettes".

For the level 3, we make an out-and-back loop to the Cirque d'Archiane.

Distance and altitude gain:

  • Level 1: approx. 30 km / 300 m
  • Level 2: approx. 40 km / 500 m
  • Level 3: approx. 55 km / 600 m
Day 3: Châtillon-en-Diois – Die – Romeyer and Chamaloc valleys - Die 

Time to discover the vineyards of the Diois, and opportunity to visit one of the Clairette de Die wine cellars (but also the “altitude 640” red wine producer, which owes its name to the relatively high altitude of its vines). After the village of Saint Roman and its pretty stone-built houses, we gain some altitude on a small country lane that winds its way through the vineyards. A superb view of the Drôme Valley opens up gradually as we climb. We reach the ruins of a tower from where we launch into a superb descent that takes us to the edge of the Drôme River. We cross the river and follow a quiet country lane that offers panoramic views of the imposing Glandasse cliffs, emblematic symbol of the Diois, and southern limit of the Vercors Plateau. We then reach Die, “capital” of the Diois. A charming, small town with a labyrinth of quiet streets and lanes to discover. The remaining sections of wall fortifications testify to the town's rich history…

Levels 2 and 3: From Die, we then head off towards the Glandasse by way of a small valley which narrows little by little before reaching a rock passage, leaving just enough room for the small road and the river to pass between the cliffs. We pass through yet another sleepy village, before climbing to a small col that enables us to join a parallel valley and a gentle descent back down to Die.

Distance and altitude gain:

  • Level 1: approx. 35 km / 200 m
  • Level 2: approx. 50 km / 500 m
  • Level 3: approx. 55 km / 800 m
Day 4: Die – Marignac – Quint valley - Die

The route gently gains altitude to join the small hillside village of Marignac-en-Diois. A harmonious mix of vineyards, pine forests and lavender fields with impressive views of the imposing Glandasse cliffs… We then tackle the small Col de Marignac which allows us to join the Vallée de Quint. Numerous farmers have established small scale farms here, offering a dynamic rural atmosphere… We follow the river Sure, as we gently descend the valley from one village to the next, before joining the Drôme once again. We follow the river downstream to the village of Pontaix, with its houses that touch the riverside (opportunity for a swim), before following the river back upstream to Die.

Distance and altitude gain:

  • Level 1: approx. 35 km / 500 m
  • Level 2: approx. 40 km / 700 m
  • Level 3: approx. 50 km / 900 m

Itinerary end: The trip ends in Die at around 4pm.

On request we can book the following night's accommodation for you in Die.

Distances and altitude gain are an indication only and may vary.

Average tour rating:

4/5 - 1 Reviews
Judith T. | Participant rating:
"Thankyou , Finn. Overall we loved this tour and thankyou very much for organising it so well for us . It was excellent staying 2 nights in a couple of places. This is a unique area of France which I would reccommend to anyone . As it is NOT a touristy area out of season ( which is great) Just look out for closed shops, restaurants and cafes and make sure you have back up food and water. We have done bike trips in Europe with several operators , and loved this one as much as any... PS I did manage the weeks cycling with a broken ankle (only discovered on return to Australia). Thank goodness for the Ebikes!! "
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Please type in your email in order to see more information about this tour

Your email will not be communicated to any third party or company outside France Bike Trips / Velorizons. You may receive occasional emails from France Bike Trips, with the possibility to unsubscribe at any time. CNIL (French National Commission for Data Protection and Liberties)

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What is My France Bike Trips?

"My France Bike Trips" allows you to:
  • Update your contact details
  • View the status of your booking
  • View and download your travel documents
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Please complete the form below in order to create an account

CNIL (French National Commission for Data Protection and Liberties)

What is My France Bike Trips?

"My France Bike Trips" allows you to:
  • Update your contact details
  • View the status of your booking
  • View and download your travel documents
  • Pay your booking balance
  • Manage your photo albums created on our website
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Search

Please type in your search terms.

You can prefix chosen words with the '+' sign to make them mandatory, or with the '-' sign to avoid results containing this word from appearing, e.g. west +nepal -canada

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View sitemap
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A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.


Phone number: +33 458 140 435
X

Contact us

A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.

Send the message