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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.


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Backroad cycling FrancePEARLS OF PROVENCE A superb Provençal bike tour from Avignon to Arles, under the watchful eye of the mighty Mont Ventoux and the Dentelles de Montmirail

What better way to explore the heart of this charming corner of Provence than on a bike? From bustling Avignon and the Palais des Papes, we cross lush orchards and wine estates including the famous Châteauneuf du Pape, Gigondas and Beaumes de Venise. Our route offers us breathtaking views of the Dentelles de Montmirail and the majestic Mont Ventoux. A network of quiet roads with little traffic take us from village to village as we discover the local architecture and cultural heritage. Further south, we reach the white rocks of the Parc des Alpilles before heading towards the medieval perched city of Les Baux de Provence, listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. To finish the week, we gently descend to the ancient city of Arles, whose historic centre is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Self-guided tour: from 555€ - Details Duration : 6 days | Level : Customer satisfaction : - 0 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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This tour is E-bike compatible

Highlights

  • Riding on quiet backroads through vineyards, orchards and olive groves, with the Dentelles de Montmirail and the Mont Ventoux as a backdrop
  • The towns and villages of Provence, with their exceptional cultural, historical and architectural heritage
  • Discovering the famous vineyards of Châteauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, Vacqueyras and Beaumes de Venise
  • Crossing the Parc Naturel des Alpilles and Les Baux-de-Provence

Description

Comments

  • This trip exists in 2 versions : V1=1 wheel / V2=2 wheels
  • Special offers for private groups. Please ask us for a quote.
  • E-bike rental available for this tour. See details in "Useful information" tab.

Day 1: Avignon - Châteauneuf du Pape - Orange

Itinerary start: France Bike Trips services begin on day 1 at 10m at Avignon SNCF railway station. Departure directly by bike; please arrive in your cycle clothing. On request we can book the previous nights accommodation for you in Avignon.

You know you’re in Provence as soon as you arrive in the magnificent city of Avignon. Christian capital during the Middle Ages, Avignon has retained an exceptional heritage from its past, a large part of which is classified by Unesco: the Palais des Papes, the Pont d’Avignon, but also the Place des Palais with the baroque facade of the Hôtel des Monnaies, the Petit Palais museum and the Doms cathedral... We visit the ramparts, from the garden of the Doms to the Pont d’Avignon, before heading north on quiet back roads, following the Rhône upstream. The village of Châteauneuf du Pape, with its vineyards and prestigious wines offer an almost obligatory stop! We then reach Orange, the City of Princes. Roman city and gateway to Provence, Orange has many historic buildings, including the famous Théâtre Antique and Arc de Triomphe, which we can take the time to visit late afternoon.

Distance covered: approx. 40 km; altitude gain: approx. 200 m

Day 2: Orange - Vaison-la-Romaine

The 2 levels each leave on different routes today. Level 1 heads northeast to the foot of the famous Dentelles de Montmirail, winding its way through the vineyards of Vacqueyras and Gigondas, and the picturesque villages of Violès and Sablet. The highlight of the day is the listed medieval village of Séguret, with its cobbled streets, its posterns, its picturesque houses and the ruins of the feudal castle, which offers magnificent panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. From Séguret, a quiet road winds its way through the hills to reach our overnight stop in Vaison-la-Romaine.
The level 2 itinerary leaves Séguret and the Dentelles vineyards for the following day and heads off on a completely different route. First of all Piolenc, the garlic capital, a few pedal strokes from Orange. We then ride along the foot of the wooded hills of Uchaux, before heading northeast across the Plan de Dieu vineyards towards Cairanne. Perched on a hilltop, the old village offers breathtaking views of the surrounding vineyards at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail and the Mont Ventoux, as well as the Aygues and Ouvèze valleys, next section of our route, following in the footsteps of the Templars. Vaison-la-Romaine would be worth a day’s visit alone! Ranked amongst the Most Beautiful Detours of France, "La Cité des Voconces" is home to a rich heritage, hiding numerous treasures.

Level 1: approx. 30 km; altitude gain: approx. 250 m
Level 2: approx. 50 km; altitude gain: approx. 450 m

Day 3: Vaison-la-Romaine - Mormoiron (at the foot of Mont Ventoux)

The level 1 route continues its tour of the Dentelles de Montmirail by the east, taking the road to Malaucène. The scenery between the Mont Ventoux and the Dentelles is magnificent, helping us to forget that the route isn’t the flattest in the area! Heading back down to the plains, we cross Le Barroux with its emblematic castle, its oil mill and its aqueduct.
Meanwhile the level 2 route circumvents the Dentelles to the west. Séguret, then Gigondas and Vacqueyras, and finally Beaumes de Venise… villages with evocative names in the world of wine, as well as an exceptional heritage! With the Dentelles as a backdrop, we ride through numerous vineyards, interspersed with several pretty stone villages. The two routes meet once again at Caromb, before criss-crossing the terraced landscapes typical of the Ventoux area. We reach the village of Mormoiron, our stopover for the night, where the Salettes lake awaits us for a relaxing post ride swim.

Level 1: approx. 35 km; altitude gain: approx. 350 m
Level 2: approx. 45 km; altitude gain: approx. 550 m

Day 4: Mormoiron - Isle sur Sorgue

This morning we cross the agricultural Comtat plain. Early in the day we discover the small village of Mazan, with its many chapels and its 64 early Christian sarcophagi! The two levels then separate just before Venasque. For the level 1 our route leads to the historic Pernes-les-Fontaines, a magnificent medieval village with 40 fountains. Nearby Velleron offers the opportunity to discover one of the most renowned agricultural markets in the Vaucluse. The level 2 route also has some great surprises in store. After Mazan, our itinerary joins the perched villages of the Monts de Vaucluse: Venasque, listed as one of the "Most Beautiful Villages in France", Le Beaucet and its fortified castle, the old village of Roque-sur-Pernes and its "calades" (pebble arrangements)...The climb is a bit tough, but the reward is more than worth it with superb panoramic views of the Ventoux and the surrounding countryside. A great descent awaits us to join the various sites of the Sorgue: Saumane de Vaucluse and the castle of the famous Marquis de Sade, the enchanting Fontaine de Vaucluse, source of the Sorgue and its abyss... Plenty to see! The day's route ends at Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, nicknamed the "Venise comtadine" with its canals, paddle wheels, the Notre-Dame des Anges church... and its celebrated flea markets.

Level 1: approx. 35 km; altitude gain: negligible (optional out and back trip to Venasque + 5 km)
Level 2: approx. 40 km; altitude gain: approx. 450 m

Day 5: Isle sur Sorgue - St Rémy de Provence

We leave the Sorgue country behind us and join the Petit Luberon and the village of Robion. Nestled between the Alpes de Haute Provence and the Plaine de Vaucluse, between the Calavon Valley to the north and the Durance to the south, is the imposing Luberon range. We could spend a whole week discovering the Luberon by bike, but this time we’ll content ourselves with its capital, Cavaillon, its delicious melons and a stroll through its picturesque streets and alleys. Back on the bikes once again we head west to reach the Alpilles, the last range of hills before the plains of the Camargue. Saint Rémy de Provence, to the north of the Alpilles range is another of the region's must-see towns. Built on one of the oldest archaeological sites in Europe, in a setting of lush green, scented valleys, it’s easy to fall under its charm. Its many fine period homes have been restored with taste and its pretty streets offer the perfect setting for a late afternoon stroll...

Distance covered: approx. 45 km; altitude gain: negligible

Day 6: St Rémy de Provence - Arles

Home of the writer Alphonse Daudet and a favoured painting destination of Van Gogh, the Alpilles offer the perfect end to this Provençal bike tour. We cycle through some magnificent Provençal scenery of “garrigue”, pine and oak forests, along shaded tracks and small back roads leading to some beautiful local bastides (country houses). The listed village of Les Baux-de-Provence offers us another superb stop, with an exceptional architectural and historical heritage. The range offers great views of the surrounding olive groves, and further south, the Camargue. The Alpilles, Camargue and Crau area make up what is known as the “Golden Triangle of Biodiversity”, a paradise for birdwatchers and nature lovers alike. Gateway to this beautiful region and the final point of our stay is the city of Arles. A few gentle pedal strokes lead us to the Arènes, an important venue for bullfighting, but above all an imposing and charismatic emblem of the town's glorious past.

Distance covered: approx. 30 km; altitude gain: approx. 200 m

Itinerary end: France Bike Trips services end at Arles SNCF railway station at around 3pm. On request we can book the following nights accommodation for you in Arles.

In order to return to Avignon we strongly recommend the direct TER train service (journey time approx. 20 mins, bicycles accepted free of charge). Please contact the SNCF directly for train times and further information.

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

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