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A trip that takes in three of the most beautiful areas Provence has to offer: - the Dentelles de Montmirail: stunning limestone rock pillars stretching up to the sky, and also home to the famous vineyards of Gigondas and Vacqueyras... - the Baronnies: at the heart of the Drôme Provençale, and full of olive trees, lavender fields, vineyards, and fortified villages... - the mythical Mont Ventoux... We climb the mighty Ventoux once, if not twice (with or without transfers, depending on the chosen level), in order to make the most of its wonderful panoramic views and endless descents... With its abundance of singletrack trails, this circuit is a mountain bikers dream. Guaranteed grins all round!
Itinerary start: Rendezvous with the organisation team is on day 1 at 10 am in Gigondas. We will leave directly from there. Please arrive in your cycle clothing.
If you wish to come by train: Train to Orange, then a taxi from Orange to Beaumes-de-Venise. A one way taxi journey costs approximately 60 euros for 1 to 4 persons (cost to be divided between passengers) from Monday to Saturday, and approximately 90 euros on Sundays and bank holidays.
For taxi reservations, contact: Vaucluse Taxi. Tel: 00 33 (0)4 90 62 24 24. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We start this 6-day trip in the heart of the Provence with a stunning traverse of the northern Dentelles de Montmirail. A roller coaster ride on a succession of superb singletrack trails takes us to the Pas du Loup, sole gateway between the cliffs... We visit the ruins of an aqueduct in which a superb 5 metre "eye" was built. Little by little, we approach the mighty Mont Ventoux, the "Giant of Provence". Night in a guest house in Malaucène.
Distance covered: approx. 50 km / ascent: approx. 1600 m
This circuit is an opportunity to discover the best trails the famous Mont Ventoux has to offer (plenty of singletrack trails, we'll show you the right ones!). For today, we climb its south-western flank on a smooth fire road. We then traverse on a track offering superb views of the surrounding plains and the Monts de Vaucluse, before reaching the famous "Chalet Reynard". We save the climb to the summit of the Ventoux for day 4... At the Col de la Frache we turn on to the northern slopes of the Ventoux. An 800 metre singletrack descent ;-))) awaits us, taking us down to the Toulourenc Valley. We are now in the Baronnies Region. We then pass through the small Provençal village of Brantes, offering stunning views of the north face of the Mont Ventoux... A superb roller coaster trail leads us to our gite, in a small hamlet at the foot of the Mont Ventoux...
Distance covered: approx. 55 km / ascent: approx. 1750 m
We start the day on small quiet roads, before a superb descent through oak and pine forests. We then follow the River Ouvèze to the quaint town of Buis-les-Baronnies. We visit its labyrinth of narrow streets, before heading to the wild Baronnies Mountains, and a succession of small mountain passes, surrounded by boxwood, oak and pine. We get the impression of stepping back in time as we pass ruined houses and hamlets. Our route then takes us to the ruins of Propiac le Vieux, offering a superb panorama of the Ouvèze Valley below, and, of course, the Mont Ventoux... We drop progressively into the Ouvèze Valley, which we then cross in order to reach the Provençal village of Entrechaux and its ruined castle, located at the foot of the “Giant of Provence”. We then head on to Malaucène and our guest house for the night.
Distance covered: approx. 60 km / ascent: approx. 1900 m
Time for the second climb of the Ventoux... We climb on a network of tracks on the north-west flank. An incredible 360° view awaits us at the summit before we launch into a long singletrack descent down the southern face, with no less than 1500 metres drop in altitude! Unforgettable… We then head on to the ochre hills of Mormoiron, for a taste of the nearby "Provençal Colorado" trails (see our "Provençal Colorado" and "Tour of the Luberon" circuits). A swim in the small Mormoiron Lake offers the opportunity to freshen up, before joining the village of Mormoiron, where we spend the night in a guest house.
Distance covered: approx. 65 km / ascent: approx. 2000 m
The morning's warm-up involves a climb to the top of the Colline du Limon, where a fun singletrack traverse awaits us, before a stop at the ruins of the St Alban Chapel. We then reach one of the best descents of the week, which twists and turns along the bottom of a seemingly endless small ravine. Another great moment! Through vineyards and orchards, we join a superb singletrack climb which takes us, almost effortlessly, to the Col de la Madeleine. We then drop down to the Paty Lake (on more great singletrack...), before heading to the famous Barroux Castle, located on a hilltop above the Provençal village of the same name. We leave the viewpoint behind us, and begin a singletrack roller coaster session to the villages of Suzette and Lafare. Night in a guest house.
Distance covered: approx. 50 km / ascent: approx. 1400 m
We end our week in style with a complete tour of the most impressive cliffs of the Dentelles de Montmirail. The morning light embraces these limestone teeth with the most beautiful effect. Splendid... The day continues with a descent to the small provencal village of Beaumes de Venise. A visit is madatory! And why not taking a look at the wine cellars... It is then a question of getting back to the Dentelles de Montmirail. Perhaps an opportunity to see some local climbers on the rock faces... We relish in a final singletrack descent before joining Gigondas, and the end of our tour!
Distance covered: approx. 35 km / ascent: approx. 1250 m
Distances and altitude gain are an indication only and may vary.
Itinerary end: Separation is on the last day in Gigondas at around 2 or 3 pm.
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