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Ref CR70

Road bike FranceTHE TOUR OF PROVENCE Year-round riding through the superb mountains of Provence, under the watchful eye of the Mont Ventoux

No need to wait for the spring in order to ride in the mountains! This is a tour of Provence packed full of cols (mountain passes), that can be ridden almost year round. Beginning in Sisteron, the tour takes in the charming back roads of the Digne area, the banks of the Serre Ponçon Lake, the Buëch Valley and the sleepy villages of the Drôme Provençale, renowned for its delicious olives. Each day will see us climbing a new series of quiet cols, for the most part known only to the local cyclists, before we tackle the mighty Mont Ventoux, either from Malaucène or from Bédoin. With the Ventoux behind us, the back roads of the Luberon will take us gently back to the starting point of our trip, and the end of our journey over the thousand and one cols of Provence.

Tour with assistance vehicle: from 895€ - Details Duration : 7 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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Highlights

  • An impressive succession of cols, from the little known to the legendary
  • The ascension of the Mont Ventoux, from Malaucène or from Bédoin
  • Welcome breaks in charming Provençal villages
  • A circuit that can be ridden almost year round

Description

Comments

  • This trip exists in 2 versions: V2=2 wheels / V3=3 wheels. Each day you can choose between two different itineraries (V2 or V3), with varying distances and profiles.
  • Special offers for private groups. Please ask us for a quote.

Day 1 : Sisteron - Digne les Bains

Itinerary start : Rendezvous with the organisation team is fixed on day 1 at 1pm at Sisteron SNCF train station. The support vehicle driver will welcome you with a France Bike Trips sign at the train station exit. He will recover your luggage and provide you with the day's picnic, enabling you to leave by bike straight from the station. 

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

Rendezvous early afternoon in Sisteron, in the northern part of the Alpes de Haute Provence. The spirit of this sporting week is encompassed in the Alpes de Haute Provence, with landscapes endlessly switching between mountainous and Provençal… Sisteron itself is well worth a visit. Located at the confluence of the Buëch and the Durance, the town has been an important strategic location for centuries. As early as the 13th Century, Sisteron's fortified citadel protected the town and its gateway to the Alps. Perched on a rocky outcrop, the citadel overlooks the mighty Durance River. A majestic setting for the beginning of our tour. We leave Sisteron behind us and head to Pre Alps de Digne, via the first of many cols, the Col de Mézien (814 m). Shortly after passing the col, we stop to discover the Défilé de la Pierre Ecrite, a Gallo-Roman site dating back to the 5th Century, with its 3 square metre rock face engraved in Latin… Already a world away from the hustle and bustle of Sisteron, our route then takes us to Authon, nestled in the Vanson Valley. With the Col de Fontbelle behind us, we follow the fast flowing Duyes River to Thoard, before descending in to the valley of Bléone. A short climb takes us to Digne les Bains, our overnight stop. We check in to our hotel before enjoying our first Provençal evening.

Cols of the day:
• Col de Mézien (814 m)
• Col de Fontbelle (1304 m)
• Col de l'Hysope (1236 m)

• Pas de Bonnet (886 m) (3 wheels)

Distance and altitude gain :

  • 2  wheels :  approx. 60 km / approx. 1100 m.
  • 3  wheels :  approx. 60 km / approx. 1300 m.
Day 2 : Digne les Bains - Embrun

Our first full day today, starting with the Route des Clues, a wonderful, winding road that leads us to the Lac de Serre Ponçon. We climb the Bès River via the "clues" (gorges) of Barles and Verdaches. High cliffs surround the road on all sides as it winds its way through the gorges, alongside the fast-flowing river. We make our way towards the high point of our day, the Col de Maure (1346 m), under the watchful eye of the Cheval Blanc and Blanche Mountains. We descend to the town of Seyne, before tackling the second difficulty of the day, the Col Saint Jean, which leads us to the banks of the Lac de Serre Ponçon and the town of Embrun, host to a stage of the Tour de France in 2013. Time to book in to our hotel before visiting the town, known amongst other things for its record amount of sunshine!

Cols of the day:
• Col de Maure (1346 m)
• Col Saint Jean (1332 m)

• Col des Fillys (1322 m) (3 wheels)

• Col de Charamel (1242 m) (3 wheels)

Distance and altitude gain :

  • 2  wheels :  approx. 100 km / approx. 2000 m.
  • 3  wheels :  approx. 110 km / approx. 2500 m.
Day 3 : Embrun - Aspres sur Buëch

Our day in the saddle begins with a section of road used for a time trial stage during the 100th edition of the Tour de France. We quickly leave the main road to join a small mountain road that runs parallel with the Durance. After crossing the town of Chorges, we begin the climb up to the Col de Manse (1268 m), before descending to Gap, capital of the Hautes-Alpes. But the day isn't over yet! A succession of small cols awaits us, all located at between 1000 and 1200 metres, before we plunge to the town of Veynes. A last climb of the day, up to the Col de Pignon, separates us from our overnight stop: the pleasant town of Aspres sur Buëch.

Cols of the day:

  • Col Lebraut (1110 m ) (3 wheels)
  • Col de la Sentinelle (961 m) (3 wheels)
  • Col de Manse (1268 m)
  • La Selle (995 m)
  • Col du Villar (1039 m)
  • Col de Foureyssasse (1042 m)
  • Col d'Espreaux (1160 m)
  • Col du Pignon (821 m)

Distance and altitude gain :

  • 2  wheels :  approx. 100 km / approx. 2000 m.
  • 3  wheels :  approx. 135 km / approx. 2600 m.
Day 4 : Aspres sur Buëch - Nyons

Today's stage is a transition stage, between the mountains and Provence. Our route takes us towards Nyons, the olive capital, in the heart of the Drôme Provençale. The day begins with a climb to the Col de Carabès (1261 m). We then leave the department of the Hautes-Alpes and enter the Drôme Provençale, a beautiful remote area, well symbolized by the village of Valdrôme. Two small cols take us west, and to the village of La Motte Chalancon. As we lose altitude, we begin to see more and more olive groves appear, and the temperature begins to rise… we've arrived in Nyons, for a well deserved overnight stop. We are already half way through the trip…

Cols of the day:

  • Col de Carabès (1261 m)
  • Col de Rossas (1121 m)
  • Col du Fays (1051 m)
  • Col de Chamauche (1037 m) (3 wheels)
  • Col de Muse (932 m) (3 wheels)
  • Col Lescou (829 m) (3 wheels)
  • Col de la Sausse (791 m) (3 wheels)

Distance and altitude gain :

  • 2  wheels :  approx. 110 km / approx. 1700 m.
  • 3  wheels :  approx. 130 km / approx. 2400 m.
Day 5 : Nyons - Malaucène

It's the big day! Perhaps some amongst you will have already tested yourselves on the "Giant of Provence", but fortunately the Ventoux can be savoured more than once... As a warm up, we spin the legs for 25 km on the roads of the Baronnies, foothills to the North of the Ventoux. We quickly reach the village of Malaucène, and then it's decision time: to climb the Ventoux from Malaucène, or from Bédoin. The distance and the altitude gain to the summit are the same (21 km, 1600m), but the climb from Bédoin (famously the most difficult) offers very little respite, contrary to the climb from Malaucène. We all meet up again in Malaucène to exchange and share our experiences of climbing the mighty Ventoux.
Important note: During winter tour dates, from mid-November to mid-May, the roads to the top of the Ventoux are closed due to snow. We'll have to make our way around it instead!

Col of the day:
• Col des Tempêtes (Mont Ventoux): 1912 m

Distance and altitude gain :

  • 2 and 3 wheels :  approx. 80 km / approx. 2000 m.
Day 6 : Malaucene - Apt

After a good night’s rest, we leave the foothills of the Ventoux and head to the most typically Provençal of areas: the Luberon, country of Jean Giono, a French author who wrote many works of fiction set in Provence. 2 great cols at the foot of the splendid Dentelles of Montmirail lead us to the village of Beaumes de Venise, renowned for its vineyards and the quality of its wine. Once we pass Carpentras, we enter the Luberon area. The Col des 3 Termes is the price to pay in order to visit one of the most beautiful villages in France, and without doubt the most beautiful village of the Luberon: Gordes, perched on its rocky outcrop. We then make our way through several small Provençal villages on the way to our hotel in Apt, capital of the Luberon.

Cols of the day:

  • Col de la Chaîne (470 m)
  • Col de Suzette (392 m)
  • Col des Trois Termes (574 m)
  • Col du Pointu (499 m) (2 wheels)

Distance and altitude gain :

  • 2  wheels :  approx. 90 km / approx. 1400 m.
  • 3  wheels :  approx. 150 km / approx. 2000 m.
Day 7 : Apt - Sisteron

Already the last stage of the Tour of Provence… After a week of riding, were hopefully in good shape to make it back to our starting point, Sisteron. The area around Forcalquier will be the backdrop for this last day, with the right bank of the Durance as our guide. Two difficulties await us: the Col de Lagarde d'Apt (1101 m) first of all, with some welcome viewpoints during the climb, before we attack the Col du Négron (1242 m). We then descend the Col de la Pigière, before following the Jabron River to the Durance Valley: the citadel of Sisteron is in sight!

Cols of the day:
• Col de Lagarde d'Apt (1101 m)
• Col du Négron (1242 m)
• Col de la Pigière (968 m)

Distance and altitude gain :

  • 2  wheels :  approx. 90 km / approx. 1600 m.
  • 3  wheels :  approx. 100 km / approx. 2000 m.

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

Itinerary end: The trip ends at Sisteron SNCF train station at 3pm. On request we can book the following night's accommodation for you in Sisteron.

This tour has not yet received any reviews.

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What is My France Bike Trips?

"My France Bike Trips" allows you to:
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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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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
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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