Day 1: Arrival in Vaison la Romaine
A taxi will meet you in Avignon today (either at your hotel or at the train station) and transfer you to the first hotel in Vaison la Romaine. This typical small Provencal town, cut in two by the Ourveze River, will enchant you, with its rich 2000 year old history. Take the time to explore the Roman vestiges in the centre of town, including the beautiful Roman bridge, that survived the incredible floods of 1992, and hike up to the ruins of the upper village for a beautiful panorama! Before dinner, our representative will meet up with you to go over your trip package and make sure your bikes are fitted properly. There are lots of choices for your dinner tonight in town, and we'll give you recommendations.
Day 2: Vaison la Romaine to Chateauneuf 45 km
After breakfast head on your first ride - and into the Rhone vineyards! The oldest vineyards in France, the southern Rhone boasts several "cru" villages, and you'll ride through two of them today, Gigondas and Vaqueyras, as well as some of the Rhone Village appellations such as Cairanne and Rasteau, before arriving in the village of Chateaunuef du Pape itself. The riding is beautiful, bordered by the "Lace Mountains" of the Dentelles de Montmirail on one side, and the Rhone River plains on the other. Of course, you can taste along the way! Your home for the next two evenings, Chateauneuf du Pape, was the summer residence of the Popes, during the time that they made their base in Avignon. Avignon itself became too hot, busy and humid in the Middle Ages in the summer, and then of course there was the pull of the already famous wines themselves! Dinner tonight is included.
Day 3: Chateauneuf vineyards and Orange 35 km
Your loop ride today concentrates on two things, the vineyards around Chateaunuef du Pape itself, giving you opportunities to visit and taste, and the wonderful Roman town of Orange, to give you the opportunity to visit the shaded pedestrian area with its many restaurants and cafes and boutiques, as well as the incredible Roman theatre. This theatre, the best preserved in the world, could seat 10,000 spectators in its prime. You can test its incredible acoustics yourself as you explore. The theatre is still used today for outdoor performances, seating up to 5000 people!
Day 4: Chateauneuf to Bedoin 45 km
Today you ride eastwards, towards the impressive Mont Ventoux, a legend in the Tour de France bike races, and the peak that dominates the region, with its white top - happily, you won't be riding up it! You are heading towards the small village of Bedoin at the base of the mountain, and a pretty Provencal village in its own right. Along the way, you'll pass Beaumes de Venise, where you should definitely stop to taste their red wines, but more particularly, their delicious sweet Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, a delicious dessert wine, made only in this village.
Day 5: Departure
After a final delicious breakfast, we'll transfer you back to the Avignon TGV train station or the centre of town, for your further travels