Upon your arrival in the wonderful Roman town of Arles, you will have time to settle in to your hotel and then perhaps start on some explorations by foot, helped by the self guided walking tour we provide. Visit the spectacular Roman amphitheater where Provencal style bull fights are still regularly held (the bull is not killed), or sit in one of the many popular cafes of the Place du Forum, for an end of the day pastis, like a local. Arles is also where Van Gogh lived from 1853 to 1890 and where he painted many of his most well-known works. At then end of the afternoon you will meet with our trip manager, who will check the fitting of your bikes, and go over your trip package with you. Dinner this evening is included, in one of our favourite local restaurants.
You leave Arles after breakfast this morning, heading northwards along the easygoing terrain of the Rhone River plains, pedaling along quiet and tiny roads. You ride into the town of Tarascon (with the castle of Roi-Rene) and cross the Rhone River into the town of Beaucaire on the opposite bank. Stop there for a break to admire the pretty medieval manor houses, and perhaps to find some lunch. The ride continues northwards through the vineyards and small hamlets east of Nimes, passing through Remoulins on the Gard River, before heading into the beautiful countryside surrounding your final destination, in the small village of Saint Hilaire d’Ozilhan. You may decide to visit one of the local wineries for a tasting, before your dinner this evening, included. (Please note, the Classic itinerary stays in nearby Remoulins, and the Deluxe itinerary stays in the neighbouring village of Castillon-du-Gard).
Today you have a beautiful loop ride through the garrigues and pine forests of the Cevennes region to the west. The route takes you through St Quentin la Poterie, a charming Provencal village, with a history of pottery making and that has become home to many artists today. Continue on to the town of Uzes, with its picturesque Place aux Herbes, its restored Renaissance facades, and perhaps climb up the steps to enjoy the view from the impressive Ducal Palace. Your return ride takes you past incredible Pont du Gard, an exceptionally well-preserved 2000-year old Roman aqueduct (and UNESCO Heritage site). The three arched tiers of this aqueduct-bridge, above the Gardon River, and nestled amongst olive trees and wild rosemary, are quite beautiful, and have become one of the most-photographed sites in Provence.
You leave Saint Hilaire, heading to the small Provencal town of Aramon, where at one time the powerful and beautiful Diane de Poitiers (mistress to the King of France) ruled as seigneur. The village had one of the most important ports of the Rhone in history, and its bridge is where you will cross over the Rhone River. Then detour slightly northwards to ride through the village of Barbentane, where you can take a moment to visit the beautiful Italian Renaissance-style chateau (still inhabited by the Marquess of Barbentane), and perhaps stop for some lunch. Your ride takes you around the Montagnette hill, but if you wish, take the option up into the “Montagnette”, with its typical Provencal flora and fauna, to see the Abbey Saint Michel de Frigolet, and perhaps buy a gift in the shop, still run by the monks. Finish along orchard-dotted plains into St Remy de Provence. Your dinner this evening is included.
You leave St Remy this morning, and head eastwards. You are aiming for the town of Cavaillon, known for the local melons of the same name, smaller and juicer than a cantaloupe, and coveted by the locals. This is where you will cross over the Durance River. You may decide to detour into the centre of town for lunch or refreshment, before continuing on through small villages and quiet roads along the plains of the Luberon. You’ll ride through the tiny village of Oppede le Vieux and also Menerbes (stop for a taste of wine and to visit the winery’s odd corkscrew museum if you wish). Today’s ride is fairly easygoing, with a final small rise into Joucas at the end of the day. Reward yourself with a cool drink in the centre of the tiny charming village before your dinner, included this evening.
Your ride today is a great one: a little rolling, but quite beautiful, and taking in the classic sights of the Luberon. The loop route includes many of the Luberon villages originally made famous in Peter Mayle’s book, A Year in Provence, allowing lots of exploration. You’ll pedal through Roussillon, with its ocre cliffs, mined for the rich pigments, Bonnieux, with its shady squares, twisting streets and panoramic view, and also Lacoste, with the ruins of the castle of the Marquis de Sade. Each village has its own personality and charm. There is an option to detour to the lively town of Apt, accorded a special label for gourmets. At the end of your ride, you can decide to pedal down (but don’t forget you have to come back up!) into the valley to visit the Cistercian Abbey of Senanque, perhaps in time to see the monks during vespers, and to admire the lavender fields.
After a leisurely breakfast, your route veers northwards, heading into some easygoing riding on the plains south of the impressive Mont Ventoux. Before however, you have a stiff climb, over and out of the Luberon Massif. Take your time, and use a stop to visit the the village of Gordes (one of France’s official “prettiest villages”) and then the centuries’ old Senanque Abbey as an excuse for a rest along the way. You’ll also want to meander the tiny streets of Venasque, know as one of the most typical Provençal villages in the Venaissain area, to the east of Avignon. And reward yourself near the end of the ride with a cool drink prtected by the shade of the plane trees in a local café terraces in charming St Didier. Continue through vineyards and forested countryside on towards the tiny but beautiful town of Crillon le Brave, with the Mont Ventoux as a spectacular backdrop. Dinner included tonight. (note the CLASSIC itinerary stays in neighbouring Bedoin).
Your final ride today is beautiful, taking you through several picturesque villages, such as Mazan (where you can stop for lunch and to explore with the walking tour we provide), Flassan (with its Romanesque church and crypt), and Ville sur Auzon (with the unusual “Pous di Foro” medieval garden system); each is worth some meandering. The whole day is spent with the impressive Mont Ventoux as your imposing backdrop, renowned for its recurring role in the famous Tour de France race with its 22km hill – which you will be happy to admire from afar! We recommend the detour into the town of Beaumes de Venise; not only is the town quite charming, but if you feel like it, you can stop for a tasting of their wonderful sweet white wines, or some of the Cotes de Rhone reds. If you prefer, take some time to explore at the shop of the local olive mill to taste the fruity artisanal olive oils. The ride finishes returning you to your hotel for your final evening.
After a final breakfast, we will transfer you back to the train station in Avignon for your further travels. Bon Voyage!
- 8 nights’ accommodation of the comfort level of your choice * CLASSIC, CLASSIC + or DELUXE
- All breakfasts, 4 dinners (drinks not included with dinners)
- Fully equipped quality touring bike **
- Orientation with our Trip Manager
- Detailed maps and step-by-step route instructions
- Regional information and advice
- Uploadable GPS file of the route to use on a free APP in your smartphone ***
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
- Transfer to Avignon train or centre on departure day morning
- Phone call support 7 days a week
* Price based on double room occupancy – please contact us for details on single room supplements
** E-bikes and Road bikes are available on request (supplement)
*** Can be used without international internet plan (offline)
1990 € / pers.
Hotel du Musee – Arles
Hotel le Colombier – Remoulins
Hotel du Soleil – Saint Remy de Provence
Hotel le Joucas – Joucas
Hotel des Pins – Bédoin
Classic + Tour
2530 € / pers.
Hotel le Calendal – Arles
Hotel la Belle Vie – Sainte Hilaire d’Ozilhan
Hotel Gounod – Saint Remy de Provence
Hotel la Bergerie – Joucas
La Maison de Crillon – Crillon le Brave
3790 € / pers.
Hotel Particulier – Arles
Le Vieux Castillon – Castillon du Gard
Hotel le Saint Remy – Saint Remy de Provence
Hostellerie Phebus – Joucas
Hotel Crillon le Brave – Crillon Le Brave
The high quality, light touring bike is the default bike included on the tour. It is perfectly suited to riding with lots of stops for explorations.
Upon request, and for a supplement, you can have a road bike or a pedal-assist electric bike – contact us for details.
All our touring bikes come equipped with removable handlebar bag with clear map case, flat tire kit (with extra inner tube), pump, lock, rear rack and back panniers, water bottle holder and new water bottle, bell and kickstand.
Ahead of the tour, we will ask you if you wish to use our helmets, and if you want toe cages on the pedals (both free of charge).
Each of our regions has its own bike fleet, often with a couple of different bike makes depending on sizing – if you want to know the specific bike details for your tour, just contact us, and we’ll be happy to send you the specs!
TOURING BIKE - men's frame (included in trip cost)
TOURING BIKE - Woman's Frame (included in trip cost)
E-bike - men's frame (supplement charge)
E-bike - women's frame (supplement charge)
Road (racing) bike (supplement charge)