Provence - Luberon
França Bike Tour
The Rhône Valley
Having been the home of popes and the capital of Christendom during the 14th century, Avignon has long been a treasured cultural center, and continues to boast great artistic successes (such as the famed Festival d'Avignon, the largest in all of France). This fortified city has retained much of its papal history and beauty, which is most evident in the immaculate and majestic Palais des Papes. This famous 14th century Gothic palace (the largest in Europe) is a marvel of white granite and filled with story-telling frescoes. You can visit at least 25 rooms in the palace. Nearby there is also the 12th century Cathédrale Notre-Dame des Doms, which is elegantly toped by a gilded statue of the Virgin Mary.
Leaving Avignon, the landscape becomes a maze of gently rolling hills and sprawling vineyards that bask in the valley's rich sunlight. The route will also ride on through the Parc du Luberon to the romantic market towns of Apt and L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, where the locals take great pride in their fine French feasts and flowing wines. You will discover many of the places that Peter Mayle described in his famous "A Year in Provence", small charming villages such as Menerbes, Lacoste, Lourmarin or Vaugines. Ride through wide farming plains with their typical provencal houses callaed "Mas", stony plateaus where lavender and sage grow witht he limestone and golden cliffs as backdrops!
Onde você ficará
Option A: (swimming pool in all hotels except Avignon)
• 7 nights in 3* hotels
Option B: (swimming pool in all hotels) •2 nights in 4* hotels, 5 nights in 3* hotel
O que está incluído
- 7 night hotel accommodations
- Breakfasts & 3-course dinners
- 21-speed hybrid sports bicycle equipped with luggage rack, 2 waterproof panniers, cycle computer, repair kit, pump and lock
- Helmet rental (must be reserved in advance)
- Route descriptions & maps (must be returned at end of tour)
- Luggage transportation
- Train transfer Day 7 Cavaillon to Avignon
O que não está incluído
- Dinners in Avignon on Day 1 & 7
|A partir de||€901|
Datas do passeio
- Daily from March 23 to October 20, 2013
Nível de Habilidade
This self-guided hotel tour is moderate to heavy with rolling hills and several steep climbs of varying altitude differences. Daily distances are from 25 to 40 mi. (from 16 to 50 mi. with options). Day 4 & 6 can be used as a day of rest.
Itinerário dia a dia
- Arrival in Avignon.
- Avignon - Isle sur la Sorgue, 33/44 mi./(53/70 km)
- Isle sur la Sorgue - Apt, 28 mi.(44 km)
- Day of rest; optional cycling, 16/25 /or 40 mi.(25/40/or 64 km)
- Apt - Vaugines, 27 mi.(43 km)
- Day of rest; optional cycling, 32 mi.(51 km)
- Vaugines - Cavaillon, 27 mi. (43 km)Train to Avignon, 20 min.
- Departure from Avignon.
DAY 1: Arrival in Avignon
Individual arrival in Avignon followed by a free afternoon in the intriguing city. In the evening, there will be a meeting to discuss the tour as well as presentation of additional tour documents.
DAY 2: Avignon - Isle sur la Sorgue, 33/43 mi. (53/70 km)
On this day, you can choose between two itineraries: one is about 33 mi. without difference in altitude and the other is 43 mi. with 1164' (355m) difference in altitude.
Cycling towards the east, you will leave Avignon behind. First you'll come across farming plains with lots of fruit trees and then the landscape changes as you come near the "Plateau des Monts de Vaucluse". You will see small villages situated on top of cliffs with their old castles as their centerpoint. You will soon reach the famous "Fontaine de Vaucluse" and its village on the edge of the river. The evening is spent in Isle sur la Sorgue, a village specializing in antiques with a second-hand flea market every Saturday and Sunday. Hotel has 2 swimming pools.
DAY 3: Isle sur la Sorgue - Apt, 28 mi. (44 km)
The route today leads toward Luberon. (Villages such as Oppède le Vieux, Ménerbes, Lacoste and Bonnieux were often described in Peter Mayle's famous "A Year in Provence"). In this region, you too will discover these "jewels" nestled on the bottom of the hills. Many typical Provencal cafés will tempt you! Via a country road, the day finishes close to Apt to spend the evening in a hotel with a swimming pool. Altitude difference for today is ± 240m.
DAY 4: Day off with optional cycling
Different itineraries are suggested:
a) Discovery of Roussillon and its surroundings, about 15 mi. and 427' (130 m) to go up to the village
The village of Roussillon is built on a rock atop a plateau surrounded by golden cliffs. All the houses are colored with the natural ochre and is a wonderful sight for the eyes - the soft colors give a real unity to the village from where the view is absolutely fantastic.
b) Roussillon and Gordes villages, 25 mi. and 1083' (330 m) altitude difference
Gordes is a village with houses made of stones and a great castle. Beautiful view over the Luberon and the "vallée du Rhône" toward Avignon. From here, you'll go to Roussillon. This tour gives you the opportunity to see a windmill.
c) The "Colorado Provencal" and the forgotten villages, 40 mi. and 1870' (570 m) altitude difference (for the more experienced riders)
A large detour to discover the Colorado ochre and its chimneys red, yellow or white. Next you'll cycle along small roads through quiet villages where children play in the streets. Possibility to taste honey and nougat.
DAY 5: Apt - Vaugines, 27 mi. (43 km)
Today's journey will take you to the protected area of the Luberon. Depending on the season, you'll be astonished by the beautiful colors of the blue rosemary, the red poppy and the white flowers on the cherry trees. En route, you can admire the different shapes of the stone houses known as Bories. Next will be a trek down the southern side of the Luberon with a soft landscape reminiscent of Tuscany where you'll come across pretty villages such as Lourmarin. The night will be spent in or close to Vaugines; hotel has swimming pool. Altitude difference for today is about 500m.
DAY 6: Vaugines, day of rest or cycling, 32 mi (51 km)
This loop will give you the opportunity to go all the way down to the southeast of the "Grand Luberon". On the way, you'll see several old castles, testimony of a rich past in Provence. A must-see is the famous castle of Le chateau d'Ansouis. Night spent in Vaugines.
DAY 7: Vaugines - Cavaillon, 27 mi. (43 km); train to Avignon
The La Durance River flows down south of Luberon before joining the Rhône, south of Avignon. Via small roads, you will then cycle either on the riverside or on the farming plains side where you'll encounter lots of farming gardens, such as the famous "Cavaillon melons". In view will become the small part of the Luberon that is 700m higher and which offers great vistas of its bright white cliffs. The cycling portion of the tour will end at the Caviallon train station (S.N.C.F.) from where you'll take the train (with your bike) to Avignon. Altitude difference today is 100m.
DAY 8: Departure from Avignon
Individual departure from Avignon following breakfast.