Arles Ampitheatre - via Flickr: Wolfgang Staudt

Resting bikes with the Pont du Gard in the background. Photo courtesy of Girolibero
4.4/5 (17 ratings)

Provence - Wilderness of Camargue

France Bike + Barge Tours

Among the wilderness of Camargue and the landscapes that were so dear to Van Gogh, you will cycle through delightful Provençal villages, vineyards, and fields of sunflowers. You can begin in Aigues Mortes, a completely walled town that has changed little in appearance since its glory during the Middle Ages, and end in Avignon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or you can begin in Avignon, though once here, you will not want to leave. Avignon is ancient, full of history, life, youth, art, music, and activity. You could wander the narrow streets inside the fortified walls for days without tiring of them.

A full list of bike and barge tours in France is here.

Tour Dates

2016 Dates
Avignon to Aigues Mortes:  June 25, July 9, July 23, August 6, August 20, September 3, September 17, October 1, and October 15, 2016

Aigues Mortes to Avignon:  July 2, July 16, July 30, August 13, August 27, September 10, September 24, and October 8, 2016

2017 Dates
Avignon to Aigues Mortes: April 15, April 29, May 13, May 27, June 10, June 24, July 8, July 22, August 5, August 19, September 2, September 16, September 30, and October 14, 2017

Aigues Mortes to Avignon: April 22, May 6, May 20, June 3, June 17, July 1, July 15 July 29, August 12, August 26, September 9, September 23, and October 7, 2017

Skill Level

The route is on countryside roads with little traffic in rural and city areas. Routes average 28 to 34 miles (45 to 55 km). This tour offers you the opportunity to choose each day if you would like to cycle on your own utilizing the detailed route descriptions provided or to cycle with the tour guide and the group. Terrain varies from flat to hilly with some climbing involved. One climb of approximately 4 km is quite challenging and the northern wind in Camargue, the legendary "Mistral" the master of the winds, can be a factor as well.

Where You’ll Stay

Aboard the Comfort class boats the L’Estello or the Soleo.

What’s Included

  • 7 nights’ accommodations
  • Breakfasts, self-packed lunches, and dinners
  • 27-speed hybrid bicycle
  • Sheets and towels
  • Tea and coffee on board
  • Detailed route description
  • Maps and information
  • Tour guide
  • 1 x cabin cleaning (includes clean towels)
  • Harbor charges
  • Wine tasting in Chateauneuf-du-Pape

What’s Not Included

TourBike+Boat
TypeBoth
SkillEasy–Moderate
Length8 days
From1070 Rates
Client Reviews

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Day-To-Day Itinerary

Provence - Wilderness of Camargue Map

Aigues Mortes to Avignon

Day 1: Arrival in Aigues- Mortes, boarding at 6 PM.
Day 2: Aigues-Mortes, round trip, 34 mi. (55 km)
DAY 3: Aigues- Mortes - Arles, 15 mi. (25 km)
DAY 4: Arles - Vallabreguès, 37 mi. (60 km)
DAY 5: Vallabreguèse - Aramon, 22 mi. (35 km)
DAY 6: Aramon - Avignon, 25 mi. (40 km)
DAY 7: Avignon, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 8: Departure

DAY 1: Individual arrival in Aigues-Mortes
Individual arrival and boarding at 6PM in Aigues Mortes.

DAY 2: Aigues-Mortes, round trip, 34 mi. (55 km)
The name of this town literally translated means "dead waters" probably referring to its location in the heart of the marshy Camargue region on France's Mediterranean coast. Do not be deceived, however, by this description. Cycling along small country roads between canals, lagoons, and small villages, you'll reach the charming fishing village of Le Grau-du-Roi in the afternoon. Here, you can enjoy a refreshing swim along the beach.

DAY 3: Aigues Mortes - Arles, 15 mi. (25 km)
The barge will take you to Saint Gilles this morning, where your bike tour will begin. Today's destination is Arles. You'll have time to discover this fascinating city. Getting lost in its small alleys will feel like you've entered a painting by Van Gogh. Enjoy a guided tour around Arles in the afternoon.

DAY 4: Arles - Vallabreguès, 37 mi. (60 km)
This stage will bring you to the Alpilles, with the village of Le Baux de Provence, lodged in the rock itself, to Saint Remy de Provence. The village of St. Rémy is enchanting. Its ancient Gallo-Roman interior is encircled by the remnants of a 14th-century wall and a protective circle of buildings. Located on the plains at the northern edge of the Alpilles and 20 km south of Avignon, this is where Van Gogh painted Starry Night, Nostradamus was born, and Dr. Albert Schweitzer was a prisoner. A landscape of limestone cliffs, fields of lavender, and olive trees will surround you as you cycle. The evening the barge will be moored in Vallabrègues, a village on the banks of the Rhone.

DAY 5: Vallabreguèse - Aramon, 22 mi. (35 km)
Quiet country roads will bring you to Barbentane with its castle at the confluence of the Rhone and Durance rivers. You will cycle to the magnificent Abbey of Saint Michel de Frigulet and afterwards down to the medieval village of Boulbon. In the afternoon, make your way to Aramon where you'll stay overnight with a beautiful view over the Mont Ventoux.

DAY 6: Aramon - Avignon, 25 mi. (40 km)
Your tour today will lead to the best preserved Roman aqueduct in all of Europe, the Pont du Gard. It  is located 25 kilometers from Nîmes, in the direction of Avignon. It was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985. The bridge is part of the aqueduct built around the year 50 to transport water from the Eure spring near Uzès to Nîmes, a distance of over 50 kilometers. Cycle back to Aramon where the barge will be waiting to take you to Avignon, the city of the popes. The barge will be moored in Quai de la Ligne next to the famous Pont St. Bénezet.

DAY 7: Avignon, round tour, 28 mi. (45 km)
Cycle in the direction of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, following roads with little traffic surrounded by vineyards. In Châteauneuf- du-Pape, you can enjoy a tasting of the very famous provencal wine. You will cross the Rhone at the height of Roquemaure and cycle back through Villeneuve-les-Avignon following the course of the river.

DAY 8: Departure
Individual departure after breakfast. 

Avignon to Aigues Mortes

Day 1: Arrival in Avignon, boarding at 6PM.
Day 2: Avignon, round tour, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 3: Avignon - Aramon, (40 km)
Day 4: Aramon - Vallabrègues, 22 mi. (35 km)
Day 5: Vallabrègues - Arles, 37 mi. (60 km)
Day 6: Arles - Aigues Mortes, 15 mi. (25 km)
Day 7: Aigues-Mortes, round tour, 34 mi. (55 km)
Day 8: Departure from Aigues-Mortes

*All distances are approximate. Daily itinerary is subject to change by a decision of the captain due to adverse weather (high or low water issues) or other unforeseen circumstances.

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Customer Feedback

  • N. Foley 3 months ago

    My travel advisor (Carla) is already aware that, although we registered as two vegans and sent a reminder a week or so before we left for Europe, the information had not been transferred to the chef. So we ate as vegetarians (eggs and dairy) for the trip rather than eschewing all animal products as is our preference.

    Our trip leader was not experienced on the route, having only travelled it once before in the opposite direction, and this meant a few wrong turns to be corrected... But Ronnie was as pleasant, friendly, encouraging, and multilingual as you could ask for! The only problem I encountered with the bikes was the lack of suspension -- which meant for a bruised tail bone after the first day when we travelled a very bumpy, broken pavement back road on the return from Chateauneuf de Pape ;-)

    Boat: Soleo

  • C. Slater 4 months ago

    Nothing bad or ugly. Scenery got better as we moved north. Group on our trip (both crew and guests) were great. Enjoyed the Soleo.

    Boat: Soleo

  • J. Farina 4 months ago

    The trip was great! Mostly all positive. Tom and I would like to have the pace a bit faster....that was the only negative.

    Boat: Soleo

  • Charles Hancock 9 months ago

    I was greatly appreciated to allow us to drink and enjoy the wine we purchased without any extra charge.

    Boat: Soleo

  • Margot Horan 9 months ago

    Barge/cycling trips are a fantastic way to explore the countryside and towns - you see so much more when you are cycling. One vivid memory of a cycling trip through northern France was stopping to look at poppies growing along the side of the road. I love the fact that you do not have to pack up each day - it is a very relaxing experience. The diversity of people who do these trips also adds to the experience. The trips that I have done in the last three years had fantastic staff who were very friendly and knowledgeable. I have done two barge/bike trips and look forward to doing more in the future.

    Boat: L’Estello

  • Ross Densky 10 months ago

    This is the second barge and bike trip we took with Tripsite and I would have to say we liked the scenery more on the Taste of Burgundy than we did with Provence. Riding the in the Camargue got a little boring. Other than that we enjoyed the overall trip.

    Boat: Soleo

  • Rebecca Posante 10 months ago

    My main concern about this particular trip is that we did not know ahead of time that staying on the barge and not biking was not an option unless one was sick. The winds were pretty bad (25-50 miles per hour) so that some of us did not feel up to the rides. On the particularly difficult day, it would have been nice to just remain with the boat.

    Boat: Soleo

    • Carla 7 months ago

      Hi Rebecca - Your concern has been voiced and heard! In 2016 it will no longer be policy that you cannot stay on board. You are welcome to stay on board and there will even be suggestions on activities for non-bikers.

  • Robert Burt 10 months ago

    The Soleo was a disappointment in all respects.

    Boat: Soleo

  • George Bibeau 10 months ago

    More time in certain areas would have been nice. There were instances where it felt like we were being pushed along, and I appreciate that we had 22 people of varying age, skill experience and physical ability, and that we have to get back to the boat. Our guide was very good, but you needed to try and understand his manner, which could be short at times. He was knowledgeable, insightful and caring, but his manner did not necessarily reflect that. Meals were good but thought it would reflect more French cuisine of the Provence area, not a complaint, just an observation.
    Staff was excellent and I continue to recommend this bike trip and company to friends."

    Boat: Soleo

  • Peter Monahan 10 months ago

    The trip exceeded my expectations. My wife and I especially enjoyed the company of the other travelers, and we all got along very well.

    Boat: L’Estello

  • Pam Crespi 10 months ago

    This was our 4th trip with Tripsite - very reliable and good value.

    Boat: Soleo

  • Francis Duckworth 10 months ago

    We have done several bike barge trips in france and europe and other places. This one was just too crowded with tourists. Of course it was August, so that explains a lot. Our least favorite that we have done.

    Boat: Soleo

  • Joan Farina 10 months ago

    I recommended it to Dave Ford who is joining you in September 2016 with his large gang. Do I get a free shirt?

    Boat: Soleo

  • Howard Jay 10 months ago

    Our guide was awesome!

    Boat: Soleo

  • Christel Mikelic 10 months ago

    The bike part was more challenging than in the discription. You have to be a strong biker used to hills. There are many hills and one very challenging hill. So I would not consider this an easy tour as in the description. However it was well worth the effort if you are well trained. Our guide Wiro was awesome and kept us together and on time which was very much appreciated. I would recommends this trip in spring or early summer. By the time we went end of August the vegetation was all dried up and there were no flowers because they had such a hot dry summer. I prefer a comfort plus boat as you have more space in your cabin. These cabins were very small. However all in all it was a beautiful, historic and worth while tr which I would recommend to avid cyclists.

    Boat: Soleo

  • Suzanne Triplett 10 months ago

    Everything about the trip was as described, well planned and executed.

    Boat: Soleo

  • Francis Duckworth 11 months ago

    Not my favorite part of France. 6th bike tour there and the least scenic and inviting.

    Boat: Soleo

  • Andrew Burt 1 year ago

    Food was substandard...cabins stink and are excessively damp and basically the trip plan was an underwhelming experience. WE stayed on the boat for the first night and then as I recall stayed again the second night. We could have stayed at 5 star hotel in town and enjoyed a great meal instead of a barge in need of many repairs.

    Boat: Soleo

  • Laurie Hurowitz 2 years ago

    We have just returned from this bike and barge, our 2nd trip arranged by Tripsite. We were on the E'Stello (sister ship of the Soleo), and went from Aigue Mort to Avignon. We had a wonderful time! The trip was as described in terms of mileage, terrain, and sights along the way. The barge crew were all excellent, as was our guide. We were a group of 20, including Americans, Canadians, and Brits. I highly recommend this tour.

    Boat: L’Estello

  • J. Geraerdts 2 years ago

    At first we were hesitant to book another bike and barge trip-- how could it ever compare with the 2012 tour on the Ave Maria, with Hein as guide, which set the bar so high?

    The Provence trip did look very interesting and, after fretting about the significant uphills, we did go ahead and book, adding the ebike option.

    We were able to board the Soleo as, apparently there was a cancellation. We had asked you to request a transfer from the other boat-- thanks.

    The trip was excellent! The crew was very capable and accommodating. Our guide, Martina, especially helped make the trip memorable. She maintained her sense of humor throughout. Any setbacks were met only with a "mama mia" and difficulties, either overcome or anticipated, were "a piece of cake".

    The cycling was, as compared to the Venice trip, both more challenging and more interesting. The weather did not always cooperate but there was no complaining . We think we have come to realize that those who book into this type of travel are a little more adventurous and require less pampering than the typical big boat cruise passengers.

    We are in our 70's and were probably the oldest couple on the barge but we had no more difficulties than anyone else. Our Tripsite shirts made us look to be very veteran riders. Everything, in the final analysis, was "a piece of cake".

    Suggestions: The museum at Pont du Gard is very worthwhile. Giro Libero should consider making a little more time available for this and to stress its value. Likewise, we enjoyed the Lumieres at Les Baux. Many in the group did not have much awareness of this very interesting and innovative show. It would be helpful to promote this attraction.

    Boat: L’Estello

  • Ritchie Baggs & Liz MacDonald 4 years ago

    We loved the trip. The food was better than advertised, and the barge was more comfortable than expected. Our suggestion for improvement would be a second guide OR better overall maps for a breakaway group.

    Boat: Soleo

  • William Adams 5 years ago

    Excellent trip. Great weather, great guide, nice boat. Great group of people, both other bikers and staff. Took some great pictures.

    Boat: Soleo

  • Cynthia Adams 5 years ago

    I cannot say enough about how much we enjoyed this tour. My husband and I and 2 friends sailed on the Soleo in September 2011. The weather was perfect. Although nothing fancy the boat had everything we needed. Our room had a private bath and never ran out of hot water for showers! Our tour guide was great, fun and really brought the group of Americans, Brits, Aussies, and Germans together. The country side, vineyards, beaches, small towns were like traveling in a postcard at every turn. Some of the biking was more challenging (more hilly) than I had expected, but the ebike was wonderful. This trip has my highest recommendation!

    Boat: L’Estello

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Provence - Wilderness of Camargue Boats + Barges

L’Estello Photo

L’Estello France Comfort Class Boat L'Estello was built in 1937. It is a classic Dutch passenger barge that has been converted to today's standards of comfort. The boat measures 39 meters long and 5.2 meters wide. The inviting atmosphere on board will make you feel immediately comfortable. The large lounge area has large picture windows with plenty of natural light. French doors give access to the inviting sun deck. The dining area has large windows and comfortable seating and the living room and bar area is spacious and air conditioned with comfortable sofas chairs.

Soleo Photo

Soleo France Comfort Class Boat The Soleo was built in 1958, converted into a hotel barge in 1988, and last remodeled in 2009. It has a total of 12 ensuite cabins (4 double bed cabins, 6 twin bed cabins, and 2 single cabins), a living room, and a sun deck. The barge is 38.5 m (126.64 ft) long by 5.1 m (16.63 ft) wide with a max capacity of 22 passengers.

PWPC