This gorgeous bike tour in France takes you to Cassis, a little fishing harbor huddled against the coast with multicolored boats slowly bobbing up and down on the water, colorful houses tightly squeezed together, and a beautiful beach lapped by gentle waves. On the way, you will pass Cap Canaille with its beautiful 399 m cliff overlooking the village and the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the Ste Baume Mountain and a small ridge that hides in its midst, now a landmark of the Christian world. Many Popes went there to pray, another forty kings made the pilgrimage and the legend even says that Mary Magdalene lived there. The beauty and French charm continue as you cycle at your own pace, accompanied by the singing of the cicadas in the trees, while thyme, rosemary, and conifers scent the air.
- The winding old streets and beautiful facçades of Aix
- Cassis, a beautiful fishing village
- Cap Canaille, the highest sea cliff in Europe
- Provencal landscape, villages, and towns
- The Calanques - where emerald waters meet shiny white cliffs
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Day 1: Arrival in Avignon
Day 2: Avignon - Maussane les Alpîlles, 32 mi. (50 km)
Day 3: Maussane les Alpîlles - Aix, 45 mi. (72 km)
Day 4: Aix, day of rest or roundtrip, 47 mi. (75 km)
Day 5: Aix - Maximin la Sainte Baune, 30 mi. (47 km)
Day 6: Maximin la Sainte Baune - Cassis, 38 or 44 mi. (60 to 70 km)
Day 7: Cassis, day of rest or roundtrip, 19 mi. (30 km)
Day 8: Departure
Distances are approximate.
DAY 1: Arrival in Avignon
Your France bike tour begins with an arrival in Avignon. Check in to your hotel and enjoy some free time in Avignon. A meeting with our representative will be scheduled on this day. Meetings are possible every day between 3 pm and 6 pm. Meetings are not possible on Sundays. If you arrive late during the week, your meeting will be scheduled for the morning of Day 2 at 9 am. The store is closed on Sunday.
DAY 2: Avignon - Maussane les Alpîlles, 32 mi. (50 km), altitude 421 m.
Today's Provence cycling route will take you south via a network of quiet little country roads! You will ride in the middle of orchards and fields of cultivated fruit and vegetables, here and there crossing a little village nestled around its church. Finally, you will reach the Alpilles! They are a picturesque range of limestone hills - only 493m high at their peak – with scenes that are reminiscent of Greece. You will be led there by one of its prettiest routes, discovering superb viewpoints along the way.
Enjoy a night in the foothills.
DAY 3: Maussane les Alpîlles - Aix, 45 mi. (72 km), altitude 611 m.
This morning you will head in the direction of Aix on peaceful lanes lined with olive trees. In the 1900s, with the availability of these trees and their oil, a family had the idea of using it to make soap… in their back garden! The family business still perpetuates the tradition and you will be able to learn more about the making of the famous “Savon de Marseille” along the way. Once you reach the gates of Aix, take a delicious break to taste the unforgettable local delicacy: the “Calisson”!
DAY 4: Aix, day of rest or roundtrip, 47 mi. (75 km), altitude +/-1132 m.
Today is a rest day in Aix en Provence. It is a beautiful city scattered with old townhouses, streaming fountains, grand avenues, and charming little squares. The heart of the old town is lined with lively pedestrian streets full of little boutiques, cafes, restaurants – a true maze where it is pleasant to get lost. Also recommended are visits to Cezanne’s old workshop, the Cathedral, and the St. Sauveur Cloister!
Cycling option: You can also choose to cycle today, though a reasonable level of fitness is required! The cycling route is a 65 km loop in a very hilly country (difference in height: approximately 750m) that will take you around the Sainte Victoire Mountain, via the (private) Chateau de Vauvernargues, where Pablo Picasso lived and is now buried.
DAY 5: Aix - Maximin la Sainte Baune, 30 mi. (47 km), altitude +/- 680 m.
Leave the beautiful Aix behind on the “route Cezanne”, as it is known since the painter often set his easel up along it, and it will take you to the foothills of the Montagne Sainte Victoire. The scenery is magnificent and will reveal to you the light and colors that the artist craved for: the striking contrasts between the dazzling white of the limestone cliffs, the sandy red loam, the green of the pine trees and the blue sky. Towards the end of the day, you will reach Maximin la Sainte Baume and its Basilica, the biggest gothic building in the southeast of France. It was built in the exact place where Mary Magdelene’s relic was found and is recognized as the third shrine of the Christian world, after Jerusalem and Saint Peter’s of Rome.
DAY 6: Maximin la Sainte Baune - Cassis, 38 or 44 mi. (60 to 70 km)
This Provence bike tour continues in the countryside as described in Marcel Pagnol’s novels Le Château de ma mère and La Gloire de mon père. His books rendered Provence famous because of the way he sang the praises of the Provencal culture, describing the landscapes that meant so much to him. Of course, time has changed them but the route will lead you through quiet side roads with gorgeous views. At the end of the day, after a 6 km descent, you will finally glimpse Cassis and the sea!
2 options: for both options, there is approximately 20 km of roads with more traffic.
1 – Via the plains. Approximately 60 km of gently rolling hills (including 2 descents, one being 10 km).
2 – Via the Ste Baume Mountain. A reasonable level of fitness required! Approximately 70 km (with 2 descents, one being 16 breathtaking kilometers), the difference in height: approximately 650m.
DAY 7: Cassis, day of rest or roundtrip, 19 mi. (20 km), altitude +/- 690 m.
Rest day in Cassis. Enjoy relaxing around in the heart of the village, go swimming, touring in a sea kayak or hiking on the Cap Canaille ridge track or in the rugged rocky Calanques. But the “must-do” of the day is the discovery of the sumptuous views of the Calanques from the sea: clear water, white limestone cliffs plunging into the sea, & miniature fjords. Around here, everything is spectacular and wild. Boat trips (from 45 minutes to 2 hours) will allow you to enjoy this unforgettable experience. (These activities are not included in the price of the holiday). In the evening our representative will come from Avignon to retrieve all equipment.
Cycling option: good fitness level required! A 20 km round trip (difference in height: approximately 394 m with a 15% ascent) that will take you up the Cap Canaille to a breathtaking viewpoint!
DAY 8: Departure
This France bike tour will end following breakfast. Departure from Cassis or extend your cycle tour in France!
Option A: 5 nights in 2-star hotels - 1 with swimming pool (2 nights by the sea), 1 night in 3-star hotel, and 1 night in 3 star hotel De Charme.
Option B: 1 night in 4-star hotel, 6 nights in 3-star hotels (2 nights w/ pool & 2 nights w/ pool and by the sea).
- Accommodations for 7 nights
- Breakfast buffets
- 24 gear lightweight VTC hybrid bicycle equipped with luggage rack, rear pannier bag, water bottle, and lock
- Accessories including odometer, repair kit, road book, handlebar bags (one set per booking from 1 to 4 people)
- Preloaded GPS device
- Helmet rental (must be reserved in advance)
- Luggage transfer (it is not guaranteed that luggage will be delivered before 5 pm, if you need your luggage delivered earlier, please advise. Supplement will be incurred
- Local taxes
Dates & Pricing
Arrival possible daily from April 1 to October 25, 2020
*Saturday arrivals after 5:30 pm not possible!
Option A Apr. to June + Aug to Oct. $ 1799 £ 1000 $ 1,709 € 1080 $ 1921 kr 11425 $ 1,257 Single supplement (traveling with two or more) $ 541 £ 301 $ 514 € 325 $ 578 kr 3438 $ 378 Solo traveler supplement $ 878 £ 488 $ 834 € 527 $ 937 kr 5575 $ 613 July $ 1832 £ 1019 $ 1,741 € 1100 $ 1957 kr 11637 $ 1,280 Single supplement (traveling with two or more) $ 575 £ 319 $ 546 € 345 $ 614 kr 3650 $ 402 Solo traveler supplement $ 911 £ 506 $ 866 € 547 $ 973 kr 5787 $ 637 Option B Apr. to June + Aug to Oct. $ 2202 £ 1224 $ 2,092 € 1322 $ 2351 kr 13985 $ 1,539 Single supplement (traveling with two or more) $ 733 £ 407 $ 696 € 440 $ 783 kr 4655 $ 512 Solo traveler supplement $ 1069 £ 594 $ 1,016 € 642 $ 1142 kr 6792 $ 747 July 20 to July 31 inclusive $ 2202 £ 1224 $ 2,092 € 1322 $ 2351 kr 13985 $ 1,539 Single supplement (traveling with two or more) $ 733 £ 407 $ 696 € 440 $ 783 kr 4655 $ 512 Solo traveler supplement $ 1304 £ 725 $ 1,239 € 783 $ 1393 kr 8283 $ 911 July 1 to July 19 inclusive (Festival d' Avignon) $ 2478 £ 1378 $ 2,355 € 1488 $ 2647 kr 15741 $ 1,732 Single supplement (traveling with two or more) $ 999 £ 556 $ 950 € 600 $ 1067 kr 6347 $ 698 Solo traveler supplement $ 1336 £ 743 $ 1,269 € 802 $ 1426 kr 8484 $ 933
*Rates are based on double occupancy. Discounts apply for groups of 3 or more. Please contact us for details.
Electric bike rental: $ 167 £ 93 $ 158 € 100 $ 178 kr 1058 $ 116
Tandem bike rental, discount: $ 88 £ 49 $ 84 € 53 $ 94 kr 561 $ 62
Sport aluminum road bike (no rack): $ 30 £ 17 $ 28 € 18 $ 32 kr 190 $ 21
Sport carbon road bike (no rack): $ 88 £ 49 $ 84 € 53 $ 94 kr 561 $ 62
Recumbent bike: On request
Extra nights available in any overnight town.
Trekking (with rack and mud guard) and Sport aluminum bikes are available upon request
Skill Level — Moderate–Difficult
This Provence bike tour is considered a moderate to difficult, self-guided hotel tour. Daily cycling distances range from 19 to 44 mi. (30 to 70 km), over some flat, rolling, and very hilly terrain. Some ascents can be up to 750 m. Routes take place on good, asphalted bike paths and country roads with as little traffic as possible. However, on day 6 there is about 20 km of cycling on a busy road.
Fly to Paris, Marseilles, or Avignon.
From Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport, take the TGV to Avignon, 3-4 hours depending on connections.
From Paris city, you can take the TGV from Paris Lyon station to Avignon.
Please be aware there are two train stations in Avignon:
Centre train station in Avignon (5 minutes on foot from the hotels).
TGV train station (about 15 minutes from the town center by taxi). There are 35 trains between the Avignon TGV station and the city train station from 5:58 am to 11:00 pm (5 minutes transfer only).
Please check local conditions prior to departure. Summer months can be quite hot. Average high/low temperature in °F for the Avignon area is: 59°/41° for March, 67°/45° April, 74°/51° May, 82°/58° June, 87°/61° July, 87°/60° August, 78°/57° September, 68°/49° October, and 56°/41° for November.
Day of Rest
Day 4 & 7 can be used as a day of rest.
An extra night in Avignon before the tour.
E-bike and road bike available for rent.
Bicycle pickup must be before 6pm on Saturdays before shop closes. Cyclists on this tour must be able to fix a flat. Replacement bicycle not available till next day.
An extra night is possible in any of the overnight towns.
This tour is run by Transhumance.
We value the strong relationship we have with our local partners and the services we provide.
We are not a broker.
We do not inflate tour prices.
We are simply travelers helping travelers.
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