Famous Villages of Provence Road Bike Tour
France Bike Tours
This tour is slightly different from the usual Famous Villages of Provence tour in that it covers longer distances.
This Provence bike tour starts in Avignon with afternoon sightseeing possible with an early arrival and a welcome meeting in the evening. From Avignon, you’ll cycle through the vineyards of the Gard (Châteauneuf du Pape, Lirac, etc.) and see the Pont du Gard (Roman aqueduct).
The highlights of this bike tour in France include the vineyards of côtes du Rhône (Vacqueyras, Beaumes de Venise, etc.), the small villages at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail and Luberon cycling through villages such as Lacoste and Cavaillon. Arles will excite you with its Provencal atmosphere, narrow streets and many Roman monuments, such as the amphitheatre. By the castle ruins in Les Baux de Provence, you have a great view of the entire region.
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This Provence bike tour is classified as a moderate to somewhat difficult self guided hotel tour, designed for road-bikers. Some days will get hilly, and there are a few short but steep climbs - except Mount Ventoux which is a long steep climb! However, remember you can always walk your bike if need be. Daily distances range from 22 to 65 mi., but are variable.
Where You’ll Stay
1 night in 2* hotels with dinner included
4 nights in 3* hotel with dinners included
2 nights in 3* hotel in B & B.
All dinners are included except for the 2 nights at the B&B in Avignon.
Option B: 5 nights in 3* hotel with dinner included 2 nights in 4 * hotel in B & B. All dinners are included except for the 2 nights at the B&B in Avignon. Some hotels/B&B’s have a pool so don’t forget to pack your bathing suit!
- Hotel accommodations for 7 nights
- 7 x breakfasts
- 5 x dinners
- Welcome beverage
- Luggage transfer
- Route descriptions & maps
What’s Not Included
- Individual arrival to Avignon
- Road bike rental (please see pricing for options)
- 3 Dinners (in Avignon) on Day 1, 7, and 8
- Bicycle protection
- Trip insurance
Starts any day from March 28 to October 24, 2015
Please note: Arrivals after 6 pm on Saturdays are not possible.
Day 1: Arrival in Avignon
Day 2: Avignon - Orange, 55 mi. /87 km (option to Uzès +15 mi./23 km)
Day 3: Orange - Bedoin, 27 mi./ 41 km (option to Mont Ventoux + 36 mi./57 km)
Day 4: Bedoin - Roussillon, 48 mi./78 km or 35 mi./56 km
Day 5: Roussillon - Fontvieille, 54 mi./85 km
Day 6: Fontvieille - Arles - Baux de Provence, 22 mi./33 km (option loop in Camargue +25 mi./39 km)
Day 7: Baux de Provence - Avignon, 38 mi./60 km
Day 8: Departure from Avignon
Distances are approximate.
DAY 1: Arrival in Avignon
Individual arrival in Avignon and a free afternoon to explore this great city - followed by a welcome meeting in the evening. The tour and equipment will be explained. Meeting will take place every day from 3 - 6 pm (except on Sunday.) In case of late arrival or in case of a Sunday arrival, the meeting will take place at Provence Bike Shop on MONDAY at 9 am sharp. If you arrive on Saturday, you must be ontime as the store is closed on Sunday.
DAY 2: Avignon - Orange, 55 mi. /87 km (option to Uzès +17 mi./23 km)
The day begins with a short transfer from Avignon to Sorgues, where the Provence bike tour will officially commence. You will begin by exploring the vineyards and wines of the Gard, such as the "Lirac", with its rare elegant quality, and the "Châteauneuf du Pape", a great vintage wine. You will then visit the Pont du Gard, an expansive Roman aqueduct, and cycle on to the city of Orange with its majestic Roman monuments. It is optional to bike to the dukedom of Uzès.
DAY 3: Orange - Bedoin, 27 mi. /41 km (option to Mont Ventoux +34 mi.)
Today, you will ride past the vineyards of Côtes du Rhône. You'll be amazed at the small villages at the foot of the small mountain chain "Dentelles de Montmirail". Here, you have the option of Mont Ventoux cycling, a mountain known as the "Giant of Provence" (1910 m).
DAY 4: Bedoin - Roussillon, 35 or 49 mi./56 or 78 km
At the foot of a golden cliff flows one of the most important springs in Europe: the Fontaine de Vaucluse, one of the many incredible places you will visit today. This site is famous for its breathtaking natural atmosphere. Further on, two villages are worth a visit: Gordes and Roussillon. Gordes has attractive stone houses and nicely paved, arched streets. Surrounding the villages are numerous “bories” (huts made out of dry stone) that will amaze you with their various shapes. Roussillon, a unique little village, sits on a small hill colored with red ocher. The house walls are stained with ocher, from red to yellow, contrasting nicely with the dark green of the pine trees. At the top of the village, a viewpoint offers a spectacular view over the plains, Gordes, and the small villages around.
DAY 5: Roussillon - Fontvieille, 54 mi./85 km
The delightful villages in the north of the Luberon chain such as Lacoste, Ménerbes, and Bonnieux will all await your aquaintance. Eventually you will reach the heart of the Natural Regional Park of the Luberon. The nice road of Destet will take you to the small villages at the foot of the Alpilles chain, including Maussane les Alpilles and Fontvieille.
DAY 6: Fontvieille - Arles - Baux de Provence, 22 mi. /33 km (option loop in Camargue +25 mi./40 km)
Today, you will travel to Arles, an ancient Roman capital that was a large religious center during the Middle Ages. The city has brilliant houses surrounding its arenas, which are perhaps the city's most captivating feature. Every Saturday morning, the city streets transform into a bustling open market. In the heart of the old center, you may relax at numerous refreshing outdoor cafés. Onward to the village of Les Baux de Provence, with its charming houses all strung together. Les Baux de Provence sits cozily on a rock where the vistas are magnificent: groves of olive trees flow across the plains, cypress trees stretch toward the sky, fields overflow with beautiful flowers, small villages pepper the landscape, and of course, there's the endless blue waters of the sea to marvel at. There is an optional biking loop in Camarque that runs to Vaccarès pond.
DAY 7: Baux de Provence - Avignon, 38 mi./61 km
Biking in Provence heading north, you will reach St. Rémy de Provence. But first, you should not forget to stop to enjoy “l’elixir du Révérand Pére Gaucher” (a liquor) in the Abbey of St Michel de Frigolet. It is situated on the “Montagnette”, a small mountain (highest point 170 m). In St. Rémy de Provence, you will come across 2 well-preserved Roman monuments: the Mausoleum and Municipal Arch. St. Rémy de Provence was once a rich Glanum city, abandoned at the end of the 3rd century and now only ruins remain. As you cycle back to Avignon, you will ride into the foothills of the Apilles Mountain range. The landscape is made up of small hills with chalky ridges that love to soak under the sun, and where you can easily see why painters such as Vincent van Gogh found their inspiration. Today you will return the rental bicycle, tour material, and accessories.
DAY 8: Departure from Avignon
Your Provence bike tour will end with individual departure following breakfast.