Provence - Luberon
France Bike Tours
Cycle in France in the amazing Rhône Valley
This Provence bike tour starts in Avignon. 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.
Leaving Avignon, the landscape becomes a maze of gently rolling hills and sprawling vineyards that bask in the valley's rich sunlight. 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. Continuing the bike in Provence you will pass though wide farming plains with their typical provencal houses callaed "Mas", stony plateaus where lavender and sage grow with the limestone and golden cliffs as backdrops!
Want to see more bike tours in France?
2019 Option A Option B April and Oct. £ 996 $ 2,007 € 1162 $ 1766 NOK 11039 kr 10190 $ 1,325 £ 1073 $ 2,163 € 1252 $ 1903 NOK 11894 kr 10979 $ 1,427 Single supplement: £ 259 $ 522 € 302 $ 459 NOK 2869 kr 2648 $ 344 £ 333 $ 670 € 388 $ 590 NOK 3686 kr 3402 $ 442 May, June, Aug., and Sept. £ 1058 $ 2,131 € 1234 $ 1876 NOK 11723 kr 10821 $ 1,407 £ 1152 $ 2,321 € 1344 $ 2043 NOK 12768 kr 11786 $ 1,532 Single supplement £ 255 $ 515 € 298 $ 453 NOK 2831 kr 2613 $ 340 £ 345 $ 696 € 403 $ 613 NOK 3829 kr 3534 $ 459 July 1 to July 21 £ 1100 $ 2,216 € 1283 $ 1950 NOK 12189 kr 11251 $ 1,463 £ 1449 $ 2,919 € 1690 $ 2569 NOK 16055 kr 14820 $ 1,927 Single supplement £ 289 $ 582 € 337 $ 512 NOK 3202 kr 2955 $ 384 £ 625 $ 1,259 € 729 $ 1108 NOK 6926 kr 6393 $ 831 July 22 to July 31 £ 1100 $ 2,216 € 1283 $ 1950 NOK 12189 kr 11251 $ 1,463 £ 1172 $ 2,361 € 1367 $ 2078 NOK 12987 kr 11988 $ 1,558 Single supplement £ 289 $ 582 € 337 $ 512 NOK 3202 kr 2955 $ 384 £ 351 $ 706 € 409 $ 622 NOK 3886 kr 3587 $ 466
Please not that prices are valid when the entire tour is taken during time frame.
Electric bike rental: £ 45 $ 92 € 53 $ 81 NOK 504 kr 465 $ 60
Tandem bike rental, discount: £ 48 $ 97 € 56 $ 85 NOK 532 kr 491 $ 64
Recumbent bike: On request
Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
† Currency exchange rate set 90 days before travel.
Fly to Avignon or Paris.
From Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport, take the TGV to Avignon, 3-4 hours depending on connections.
From Paris city, take the TGV from Paris Lyon station to Avignon.
Average high/low temperatures in degrees F for the region are: March, 59°/41°, April, 67°/45°; May, 74°/51°; June, 82°/58°; July, 87°/61°; August, 87°/60°; September, 78°/57°; and October; 68°/49°.
Tandem bicycle available upon request. Roadbooks and maps must be returned and end of tour.
This bike tour in France is considered moderate to verging on difficult with rolling hills and several steep climbs of varying altitude differences. The heat in the summer can add to the diffuclty level. 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. Regarding difference in heights that are indicated, the total value is the sum of the difference during the day.
Where You’ll Stay
Option A: 5 nights in 3 star, 2 night in 4 star hotels
Option B: 3 nights in 3 star hotels, 4 nights in 4 star hotels
- Hotel accommodation for 7 nights
- Breakfasts & most 3-course dinners (see Not Included)
- VTC light weight 24 gear hybrid bicycle equipped with luggage rack, rear pannier bag, front pannier, water bottle, and lock
- Accessories including odometer, repair kit, road book, preloaded GPS, handlebar bags (one set per booking)
- Helmet rental (must be reserved in advance)
- Luggage transportation
- Train transfer Day 7 Cavaillon to Avignon
- Local tourist tax
What’s Not Included
Extra nights in Avignon possible by request.
Day 1: Arrival in Avignon.
Day 2: Avignon - Fontaine de Vaucluse, 26 or 35 mi. (42 or 57 km)
Day 3: Fontaine de Vaucluse - Apt, 28 mi. (44 km)
Day 4: Day of rest; optional cycling, 16, 25 or 40 mi. (25, 40 or 64 km)
Day 5: Apt - Lourmarin, 27 mi. (43 km)
Day 6: Day of rest; optional cycling, 32 mi. (51 km)
Day 7: Lourmarin - Cavaillon, 27 mi. (43 km), Train to Avignon, 20 min.
Day 8: Departure from Avignon.
All distances are approximate. Regarding difference in heights that are indicated, the total value is the sum of the difference during the day.
DAY 1: Arrival in Avignon
Individual arrival in Avignon followed by a free afternoon in the city. In the evening, an introductory meeting and distribution of additional tour materials will take place. Meeting is possible every day from 3 - 5:30 pm (except on Sunday). In the event of late arrival on weeknights, the meeting is possible the next day in the morning at 9 am. Do note that the office is closed on Sundays so arrival on Sundays will have the meeting on Monday morning at 9 am sharp. If you are planning on a Saturday arrival, be sure that you are able to arrive in time for a meeting that day!
During the check-in at the hotel in Avignon:
Clients receive tour packet including a map indicating how to reach Provence Bike. The receptionist will phone our local partner so that the time of welcome meeting can then be fixed.
DAY 2: Avignon - Fontaine de Vaucluse, 26 or 35 mi. (42 or 57 km), +/- 280 meters or +/- 600 meters of climbing.
Today, two itineraries are suggested and you can choose between the shorter or longer route. Riding toward the East you will leave Avignon behind. First you will see farming plains with lots of fruit trees, then the landscape changes as you come near the "Plateau des Monts de Vaucluse". Then you will see small villages on top of cliffs with their old castles in the middle. You will soon reach the famous "Fontaine de Vaucluse" and its village on the edge of the river. Night in "Fontaine de Vaucluse". Hotel without swimming pool.
DAY 3: Fontaine de Vaucluse - Apt, 28 mi. (44 km), +/- 702 meters of climbing
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. (25 km) and +/- 300 meters of climbing
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. (40 km) and +/- 533 meters of climbing
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. (64 km) and +/- 918 meters of climbing (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 - Lourmarin, 27 mi. (43 km), +/- 701 meters of climbing.
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 Lourmarin; hotel has swimming pool. Altitude difference for today is about 500m.
DAY 6: Lourmarin, day of rest or cycling, 32 mi. (51 km), +/- 680 meters of climbing
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 Lourmarin.
DAY 7: Lourmarin - Cavaillon, 27 mi. (43 km), +/- 357 meters of climbing. 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.
DAY 8: Departure from Avignon
This Provence bike tour will end in Avignon following breakfast.