Bike in Provence and discover for yourself the countryside that has attracted so many Impressionist painters and not forgetting the culinary delights of the region, the wines, cheeses and a cuisine seasoned with the herbs of Provence.
You will find plenty of sporting challenges on this tour – the Plateau de Vaucluse, the Luberon, the Alpilles, and not forgetting the giant of Provence, Mont Ventoux! Boasting 300 sunny days a year, Provence cycling is a bikers paradise mid-March until the end of October.
Every day you can choose between two trips, approximately 75 km/47 miles or 115 km/71 mi. There are two nights stay in both Vaison-la-Romaine and Apt. This saves you some repacking and will give you a chance to get to know the region a little better. A specially prepared roadbook will make this one smooth cycling experience.
- Theatre in Orange
- Excavation sites in Vaison-la-Romaine
- Medieval village of Les Baux-de-Provence
- Culinary delights
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Day 1: Arrival in Orange
Day 2: Orange – Vaison-la-Romaine, 38 to 70 mi. (61 to 112 km)
Day 3: Vaison – Mont Ventoux – Vaison, 47 to 68 mi. (75 to 110 km)
Day 4: Vaison – Apt, 56 to 68 mi. (90 to 110 km)
Day 5: Apt – Luberon - Apt, 50 to 65 mi. (80 km to 105 km)
Day 6: Apt – St. Remy, 55 to 64 mi. (88 to 103 km)
Day 7: St. Remy – Orange, 50 to 64 mi. (80 to 103 km)
Day 8: Departure from Orange
* Please note that the Mont Vendoux is closed until May 1st, depending on snow levels. If it is closed, you will cycle around Mont Vendoux (and up to Le chalet Reynard).
DAY 1: Saturday: Arrival in Orange
Individual arrival in Orange, regarded as the gateway to Provence. Celts lived here before the Romans invaded and settled for almost 300 years. For the Romans ‘Arausio’, the old name of Orange, was one of the most important towns in the Provincia Gallia Narbonensis. Of the numerous Roman buildings and monuments originally built, you still can see parts of the city wall, the Arc de Triumph and the Theatre, the stage wall of which the Sun King ,Louis XIV, described as the most beautiful wall in his country.
DAY 2: Sunday: Orange – Vaison-la-Romaine, 38 to 70 mi. (61 to 112 km)
From Orange to Vaison-la-Romaine, the route is predominantly flat. This stage will take you through some of the best vineyards in Provence, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vacqueyras, Gigondas, Rasteau and Séguret, just the names of which make the hearts of wine lovers flutter. On the way to Vaison-la-Romaine, you will pass the impressive range of the Dentelles de Montmirail.
Vaison-la-Romaine, the French Pompeii, is a city with a rich Roman heritage. One fifth of the Roman town, then called Vasio, has so far been excavated. You can see remains of houses of wealthy Roman citizens, an ancient water canal system, the columned hall of Pompeius, a 2000-year-old bridge and an old theatre. Vaison-la-Romaine also has a beautiful medieval quarter and some magnificent buildings dating from the 16th to 18th centuries.
Option A – 61 km: Orange – Vaison-la-Romaine Minimum altitude: 25 Meter Maximum altitude: 226 Meter Ascent: 522 Hm Descent: 354 Hm
Option B – 83 km: Orange -Buisson – Vaison-la-Romaine Minimum altitude: 25 Meter Maximum altitude: 338 Meter Ascent: 888 Hm Descent: 720 Hm
Option C – 112 km: Orange - Buisson – Valreas - Vaison-la Romaine Minimum altitude: 25 Meter Maximum altitude: 420 Meter
DAY 3: Monday: Vaison – Mont Ventoux – Vaison, 47 to 68 mi. (75 to 110 km)
Today your bicycle tour in France leads you to face the giant of Provence, Mont Ventoux. The 1909 m high mountain rises abruptly from the countryside. In totally deforesting the mountain, the Romans left Mont Ventoux with its characteristic bald appearance. Wind speeds of up to 250 km/h (155 mph) have been measured at the summit. The first road over the mountain was built in 1882.
Option A – 110 km: Vaison-la-Romaine – Sault – Mont Ventoux - Vaison-la-Romaine Minimum altitude: 210 Meter Maximum altitude: 1.900 Meter Ascent: 2.590 Hm Descent: 2.592 Hm
Option B – 104 km: Vaison-la-Romaine – Sault – Chalet Reynard – Bédoin - Vaison-la-Romaine Minimum altitude: 210 Meter Maximum altitude: 1.422 Meter Ascent: 2.198 Hm Descent: 2.200 Hm
Option C: 105 km: Vaison-la-Romaine – Sault – Flassan – Bédoin - Vaison-la-Romaine Cycle tour around Mont Ventoux if the road is closed. About 1.000 less of difference in altitude
Option D: 75 km: Vaison-la-Romaine – Malaucène – Mont Ventoux – Chalet Reynard- Bédoin – Malaucène – Vaison-la-Romain
DAY 4: Tuesday: Vaison – Apt, 56 to 68 mi. (90 to 110 km)
Today you cycle Provence on quiet roads to the city of the candied fruits, Apt. Crossing through the Montagnes de Bluye and d’Albion, you’ll reach the center of lavender cultivation, the village of Sault. Then crossing the Plateau d’Albion, you’ll cycle downhill to Apt, nestled in the valley of Calavon, situated on the Calavon River, and surrounded by numerous fruit trees. Here, since the 14th century, fruits were picked, blanched and glazed to become candied fruits. The results can be admired in numerous displays in the many pastry shops and of course, don't forget to sample. Like most towns in Provence, Apt was also a settlement of the Celt-Ligures followed by the Romans. But unlike other towns, in Apt the ruins are invisible – buried 4 to 10 meters below the town.
Option A – 90 km: Vaison-la-Romaine – Sault – Apt Minimum altitude: 210 Meter Maximum altitude: 821 Meter Ascent: 1.391 Hm Descent: 1.374 Hm
Option B – 109 km: Vaison-la-Romaine – Barret - Sault – Apt Minimum altitude: 210 Meter Maximum altitude: 1.228 Meter Ascent: 2.084 Hm Descent: 2.067 Hm
DAY 5: Wednesday: Apt – Luberon - Apt, 50 to 65 mi. (80 km to 105 km)
The route today takes you into the Parc du Luberon and through some of the most beautiful villages in France. From Apt, you cycle on a flat stretch to Céreste before crossing the Luberon for the first time. On the south side of the Luberon, you’ll pass typical small Provencal villages all with their preserved charm. On your way back you pass through the gorge of Lourmarin with its high white rock walls.
Option A – 82 km: Apt – Céreste – La Bastide – Lourmarin - Apt Minimum altitude: 210 Meter Maximum altitude: 695 Meter Ascent: 1.188 Hm Descent: 1.188 Hm
Option B – 106 km: Apt – Céreste – La Bastide – Lourmarin – Bonnieux – Roussillon - Apt Minimum altitude: 210 Meter Maximum altitude: 695 Meter Ascent: 1.469 Hm Descent: 1.469 Hm
DAY 6: Thursday: Apt – St. Remy, 55 to 64 mi. (88 to 103 km)
The day starts with a climb to Bonnieux followed by a 10 km downhill run. On the other side of the Luberons you continue towards the river Durance. Through the flat valley of the Durance you’ll cycle in the direction of the Alpilles, a small but charming mountain range between the Rhône and the Durance. The Alpilles (the small Alps) is fascinating because of its rock formation. About 300,000 olive trees grow in this area, from which one of the best olive oils in France is produced.
St. Rémy – the pleasure of pure provençal life
The old town of St. Remy with its many squares and cafes is an ideal place for strolling around and enjoying the provençal life. Here you find the whole myth of Provence in one place. Two famous people are closely connected with St. Remy: Michel de Nostredame, better known as Nostradamus, was born here in 1503 and in 1889/90 Vincent van Gogh was treated here in the ‘madhouse’ after cutting off part of his ear.
Option A – 88 km: Apt – Bonnieux – Mallemort – Eyuieres - St. Remy Minimum altitude: 57 Meter Maximum altitude: 437 Meter Ascent: 635 Hm Descent: 780 Hm
Option B – 103 km: Apt – Bonnieux – Mallemort – Eyuieres – Paradon - St. Remy Minimum altitude: 23 Meter Maximum altitude: 437 Meter Ascent: 944 Hm Descent: 1.105 Hm
DAY 7: Friday: St. Remy – Orange, 50 to 64 mi. (80 to 103 km)
First you cycle to the idyllically located Abbey St.-Michel-de-Frigolet, nestled in a low range of hills. Then you leave the Provence crossing the Rhône, and continue to Remoulins, where a trip to the famous Pont du Gard is an absolute must. Crossing the foothills of the Cévennes you cycle back to the Rhône and pass through the wine growing regions of Tavel and Lirac.
Option A – 80 km: St. Remy – Graveson – Remoulins – St-Laurent - Orange Minimum altitude: 8 Meter Maximum altitude: 254 Meter Ascent: 571 Hm Descent: 534 Hm Option B – 103 km: St. Remy – Les Boux – Tarascon - Remoulins – St-Laurent - Orange Minimum altitude: 4 Meter Maximum altitude: 254 Meter Ascent: 775 Hm Descent: 793 Hm
DAY 8: Saturday: Departure from Orange
Your Provence cycle tour will end after breakfast
Accommodations in quality 2 and 3 star hotels.
- Hotel accommodations for 7 nights in 2 and 3 star hotels
- Luggage transfer
- One tour book per room
- Road bike equipped with flat pedals
- Odometer, repair kit with spare tube, bottle holder, and helmet
- GPS files available upon request
Dates & Pricing
Arrival every Saturday from April 14 till October 20, 2018
Arrival April 14 to June 23 and September 01 to October 20: $ 1915 £ 1055 $ 1,809 € 1155 $ 2023 kr 12247 $ 1,331
Arrival June 30 to August 25: $ 1949 £ 1073 $ 1,840 € 1175 $ 2058 kr 12459 $ 1,354
Single supplement (if travelling with group): $ 498 £ 274 $ 470 € 300 $ 525 kr 3181 $ 346
Additional supplement (if travelling alone): $ 323 £ 178 $ 305 € 195 $ 341 kr 2068 $ 225
Extra nights in Orange (per person/night)
Double/twin room: $ 103 £ 57 $ 97 € 62 $ 109 kr 657 $ 71 Single supplement: $ 41 £ 23 $ 39 € 25 $ 44 kr 265 $ 29
Skill Level — Difficult
This Provence bike tour is classified as a difficult self guided road bike tour with long distances and long climbs and has been created for cyclists with a substantial level of fitness. Provence is a mountainous region with demanding ‘ups’ and rewarding ‘downs’. Sometimes the climbs are often as long as 10 km to 20 km, the longest being of course Mont Ventoux. In between there are always flat stretches. Mostly the routes are well paved roads avoiding the busier main roads where possible. Heavier traffic is unavoidable at the entrances and exits in the larger towns.
The closest airports are Marseille or Nice.
Closest main train station is Orange (TGV station).
Average high temp in °F for Avignon is 59° for Mar; 67°, Apr; 74°, May; 82°, Jun; 87°, Jul; 87°, Aug; 78°, Sept; 68°, Oct; & 56° Nov.
Day of Rest
You could take a day of rest in Vaison-la-Romaine or Apt since you spend 2 nights in each town.
The bikes are equipped with flat pedals. We recommend bringing your own!
Extra nights possible in Orange.
This tour is run by Bestseller Reisen.
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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