Provence - Van Gogh
France Bike Tours
Bike in Provence - A Painter’s Paradise!!
This bike tour in Provence takes you through an amazing region in France- a place said to have been invented by painters, and who would argue with names like Monet, Matisse, Cézanne and of course, van Gogh. The never-ending beauty and colors of the Provence region that have been artistically depicted on so many canvases continues to inspire. Starting in Avignon, the route gently follows the flow of the Rhône River to historic Arles. Before reaching Arles, you will come across the famous Pont du Gard. This well-known Roman aqueduct is an official World Heritage Site. Built shortly before the Christian era, this bridge is both a technological and artistic masterpiece and stands almost 50m high. It is a marveled site.
In Arles, Van Gogh painted and sketched over 300 drawings and paintings. The city is said to have been founded by the Greeks in the 6th century BC, and later turned into a Roman colony by Julius Caesar. Its prosperity during the rule of the Romans is still evident in the many old Roman monuments, including the baths of Constantine and the very well-preserved amphitheater where bullfights are still held. Stretching from Arles to the sandy beaches of Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer and the aqua-blue waters of the Mediterranean is the national Parc de Camargue, which some 500 years before served as a gypsy campground. The creatures that now freely roam this land of dunes, marshes and lagoons are the famous white Camargue horses as well as striking black bulls and pink flamingos.
For other bicycle tours in Provence, check out our full list of bike tours in France.
This Provence bike tour is a self-guided hotel tour classified as moderate with flat land intermingled with rolling hills and some steep climbs. Average of 30 miles per day, with Day 5 serving as a day of rest on the Mediterranean in St.-Maries-de-la-Mer. Sometimes off road cycling is suggested in the itinerary but the paths are relatively short and easy. The dike "Digue a la Mer" consists of approximately 9 miles of dirt path that can be affected by weather conditions.
Where You’ll Stay
Two options possible:
Comfort: swimming pools (except in Avignon and Arles).
• 3 nights in 2 star hotels
• 4 night in 3 star hotel
Superior: swimming pools (except in Avignon). In Arles, spa is available.
• 2 nights in 4 star
• 5 nights in 3 star
- Hotel accommodations for 7 nights
- Breakfasts & some dinners (days 2, 4, and 6)
- Route descriptions & maps (must be returned at end of tour)
- Luggage transportation
- 24-speed hybrid sports equipped with luggage rack, 1 big waterproof pannier, 1 handlebar bag, .water bottle and odometer
- Helmet rental (must be reserved in advance)
- Repair kit with pump
- Bicycle lock
What’s Not Included
- Remaining meals
- Bicycle protection
- Trip insurance
Day 1: Arrival in Avignon
Day 2: Avignon - Graveson, 40 mi. (66 km)
Day 3: Graveson - Arles, 30 mi. (51 km)
Day 4: Arles - Les Saintes Maries de la Mer, 36 mi. (59 km)
Day 5: Les Saintes Maries de la Mer, day of rest
Day 6: Les Saintes Maries de la Mer - Fontvieille, 42 mi. (68 km)
Day 7: Fontvieille - Avignon, 30 mi. (48 km)
Day 8: Departure from Avignon
All distances are approximate.
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 - 6 pm (except on Sunday). In the event of late arrival on weeknights, the meeting is possible on Saturday at 9 am sharp. Do note that the office is closed on Sundays!
DAY 2: Avignon - Graveson, 40 mi. (66 km)
Leaving Avignon behind, you will cross the Gard vineyards via typical small Mediterranean villages to the famous Roman aqueduct "Pont du Gard". This aqueduct dominates the river from 50m high. Swimming possible. Before going to the hotel (with swimming pool), you will visit the village of Barbentane.
DAY 3: Graveson - Arles, 30 mi. (51 km)
Crossing the town of Tarascon, you'll discover one of the most beautiful French medieval castles and the famous "Souleiado" factory where Provencal fabrics are made. Along the way, you'll come across Daudet's Windmill as well as Montmajour Abbey. Next will be the town of Arles filled with monuments and small animated streets where one should surely enjoy a drink at one of the many terrace cafés. Night in Arles.
DAY 4: Arles - Les Saintes Maries de la Mer, 36 mi. (59 km)
Leaving Arles, you will slowly enter into the Camargue landscape with swamps, lagoons, and rice fields. Crossing the Rhône by boat, you will arrive in Les Saintes Maries de la Mer where you'll spend two nights in a hotel with a swimming pool.
DAY 5: Les Saintes Maries de la Mer, day of rest
Numerous activities are possible, including horseback riding, boating, canoeing, 4-wheel driving, sightseeing in the village or to the ornithological park.
DAY 6: Les Saintes Maries de la Mer - Fontvieille, 42 mi. (68 km)
Through the Digue à la Mer dike, which is forbidden to cars, you'll cycle up north towards the small Alpilles massif. Here you'll be greeted by a charming landscape with vestiges of the old Roman setting. Night in Fontvieille, a nice little village at the foot of the Alpilles. Hotel with swimming pool.
DAY 7: Fontvieille - Avignon, 30 mi. (48 km)
You'll start today crossing the Alpilles from south to north and pass through the famous villages of Baux de Provence and Saint Rémy de Provence. Then through scenic fields back to Avignon.
DAY 8: Departure from Avignon
Your Provence tour will end with individual departure from Avignon following breakfast.