Few places lend themselves to being explored by bicycle quite as perfectly as Provence in the southeastern corner of France. This self-guided cycling tour takes you between some of the regions most stunning spots, from Van Gogh country in St-Remy-de-Provence, to the lavender fields of the Luberon and into the wine country of the Ctes du Rhne. Make your way through this diverse region, stopping over in our favorite boutique hotels, all under your own pedal power. The cycling on this tour is easy going, with average distances of 35km per day, meaning you will have plenty of time to dismount and explore to your hearts content and to ride at your own pace.
Day 1 | Arrive in St-Remy-de-Provence
Meet our local destination managers for a bike fitting and welcome meeting, where we will run through your cycling routes in detail. After this, the day is yours to explore this charming town. We recommend taking a short walk through the boutique-lined streets and up to the Roman ruins of Glanum on the outskirts of town. On your way, youll pass the St Paul Mausoleum, where Vincent Van Gogh created some of his most revered works.
Day 2 | Optional Round Trip: Baux-de-Provence
Today we suggest a round trip ride taking you into the Alpilles, to the fortified citadel of Les Baux-de-Provence. The route takes you out of town on a traffic-free cycle path and loops around the western end of the Alpilles mountains, before climbing up to Les Baux, which sits perched on a hill overlooking the Rhne and Camargue to the south. En route, youll pass the charming village of Fontvieille, a great place to stop for a coffee before you start the gradual uphill. After getting to know Les Baux, a fantastic twisting descent back to Saint Remy de Provence awaits on one of our favorite stretches of tarmac anywhere in the world.
Day 3 | St-Remy-de-Provence to Lagnes
Time to leave Saint Remy and head eastwards towards the lavender lined land of the Luberon valley. The ride starts with a stretch through quiet countryside, calling into the picturesque village of Eygalieres before reaching the market town of Cavaillon, the gateway to the Luberon. We love taking a long lunch here, ideally feasting on something containing some of the local specialty, melon. From here it is just a short ride onwards to your charming hotel in Lagnes, where Nina and Thierry are waiting to welcome you.
Day 4 | Optional Round Trip: L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue & Fontaine-de-Vaucluse
If the mellow ambiance and outdoor pool of your hotel havent tempted you into an early rest day, today is a great chance to get out on your bikes and visit two of the Luberons prettiest spots. First up is the canal-lined town of LIsle-sur-la-Sorgue, a bustling market town crisscrossed by beautiful waterways, like a miniature Venice with a Provenal twist. From here it is just a short ride to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. Tucked away in a narrow valley, the village sits on an emerald green river that bubbles out of a mysterious cave in the mountain and has to be one of the most photogenic spots in Provence.
Day 5 | Lagnes to Roussillon
Today youll journey into the heart of the Luberon, dropping down into the middle of the valley and picking up the traffic free bike path that runs its full length. As you enjoy a stress-free ride on this excellent bike path, you will see the famed hilltop town of Gordes pass on your left (youll pass through there on day 7) and the gentle peaks of the Alpilles to your right. Once you reach the Roman bridge, Pont Julien, its time to turn off and head up to the ochre cliffs of Roussillon, a charming little hill top village offering spectacular vistas of the Luberon.
Day 6 | Optional Round Trip: Route des Ocres
Time to explore Roussillon, one of the biggest ochre deposits in the world and famous for its magnificent red cliffs and ochre quarries where rich reds and yellows contrasting with lush green pine trees and the vivid blue Provenal sky. A round trip route is suggested that takes you through the countryside to the villages of Gargas and Villars. The route can easily be extended to add a visit to the market town of Apt. If you fancy something different, we recommend the Sentier des Ochres hiking trail in Roussillon for a chance to get up close and personal with the striking ochre landscape.
Day 7 | Roussillon to Mazan
Leaving the Luberon behind, today sees you venture north into the Cotes du Ventoux region and entering a landscape dominated by Mont Ventoux, that iconic mountain of Tour de France fame. En route you will pass through the luxurious town of Gordes, favoured stomping ground of many A-listers, and pass by the famed Abbey de Senanque, one of the best spots to visit to learn about the local lavender production. From here there is an uphill stretch followed by a long and enjoyable 10km descent, taking you past Venasque and eventually to your charming chteau hotel in Mazan.
Day 8 | Optional Round Trip: Bedoin
Today is another day where a break from the bike and some poolside rest is possible, but for those looking to ride we have a lovely route to take you to the base of Mont Ventoux and the cycling-mad village of Bedoin. Dont worry though, our route turns back towards Mazan before the climb! Youll spend most of the day riding through a vineyard covered landscape, with spectacular views all around. We love taking a long lunch in Bedoin and soaking up the atmosphere of this cycle-centric village.
Day 9 | Mazan to Chteauneuf-du-Pape
Today starts with a short ride into the town of Carpentras, a real treasure trove for lovers of history and architecture. As you pass through, keep an eye out for the Port dOrange, the fortress ruins and the Hotel Dieu in particular. From Carpentras, you pick up the Via Venassia cycle path for an easy, traffic-free stretch taking you to the village of Jonquieres. A short spin further down the road lies Courthezon, where a quick stop for coffee and a cake will keep you topped up for the last stretch through vineyards to your overnight hotel on the outskirts of Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Day 10 | Departure
We say au revoir after breakfast. Trip extensions are available on request.
- Delightful 3 and 4-star hotels on a bed & breakfast basis
- 6 delicious evening meals
- Fully-serviced bikes with panniers water bottle and repair kit
- Detailed route information through the Ride With GPS app
- Expert on the spot support
- Luggage transferred between hotels
- 100% financial security through ABTA and ATOL