This is a wonderful bicycle trip to be done at your own pace… with just the right number of hills to justify a gourmet dinner!
After your daily ride, a charming little hotel or a quaint Bed & Breakfast will welcome you. Your next duty is to sit down, relax, and savour a wonderful dinner prepared with love, accompanied by a tasty local wine.
This area is known for a wide choice of local products: “Picodon” goats-milk cheeses, the small round pâtés "Caillette de Chabeuil," the AOC natural sparkling white wine "Clairette de Die," and many, many more...
Saturday: Arrival in Chateaudouble
Arrive in Chateaudouble, a small village at the foot of the Vercors mountains. After settling down in your own Chambre d'hôtes (Bed and Breakfast)-a traditional farm in the countryside-you may want to take a walk at your leisure. Before dinner, our local expert will give you the necessary material and equipment, and give you a thorough briefing to answer each and every question you may have. At 8:00 pm, the owner of the farm will delight you with a memorable dinner prepared with her own produce.
Sunday: Chateaudouble - Chabrillan (40 km or 24 miles)
From the foot of the Vercors, you'll cross the Valence region ("Valentinois") from North to South, all the way to the Drome river. It is a region authentic and rich in contrasts: plains, rolling hills, valleys, plateaus. Many stops are possible along the way for tasting… and shopping! Honey, cheese, liquors, breads, etc… are just a sample of the products you can purchase directly from local producers.
Monday: Chabrillan - Charols (40 km or 24 miles)
You'll bike along the Drome river, then cross the city of Crest with its towering citadel. Here vineyards produce a sparkling white wine "Clairette de Dié." A unique wine that dates back to Gallic times! Further on, vineyards make way to cliffs and forests. The view is magnificent! After a long downhill through the Roubion valley, you'll reach Charols where you'll overnight.
Tuesday: Rest Day in Charols and optional cooking lesson / Loop Charols - Charols (35 km or 19 miles)
You may choose to relax and skip this ride! The owner of the farm has a long background as a chef in luxury hotels and will treat you with healthy and elegant provencal cuisine. If you want to know more about local specialities, you may take part in a 2-hour cooking lesson in English starting at 10:00am, at "La Licorne Bleue" restautant in Manas, just a few pedal strokes away (10 kilometers from Charols). After the course, lunch at the restaurant.
If you opt for our loop, you'll have an easy day of riding through the idyllic countryside around the quiet village of "Marsanne": flat farmland surrounded with pretty villages.
Wednesday: Charols - St. Paul-les-Trois-Chateaux (54 km or 33.5 miles)
There is one last hill to climb before reaching the colorful "Drome Provencale!" If only you could capture the wonderful scents of lavender and truffles. On your way, you may choose to visit the monks of the "Monastère d'Aiguebelle" and taste one of their best Tricastin, a wine too often overlooked by reviewers! Overnight in an old building, once home to "Chevaliers de Girard de Mainsonforte!"
Thursday: St. Paul-les-Trois-Chateaux - Orange (40 km or 24 miles)
Today will be dedicated to discovering the wine-producing Côtes-du-Rhône area. Some of these wines are light and fruity and others are heavy and strong. Biking through this region is a real treat for the senses, especially sight, smell, and taste! In no time, you'll be in Orange, known for its exceptional Roman theater--still in use every summer for performances. Take a stroll through the city and relax…. Taste the local specialties of Calissons d'Aix, Nougat de Montélimar and Berlingots de Carpentras, plus many more.
Friday: Orange - Avignon (40 km or 24 miles)
Heading south will take you to Chateauneuf-du-Pape-literally the "New Pope's Castle," where remains of the Castle still stand. For most of us, it's above all one of the most prestigious wines of the area. Soon, you'll be in Avignon, the city of art and culture, which is best discovered on foot. More culinary discoveries await: Pastis, Papalines, or Gratelon are yours to taste. Today's mileage: 40 km (24 miles) on flat terrain.
Saturday: Departure from Avignon
If your schedule allows it, take advantage of your free time to discover "Les Halles," the big market of Avignon. Open every day except Monday from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm, this is where you'll find produce of all kinds, breads of all shapes, olives of all sizes and colors, and a myriad of versions of honey, cheese, and spices. Everything here is as varied as Provence is! Depart Avignon at the time of your choice.
Option A: 1 night in a 2* property, 3 in 3* properties, 3 in guesthouses
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Europe France Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Food & Wine
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