Many of the places on your cycling itinerary will sound familiar if you've read Peter Mayle's "A Year In Provence." Create your own unforgettable adventures as you pedal through the charming and infamous villages of Gordes, Ménerbes, Lacoste, and Lourmarin, to name a few.
From experience, active people who regularly walk or hike—not necessarily bike—will enjoy this tour.
Day 1: Arrival in Avignon
Arrive in Avignon at the time of your choice. An early arrival will allow for time to visit Avignon and some of its sites, including the Palace of the Popes located a few minutes’ walk from your hotel. In the afternoon, you’ll meet with Fabienne, our local representative who will meticulously go over the next few days’ itinerary, give you all the necessary materials (maps, cue sheets, and guide book), and outfit you with bikes. Dinner will take place at leisure at a restaurant choice.
Day 2: Avignon - Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (53 km or 70 km; 33 miles or 44 miles)
After breakfast, you’ll head east for a ride through fields of fruit trees to the "Plateau des Monts de Vaucluse," where the scenery changes dramatically. Charming places such as Fontaine-de-Vaucluse and Isle-sur-la-Sorgue will make perfect lunch stops, unless of course you choose to picnic roadside and enjoy the scenery. Overnight in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Today's mileage varies according to the option you've chosen. Both options are hilly.
Day 3: Isle-sur-la-Sorgue - Roussillon (44 km or 27 miles)
Be assured that your usual average speed will dramatically drop as you will ride through some of Luberon’s most picturesque hilltop villages and are more than likely to stop at each and every one of them! Oppède-le-Vieux, Ménerbes, Lacoste, and Bonnieux ooze with that Provence “façon de vivre” so well captured in Peter Mayle. Make sure you stop and lunch at one of their local cozy restaurants’ terraces and take in the local atmosphere.
Day 4: Roussillon - Roussillon (Options range from 25 km to 64 km; 15 miles to 40 miles)
Today being a “loop day,” you can choose to give your legs a rest and relax by the pool of your hotel. We however recommend you hop on your bike and ride of our three suggested loops. All three will take you through the hilltop village of Roussillon with its magnificent ochre-colored houses; the longer options will lead you further to another Luberon jewel, Gordes. Both Gordes and Roussillon have been deemed so beautiful that they have been awarded the sought-after title of “Un des Plus Beaux Villages de France” (One of France’s Prettiest Villages). If your legs can cover more ground, you may even choose to do the big loop all the way to “Colorado Provençal," an area so different that will seemingly take you miles away from the postcard image of Provence.
Day 5: Roussillon - Lourmarin (43 km or 27 miles)
Following our detailed directions, you will leave the “Petit Luberon” behind and ride to the heart of the wilder “Grand Luberon.” Your colorful and scenic route offers many perfect picnic spots along the way. Although nature is the highlight of today’s ride, sites and villages will take a close second. Among others, we recommend a stop in Lourmarin. Of course, as a self-guided rider, you can choose to spend as much or as little time exploring our suggested sites.
Day 6: Lourmarin - Lourmarin (51 km or 32 miles)
Another loop, another ride that has everything a vacationing cyclist could ask for: quiet and scenic roads, breathtaking views, and wonderful off the beaten track sites (“Chateau d’Ansouis” among others). Because it’s your tour, you’ll decide which suggested attractions to explore or pass, where to stop for a 3-hour lunch at a gastronomic restaurant or for a 20-minute snack at a local market!
Day 7: Lourmarin - Avignon (43 km or 27 miles)
You won’t ride back all the way to Avignon. Instead, our directions will take you along the River Durance to Cavaillon, the World’s Capital of Melons where you'll hop on a train to reach “Avignon Centre,” the centrally located train station of Avignon. Your hotel is steps away from it. An early arrival will allow for an easy-paced afternoon of souvenir shopping, museum visiting, or writing envy-producing postcards to family and friends.
Day 8: Departure from Avignon
After breakfast, depart Avignon at the time of your choice.
Also see tour packages in:
Europe France Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Cultural Journey
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