This tour takes place mainly on flat and quiet roads, permitting to stop at leisure, enjoy a long lunch, or visit a local craftsman's workshop.
Daily discoveries will delight kids and adults alike. Accommodations have been carefully selected for their "family-friendliness."
A wide selection of rental equipment is available for this trip: trailers, kid's bikes, or extension bikes.
Day 1: Arrival in Avignon
Arrival in Avignon. Check-in at your hotel. Explore Avignon at your leisure. Overnight in Avignon.
Day 2: Avignon - Graveson (30 km or 18 miles)
After breakfast we will transfer you to Barbentane--15 minutes away. This is where you will be given the equipment (bicycles, attached bikes, or trailers). This is also where our local representative will meet you and describe the itinerary. From Barbentane, your route for the day will follow very quiet roads along the Rhône river or irrigation canals. At times, you will bike along the Montagnette, a miniature mountain topping 170 m (510 ft.), that houses the Frigolet Abbey founded in the 10th century. On your way to Graveson where you'll overnight, you'll bike through small and quaint villages. Each calls for a stop!
Day 3: Graveson - Graveson (20 km or 12 miles)
Today's loop takes you through a vegetable-growing area between La Montagnette and the Alpilles. This is the heart of Provence, with small and quaint villages that have preserved their ancestral traditions and fairs such as the "carreto ramado:" a barrow drawn by forty draught horses richly harnessed and decorated with flowers and ribbons. Local skills have been kept alive as well and on this tour you can visit a perfume-maker, a santon-maker (a santon is a handcrafted figurine modeled after real-life characters), and a candle-maker. A water garden and museum are also worth visiting. Overnight in the same property.
Day 4: Graveson - Graveson (35 km or 21 miles)
Your destination is Tarascon, where you can visit one of France's best-kept medieval castles and the Souleiado Museum--maker of Provençal fabric since 1806--or Tartarin de Tarascon's house (Tartarin is a fictitious character born out of Alphonse Daudet's mind). If today is Tuesday, make sure to take a stroll through Tarascon's market where you can see or even buy local specialties such as dried ox-sausages, tapenade (olive-based paste), pogne, or fougasse (pogne or fougasse are different types of bread). Overnight in the same property.
Day 5: Graveson - Maussane-les-Alpilles (28 km or 17 miles)
Your itinerary will go around the Alpilles mountain range and will take you to Fontvieille, a village once founded by stone carvers. There, you'll be able to see the inside of one of the four windmills that overlook the village: Daudet's windmill has been remarkably restored and feature the original innards of a working windmill…. To be discovered! Further along the road, you may want to stop by the "village des santons," a fascinating Provencal mini-village where more than 400 santons are depicted in captivating and picturesque daily scenes. Overnight in a B&B.
Day 6: Maussane - Maussane (25 km or 32 km; 15 or 20 miles)
This loop will guide you through scenic fields of olive trees. You will follow a Roman road that was once used to bring salt from the Camargue inland. This "Via Aurelia" linking Arles to Aix-en-Provence will bring you closer to a Provence jewel: Les Baux de Provence. Strolling up its narrow streets is a delight. You may also choose to take a tour of its perched castle with an unobstructed view over Provence and the Mediterranean Sea (on some days, you can see all the way to Corsica), or visit the unusual "Cathedrale d'Images" (we would not do justice to this site by trying to describe the indescribable!). An olive oil mill and a santon museum are additional visits worth a look. Overnight in the same B&B.
Today's mileage: 25 km (15 miles) or 32 km (20 miles) if you choose the optional ride to Les Baux. The terrain is flat, except for the optional ride to Les Baux.
Day 7: Maussane - Arles - Avigon (20 km or 12 miles)
This 20 km itinerary takes you to Arles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The gateway to the Camargue is known for its Roman gems. Small streets and shaded squares are sure to entice you to discover this remarkable city on foot, unless you want to ride the "little train" for a guided tour! On Saturdays, the big open-air colorful market should not be missed. From Arles, you take the train back to Avignon, a 20-minute ride (with your bikes). Your hotel in Avignon is very close to the train station.
Day 8: Departure from Avignon
After breakfast, you may visit Avignon at your leisure. Depart Avignon at the time of your choice.
Pricing: 880 euros per adult, based on double occupancy. Kids' rate is based on age and will vary depending on available rooms (limited inventory of family rooms).
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Europe France Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring