Unlike most people, rather than glimpsing these jewels hurriedly from a bus seat, you'll discover them at your own pace, on a bicycle, away from traffic and on quiet roads.
This is our most comprehensive trip showcasing the best of an unforgettable region.
Day 1: Arrival in Avignon
Arrive in Avignon. Check-in at your hotel. Explore Avignon at leisure. Meet our local representative to go over itinerary. Overnight in Avignon
Day 2: Côtes-du-Rhône bicycle ride
(46, 52, 55 or 61 km; 28, 32, 34 or 38 miles)
Today's itinerary will take you through villages that bear familiar wine label's names: Tavel (France' most prominent rosé wine), Lirac, and Chateauneuf-du-Pape (Côtes-du-Rhône's most famous wine). All this will be done on very quiet roads, which are perfectly suited for are perfectly for a leisurely tour of this part of Provence. You will return to your hotel in the center of Avignon.
Day 3: Alpilles bicycle ride from Avignon to Les Baux-de-Provence
(48 or 55 km; 30 or 35 miles)
Heading south towards the beautiful Alpilles mountain range that has inspired so many artists--Van Gogh, among others, completed 150 paintings in the area-you will soon enter Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, worth a stop for its Roman remains and medieval buildings. On your way, Tarascon's magnificent castle by the Rhone river, one of France's best kept medieval fortress, offers the unique opportunity to travel back to medieval times. Also of interest is the Souleillado Museum, a Provencal fabric maker since 1806. Today's mileage varies depending on the chosen option. Both options are hilly.
Day 4: Alpilles bicycle loop: Les Baux-de-Provence - Arles - Les Baux-de-Provence
(51 km or 32 miles)
Depending on your mood, you may choose to relax, to visit Les Baux, or to ride the 51 km (32 miles) loop which will lead you to Arles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its Roman heritage (its amphitheater is a must). Do not miss the open-air on Saturdays. Whether you choose to ride or not, set aside some time to visit Les Baux and its medieval fortress that offers unobstructed views over the Alpilles.
Day 5: Alpilles and Luberon bicycle ride: Les Baux-de-Provence - Fontaine-de-Vaucluse or Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (53 km or 33 miles)
Today's ride will take you through the Alpilles (a low mountain range reaching 390 meters--1,170 ft.). Pretty villages such as Eygalières--recently named by a leading French magazine as one of France's most desirable villages to live in--offer inviting terraces for lunch. A few pedal strokes further and you will enter the Luberon Regional Park. Overnight in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse or Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (based on hotel availability).
Day 6: Luberon bicycle loop: Fontaine-de-Vaucluse or Isle-sur-la-Sorgue - Gordes - Roussillon - Fontaine-de-Vaucluse or Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (57 km or 35 miles)
Regardless of your starting point, make sure you spend some time walking through Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, famous for its powerful spring--world's fifth--that gushes out of the ground. Climbing Luberon's hills rewards you with two of France's prettiest villages: Gordes and Roussillon (an official and coveted title awarded to France's prettiest villages) will be yours to discover. You will then return to your hotel in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse or Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.
Day 7: Luberon bicycle loop: Fontaine-de-Vaucluse or Isle-sur-la-Sorgue -Venasque - Fontaine-de-Vaucluse or Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (45 km or 28 miles)
If today is a Sunday, take a stroll through Isle-sur-la-Sorgue's market which fills the village with colorful displays of Provencal fabrics, sweet scents of lavender, herbs, and spices. Your bicycle ride will take you through Venasque northwards towards Mont-Ventoux, the Giant of Provence. You will return to your hotel in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse or Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.
Day 8: Departure from Avignon
After breakfast, we will transfer you to Avignon. Depart Avignon at the time of your choice.
There are two options for this trip:
Option A: 2 nights in 2-star hotels, 5 nights in 3-star hotels (3 nights with a swimming pool).
Option A+: 2 nights in a 4-star hotel, 5 nights in 3-star hotels, all have a swimming pool
Also see tour packages in:
Europe France Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Cultural Journey