Enjoy the beauty of Provence from the saddle. Discover the countryside and enjoy the colours and lights which have attracted many famous painters. Admire the Roman influence in the area, the theatre in Orange with its magnificent theatre wall, the Pont-du-Gard, the excavation sites in Vaison-la-Romain and the medieval village of Les Baux-de-Provence. Not forgetting the culinary delights of the region, wines, cheeses and a cuisine seasoned with herbs of Provence.
You will find plenty of sporting challenges on this tour - the Plateau de Vaucluse, the Luberon, the Alpilles, and not forgetting the giant of Provence - the Mont Ventoux. Boasting 300 sunny days a year, Provence is an ideal region for cyclists from mid-March until the end of October.
Characteristics: Every day you can choose between two trips, approximately 75 km or 115 km. There are two nights stay in both Vaison-la-Romaine and Apt. This saves you packing the suitcases and allows to get to know more about the towns and its environment. A specially prepared road-book makes cycling on this trip a real pleasure.
Our Provence tour has been created for cyclist with a good level of physical fitness. Provence is a mountainous region with demanding ‘ups’ and rewarding ‘downs’. Sometimes the climbs are often as long as 10 km to 20 km, the longest being the Mont Ventoux. In between there are always flat stretches. Mostly the routes are well paved roads avoiding the busier main roads where possible. Heavier traffic is unavoidable at the entrances and exits in the larger towns.
Day 1: Individual journey to Orange.
Orange is regarded as the gateway to Provence. Celts lived here before the Romans invaded and settled for almost 300 years. For the Romans ‘Arausio’ which was the old name of Orange, was one of the most important towns in the Provincia Gallia Narbonensis. Of the numerous Roman buildings and monuments originally built, you still can see parts of the City Wall, the Arc de Triumph and the Theatre, the stage wall of which the Sun King, Louis XIV, described as the most beautiful wall in his country.
Day 2: Orange – Vaison-la-Romaine (61 to 112 km).
From Orange to Vaison-la-Romaine the route is predominantly flat. This stage will take you through some of the best vineyards in Provence, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vacqueyras, Gigondas, Rasteau and Séguret, just the names of which make the hearts of the wine lovers flutter. On the way to Vaison-la-Romaine you will pass the impressive range of the Dentelles de Montmirail.
Option A – 61 km: Orange – Vaison-la-Romaine
- Minimum altitude: 25 Meter, Maximum altitude: 226 Meter
- Ascent:522 Hm, Descent: 354 Hm.
Option B – 83 km: Orange -Buisson – Vaison-la-Romaine
- Minimum altitude: 25 Meter, Maximum altitude: 338 Meter
- Ascent: 888 Hm, Descent: 720 Hm.
Option C – 112 km: Orange - Buisson – Valreas - Vaison-la Romaine
- Minimum altitude: 25 Meter, Maximum altitude: 420 Meter
- Ascent: 1.126 Hm, Descent: 958 Hm.
Day 3: Vaison- Mt. Ventoux - Vaison (75 to 110 km).
Today we have to face the giant of Provence – the Mont Ventoux. The 1909 m high mountain rises abruptly from the countryside. In totally deforesting the mountain the Romans left the Mt. Ventoux with its characteristic bald appearance. Wind speeds of up to 250 km/h have been measured at summit. The first road over the mountain was built in 1882.
Option A – 110 km: Vaison-la-Romaine – Sault – Mont Ventoux - Vaison-la-Romaine
- Minimum altitude:210 Meter, Maximum altitude:1.900 Meter
- Ascent: 2.590 Hm, Descent: 2.592 Hm.
Option B – 104 km: Vaison-la-Romaine – Sault – Chalet Reynard – Bédoin - Vaison-la-Romaine
- Minimum altitude: 210 Meter, Maximum altitude:1.422 Meter
- Ascent: 2.198 Hm, Descent: 2.200 Hm.
Option C: 105 km: Vaison-la-Romaine – Sault – Flassan – Bédoin - Vaison-la-Romaine. Cycle tour around Mont Ventoux if the road is closed. About 1.000 less of difference in altitude.
Option D: 75 km: Vaison-la-Romaine – Malaucène – Mont Ventoux – Chalet Reynard- Bédoin – Malaucène – Vaison-la-Romain.
Day 4: Vaison-la-Romaine - Apt (90 to 110 km).
Today you cycle on quiet roads to the city of the candied fruits - Apt. Crossing through the Montagnes de Bluye and d'Albion we reach the centre of lavender cultivation, the village of Sault. Then crossing the Plateau d'Albion we will cycle downhill to Apt, nestled in the valley of Calavon.
Option A – 90 km: Vaison-la-Romaine – Sault – Apt
- Minimum altitude: 210 Meter, Maximum altitude: 821 Meter
- Ascent: 1.391 Hm, Descent: 1.374 Hm.
Option B – 109 km: Vaison-la-Romaine – Barret - Sault – Apt
- Minimum altitude: 210 Meter, Maximum altitude: 1.228 Meter
- Ascent: 2.084 Hm, Descent: 2.067 Hm.
Day 5: Apt - Luberon - Apt (80 to 105 km).
The route today takes you into the Parc du Luberon and through some of the most beautiful villages in France. From Apt you cycle on a flat stretch to Céreste before crossing the Luberon for the first time. On the south side of the Luberon you pass typical small Provencal villages all with their preserved charm. On your way back you pass through the gorge of Lourmarin with its high white rock walls.
Option A – 82 km: Apt – Céreste – La Bastide – Lourmarin - Apt
- Minimum altitude: 210 Meter, Maximum altitude: 695 Meter
- Ascent: 1.188 Hm, Descent: 1.188 Hm.
Option B – 106 km: Apt – Céreste – La Bastide – Lourmarin – Bonnieux – Roussillon - Apt
- Minimum altitude: 210 Meter, Maximum altitude: 695 Meter
- Ascent: 1.469 Hm, Descent: 1.469 Hm.
Day 6: Apt - St.Remy (88 to 103 km).
The day starts with a climb to Bonnieux followed by a 10 km downhill run. On the other side of the Luberons you continue towards the river Durance. Through the flat valley of the Durance you cycle in the direction of the Alpilles, a small but charming mountain range between the Rhône and the Durance. The Alpilles (the small Alps), is fascinating because of its rock formation. About 300,000 olive trees grow in this area, from which one of the best olive oils in France is produced.
Option A – 88 km: Apt – Bonnieux – Mallemort – Eyuieres - St. Remy
- Minimum altitude: 57 Meter, Maximum altitude: 437 Meter
- Ascent: 635 Hm, Descent: 780 Hm.
Option B – 103 km: Apt – Bonnieux – Mallemort – Eyuieres – Paradon - St. Remy
- Minimum altitude: 23 Meter, Maximum altitude: 437 Meter
- Ascent: 944 Hm, Descent: 1.105 Hm.
Day 7: St.Remy-Orange (80 to 103 km).
First you cycle to the idyllically located Abbey St.-Michel-de-Frigolet, nestled in a low range of hills. Then you leave the Provence crossing the Rhone, and continue to Remoulins, where a trip to the famous Pont du Gard is an absolute must. Crossing the foothills of the Cévennes you cycle back to the Rhône and pass through the wine growing regions of Tavel and Lirac.
Option A – 80 km: St. Remy – Graveson – Remoulins – St-Laurent - Orange
- Minimum altitude: 8 Meter, Maximum altitude: 254 Meter
- Ascent: 571 Hm, Descent: 534 Hm.
Option B – 103 km: St. Remy – Les Boux – Tarascon - Remoulins – St-Laurent - Orange
- Minimum altitude: 4 Meter, Maximum altitude: 254 Meter
- Ascent: 775 Hm, Descent: 793 Hm.
Day 8: Departure day for those not extending their stay.
Price per person, double room low season. Price per person, double room high season. Supplement for single room, single traveller, rental road bike.
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