Our route will take you on very quiet roads around the Alpilles. You’ll bike through some of France’s prettiest villages: Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Les Baux-de-Provence, Fontvieille, Eygalières, Maussane-les-Alpilles, Tarascon, and Arles; among others!
This trip is ideal for riders “on a schedule,” and for families with kids as daily mileage doesn’t exceed 35 miles (on Day 2 with the extra add-on to Les Baux).
NB: No departure (Day 1) on Sunday.
Day 1 (any day except Sunday): Arrive in Avignon – Ride to Saint-Rémy (25 km or 15 miles)
Because of Provence’s proximity to Paris (only 2 ½ hours by high speed TGV train), this makes this tour a perfect choice for travelers on a tight schedule. It begins in Avignon, a few steps from the downtown train station. Here you’ll be greeted by Fabienne, our local expert who will outfit you with bikes and go over every itinerary detail before pointing you on your way to Saint-Rémy where you will dine and overnight. An early arrival will allow for an easy-paced afternoon exploring the village of Saint-Rémy, Van Gogh’s home during some of his productive years. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.
NOTE: Our local representative can provide you with your kit and rental bikes any day of the week except Sunday. If you arrive on Saturday and spend a night in Avignon, bikes and documents will be given to you on Saturday afternoon/evening (between 3:00pm and 6:00pm).
Day 2: Saint-Rémy - Arles (46 km or 29 miles; 56 km or 35 miles with the extension to Les Baux)
On easy trails or small paved roads, you’ll be biking through the picture perfect (ask Van Gogh!) Alpilles mountain range. If you want choose to, you can stop for a wine tasting in a wine estate. Then you will enter the olive-growing area around Maussane (you can stop there for an olive oil tasting). Our longer option will take you to Les Baux before proceeding on to Arles. Although it is a self-guided tour and you choose what to see and what to pass, we strongly recommend this optional extension. The hilltop village of Les Baux bears the sought-after title of “Un des Plus Beaux Villages de France” awarded to the nicest villages in France. Its towering fortress offers unobstructed views over Provence all the way to… the Mediterranean Sea!
Day 3: Arles – Graveson (45 km or 31 miles)
Don’t hop on your bike before you take a stroll through Arles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its lively streets and visit its well-preserved Roman theater. You will then bike through Fontvieille where Provencal writer Alphonse Daudet had his home, a windmill that has now been turned into a museum. Further on, you’ll reach Tarascon--its 15th century castle is one of the best-kept medieval fortresses in France—home to the Provencal fabric-maker Souleiado (a museum worth visiting). You’ll soon be in Graveson where you’ll dine and overnight. For lunch, you will find many open-air cafés and restaurants. Or if you prefer, you can picnic roadside and acquire a firsthand understanding as to how Provence has inspired so many artistic masterpieces.
Day 4: Graveson – Avignon (23 km or 14 miles)
Your ride back to Avignon will take you through “La Montagnette” (translates into “the small mountain”) where the working monastery of the Frigolet Abbey is located (it can be visited). If your schedule allows it, you can also stop in Barbentane for a quick tour of its castles. Once in Avignon, you can depart at the time of your choice.
Also see tour packages in:
Europe France Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Cultural Journey