From Avignon to Saint-Rémy, let the sensory pleasures of Provence revitalize you
Experience the landscape and culture described in Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence on a sensory journey that will become one of your most treasured travel experiences! Learn what Provence is most known for as you pedal on quiet roads through vineyards, fields of lavender and sunflowers, and taste the exquisite and rustic Provencal cuisine. Experience Mediterranean food and superb wines in a land that has more Roman ruins than Italy. Embrace the aromas of lavender and alep oils as you stroll through the outdoor markets. Plump olives, rich and colorful spices, and aromatic cheeses are just a few of the sensory stimuli that will keep your feet moving in rhythm to the whistling mistral. Tourism by bicycle in Provence poetically connects the people, places, and culture.
- Stay in chateaux and charming manor houses
- A historic lecture on Provencal culture by a local expert
- Learn about the sites painted by Vincent Van Gogh and the Greco/Roman site of Glanum
- Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Avignon and Pont du Gard
- Discover the towns of Saint Remy and the villages of Les Baux and Gordes
- Enjoy the Provencale countryside by bike with the optional challenging climb of Mt Ventoux
- Introduction to the regional wines and foods of Provence
Day by Day
Meet in our hotel at 12pm for a light lunch and introductions followed by a warmup ride. In the early afternoon we'll have a light ride on the idyllic Ile de la Barthelasse - the longest river island in France. After our ride, we'll head out for dinner after a walking tour of the squares and shops that have made Avignon a center of commerce for so long.
Pont du Gard and Abbey of Frigolet
Start your day with a breakfast of fresh croissants, pain au chocolate and beignets. We’ll start with a 30 minute shuttle then our ride takes us to the majestic and awe-inspiring Pont du Gard. We spin past vineyards and fortress villages as we head back to Avignon, with a possible lunch stop in Tavel, a town known for being the place where French dry rosé wine was invented.
Côtes du Rhône
Today's ride takes us along the beautiful grounds known as the Côtes du Rhône, where exceptional wines grow. We pass through the wine mecca of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a marvelous hill town constructed in the medieval fashion. Our ride today meanders through the Provencal countryside and takes us on the road less traveled via the national velo routes. Tonight's dinner is a memorable experience as we watch the sunset with glasses of crisp wine in hand.
Côtes du Ventoux option climb Mont Ventoux
Before us stands the impressive Mt. Ventoux: 1912m of foreboding mountain. Today's extra-loop takes you up to the top (by bike!), while the regular loopers enjoy time down in the valley with succulent reds from the iconic wine areas of Gigondas, Vacqueyras and Beaumes de Venise to be sampled. We also visit the Roman Centre of Vaison-la-Romaine with its myriad of historic sites.
Gorges de la Nesque
With Mont Ventoux providing a impressive backdrop for the whole day you will ride on one of the most stunning roads for cycling. Breathtaking views, low traffic volume and smooth roads make this a mecca for cyclist across Europe. As you spin up and down the hills of Luberon, think about the pool of our luxury hotel where you can take a refreshing dip before a gourmet meal.
Gordes and St. Rémy de Provence
Today we ride to St. Remy de Provence, passing through Gordes and Fontaine de Vaucluse, two delightful towns, perfect for a morning shopping. Arriving in St Remy we'll have a walking tour of the sanitarium where van Gogh spent the latter period of his life. Along with Matilde, our art historian guide, we get a real sense of what inspired and motivated the artist. After dinner, we'll stroll along the warm central square, watching the people pass by before turning into our hotel for the night.
Les Baux de Provence
Travel on quiet vineyard roads past cypress trees and fruit orchards with the background resembling a small version of the Alps. The picturesque, medieval village of Les Baux de Provence affords some of the best views of the region. During the course or the day you will get a chance to visit the incredibly well-preserved Greco/Roman site of Glanum. We will also visit Jean Baptiste and his family-run olive oil business. Jean Baptiste will take us on an informative tour of their olive groves and production process, with a final tasting. Lunch will be a Ciclismo picnic under the olive mill’s fig trees where naturally our olive oil of choice will be locally sourced!
After breakfast, there will be a group shuttle at 9 am to the TGV train station in Avignon where you can catch a train to other cities in France. This shuttle will take about 30 minutes, so please make your plans accordingly.
- Bike rental equipped with odometer, map case, handlebar and seat bags and bike pump
- Informative tour leaders throughout the program
- Ciclismo jersey and water bottle
- Shuttle at the end of the tour
On The Tour
- Van support
- Art history lesson and visit at the Greco/Roman site of Glanum
- Walking tour of Avignon
- 1 wine tasting and 1 cooking demo
- Olive oil tour and tasting
Accommodations & Meals
- All accommodations
- All breakfasts
- 6 dinners
- 2 lunches
Here’s a sampling of some of the amazing places you’ll stay on your journey.
For a full listing, request a detailed itinerary!
Hotel Cloitre Saint Louis
The Cloitre Saint Louis is a 16th-century building located in the centre of Avignon. Near the "Palais des Papes" and the famous "Pont d''Avignon", its perfect location and this enchanting place, will invite you to discover the art of Provençal living.
View their website
Chateu de Mazan
Nestled at the foot of the legendary Mount Ventoux, the 'Château de Mazan' is situated in the charming village of Mazan, in the heart of Provence. At the château in 1772, the Marquis organized the first theatre festival in France.
View their website
Located in the heart of the Regional Park of the Alpilles, the Gounod Hotel
offers you a charming place full of history and inspiration. You can enjoy a
room with breathtaking view over the Saint Martin Collegiate Church or facing the garden
View their website