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.