We’ll meet at our hotel at 12 pm for introductions, and afterwards we’ll have a light lunch at Bistrot le Balthazar restaurant. Then, we’ll have a warm-up ride. The light ride will consist of riding on the idyllic Ile de la Barthelasse, the longest river island in France. In the evening, we’ll head out for dinner at La Cour du Louvre restaurant.
Pont du Gard and Abbey of Frigolet
Today is another incredible day of biking and exploring as we cross the Rhone River. Start your day with a breakfast of fresh croissants, pain au chocolate and beignets before taking a 30-minute shuttle to the start of our ride, the majestic and awe-inspiring Pont du Gard. We’ll spin past vineyards and fortress villages as we head back to Avignon and stopping for lunch in Tavel, the place where French rosé wine was invented. We’ll also have a walking tour of Avignon.
Côtes du Ventoux
Today’s ride takes us along the beautiful grounds knows as the Côtes du Ventoux, where exceptional wines grow with the impressive mountain as a backdrop. We'll pass through the wine mecca of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. With the priest’s house in the center, it’s the spiritual heart of the village. We’ll also have a wine tasting here. Our ride today meanders through the Provençal countryside and takes us on the road less traveled via the national velo routes.
Le Mont Ventoux
Before us stands the impressive Mt. Ventoux—a nearly 6,300-foot mountain. Today’s extra loop will take you up to the top (by bike!), while those who ride the regular loop will enjoy time down in the valley with succulent reds from the iconic wine areas of Gigondas, Vacqueras and Beaumes de Venise. Tonight we’ll have dinner at L’oulo in Mazan, accompanied by a cooking demonstration. We’ll also visit the Roman Centre of Vaison-la-Romaine with its myriad of historic sites.
Gorges de la Nesque and Gordes
If you haven’t heard of the Georges de la Nesque before today’s ride, you certainly won’t ever forget them after cycling through them. With Mont Ventoux providing a impressive backdrop for the whole day, you’ll ride on one of the most stunning cycling roads in France. Breathtaking views, low traffic volume and smooth roads make this a mecca for cyclists across Europe. Continue through the exquisite French countryside, past village markets, and colorful fields into the Alpilles foothills.
St. Rémy de Provence
Today we’ll ride to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence passing by Fontaine de Vaucluse and Cavaillon, home of the Charentais melon. We’ll arrive in Saint-Rémy for lunch, where the open markets and coffee shops are also the perfect place for a great bargain and a cool pastis or panaché in the early afternoon. We’ll have a walking tour of the sanitarium where van Gogh spent the latter period of his life. With the help of our local guide, we’ll get a real sense of what inspired and motivated the artist.
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. Perched on the hillside, this town of natural cliffs, lush greenery and ruined castles is legendary. During the course or the day you’ll get a chance to visit the incredibly well-preserved Greco-Roman site of Glanum. We’ll also visit an olive oil mill and have an olive tasting there. We’ll then have a Ciclismo picnic lunch at the mill.
After breakfast, there will be a group shuttle at 9 am to Avignon TGV Train Station, where you can catch a train to other cities in France.