A cycling holiday taking you through the Luberon National park and the Alpilles region of Provence. On this bike vacation in France, you will cycle along the banks of the Rhône River and see the lofty Gothic Popes’ Palace in Avignon. In the Alpilles experience vineyards and olive groves along with Saint Rémy de Provence, the adopted home of Van Gogh. Les Baux de Provence, a village which is spectacularly perched in the hills, set atop a rocky outcrop and crowned with a ruined castle.
The Luberon’s’ many treasures like L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue with its antique shop’s hosts colourful and lively antique markets. Roussillon stands on a hilltop in the heart of “ochre country”. It boasts houses in every shade of burnt orange, dusty pink, and russet red that take on a particular brilliance at sunset. Gordes called “le plus beau village de France” is a town of silk painters, weavers, and potters with houses built of golden stone, that rise to the Renaissance château crowning the top. All this is one cycle tour!
Avignon – Hotel d’Angleterre
Fontvielle – Hotel de la Tor
Isle dur la Sorgue – Les Nevons
Avignon – Hotel Angleterre
Fontvielle – La Villa Regalido
Isle dur la Sorgue – Domaine de la Petite Isle
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Cycling that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
Arrival during the day to the medieval town of Avignon.
Today you are cycling between the Durance and the Rhône River, through a mosaic of orchards, through authentic villages with traditions that remain strong even today. From Avignon, you pedal towards the pretty town of Barbentane, behind which lays the thyme-laden Montagnette mountain, actually more a hill than a mountain, on top of which stands the magnificent St. Michel de Frigolet Abbey, awaiting your visit. You descend to the village of Graveson, with its century-old plane trees and its well-known Café de l’Univers, then you cycle to Maillane and finally to Fontvieille.
First on the day’s agenda is a visit to the town of Maussane, known for its sublime olive oils. And from Maussane there’s work to be done, a climb through the heart of the Alpilles Mountains, passing the famed olive groves, and to the perched village of Les Baux. Climbing beyond the village the views of the plains are stunning, and worth a long pause to contemplate. A leisurely descent takes you back to the valley below where you return to Fontvieille via the town of St. Etienne du Grès.
Heading clockwise around the Alpilles mountains you follow the valley to the artists’ town of St. Rémy, best known for its most celebrated inhabitant, Vincent Van Gogh. Passing tiny villages you cross the Durance River and enter the department of the Vaucluse. After riding through the village of Caumont, a scenic route takes you through the orchard laden plains to the village of Isle sur la Sorgue, your next place of stay.
Wow” is probably the best way to sum up the day’s ride: a never ending barrage of eye candy and gorgeous perched medieval villages. The effort put forth during your climbs will be rewarded by visits of villages classed among the most beautiful in France, including Gordes and Roussillon. Today is the longest ride, so make sure to get an early start to take advantage of all the sites along the way. We recommend lunch in Roussillon. Either a picnic set beside the ochre quarry, overlooking the village, or a quaint restaurant in town
From the comforts of your island town, you’ll head along tiny country roads and get your legs warmed up while cycling through the towns of Velleron, and then Pernes with its fountains and onto St. Didier, before climbing to the hilltop village of Venasque. From Venasque, a succession of hidden perched villages in the Monts du Vaucluse leads you back to l’Isle sur la Sorgue. There is quite a bit of climbing today but your efforts will be rewarded by beautiful vistas and leisurely descents…
Depart after breakfast.
Plane: Avignon, Nimes, Paris, Marseille, Nice airports and by train.
Train: TGV stations Orange or Avignon
Car: A7 highway to Avignon
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