BEST OF PROVENCE
Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Starting from the village of Roussillon, you ride along quiet country lanes and cycle routes through the Luberon and Alpilles regions. You visit Roussillon, Gordes, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, Glanum, Saint Rémy, Baux, Arles and dozens of other memorable places as you really get to know the best of Provence.
The tour is suitable for riders of all levels, with two different route options each day depending on how far you wish to ride. We follow quiet roads and cycling greenways away from traffic. Below you can find a detailed itinerary, and click on the tabs to see more highlights, as well as all the practical information about the holiday.
We also run a guided version of this tour.
Day 1 - Arrival in Roussillon
Depending on your arrival time there is the possibility of doing a short circular ride around the local vineyards. You can also explore the narrow streets of Roussillon and admire the spectacular red ochre rock that gives the village such a distinctive appearance.
Red Village of Roussillon
Day 2 - Lacoste & Pont Julien
Highlights include the village of Lacoste, where you can visit an impressive castle which was once the home of the infamous Marquis de Sade. You will also ride across Pont Julien - a Roman bridge across the Cavalon River, which dates from the time of the Emperor Augustus.
The ride finishes back in Roussillon, where you can relax and enjoy fine Provencal cuisine in a local restaurant.
Short Route: 37km (23 miles)
Long Route: 44km (27 miles)
Riding through the Luberon
Day 3 - Sénanque Abbey & Gordes
One of the highlights of the day is Sénanque Abbey. Dating from the 12th century, the abbey is housed in a beautiful Medieval building and is surrounded by spectacularly colorful and fragrant fields of lavender.
From the abbey, the route descends gently to Gordes. Another one of Provence's most beautiful villages, Gordes is perched on the side of a cliff with incredible views overlooking the valley below and the Luberon region.
Short Route: 31km (19 miles)
Long Route: 40km (25 miles)
Fragrant lavender at Sénanque Abbey
Day 4 - Vaucluse Region
From Fontaine you can extend the route to Saumane-de-Vaucluse, home to a pleasant castle, before the route heads back into the Luberon region. The ride follows quiet country lanes through vineyards and lavendar fields around the delightful village of Maubec. There is also the possibility to visit a local olive oil producer for a tasting.
Short Route: 42km (26 miles)
Long Route: 60km (37 miles)
Fontaine de Vaucluse
Day 5 - Saint-Rémy-de-Provence & Glanum
Highlights on the route include the charming village of Eygalières, which is known for its cheeses and makes for a great lunchstop. From there it is a short distance to your destination for the evening, the town of St-Remy-de-Provence.
St-Rémy is an intensely colourful and captivating market town, full of the delightful sights, smells and sounds that make the Provence region so special. The town is also home to Glanum - the best preserved ancient ruins in all of France. Glanum is France's answer to Pompeii: an incredible site where you can see the ruins of Greek houses, Gaulish fortifications and Roman temples all on the same site.
Short Route: 38km (24 miles)
Long Route: 49km (30 miles)
Gallo-Roman Town of Glanum
Day 6 - Baux & Arles
Built on a rocky outcrop, the Medieval streets of Baux are fascinating to explore. During the 12th and 13th centuries, the small village was the capital of a vast feudal state, which controlled huge areas of Provence.
From Baux you descend on quiet lanes, passing an impressive Roman aqueduct as you head into the Camargue region. You enter Arles on cycle lanes, passing the Langlois bridge immortalized by Van Gogh.
The ride finishes in the historic heart of Arles - a city which is home to some of the finest Roman ruins in Western Europe, including an amphitheatre, a theatre, baths and a forum complex.
Short Route: 38km (23 miles)
Long Route: 51km (31 miles)
Quiet Country Lanes
Day 7 - Possible Extensions
You may also wish to extend the holiday, by spending extra nights in Arles or one of the other attractive destinations nearby, such as the French Riviera, Marseille or Avignon.
Please Contact us if you would like to discuss the options for extending this itinerary.
Avignon City Walls
We show you authentic Provence: the history; the colors; the charm and even the smells! Whether visiting Glanum, Roussillon, Gordes, Baux, Saint Rémy or dozens of other places, we want every day to provide truly memorable experiences.
Check out just a few of the many highlights of the tour in the photo album below:
- ✔ 6 Nights Accommodation (see the Hotels section for more details)
- ✔ Continental breakfast each day
- ✔ Transfers to and from the arrival and departure points (see below for details)
- ✔ Luggage transferred between hotels
- ✔ GPS routes and mobile app to easily follow the routes
- ✔ Detailed information pack
- ✔ Hybrid Bike Hire (E-bikes and Road bikes also available for supplement of €150
- ❌ Flights
- ❌ Tour Extensions
- ❌ Travel Insurance
Carbon road bikes and e-bikes are also available for an extra charge of €150 EUR per bicycle.
More details the kind of bikes we offer can be found on our bicycles page. All of our bikes come with helmets and a water bottle.
Difficulty Level & Roads
The rides are flat or gently rolling, with a couple of longer (but fun!) climbs up to hilltop villages.
Overall, we believe that this is a leisurely tour and is suitable for riders of all levels. It is not necessary to have done a lot of riding in preparation.
We hate cycling alongside traffic, and so ride on a combination of quiet paved roads and cycling greenways. The vast majority is paved, but there are some short gravel sections. These can be avoided if you are on a road bike or prefer to stay entirely on paved roads.
Find out more about our tour difficulty levels.
Arrival and Departure
If you are already staying in Provence, we may be able to transfer you to Roussillon from elsewhere in the region - please let us know when before the tour begins.
The holiday ends in Arles. Transfers are included from here to Arles train or bus station. We can also arrange for transfers to Marseille or Avignon airports on request.
Please contact us if you would like any advice or more information regarding getting to and from the region, or if you would like to arrange a transfer to or from a different location.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please browse through some of the frequently asked questions about this cycling tour. If you have any further questions, or would like any more information, please contact us and we will answer by email.
Should I do the longer or shorter routes?
This depends entirely on you! The longer and shorter routes all start and finish at the same place, and so you can decide on any given day which you would prefer to do. There is no need to commit until the day of the ride itself.
On the longer routes you see more and are able to visit more places, while the shorter routes are more relaxing and ideal if you like to take your time and go at a slower pace.
If you would like to visit the extra towns and monuments on the longer routes, but are worried about the distances, then we recommend hiring an e-bike, which will give you more flexibility.
When is the best time of year to go on this holiday?
Provence is mostly dry and sunny throughout the year, with little rain.
In Spring (April to July) and Autumn or fall (September to November) the temperature is at its most pleasant for cycling.
It can be quite cold at times in winter and we generally don't recommend doing this tour from December to February.
The tour can be started on any day of the week.
Can I change or customize this tour?
Yes, absolutely. The itinerary is very flexible and we would be happy to customize it however you wish. If for example, you would like to stay in a particular town or hotel we can arrange this.
Likewise, if you would prefer to do longer or shorter rides, including evening meals, or stay somewhere for extra nights, please let us know and we can adjust the itinerary accordingly.
Can I extend the tour?
Yes, we would be happy to arrange any tour extensions for you. The most popular option is to spend extra nights in
the French Riviere.
But we can also help you to extend the trip if you wish to visit the Alps, or any other destination in Provence or elsewhere nearby.
Do you run this as a guided tour?
Yes, for more details, check out the guided version of this holiday.
Why book with us?
We are a small and independent company who are locally based, which offers several advantages:
- We have a lot personal experience of all of our tours, which have been refined over many years. We believe we are genuine experts in the regions where we run tours, and we are also close at hand to offer support and a personalized service.
- We are flexible and can tailor our itineraries to suit your requirements.
- We have low overheads. We don't spend money on advertising and don't use third party agents. We only sell our tours through this website.
By cutting out the middle man, you can be sure that more of what you pay is being spent on the important things: like hotels, equipment and other services.
- We are a registered and fully bonded tour operator in accordance with EU regulations.
What is your cancellation policy?
The full cancellation policy can be found in our terms and conditions.
Where can I find more information about the region?
We have plenty more detailed information on the website.
Check out our guide to Roman Provence
La Maison des Ocres
Mas de Senancole
Hotel le Castelet des Alpilles
Hotel du Forum
|Starting Date||Price (per person)¹||Single Supplement||Bike Hire|
|All Other Dates||€1,380||€500||Hybrid Bikes Included|
Road & E-bikes: €150
|8th July - 31st August||€1,640||€630||Hybrid Bikes Included|
Road & E-bikes: €150
¹Price is based on two people sharing a double or twin room. If you would prefer to stay in a single room, the single supplement is applicable.
To reserve a place on the tour, click the button above and complete the reservation form. We will then get back to you within 24 hours to confirm the reservation, and to arrange for payment of the deposit.
For more details on the booking process, please check out our Reservations page.