Provence Self Guided Cycling Holiday
French FlagFrance

BEST OF PROVENCE

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday

French FlagFrance

The Best of Provence
Self-Guided Cycling Tour
Length: 7 Days
Level: Difficulty  Medium
Price: €1,390 EUR
This self-guided cycling holiday explores the best of Provence. Cycling through colorful and spectacular scenery, you visit charming villages, incredible historic monuments, world-class vineyards, Provencal markets that are a feast for the senses, and much more besides.

Starting from the village of Gordes, you ride along quiet lanes and off-road cycle routes through the Luberon and Alpilles regions. You visit Roussillon, Avignon, Glanum, Saint Rémy, Châteauneuf du Pape, Pont du Gard 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.
Provence Cycling Tour Map


Tour Availability


J F M A M J J A S O N D



Day 1 - Gordes

We pick you up from Marseille (Provence) airport or Avignon train station and transfer you to your boutique hotel, housed in a traditional Provencal villa near to the village of Gordes.

Depending on your arrival time there is the possibility of doing a short circular ride around the local vineyards. Or you can simply relax in the hotel's swimming pool and spa.
Gordes
Hilltop village of Gordes

Day 2 - Abbey de Sénanque & Roussillon

Today you cycle around the beautiful villages of the Luberon. Leaving the hotel, you follow quiet and gently rolling roads to the 'red village' of Roussillon. Constructed from sandstone rock, the vibrant colors of the village contrast spectacularly with the nearby pine forests and vineyards.

From Roussillon you continue riding along scenic lanes, leading into the village of Gordes. Gordes is Provence at its most idyllic: a small Medieval village carved into the hillside overlooking the vineyards below.

After visiting the castle in Gordes, you head to Sénanque - a Cistercian abbey dating from the 12th century, that is also famous for its surrounding lavender fields.

The day finishes with a fun donwhill back to the hotel.

Cycle Routes:


Short Route: 35km (23 miles)

Long Route: 46km (29 miles)
Sénanque Abbey
Colorful lavender at Sénanque Abbey

Day 3 - Saint-Rémy-de-Provence & Glanum

The route today begins by heading to the village of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. Situated at the source of the River Sorgue, this natural beauty spot has been highly regarded since ancient times, when it was the center of a pagan cult.

From Fontaine, you continue through the vineyards and arable farmland to St Rémy-de-Provence. St-Rémy is an intensely colourful and captivating market town, and it is easy to see why its charms captured the imagination of its most famous former resident - Vincent Van Gogh.

St Rémy 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.

Cycle Routes:


Short Route: 44km (29 miles)

Long Route: 63km (38 miles)
Quiet country Lanes - Provence
Fontaine-de-Vaucluse

Day 4 - Baux & Arles

Today the route heads south into the tranquil oak forests of the Alpilles. Rolling lanes lead you to the picture-postcard village of Baux. Perched into the hillside underneath its Medieval castle, Baux makes for a memorable coffee stop. It is an old border post town, responsible for guarding the flat plains to the east of the River Rhone.

From here, the shorter route returns to the hotel in Saint-Rémy through the parkland of The Alpilles. The longer route loops through the city of Arles, home to a magnificent collection of Roman monuments.

Cycle Routes:


Short Route: 37km (26 miles)

Long Route: 59km (37 miles)
Quiet Country Lanes
Quiet Country Lanes - Baux

Day 5 - Pont du Gard & Avignon

The ride today is quite long, but it is almost completely flat, and so is not the most challenging. You begin by leaving Saint-Rémy and the Alpilles, and heading towards the mighty River Rhone. The shorter route runs alongside the river and passes the imposing castle of Beaucaire and the scenic vineyards of the Gard region.

The longer route takes a diversion to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pont du Gard - a stunning Roman bridge which formed part of a 50km long aqueduct.

Both routes then join up next to the Rhone and continue into the city of Avignon. Avignon is still surrounded by its intact Medieval walls; and the charming center is dominated by the Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes). During the 14th century, various rival Popes set up residence in Avignon as part of a long running power struggle for control of the Catholic church.

Cycle Routes:


Short Route: 54km (34 miles)

Long Route: 74km (46 miles)
Palace of the Popes - Avignon
Palace of the Popes - Avignon

Day 6 - Châteauneuf-du-Pape

On the final day in the saddle you head north out of Avignon, cycling alongside the River Rhone. After a pleasant ride you reach Orange, another one of Provence's most impressive historic cities. Orange is best known for its Roman theatre, which is still in use today, but it was also an important regional capital in the 16th and 17th centuries and has an impressive old town.

From there you continue to your destination for the day: the historic town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This charming village is also the wine capital of the region. We recommend visiting one of the local wineries for a tasting, and are sure you will enjoy riding through the picturesque scenery of the vineyards.

Cycle Routes:


Short Route: 41km (27 miles)

Long Route: 45km (29 miles)
Leaving Avignon alongside its Medieval Walls
Leaving Avignon alongside its Medieval Walls

Day 7 - Departure from Avignon

After breakfast, the cycling holiday comes to an end. We can help to arrange extra nights for you to stay in Provence or elsewhere nearby.

If you prefer not to extend your stay, we will transfer you to Marseille airport or Avignon train station in time for your onward journey.

To find out more information about this holiday; including practical information, prices, dates and more tour highlights; return to the top of the page and click on the various tabs.

Roman Theatre - Orange
Roman Theatre - Orange

This tour explores the best of Provence. You visit the most beautiful villages in the region, cycling between them on quiet country lanes through vineyards and beautiful scenery.

We show you authentic Provence: the history; the colors; the charm and even the smells! Whether visiting Glanum, Roussillon, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Avignon, 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:

Included
  • 6 Nights Accommodation (see the Hotels section for more details)
  • Continental breakfast each day
  • Bicycle Hire (Hybrid, road or e-bike)
  • 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
Not Included:

Bicycles
Bicycle hire is included in the cost of the holiday, and we recommend our lightweight hybrid bikes or e-bikes for this tour.

We particularly recommend ebikes if you would like to do the longer routes, but are worried that the distances may be a bit too much.

If you prefer we can also provide road bikes, the routes do change slightly for these to avoid a couple of gravel sections.

More details about our bikes can be found on our bicycles page. All of our bikes come with helmets and handlebar bags if required, as well as a Cycle Fiesta water bottle.
Hybrid Bicycle Our lightweight hybrid bikes

Difficulty Level & Roads
We rate this tour as medium level overall due to the length of the ride on day 5 into Avignon. But most of the shorter routes are closer to our 'easy' tour level.

All of the routes are mostly flat or gently rolling, with no major climbing. The most significant climbs are actually on the first day in the saddle, as two of the villages that you visit are perched on small hills.

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
The tour begins in the village of Gordes. Transfers to here are included from Marseille (Provence) airport. If you are unable to get flights there, then we recommend flying into either Lyon, Nice or Paris and taking the fast train from there to Avignon, and we will pick you up at Avignon train station.

If you are already staying in Provence, we are happy to collect from elsewhere in the region - just let us know when before the tour begins.

The holiday ends in Ch√Ęteaneuf-du-Pape. Transfers are again included from here to Avignon train station.

Please contact us if you would like any advice or more information regarding getting to and from the region.
Provence Arrivals and Departure Map

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.


What is your policy regarding Covid travel restrictions?

*Covid Policy 2021*


In response to the Covid Pandemic we have made some temporary alterations to our standard terms and conditions.

Reservations made in 2021 (for holidays taking place in either 2021 or 2022) can be postponed for any time in the following two years, without penalty, if you are unable to travel as a result of travel restrictions or other uncertainty. Notification of the postponement must be made at least ten days before the start of the tour.

Before the balance of the invoice has been paid, the deposit of €150 is also refundable in full for reservations made in 2021, if holidays are cancelled because of Covid related travel restrictions or uncertainty.

For reservations not made in 2021, the normal terms and conditions regarding cancellation apply.

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 June) and Autumn or fall (September to November) the temperature is at the most pleasant for cycling.

It's possible to go on this holiday year round, but bear in mind that temperatures can get very hot at times in July and August, and it can be a bit chilly in winter.

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 Avignon, Nimes or 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 more detailed information on the website.

Check out our pages on Avignon, Nimes and the French Riviere for more details about what to expect from Provence.

Mas de Senancole
Hotel - Gordes
This boutique hotel on the edge of Gordes is set around a traditional Provencal villa. We stay here for the first two nights of the trip. It has picturesque gardens surrounding a swimming pool, and also has spa facilities which are great for relaxing at the end of the day.
Villa Glanum
Hotel Saint-Rémny
This delightful spa hotel is situated just a short walk from the historic center of Saint-Rémy, and is next to the stunning archaeological site of Glanum. It is set in a large villa and also has modern spa facilities.
Cloitre Saint Louis
Louis Hotel - Avignon
This 4-star hotel is housed in a beautiful 16th century monastery set inside Avignon's Medieval city walls. It is a short walk from the Palais des Papes and also has an impressive rooftop swimming pool, offering views over Avignon's historic center.
Enclos de l'Hers
Boutique Hotel - Chateauneuf
This boutique villa is situated amidst the vineyards of Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape. It is in a beautiful setting, where you can relax next to the swimming pool, or take a stroll around the grounds.
To find out more about how we select our hotels, please see our accommodation page.


Starting Date Price (per person)¹ Single Supplement Bike Hire
All Other Dates €1,390 EUR €600 EUR Included
22nd July - 26th August €1,540 EUR €650 EUR Included



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.


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