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 Easy - Medium
Price: from €1,160 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 Roussillon, you ride along quiet lanes and off-road 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.
Provence Cycling Tour Map


Tour Availability


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



Day 1 - Arrival in Roussillon

We pick you up from Avignon airport or train station and transfer you to your beautiful boutique hotel, situated in the red village of 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.
Roussillon
Red Village of Roussillon

Day 2 - Lacoste & Pont Julien

On the first full day in the saddle you tour around some of the beautiful villages of the Luberon region. The ride follows quiet country lanes and cycle routes which head through vineyards, lavender fields and picturesque pine forests.

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.

Cycle Routes:


Short Route: 32km (20 miles)

Long Route: 44km (27 miles)
Off Road Cycle Route
Scenic Cycle Route - Provence

Day 3 - Sénanque Abbey & Gordes

The riding today continues along quiet country lanes through stunning scenery. There is the opportunity to visit vineyards and olive oil tasting as you ride through the charming villages of Joucas and Murs.

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.

Cycle Routes:


Short Route: 30km (19 miles)

Long Route: 40km (25 miles)
Sénanque Abbey
Fragrant lavender at Sénanque Abbey

Day 4 - Vaucluse Region

This ride heads north into the beautiful Vaucluse region of Provence. You leave Gordes on rolling roads that wind through picturesque forest, before arriving at 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. The thermal waters and attractive buildings make it a great coffee stop.

From Fontaine you continue to Saumane-de-Vaucluse, where you can visit the pleasant castle, before the route loops back to Gordes along quiet back roads. There is also the option to extend the route to the lively town of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, home to one of the finest markets in all of Provence.

Cycle Routes:


Short Route: 32km (29 miles)

Long Route: 45km (28 miles)
Fontaine-de-Vaucluse
Fontaine-de-Vaucluse

Day 5 - Saint-Rémy-de-Provence & Glanum

Today you head west following mostly flat or gently rolling roads towards the Alpilles region of Provence. Following cycle routes and country lanes you ride through orchards and picturesque farmland, framed by the Alpilles (Little Alps) in the background.

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.

Cycle Routes:


Short Route: 39km (24 miles)

Long Route: 47km (29 miles)
Glanum - Gallo-Roman Town
Gallo-Roman Town of Glanum

Day 6 - Baux & Arles

There are a couple of route options today, depending on how far you wish to ride. The shorter ride follows a picturesque loop around the scenic rolling hills of the Alpilles. Among the highlights, is 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.

The other option is a long route, but almost completely flat. It heads through the valley of the mighty Rhone River to the charming town of Arles.

A former Roman provincial capital, Arles is home to some of the finest Roman ruins in Western Europe, including an amphitheatre, a theatre, baths and a forum complex. It was also the home of artist Vincent Van Gogh, and many of his paintings were set around the town.

Cycle Routes:


Short Route: 37km (23 miles)

Long Route: 65km (41 miles)
Quiet country Lanes - Provence
Picturesque Scenery in the Alpilles

Day 7 - Possible Extensions

The tour comes to an end today and we will transfer you to Avignon in time for your flight or train home. If you wish to add an extra night or two, we highly recommend riding into Avignon. The route passes the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pont du Gard - a stunning Roman bridge which formed part of a 50km long aqueduct.

Avignon is a town that is nice to visit for lovers of history. It 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.

Please Contact us if you would like to discuss the options for extending this itinerary.
Avignon City Walls
Avignon City Walls

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, 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:

Included
  • 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
Not Included:
  • Bike Hire (Optional Extra: see below for details)
  • Flights
  • Tour Extensions
  • Travel Insurance

Bicycles
Bicycle hire is not included in the cost of the holiday, as we know that some of you prefer to bring your own bikes.

If you wish to hire a bike from us, we can provide our lightweight hybrid bikes, e-bikes or carbon road bikes. The routes are suitable for whichever bike you feel most comfortable riding!

Prices for bike hire for the tour are as follows:

Hybrid Bikes: € 200 EUR
E-bikes: € 320 EUR
Road-Bikes: € 280 EUR


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.
Hybrid Bicycle Our lightweight hybrid bikes

Difficulty Level & Roads
We rate this tour as easy for the shorter routes and medium for the longer routes each day.

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
The tour begins in the village of Roussillon. Transfers to here are included from Avignon airport or 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 Saint-Remy-de-Provence. Transfers are again included from here to Avignon train station or airport.

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.
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?

*Updated Covid Policy 2022*


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

Reservations made in 2021 and 2022 (for holidays taking place in 2022) can be postponed for any time in the following year, 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 or 2022, if holidays are cancelled because of Covid related travel restrictions.

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. It can be quite cold at times in winter and we generally don't recommend doing this tour from December to February; although it is possible if you enjoy riding in crisp conditions, it is usually dry and you will have the region pretty much to yourself!

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 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 plenty more detailed information on the website.

Check out our guide to Roman Provence

La Maison des Ocres
Hotel Roussillon
This beautiful 3-star boutique hotel is situated in a traditional red maison in the heart of Roussillon. It has attractive gardens set around a swimming pool and is in a great location for exploring the charming village.
Mas de Senancole
Hotel - Gordes
This boutique hotel on the edge of Gordes is set around a traditional Provencal villa. You stay here for two nights. It has picturesque gardens surrounding a swimming pool, and also has spa facilities which are great for relaxing at the end of the day.
Hotel le Castelet des Alpilles
Hotel Saint-Rémny
This attractive *** hotel is situated in the center of St-Remy, and just a ten minute walk from the Roman ruins at Glanum. The comfortable rooms are housed inside a beautiful town house, which overlooks the swimming pool and charming garden.
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 €1,160 €600 Hybrid: €200
Road: €280
E-bike: €320
8th July - 31st August €1,340 €690 Hybrid: €200
Road: €280
E-bike: €320



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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