Home > Biking the Vineyards of the Côtes du Rhône
Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Picpoul, Mourvèdre, and Clairette are varieties of grapes grown in the Rhône Valley. These and other varieties go into the Côtes-du-Rhône and Côtes-du-Ventoux wines that are beloved all over the world, not simply in France! But truly the best way to appreciate these wines is to cycle through the vineyards where they’re produced.
You'll soon learn important words of French wine lingo, a vernacular spoken by the men and women who work patiently, day after day, season after season, making the "nectar of the Gods." Terroir, vintage, acidity, growth, aroma, and color will become part of your every day vocabulary.
Cycling on quiet, secondary roads, you'll discover superb scenery, sculpted by nature and improved by generations of wine-makers.
For travel and cycling tips to Provence, visit our "Travel and cycling tips" section.
Arrive in Avignon on your own schedule, but be sure to arrive in time to attend your briefing and bike outfitting! Check in to your hotel, where you can secure your bikes as you set off to discover the old quarter of Avignon inside its city walls.
Today's itinerary will take you to the Gard department on the right bank of the Rhône River. You'll bike in and around the town of Tavel, a name famed for its easy-to-sip rosé wines. Later in the day, you'll cycle through the vineyards of Lirac, which produce red, white and rosé wines that are highly appreciated within the region.
Then it's on to world-renowned Châteauneuf-du-Pape, whose castle lies in ruins but whose name lives on thanks to the lush, silky notes enjoyed by those who drink the local wine. The first vines were planted here in ancient Roman times, and although they’ve long since disappeared, you’ll find evidence of Roman inhabitants at your destination of Orange. The Roman theater and arch are definitely worth the short walk from your hotel!
Leaving Orange behind and traveling north, you will be cycling through the countryside, past old villages and their castles, and of course, vineyards! Needless to say, it is a very picturesque ride. Of interest is Suze-la-Rousse and the castle, which is home to the Université du Vin (university of wine) — it might inspire a career change requiring you to study there! Overnight in the scenic Dentelles de Montmirail area in a real wine-making estate!
Rest, bike, or do both... you can spend the day as you wish! Our loop will take you through the Dentelles of Montmirail, an area covered with pine trees, oak trees, and more vineyards. You’ll also cycle to some of the most incredible villages, like Vacqueyras, Gigondas, and Beaumes-de-Venise
Crossing the Dentelles-de-Montmirail on quiet roads, you'll reach Vaison-la-Romaine, France's largest archaeological site. Its excavated Roman sites should not be missed. You'll soon be cycling in the foothills of Mont Ventoux, the "Giant of Provence." This area is also home to the Côtes du Ventoux, an appellation enjoyed around the globe.
Ride into the heart of the Côtes-du-Ventoux vineyards on today’s optional loop. A variety of landscapes, including plateaus topped with beautiful villages like Venasque, provide a feast for the eyes. The towering Giant of Provence will satiate your visual appetite as well!
The return to Avignon follows a lovely itinerary with superb views, many small villages, pleasant stops by gurgling fountains, and shaded cafés.
After breakfast, depart Avignon at the time of your choice.
7 nights in 3-star hotels (five properties of character). One of the hotels is an actual wine-making estate. All have a swimming pool except in Avignon and Orange
2 nights in a 4-star hotel, 5 nights in 3-star hotels of character. One of the hotels is an actual wine-making estate. All have a swimming pool except in Orange.