Home > Cycling Tour of Provence for Avid Riders
A minimum of 2 riders is required for this tour. Solo rider's price on request
Originally designed for a private group who gave their ‘seal of approval’ on the itinerary, we’ve welcomed clubs and individuals looking for an in-depth challenging tour of Provence. In fact, this itinerary is so well loved, it’s been featured in magazines and on websites like CyclingPlus!
Mix quality miles with Provence’s show-stopping scenery and you have one unforgettable journey. We can only recommend it to fit riders who can comfortably cover 90 to 100 km per day (50 to 60 miles). Over 8 days, you’ll make a grand tour of Avignon, Uzès, Orange, Mont Ventoux, Sault, Venasque, Bédoin, Roussillon, Les Baux, Saint-Rémy, and Arles… and that’s just a sample! On this self-guided journey, you’ll be at liberty to stop whenever you’d like, wherever you’d like — or to keep pedaling on to your heart’s content.
Other tours for in Provence include our scheduled tour Avignon to Niceand Upper Provence, Ventoux, and Luberon.
For travel and cycling tips to Provence, visit our "Travel and cycling tips" section.
Arrive in Avignon at the time of your choice. Your hotel is located within walking distance of all the major sites. In the afternoon, you’ll meet our local representative to go over the itinerary. Don’t be afraid to ask for restaurant recommendations so you can enjoy a hearty meal in advance of tomorrow’s ride!
Cycling through some of the Côtes-du-Rhône's most famous vineyards will lead you to the majestic Pont du Gard, France's millennia-old Roman aqueduct. From there, you can head to Uzés, a city with an exceptional medieval heritage, or take a shortcut and head straight towards Orange (a 28 km/18 mile shortcut) where your hotel is located.
Before you get on your bike for the tour's toughest day, you may want to take a stroll through Orange, famous for its Roman monuments. Of these, the Roman Theater and the Roman Arch are really worth the short walk from your hotel! Once you leave the city, you’ll be in an area known as the "Dentelles de Montmirail" (Dentelles means lace) with interesting rock formations, followed by a tour of the Côtes-du-Rhône vineyards of Vacqueyras and Beaumes-de-Venise. These provide the perfect warm-up for the day's challenge: the "Giant of Provence," all 1,910 m (5,700 ft.) of Mont Ventoux! The climb from Bédoin is the toughest, so feel free to stop for lunch and a rest before tackling it. This climb is one most often done by Tour de France riders, with the record to beat at 55 minutes and 51 seconds, held by Iban Mayo. The view from the top is magnificent!
From the summit, you can choose to ride back to Bédoin or do a loop ride before descending.
We provide two equally stunning routes to Roussillon today… the choice is yours to make! The first route will take you through Venasque and Fontaine-de-Vaucluse (home to one of the world's most powerful natural springs), along with the beautiful clifftop village of Gordes. It is also possible to add a few miles to include Isle-sur-la-Sorgue on this route. The second will get you to ochre-colored Roussillon via Venasque and the scenic Col de Murs, a climb done by Tour de France riders in 2000.
Prepare for a total change of scenery! The day first brings you through some of the “perched” villages made famous by Peter Mayle in A Year in Provence and crosses through traffic-heavy Cavaillon, the World Capital of Melons. The scenic Destet road will then take you through fields of olive trees to the Alpilles, a low-mountain range where Fontvieille is located.
Begin your day’s journey with a visit to the city of Arles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From a fashionable city littered with Roman ruins, our itinerary will take you to the Rhône River delta, which is a protected natural reserve called the Camargue. The Camargue is particularly unique thanks to its bevy of wildlife: migrating birds, flamingos, and wild horses. Although flat, the mythic Mistral winds can make this section difficult! Turn back inland and head towards Les Baux-de-Provence, a hilltop town with a towering fortress that offers unobstructed views over Provence and the Mediterranean Sea.
Although “short” compared to the others, this ride is full of sites worth visiting! St. Rémy-de-Provence and the nearby Glanum archaeological site are worth investigating, as are Tarascon and its medieval fortress. Closer to Avignon, you may wish to visit "La Montagnette" and the Abbey of St. Michel de Frigolet. Back in Avignon, you’re free to celebrate the conclusion of your tour however you please!
After breakfast, depart Avignon at the time of your choice.
1 night in a 2-star hotel, 6 nights in 3-star hotels (1 night in a superior room)
2 nights in 4-star hotels, 5 nights in 3-star hotels (1 night in a superior room)