Home > The Luberon Regional Park
When you think “Provence” you probably envision sun-soaked hilltop villages and endless fields of flowers — scenes immortalized by artists and writers, among them Peter Mayle, author of A Year in Provence. His adopted home is in the Luberon, and he’s not the first person to recognize the importance of this region! The Luberon has been designated a regional nature park and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in order to protect the immense treasures found here, from the breathtaking landscapes to the diverse flora and fauna.
The places on our incredible cycling itinerary are ready for you to create your own unforgettable adventure, whether or not you’ve read Mayle’s books. Gordes, Ménerbes, Lourmarin, Roussillon — they’re officially some of France’s “Most Beautiful Villages” and they deserve their titles! We’ll lead you off the tourist trail as well, on quiet roads through quaint villages and wide-open spaces, where you can fully absorb the sights and scents of Provence.
For travel and cycling tips to Provence, visit our "Travel and cycling tips" section.
Arrive in Avignon at the time of your choice. An early arrival will allow you time to visit Avignon and its highlights, like the Palace of the Popes, located a few minutes’ walk from your hotel.
After breakfast, you’ll head east for a ride through fields of fruit trees to the Plateau des Monts de Vaucluse, where the scenery changes dramatically. Charming places such as Fontaine-de-Vaucluse and Isle-sur-la-Sorgue will make perfect lunch stops, unless of course you choose to picnic roadside and enjoy the scenery.
Prepare to ride below your average speed today as you cycle through some of Luberon’s most picturesque hilltop villages — you may find it hard to resist stopping at each and everyone one of them! Oppède-le-Vieux, Ménerbes, Lacoste, and Bonnieux ooze that charming Provence “façon de vivre” so well captured by Peter Mayle. Make sure you stop and lunch at one of the cozy restaurant terraces and take in the local atmosphere.
Today being a loop day, you may choose to give your legs a rest and relax by the pool or wander among Roussillon’s magnificent ochre-colored houses. However, we recommend you hop on your bike and ride one of our two suggested loops. One option will lead to Gordes, another one of France’s most beautiful villages (like Roussillon).
If your legs can cover more ground, you may even choose to do the big loop all the way to “Colorado Provençal," an area so different that you may wonder if you’re still in Provence.
Following our detailed directions, you will leave the Petit Luberon behind and ride to the heart of the wilder Grand Luberon. Your colorful and scenic route offers many perfect picnic spots along the way. Although nature is the highlight of today’s ride, sites and villages will take a close second. Among others, we highly recommend a stop in Lourmarin.
Of course, as a self-guided rider, you can choose to spend as much or as little time exploring our suggested sites.
Another loop, another ride that has everything a vacationing cyclist could ask for! Enjoy quiet and scenic roads, breathtaking views, and wonderful off-the-beaten-track sites like the Chateau d’Ansouis, among others.
You won’t ride back all the way to Avignon. Instead, our directions will take you along the River Durance to Cavaillon, the World’s Capital of Melons where you'll hop on a train to reach “Avignon Centre,” the centrally located train station in Avignon.
An early arrival will allow for an easy-paced afternoon of souvenir shopping, museum visiting, or writing envy-inducing postcards to family and friends.
After breakfast, depart Avignon at the time of your choice.
2 nights in 4-star hotels, 5 nights in 3-star hotels, 4 nights with a swimming pool
4 nights in 4-star hotels, 3 nights in 3-star hotels, 6 nights with a swimming pool