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“Bien manger et bien boire” or “eat well and drink well” is more than just a phrase — it’s a way of life in Provence! Our beloved itinerary takes you on a tour of Drôme and Provence to feed all your senses. Along the way, you’ll meet colorful locals, whether it’s the farmer selling his harvest at the local market or the sommelier explaining the differences between different vintages. Everyone here is in love with the culinary heritage, and visitors are welcome to immerse themselves in their traditions.
A gastronomic tour by bike allows you to combine two passions — food and cycling — and provides just the right number of hills to justify over-indulging in gourmet delights at dinnertime. Regional favorites include Picodon goats’ milk cheese, round little pâtés called Caillette de Chabeuil, and Clairette de Die, an AOC-protected sparkling white wine. Savor the aromas of lavender if you visit during the season, and relish meals prepared with love (accompanied by tasty local wine!). After each evening full of palate pleasers, you’ll retire for some R&R at a quaint guesthouse or hotel with Provençal character.
For travel and cycling tips to Provence, visit our "Travel and cycling tips" section.
Arrive in Chateaudouble, a small village at the foot of the Vercors Mountains. After settling down in your cozy chambre d'hôtes (Bed and Breakfast), a traditional farm in the countryside, you may want to take a walk at your leisure... to work up your appetite and to enjoy the peaceful setting! Before dinner, our local expert will give you the necessary materials and equipment to enjoy a week of cycling and dining. At a predetermined time (usually 8:00 pm), the farm owner will call you in for a memorable homemade feast featuring produce grown on her own land.
From the foot of the Vercors, you'll cross the Valence region ("Pays Valentinois") from north to south, all the way to the Drôme River. Undiscovered by tourists, it’s a truly authentic area, and one rich in contrasts: flat plains and rolling hills, valleys, and soaring plateaus… Feel free to stop and enjoy the landscape, or head into village shops to pick up local products. Depending on the season,Honey, cheese, liquor, and bread are just a tiny sampling of the heavenly fresh delights you can find.
Following the Drôme River, you’ll reach the city of Crest, which you’ll recognize immediately once you spot its towering citadel. The city is home to an artisanal chocolate maker and museum, sure to be a draw for those with a sweet tooth. Nearby vineyards produce a sparkling white wine called "Clairette de Die" whose roots stretch back to Gallic times! Further on, vineyards give way to cliffs and forests and an uphill section will take you to Saou, a village dating back to the Middle Ages. Its nearby forest has been attracting visitors since 1050 BCE! From here you’ll also enjoy a fantastic view of the towering “Roc” that looms over the village and the “Rochers des Aiguilles” in the distance. The view is magnificent! After a long downhill through the Roubion valley, you'll reach Marsanne, where you'll overnight.
Today is yours to spend as you please! If you wish to give your bike a rest, you can enjoy a relaxing stroll through Marsanne or visit its medieval Old Town…and of course try some of the local white Hermitage wine.
If you’re still raring to ride, we’ve mapped an easy route through the surrounding idyllic countryside. You’ll encounter flat expanses of farmland surrounded by pretty villages such as La Laupie, on its hilltop perch.
Along the way, make a stop at a family farm where they have been producing and selling cured meats and sausages for generations! Be a part of tradition and try some “boudin noir” (blood sausage) or “caillettes” (large meatballs) before getting back on the bike.
Conquer one final hill climb before reaching the colorful Drôme Provencale region,the land of lavender, truffles, and wine! Breathe in the fresh country air as you cycle past hilltop villages and typical stone houses.
The ride is exhilarating but we do recommend stopping at least twice — first to visit the Trappist monks of the Aiguebelle Monastery and then to try the Grignan-les-Adhémar wine (previously known as Tricastin) at a local estate. Believe it or not, wine production in this area dates back to antiquity! Overnight in Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux, which, despite its name, is not home to three castles (there was a mistranslation from Latin) — though it is full of intriguing medieval buildings.
Today will be dedicated to discovering the wine-producing Côtes-du-Rhône area. Real products of their environment, some of these wines are light and fruity, while others are full-bodied and strong. Biking through this region is a real treat for the senses, especially sight, smell, and taste! In no time, you'll be in Orange, known for its exceptional Roman theater where summertime performances are held to this day. Take some time to explore the town’s impressive Roman architecture, and sweeten your day even more with some of the local specialties: Calissons d'Aix, Nougat de Montélimar and Berlingots de Carpentras.
Heading south will take you to Châteauneuf-du-Pape (literally the “Pope’s new castle") where remains of the castle still stand. More importantly, you’ll find the ancient vines whose fruit becomes the region’s most prestigious wine. Stop for a quick taste if you want, but be sure to grab a bottle to put in your pannier to go! Ride on to Avignon, the city of art and culture, and secure your bikes at your hotel — the city is best discovered on foot. Lose yourself in the Old Town, with its historic buildings such as the Palais des Papes and the remains of a 12th-century bridge on the river. Indulge yourself in the many shops offering goodies including pastis, papalines, and gratelon.
If your schedule allows it, take advantage of your free time to discover Les Halles, the largest covered market in Avignon (open every day except Mondays until 1:00 pm). This is where you'll find produce of all kinds, bread of all shapes, olives of all sizes and colors, and a myriad of honey, cheeses, and spices. Reminisce about the beautiful and unique landscapes you rode through to get here…everything here is as varied as the Provence that produced them!
Depart Avignon at the time of your choice.
2 nights in 4-star hotels, 2 nights in guesthouses of character, 2 nights in 3-star properties, and 1 night in a 2-star property (3 nights with swimming pool)
1 night in a 2-star property, 1 night in a 3-star property, 3 nights in 4-star properties, 2 nights
in guesthouses of character (4 nights with swimming pool)