Home > Biking from Avignon to the Camargue
Provence is perhaps home to the most diverse landscapes in France, for each smaller sub-region has its own character. The Camargue is encompassed by the Rhône River delta, also the source of its unique, ever-changing landscape. The saltwater lagoons(étangs) and expanses of marshland are home to a variety of animal and plant life, most notably wild horses and flamingos. It’s no surprise that all this untamed beauty is protected as a natural park!
To get to this quiet, rural region where farms and fishing boats outnumber people, you’ll ride to places whose human history is more evident: the Pont du Gard, Arles, and Tarascon, among others. The return ride to Avignon includes even more varied scenery, the likes of which have inspired artists for centuries.
For travel and cycling tips to Provence, visit our "Travel and cycling tips" section.
Arrive in Avignon at the time of your choice — ideally, you'll give yourself plenty of time to explore all the timeless treasures within the city’s walls. The Palace of the Popes towers over the city and is worth a visit just so you can appreciate the scale of this giant structure! The welcoming squares and side streets are a pleasure to stroll through as well.
Leaving Avignon behind, small country roads will lead you through the Gard, a wine-producing area that’s technically in the Languedoc province. Picturesque Provençal villages will provide many snack and drink opportunities on the way to Pont du Gard, France’s renowned ancient Roman aqueduct (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Take as much time as you want to marvel at this incredible engineering feat, and feel free to sunbathe or swim in the river below. When you’re ready, ride to Graveson where you’ll lodge for the night.
Riding through the town of Tarascon, you will discover one of France's best-preserved medieval fortresses — we recommend a visit. In Tarascon, you can also visit the fascinating Provence Fabric Museum, a place devoted to the local craft and run by Souleiado, one of the oldest fabric makers in the region. Further on you’ll encounter Daudet’s Windmill, the protagonist of Daudet’s bestselling book Letters from My Windmill that is now a museum. Finally, you will reach the city of Arles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an official commune in the Camargue.
An early breakfast will allow you enough time to meander through Arles and view relics of the city’s storied past, including the can’t-miss Roman theatre. From there, you will ride through Camargue’s dramatic landscape peppered with amazing creatures like flamingos, bulls, and wild horses! Unlike your previous days’ rides, villages are few and far between up to Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, so we recommend you take enough water and food along for the ride. You’ll then cross the Rhône River by boat and arrive in Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, where you will spend the next two nights.
Feel free to spend the day as you wish. In Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, you’ll find plenty of options. Sporty vacationers can try horseback riding, canoeing, 4-wheel driving, and hiking, among other activities. If you wish to enjoy a more laid-back day, why not take a dip in the pool or lay out on the beach? The serene backdrop of the Camargue makes for a rejuvenating day, no matter what you choose.
Cycling on the "Digue à la Mer," a car-free bike path near the sandy dunes of the Camargue, you’ll enjoy mesmerizing scenery. The landscape changes drastically once you reach the strong>Alpilles, a low-rise mountain range that has inspired the likes of Vincent van Gogh. On your way, you’ll have many lunch opportunities: open air cafés, gastronomic restaurants, or even a roadside picnic.
Wrap up your tour with a selection of picture-perfect Provençal towns. First is Les Baux de Provence, a hilltop village so beautiful that it has been awarded the coveted title of “Un des Plus Beaux Villages de France” (One of France’s Prettiest Villages). From this incomparable vantage point, one can see all the way to the Mediterranean Sea on a clear day. Further on, you will ride through Saint-Remy-de-Provence, where Van Gogh painted some of his best-known pieces. At the end of your route, you’ll find yourself back in Avignon.
Depart Avignon at the time of your choice.
5 nights in 3-star hotels, 2 nights in 2-star hotels. All have a swimming pool (except in Avignon and in Arles)
2 nights in a 4-star hotel, 5 nights in 3-star hotels. All have a swimming pool (except in Avignon)