Home > Bacchus in Provence
Visit Provence and you’re sure to spot traces of the Romans who once ruled the area — they even had a hand in the vineyards that populate the region today. On this tour, you’ll ride in their footsteps through the beautiful Rhone Valley, our itinerary taking you into the heart of the vines that become the “Côtes du Rhone” wines. Though you may already be familiar with the wines themselves, only on your bike can you also discover the gorgeous landscapes, charming towns, and sunny clime that together make up the authentic flavor of the region.
To allow you to fully appreciate your surroundings as you ride, we’ve made the most of bike paths and secondary roads in the area. Beginning and ending in the historic city of Avignon, our leisurely route will have you pedaling in the Provençal countryside; past the vineyards where renowned Beaumes-de-Venise, Gigondas, and Plan de Dieu wines are produced; and in the iconic presence of Mont Ventoux, aptly nicknamed the “Giant of Provence” and a Tour de France favourite. And each night you’ll stay in charming villages like Séguret and Bédoin, where you can celebrate a rewarding day of cycling and exploration with a hearty meal and a glass of wine—as Bacchus himself would surely do.
For travel and cycling tips to Provence, visit our "Travel and cycling tips" section.
Welcome to Avignon! The capital city of Côtes du Rhone wines and steeped in history, it’s the perfect place to begin your tour in Rhone wine-producing country. In the afternoon, you’ll meet with our local representative to get familiar with the tour and to pick up your rental bikes—then, the rest of the day is yours to use as you wish.
Visit the Old Town, enjoy a wine tasting, and try local specialties at the grand market les Halles. Your hotel tonight is conveniently located 10 minutes from the train station—where you’ll set off from tomorrow.
Enjoy an easy start to the day a 20-minute train ride to nearby Orange. We recommend taking an early train so you’ll have more time to visit this town, famed for its Roman architecture and relics. Marvel at its grand Arc de Triomphe and Roman amphitheater (the best conserved in all of Europe!), both designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Once you’ve had your fill, it’s time to pedal! You’ll soon find yourself out of city bustle and into the serene countryside, where you’ll get acquainted with the “blessed” vineyards of Plan de Dieu, which have been around since the Middle Ages. Continuing on, the bald peak of Mont Ventoux will guide you along small secondary roads to your destination, the village of Séguret. Designated one of France’s most beautiful villages, Séguret is brimming with historic monuments and buildings, including the 14th-century belfry and the 10th-century Saint-Denis church. It’s so lovely, we’ve arranged two nights for you here to explore to your heart’s content.
If you can tear yourself away from the delights of Séguret, we’ve mapped a scenic loop ride for today which will introduce you to some of the other charming villages in the area, including Villedieu and Rasteau. Some moderate climbing up vineyard-clothed hills will take you to the latter town, which you may know for its exquisite natural sweet wines (vins doux naturels).
As you continue on your ride, take time to appreciate the natural beauty of this region. In spring and autumn, a multitude of flowers blooming and leaves changing colours turn the landscape into a vibrant painting; while a cicada serenade adds a special touch to a summer ride. Wheel your way back to Séguret and savour one last dinner and wine tasting at your hotel—after all, you are staying on a wine estate!
In the morning, bid adieu to Séguret and bonjour to a full day of discovery. As you cycle between typical Provençal villages, you’ll be treated to spectacular sights: spot the Notre Dame d’Aubune chapel, the striking hilltop village of Barroux, and the hard-to-miss jagged limestone peaks of the Dentelles de Montmirail. At the foot of the mountains lie the sloped Beaumes-de-Venise vineyards, whose sweet wine is unique to the Rhone Valley; as well as the robust red Gigondas, whose name is aptly derived from the Latin “Jocunditas”, meaning “great pleasure and enjoyment”.
Enjoyment is the name of the game, as you wheel closer and closer towards the mythic Mont Ventoux following a largely flat path. Its famously bare summit and the history of cyclists who have tackled it are sure to add fresh energy to your legs (though we haven’t included the climb on this particular tour!) Tonight you’ll sleep at the foot of the mountain, in the village of Bédoin. Its proximity to Ventoux means you probably won’t be the only ones on bikes!
Your legs may be tired after 3 days of cycling, but not to worry—for your last riding day, just 20 km (12.5 miles) of leisurely pedaling along flat roads will take you to the lovely town of Carpentras. Its Old Town is home to a bevy of historical monuments and sites, among them the oldest French synagogue (built in 1367). Every Friday morning, the Old Town also plays host to a very nice Provençal market, where you can pick up some fresh local produce as well as try out vendors’ treats. It was right here in Carpentras where the berlingot—a striped fruit candy that actually started out as medicine!—was born.
If you choose to use the tickets included in your tour documents, a 30-minute train ride will whiz you and your bikes back to Avignon. If you’re still raring to ride, small winding roads will lead you through the countryside to Avignon (about 40 km/25 miles), closing the loop you began 4 days ago.
After breakfast, depart from Avignon at your leisure.
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