Home > The Arles Countryside
Perhaps our most popular cycling tour in Provence, The Arles Countryside is an itinerary designed to thrill. We know the very best way to be dazzled by Provence is to experience it on the seat of a bicycle, where nothing comes between you and the warm breeze blowing intoxicating aromas in your direction. If you think the charms of Provence are too good to be true, this tour will change your mind!
Be prepared to cycle uphill, downhill, and even back in time. The Alpilles region, with its cypresses and olive trees, may remind you of Greece, while the well-preserved Pont-du-Gard and the Arles Theater will take you back to ancient Roman times.
At your own pace, stop to visit abbeys, castles, gardens, vineyards, and whatever sites your heart desires. Further discover Provençal heritage at local cafés, markets, shops, and museums. Prefer to admire buildings from the outside? You don’t have to stop until you reach your charming accommodations for the night.
For travel and cycling tips to Provence, visit our "Travel and cycling tips" section.
Arrive in Avignon at your leisure. We highly recommend an early arrival so you can have plenty of time to explore Avignon! Within the city’s medieval walls, you’ll find the Palais des Papes, among other gems. Your accommodations are located close to our bike outfitter, just outside the main city gate — a perfect spot from which to start your ride tomorrow!
Leaving Avignon behind, you'll bike through Gard vineyards and Provençal villages to reach the majestic Pont du Gard, France’s towering Roman aqueduct, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As a self-guided rider, you have total freedom to spend as much (or as little) time as you want to tour this impressive 2,000-year-old wonder.
You can also take advantage of the canoeing and swimming opportunities in the Gardon River that flows beneath the aqueduct.
You'll cycle through "La Montagnette," a scenic low-rise range of hills, to Tarascon where we suggest a stop to visit one of France's best-kept medieval fortresses. Also of interest is the Souleiado fabric museum, where the rich-hued patterns so typical of Provençal homes are created.
On your way to Fontvieille, you'll find many restaurants and open-air cafés at which to have lunch. Or if you prefer, you can picnic roadside and acquire a firsthand understanding as to how the French countryside inspired so many artists throughout history.
Loop days are perfect for relaxing by the pool, but sometimes the loop really should not be skipped! Today’s loop will take you to Arles, one of Provence’s great cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A short ride leads you right to the middle of Arles’ lively streets and monuments, such as the Roman Theatre, that gives the city the atmosphere of an open-air museum. Escape the busy streets and head back to quiet Fontvieille.
Feel free to stop by a remarkably restored windmill made famous by Alphonse Daudet, whose best-selling book Letters from my Windmill prompted the creation of a museum there.
Today's route will take you through the low-rise mountain range called the Alpilles. Sprawling atop one of the hills is one of Provence's jewels: Les Baux de Provence. Although you’ll need to climb a bit to reach it, you’ll find it stunningly beautiful — there’s a reason it’s officially one of France's “most beautiful villages”. On a clear day, you simply must go on a tour of its medieval fortress, since it offers visitors unobstructed views over Provence all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.
Beyond Les Baux, you’ll reach Saint-Rémy — known for being Van Gogh’s home during some of his most productive years. Stop at the café he made immortal, or find a place out of the spotlight — it’s your call! Later, you’ll wheel back to Avignon.
After breakfast, depart Avignon at the time of your choice.
5 nights in 3-star properties. All have a swimming pool (except in Avignon)
2 nights in a 4-star property, 3 nights in 3-star properties. All have a swimming pool