Cycle Provence

Cycle Provence

From $ 2,855 AUD

Description

Wind your way past neat rows of vineyards, beneath towering aqueducts and through forests on this active cycling adventure through Provence. This journey through Southern France is an idyllic blend of scenic trail riding, historical sights and wine tasting. Visit the serene gardens of St Remy to see where Vincent van Gogh created his famous works. Savour regional red wines at a vineyard outside Avignon. Walk the cobbled streets of Les Baux and marvel at the stunning views from atop its limestone cliffs.

Trip Name
Cycle Provence
Last Updated
2020-05-27
Days
8
Capacity
15
Highlights
  • Cycle through the same landscapes that inspired some of Vincent van Gogh's greatest masterpieces
  • Encounter rich Roman history and architecture in the historic towns of Arles and Orange
  • Stop in at famous vineyards outside Avignon and savour iconic French wines
  • Pass by fragrant fields en route to the spectacular three-tiered city of Pont du Gard
  • Search for wild white horses outside Camargue as you cycle to the Mediterranean Sea

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. BOOKING MUSEUMS AND ATTRACTIONS IN ADVANCE: To avoid disappointment we have outlined (where applicable) some important information on some of the major museums and attractions in Europe. Some of our groups have experienced long lines of up to four hours to visit some of the major sights, while some sights are so popular they are booked out completely months in advance, making it impossible for you or your leader to arrange a visit while you are on the trip. Please note that many museums and attractions in Europe are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays. We recommend you carefully consider which sites and museums you are going to want to visit and that you do some research and make your reservations in advance where possible. If applicable we've given you information in the day-to-day itinerary which outlines which day of the trip is a suitable time to make your reservations, as well as any other information that may help with planning your visit.

Day 1 - Avignon
Welcome to Avignon! Today is arrival day. There are no activities planned for today except for a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Your leader will be collecting insurance and next of kin details at this meeting, so please make sure you arrange a flight that will deliver you in time. If arriving early, perhaps pay a visit to the historic Palais des Papes and the Pont d’Avignon, or simply take some time to explore the leafy streets of this French city.  Riding distance: none
Day 2 - Orange
After breakfast there will be a bike fitting session for the group followed by a short test ride to ensure everyone's equipment has been set up properly. Depart Avignon and cycle approximately 32 kilometres on quiet and flat country roads en route to Orange. Along the way, pass through the famous wine region of Chateauneuf du Pape and have the option to stop and enjoy a vineyard visit. Sample (in moderation) some of the red wine the region is so famous for then continue on the road to Orange. Note that the terrain will become a little more hilly as you approach Orange. After checking in to the hotel in Orange and cleaning up, head out on an orientation walk of this compact town, visiting the Arc de Triomphe d'Orange and the outstanding Roman Theatre, one of the best preserved Roman theatres in Europe. Ride distance: approx. 32 kms/20 miles, mostly flat with a 100m climb near the end, approx. 250m/820ft of elevation gain.
Day 3 - Uzes
Leave Orange behind and ride the quiet roads south to the delightful walled Provencal commune of Caderousse. Here, cross the mighty Rhone river and pass the medieval village of Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres, cycling past the vineyards producing Lirac wines, the favourite wines of historic kings and the papal community in Avignon. Continue west through wine country and on to the legendary Pont du Gard, widely considered to be one of the world’s best preserved examples of a Roman Aqueduct. Towering high above the Gardon River, this three-tiered stone masterpiece never fails to impress. On a quiet day there may even be an opportunity to ride across it! After visiting the Pont du Gard we proceed west to the small town of Uzes with its graceful circuit of boulevards and cute cafes. Ride distance: approx. 70 kms/44 miles, undulating with approx. 630m/2065ft of elevation gain
Day 4 - Saint Remy
Today is a long day in the saddle that will be rewarded with impressive sights along the way. Hopefully the infamous mistral wind will be blowing from the northwest, providing a tailwind all the way to Saint Remy! Winding back across the Rhone, travel beneath the old city gate and into the small town of Tarascon. Take a short break from cycling to visit the imposing medieval castle, before sitting on the riverbank to learn about the legend of the Tarasque, the namesake of the town. After lunch, continue to the charming village of Saint-Remy-de-Provence. In distinct contrast to the surrounding larger cities and towns, Saint Remy displays a typically Provencal way of life. Visit the serene gardens of Saint-Paul Asylum where Vincent van Gogh was a self-admitted patient and where he painted many works of art, including ‘Irises’ and the famous ‘The Starry Night’. Ride distance: approx. 68 kms/43 miles, undulating with approx. 400m/1315ft of elevation gain.
Day 5 - Saint Remy (& optional Mont Ventoux ride)
Today is a free day off the bike to explore charming Saint Remy and it's surrounds. Indulge your inner Van Gogh, chill out in a Provencal cafe or if you are still keen for a ride our crew can suggest a short ride around the local area. For those wanting a real cycling challenge we offer the option of tackling the legendary Mont Ventoux on a carbon road bike. Driving from Saint Remy to Bedoin early you will be riding on the mountain as the sun rises to beat the infamous Ventoux winds and summer heat. The unguided ride should take 3-4hrs, leaving enough time to grab a coffee and croissant before you rejoin your driver in Bedoin and then drive back in Saint Remy for a well-earned rest. This is at an additional cost - please book our 'Mont Ventoux Extension' by contacting your booking agent. Ride distance: None
Day 6 - Les Baux & Arles
Hit the road again after breakfast. Today you start with a short 10 kilometre ride to the magical hilltop commune of Les Baux-de-Provence. Although the distance is short, it is also one of the more difficult rides. For those not wanting to ride uphill, your support vehicle is always available. The first climb through the forest is over quite quickly and is rewarded with a short but beautiful descent on possibly the smoothest road in all of France. Carry on through olive groves and vineyards before arriving at Les Baux, declared “one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France” thanks to its narrow cobbled streets and jaw dropping views of the surrounding countryside. Visit Chateau des Baux, which sits perched on a limestone cliff with magnificent 360 degree views. After visiting Les Baux it’s time to hop back on the bikes for a short ride through the Val d’Enfer (Valley of Hell) and its beautiful white limestone rock formations. From here, it is a pleasant downhill and flat ride to Fontvieille then follow the peaceful Canal d'Arles alonside the Rhone River all the way into Arles (approximately 40 kilometres). Park the bikes and enjoy an orientation walk of this popular Roman town, passing by many famous sites such as the Place de la République, Van Gogh’s Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum and the UNESCO World Heritage listed Roman Amphitheatre. For those wanting to explore further there are countless museums, Roman buildings and reminders of Vincent Van Gogh’s glorious paintings on every street. Ride distance: approx. 50 kms/31 miles, hilly for the first 20kms then mostly flat with approx. 425m/1395ft of elevation gain.
Day 7 - Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer/Arles
Swap vineyards for waves on a ride south to the capital of the Camargue, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea (approximately 41 kilometres). Set on the Rhône River delta, the lakes of Camargue are a bird spotters paradise and home to more than 400 species of birds. The area is also known for its famous white Camarguais horses, often seen running free around Camargue. After lunch we return to Arles by vehicle. If you are feeling fit you may choose to ride back to Arles but please note that this is optional and will not be supported by either the leader or our vehicle, as that is driving back to Arles. Tonight the group will enjoy a final dinner together. Ride distance: approx. 41 kms/26 miles, completely flat with approx. 25m/80ft of elevation gain.
Day 8 - Arles
This cycling adventure comes to an end. Say farewell to your new friends and depart Arles at any time. Ride distance: none

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
10-04-202117-04-2021AUD $ 2,855-
15-05-202122-05-2021AUD $ 2,855-
12-06-202119-06-2021AUD $ 2,855-
26-06-202103-07-2021AUD $ 2,855-
10-07-202117-07-2021AUD $ 2,855-
24-07-202131-07-2021AUD $ 2,855-
14-08-202121-08-2021AUD $ 2,855-
28-08-202104-09-2021AUD $ 2,855-
11-09-202118-09-2021AUD $ 2,855-
25-09-202102-10-2021AUD $ 2,855-
09-10-202116-10-2021AUD $ 2,855-

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights)

Transport

Bicycle (e-bike option available,subject to availability),Support vehicle

Map