Avignon, Provence, Mont Ventoux
6 days – Self Guided
Quality inns & 5* hotel
The Definitive Bike Tour that includes a Tour de France climb AND cultural experiences!
Looking for a short self-guided French cycling trip that checks all the boxes?
This 6 day bike tour through Provence, allows you to test yourself on the epic Tour de France climb, Mont Ventoux, as well as take in the enchanting biking landscape of one of Europe’s most exuberant spots of Southern France.
This irresistible cycling trip in Provence’s heart has so many highlights, it is hard to count them. It’s warm sultry days, monumental Roman Medieval city of Avignon, the sound of cicadas, air infused with lavender, and famous Provencal rosé wine villages, what more could you want?
This is the favourite landscape of Cézanne Picasso and Van Gogh and as well, of cyclists from all over who adore its famous summit, Mt. Ventoux or awesome Gorges de la Nesque. Past fields of lavender, the colourful villages and beaming sun, you will dream about this cycling trip for years after.
It is not an easy tour, owing to the climbs featured (Climbing Mont Ventoux is optional, if that makes you nervous) but there are some other hills to get over. If you are looking for an easier tour, please look at our other French trips of the Loire Valley or Bordeaux to Biarritz as alternatives.
1 Apr 2023 to 20 Oct 2023
1 Apr 2024 to 20 Oct 2024
Moderate or Challenging
57 km Daily Average
- Explore some of the “most beautiful villages” in France, such as Séguret, Gordes and Roussillon
- Enjoy nature, heritage and culture of the Provence region
- Taste one of the most famous wines worldwide, Muscat de Beaumes de Venise
- Climb epic Mont Ventoux
- Pedal a peaceful ride through the Gorges de la Nesque
Charming locally run hotels, located near to all the sights with a 5 star finish
A delightful route for the A to B orientated cyclists who love challenge!
We care and want you to love this area as much as we do!
When the Good Lord begins to doubt the world, he remembers that he created Provence.
DAY 1. Arrival in Avignon
Impressive, that is Provence’s Avignon. If you grew up hearing the child’s song “A Sur le pont d’Avignon” (On the Avignon bridge) well, this is that place.
Seat of the Popes for 400 years, it has imprinted this stately town with some important monuments and it is a great place to prepare for your Southern French bike trip. Take in the Cathedral, Notre-Dame de Doms D’Avignon and the Palais des Papes (Pope`s Palace) and wander into the very cool soaring interior. Often the site of some excellent art exhibits, the view from its ramparts is wonderful.
And of course, if you are still humming the song, take a ramble down to the river and visit the bridge.
You will receive all bike tour information upon check-in at the hotel. Please, ask for it at reception.
DAY 2. Bedoin or Mazan (loop ride)
RIDE: 67 km | Ascent: 560 m
Or: 78 km | Ascent: 920 m
Start your cycling adventure in Provence by being transferred to Bédoin, and receive your bike there.
There is an option, if you like a more difficult ride, to cycle a loop around the wild landscape of the Dentelles de Montmirail, It is a challenging loop of rocky mountain terrain, reminiscent of the backbone of some primeval giant!
What a delicious day, you have today. Pedal through the most famous wine-producing villages of La Provence. The first being Beaumes-de-Venise, an ancient village where one of the most famous wines worldwide is produced, the Muscat de Beaumes de Venise.. Some others cycled through today will also be lovely Vacqueyras, Gigondas and Séguret, which hugs a hillside and has the impressive moniker of being one of the prettiest villages in France with its enchanting cobbled streets and spilling flowerpots.
You will also pass by Vaison-la-Romaine. This town indeed has a rich Roman heritage represented by the impressive remains of Villasse and Puymin. Covering 15 hectares, they are evidence of the ancient Gallo-Roman city of Vasio, forming France’s biggest archaeological site!
Continue your day on to the optional ride to sweet little hillside clinging Suzette (1,080 m), and add 20 km to the day’s ride and a few meters up! You will also have the option to ride 10 km more from Bédoin to Mazan to finish this good day’s ride.
DAY 3. Mazan to Sault via Mont Ventoux or via the Gorges de la Nesque
RIDE: 41 km | Ascent: 920mOr: 61 km | Ascent:: 1930 m
Very exciting day on the bike today. This is France’s epic cycling climb, that all road cyclists will love. If you are keen to take on a mountain, give the cycle up the Giant of Provence,Mont Ventoux a go! It is one of the most famous climbs in Europe and has been part of the worldwide known Tour de France 15 times now.
Scene of many a TdF battle, it is impressive at 1909m high and you can see its windswept recognizable summit for miles around in Provence, its stark white communications tower, always illusive and higher up then you would wish as you cycle up to it! The sobering memorial to TdF rider, Tom Simpson, who died there, is worth a stop on the way just to remind yourself, at what a dramatic stage Mont Ventoux is. However, once at the top, what a view and a gorgeous descent through the fir tree forests that crowd its base.
Or, if you wish another beautiful option, cycle through the Gorges de la Nesque, a very picturesque winding road through rocky tunnels and beautiful viewpoints. The gorges, home to wildlife such as boar, deer and many types of raptors is a very alluring bike ride to experience and you will enjoy this surprisingly quite wild landscape carved millions of years ago by the raging river below.
Your home for tonight is Sault, a very little town atop a bump in the landscape, and just 26km away from the top of Mont Ventoux. Surrounded by fields of purple lavender, it seems its cobbled streets, are lusciously aromatic.
DAY 4. Sault to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse
RIDE: 60 km | Ascent: 610 m
A rolling day through this most traditional of Provence’s villages, awash with clear sunlight, scented vineyards, lush orchards and green gardens. Who wants to go back to reality when this too could be yours! Dreams abound here in Provence of this bucolic life and especially on this trip. Enjoy this very entrancing cycle ride highlighting some of the best of Southern France’s allure.
Arrive in ancient Venasque, one of France’s most “beautiful villages” and oldest, this striking white stone village hugs a hillside, located in the Monts de Vaucluse region and is a nice stop for a snack.
Continue cycling to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, a charming town set in a steep valley. It’s an emblematic spot in Provence. Cycle along the River Sorgue, which has one of the highest flow rates in the world. Its lovely old town with its 11th-century Romanesque church and a medieval castle perched on a rocky peak whose ruins overlook the village is a delight. As is the paper mill which still produces paper and has done, since the 15th century!
DAY 5. Fontaine-de-Vaucluse to Gargas
RIDE: 38 km | Ascent: 720 mOr: 53 km | Ascent:: 1,020 m
A great day of cycling today with a first stop in the gorgeous village of Gordes. If you haven’t decided yet to sell up and spend the rest of your days here, you might now! It is located just at the heart of the Luberon Regional Nature Park, and is a picture postcard village full of charm. It’s a very striking spot, where in the warm summers, the close-set stone homes provide shadowy shade in the quaint cobbled stone narrow alleyways. Enjoy amazing views from its iconic 11th century castle set high above the spreading patchwork quilt of lavender and green fields.
Another place that shouldn’t be missed on the way is Sénanque Abbey, really a must-see monument. Cistercian monks still live there, and follow St. Benedict’s belief, that “Idleness is the enemy of the soul” and so are busy with their apiary, lavender fields, etc and sell their essential oils, olive oil and honey to passers-by in order to help in the upkeep of the Abbey.
You will now note, the change in the soil colour to shades of a deep reddish orange to pink, which is pleasingly photogenic and is evident through places like Menerbes, Lacoste and Bonnieux. Arrive in Roussillon, set atop the countryside, with homes, colourfully pastel with their shutters and scenic streets. A lovely spot to sit in the main square and have a drink and watch the world go by.
Cycle next to your magnificent hotel in Gargas where you can enjoy your last moments of tranquillity in this wonderful cycling country!
DAY 6. Onwards travels from Avignon
Awake to birdsong in this pretty spot before your transfer to Avignon to finish this trip and to make your onward journey to other parts of La Belle France.
Merci and à bientôt!
Leisure Tour & Road Tour – Self Guided
Bikes – Road, Hybrid or e-bikes
Group Size – 2+
Route – Avignon, Mazan, Sault, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, Roussillon
Moderate to Challenging – distances are a daily average of 52 to 63km. The terrain is rolling and very hilly, but even more if choosing the challenging option. Good surfaced roads on quiet country routes (busier near the bigger towns). We recommend this trip for experienced cyclists.
Historic and comfortable 3 and 4 star hotels, finishing with a lovely 5-star
Dinner at hotel in Sault on day 3 (drinks not included)
- Daily Luggage Delivery
- Emergency support and contact details
- Pre-tour pack
- T-shirt, bottle & helmet bag
- GPS app for smartphones
- 5% off your next Tour with us!
Extras Not Included
- Lunch and dinners (Dinner inc. on Day 3)
- Drinks, entrance fees for visits, wine tastings and other personal expenses
- Bike Rental: Full carbon road bike 210€ / Hybrid 130€ / Electric Bike 240€ // Includes locks, repair kit, helmet, handlebar bag, water bottle, pannier and pump. A cell phone holder is not provided, so please bring your own
- Jersey: Receive a Cycling Country custom designed French Cycling Jersey, delivered to your first destination: 60€ per jersey inc p&p
The best way to arrive in Avignon is by train, from Lyon or Paris.
Testimonials from previous cyclists are always available and we enjoy receiving the feedback after tours. It helps us improve our services and offer you an even better experience. Please feel free to contact us if you would like a reference to talk to. Others have also posted reviews on the independent travel website .
DATES & RATES
PROVENCE & MONT VENTOUX
6 DAYS / 5 NIGHTS
SINGLE SUPP € 695
SELECT YOUR DATE AND CHECK AVAILABILITY HERE
Choose your date: Any Sunday between April and mid-October given availability. Other days, extra fees apply.
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