Navigate your way through Provence by bike defined by mountain backdrops and
the region’s famous lavender scent.
This eight night holiday offers you a truly Provencal experience, taking in
the lush countryside and mountain landscapes of beautiful Provence – the
inspiration for many an artist and author, including Van Gogh, Cezanne and
Picasso. Your cycle route explores the region’s medieval towns and charming
perched villages such as Gordes and Bonnieux, along with sprawling vineyards,
curious caves and castle ruins, all against a vibrant backdrop of colour –
think rich ochre, delicate lavender and even white cherry blossom in spring.
With a number of small wine producers dotted along your route, you can stop
and taste some of the region’s local wine in between rides.
* Ride along country lanes and greenways in tranquil, unspoilt countryside
* Taste the local wines
* Visit medieval towns and castles
Arrive in Pernes-les-Fontaines
Arrive at your 3-star hotel in Pernes-les-Fontaines. Relax with a dip in the
pool or explore the grounds before dinner. Dinner is included at a local
restaurant, transfers to and from are provided.
Pernes-les-Fontaines to Les Imberts
Cycle alongside the Canal de Carpentras, before heading, via quiet country
lanes and verdant vineyards, towards the island city of
LIsle-sur-la-Sorgue, surrounded by the clear waters of the River Sorgue.
This popular town offers many riverside cafs and is a great place to stop
for lunch before heading on to the charming, medieval village of
Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. Visit the largest spring in France, or potter around
the handful of quaint shops and cafs, before ascending to your first,
stunning view across the Luberon Valley. You then descend, amidst vineyards
and olive groves, to the village of Les Imberts, just below the famous
perched village of Gordes.
Ride options: 30km/19mi or 35km/22mi
At Les Imberts
Walk or cycle to the famous, medieval perched village of Gordes today, to
experience one of the best views there is over the Luberon a patchwork of
open plains, sprawling vineyards and olive groves. Explore the village and
its castle and perhaps take a taxi (payable locally) up to the beautiful
lAbbaye Notre-Dame de Snanque. Guided tours are available in the
afternoon, or pay an early morning visit for the chance to explore at your
Optional ride: approx. 9km/6mi
Les Imberts to Apt
After breakfast set out through the tranquil countryside and make the short
climb up to Roussillon and the start of the Ochre Trail. Enjoy the views, and
perhaps a morning coffee, before pedalling on to Gargas to visit the vast
Ochre Mines of Bruoux, and enjoy a spot of lunch. You’ll then follow quiet
lanes past vineyards – perhaps stopping to taste and purchase some of the
local wines – up to the perched village of Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt, before
freewheeling down to the medieval town of Apt, famous for its crystallised
fruits and traditional pottery.
Ride options: 33km/21mi or 37km/23mi
Today explore Apt’s old town, wandering along the narrow alleyways to the
ancient Cathedral of Ste Anne, which has its origins in Roman times (the
lower crypt dates back to AD 1). In addition to the town’s museums and the
Maison du Parc du Luberon, there are also plenty of shops, cafes and
colourful Saturday and Tuesday markets selling a range of locally grown
produce and traditional Provencal arts and crafts.
Apt to Maubec
This morning your route follows a greenway (once an old railway track)
alongside the River Calavon before crossing the Pont Julien, a stone bridge
built in Roman times and an excellent picnic spot. Leave the greenway then to
follow quiet lanes to the wonderful village of Bonnieux, passing Chteau la
Connorgue en-route (made famous by Ridley Scott’s film A Good Year starring
Russell Crowe), where you can stop for a tasting. From the village you then
head on through the centre of the Luberon with views up to the perched
villages of Lacoste and Bonnieux, as you wind your way to Maubec and your
Options today include circular rides to the pretty villages of Lagnes,
Taillades and Robion. Alternatively, take a taxi ride (payable locally) to
explore historical Saint-Remy-de-Provence to visit the old town, impressive
Roman site of Glanum and the monastery of Saint Paul de Mausole where van
Gogh lived during the period of such eternal masterpieces as The Starry
Maubec to Pernes-les-Fontaines
This morning youll cycle past apple orchards to the small, mediaeval town
of Le Thor on the banks of the River Sorgue before continuing to the hilltop
town of Thouzon. Visit Castle Thouzon (an ancient fortified monastery) and
explore Les Grottes de Thouzon, a 320m-long cave carved out by an underground
river over 60 million years ago. After lunch, continue on to
Pernes-les-Fontaines where youll have time to explore the medieval old
town and the numerous ancient stone fountains.
If you are on our standard transfer our reps will take you to Avignon TGV
station in time for the train to Marseilles.