Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Cycling towards Crillon le Brave
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Highlights

  • Quintessential Provencal luxury hotel, Crillon le Brave
  • Cycle Mont Ventoux, the Giant of Provence
  • Ride the Gorge de la Nesque
  • Recharge at the Spa des Ecuries
  • Dine at Michelin award winning Jérôme Blanchet’s restaurant

Cycle from sublime luxury of the award winning Crillon le Brave hotel to the summit of Mont Ventoux, The Giant of Provence. Indulge in a hassle free journey, as pre-arranged transfers take you from Avignon to a quintessential road cycling break in Provence.

Nestled amongst the vineyards and rolling hills of Provence, the 16th century Crillon le Brave provides a sumptuous stay for those taking on Mont Ventoux and for those that prefer pampering to pedalling. With a warm up day of rugged riding through Gorge de la Nesque you’ll be in good shape to tackle the 22km Mont Ventoux climb the following day. Averaging a 7.5% gradient the climb is relentless and unforgiving, but on reaching the summit many choose to descend to Sault or Malaucene for a second or third ascent of Mont Ventoux. After an epic day in the saddle, the hotel’s Spa des Ecuries and award winning Blanchet’s restaurant will recharge even the weariest of riders.

Day 1 Arrive Cillon le Brave

Enjoy a hassle free journey to Crillon le Brave. You will be collected from a location of your choice in Avignon and transferred to the sumptuous setting of Crillon le Brave. On arrival the recently renovated Ventoux Stone Terrace lures you in for a relaxing afternoon tea or aperitif


Depending on your arrival time you can have a bike fitting today, or alternatively assemble your own bike ready for a quick afternoon spin and stretch of the legs.


Overnight: Crillon le Brave


Day 2 Gorge de la Nesque

Although many come here to ride Ventoux, Gorge de la Nesque is a hidden jewel of the region. Never reaching above 4% the Gorge is rugged road cycling at it’s best. Pedalling from Crillon, head south east through Flassan and Villes sur Auzon which marks the start of the route. Snaking through a series of short, natural tunnels the cyclists town of Sault is the perfect break for coffee or lunch. From here, you there are optional return routes to Crillon, both of which offer wickedly sweeping descents back to the hotel pool and spa.


Cycle: 60km—80km


Ascent: up to 1400m


Overnight: Crillon le Brave


Day 3 Mont Ventoux Ascent

From Crillon roll into Bedoin to warm up the legs. Mont Ventoux summit is now 22km ascent of snaking tarmac, averaging 7.5% gradient. Tapping out a steady rhythm, there is a window of rest as you pass the ‘Chalet’ and the route from Sault joins. Cycling on,  you soon enter the famous bald moonscape slopes.  With no where to hide, the remaining km’s vary between 5% and 11%. The Tom Simpson memorial is only a short distance from the final hairpin and the ground finally levels out at the 1911m summit! Depending how you feel, many people choose to descend via Maucelene which provides a punchy col on the return to Crillon. Alternatively, descend to Salut and ascend from there.


Cycle: 55 km +


Ascent: 1450m +


Overnight: Crillon le Brave


Day 4 Onward Travel

Depending on your onward travel arrangements you may have time to sneak in a couple of hours cycling this morning before departing Crillon le Brave.


If you can only spare a long weekend with your friends we can also offer Mont Ventoux as a 3 day trip. Arriving into Crillon Friday night and departing Sunday afternoon means your usual Saturday morning ride becomes a journey of legends. 

Accommodation

Hotel Crillon le Brave*****


Comprising of eight old villages house the exquisite Crillon le Brave is connected by bridges, alleyways and courtyards. Embracing the charms and traditions of Provencal life, Crillon le Brave has far reaching views to the summit of Mont Ventoux and a poolside to relax and reflect after a hard day in the saddle. The extensive spa is also a welcome treat to revive tired legs, including those in you party that don’t wish to cycle but are seeking a few days of relaxation and pampering.


Intimate but not intrusive, Crillon le Brave boasts resident Michelin award winning chef, Jerome Blanchet heading up the hotel restaurant. You may also like to dine at Crillon’s Bistro 40k where all dishes produced are sourced with ingredients no more than 40km from Crillon.


Meals

3 Breakfasts are included. You’ll find suggestions in your route
notes of local places to dine. The dining options at Crillon le Brave
are worthy of a visit at least once during your stay.


Single Rooms


If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.This tour is not available to Solo cyclists.


 





Availability

This trip is available to start on any day from mid-May to October and is subject to availability. Peak months at Crillon le Brave are June, July and August so we would suggest contacting us as soon as your plans are finalised.


If you're keen to road cycle in Provence and have a few more days, we also offer Road Cycling in Provence: Mont Ventoux to the Luberon.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps


The cycling in this region follows well surfaced roads through villages, towns and into alpine conditions. Although the riding is not technical you must feel comfortable with quick, rapid  and sometimes narrow hairpin descents and be equipped to deal with a change in weather condition, especially when ascending Mont Ventoux.


Although we can supply GPX tracks along with our tried and tested detailed routes notes and maps, the roads are well signposted and are generally cycle friendly.


Should you require assistance, 24/7 telephone support will also be available throughout your trip.


Rental Bikes

We recognise the importance of being at one with your bike, which is why we have  partnered with the number one preferred Trek road bike supplier in Bedoin.


Your hire bike can be delivered to Crillon le Brave with a choice of Look or Shimano spd pedals and set-up to your personal measurements if you wish. Alternatively, if you prefer to visit the workshop in Bedoin, our partners would be more than happy to welcome you for a fitting.


Hire prices depend on the model selected. A selection of Trek road bikes are listed below. If you have a preferred Trek model do let us know.





Trek Silque SL WSD Ultegra 11v (women specific, top left), Trek Emonda SLR 8 Dura-Ace 11v (top right), Trek Madone 9.5 Dure-Ace 11v (bottom left), Trek Domane 5.9 Ultegra Di-2 11v (bottom right).


If you’d like to hire a bike, please let us know your height and frame size you currently ride, along with any other specific requests you may have. We’re always happy to answer any questions regarding hire bikes.


If you would to bring your own road bike please ensure it is thoroughly serviced and is an appropriate road bike for Mont Ventoux.


General Information

All rides are unescorted. The distances listed are approximations of the recommended routes.
Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, cycle clothing and personal medications etc.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour
with Macs Bike that you have suitable Travel Insurance which covers you
for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.

Getting to / from Crillon

Arrival and departure transfers from Avignon are included. Our local representative will collect you from Avignon train station, Avignon Airport or a location of your choice in central Avignon. The journey time is approximately 40 minutes. If any of your party are bringing bikes, please let us know prior to arrival as extra vehicles maybe required to transport bike boxes.


Travelling to / from Avignon


Train


Avignon TGV station offers high speed direct connections to a number of cities, including:


Paris 2hrs 40 mins (www.sncf.com)


London 5hrs 20mins (direct service, limited days, www.eurostar.com)


Airports


Avignon Airport is served by a number of scheduled and low-cost airline carriers.


Marseille Airport and Montpelier Airport are about a 90 minute drive from Crillon. Train connections to Avignon are possible. Times and fares can be accessed at www.sncf.com


Transfers to / from Marseille or Montpelier Airport are available for a supplementary payment. Prices are from €100 per car. (up to 2 passengers per car).


Car Hire


If you prefer to travel independently, we can also arrange car hire from Avignon Airport or TGV station.


Depending on you’re group size and if you are bringing any bikes, car hire for 4 days is approximately £150 (based on 4 people). The drive from Avignon to Crillon is approximately 40 minutes.

Included

  • 3 Nights in Crillon le Brave (standard room)
  • 3 Breakfasts
  • Transfers to / from Avignon
  • Detailed route notes with maps
  • 24/7 UK telephone support

Excluded

  • Travel to / from Avignon
  • Lunches & Dinners
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Equipment
  • Bike Hire

Extras

  • Single room supplement(s) if applicable
  • Bike hire
  • Additional nights(s) in Crillon le Brave
  • Transfer to / from Marseille or Montpelier Airport to Avignon

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries.

How fit do I need to be?

This trip is graded challenging. Daily distances are up to 100km with up to 2000m+ of ascent when cycling Mont Ventoux and is perfectly suit for regular road cyclists that are used to spending several hours in the saddle and are ready to tackle long climbs.  With a number of routes available, there are options to satisfy the most avid of road cyclists but being France, in the morning you can ride and in the afternoon you can always relax by the pool or explore a local vineyard.

Can I bring my own bike?

Of course! We understand the relationship between rider and bike and know many cyclists would never consider riding another steed, especially on the classic climb of Mont Ventoux. On collection in Avignon we are happy to transfer you and your bike to Crillon le Brave. If you are unsure, we are happy to discuss bike hire options with you.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised Crillon le Brave is extremely popular especially in the summer months.  Please note you can start this trip on any day of the week but does make for a superb long weekend break.

When is the best time of year?

May, June and September offer superbly sunny, warm days across the lower routes, but Mt Ventoux may be subject to a change of season.

July and August can be very hot to ride, with daytime temperatures reaching up to 30 degrees and you will find the roads much busier.

Non-cyclists would like join, is this possible?

Many groups of friends or couples enjoy a short active break but don't always share the same interests. Beyond the luxuries of Crillon's spa and pool, the hotel can also arrange a number of local trips including; wine tasting at Chateauneuf du Pape, a day trip to the sophisticated hilltop town of Gordes and an afternoon of cheese tasting at a local fromagerie are just some the Provencal experiences available.

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