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Spend a week road cycling classic Provence where rolling vineyards and ancient hilltop villages meet the mighty Mont Ventoux. Roll through the laid back lavender fields of the Luberon and relax poolside post ride.
From L’Isle sur la Sorgue pedal north through the Vaucluse to the Roman jewel of Vaison la Romain, famed for Côtes du Rhône wine. Cycle across the Dentelles de Montmirail and take on the ’Giant of Provence’, Mont Ventoux (1911m). The rugged Gorge de la Nesque leads to the classic Luberon Valley where rolling routes pass through the ochre town of Roussillon and artistis’ hangout of Gordes. Finish each day dining on Provencal delights such as Daube, a beef and red wine stew.
Just a short hop from Avignon (30min train journey), the River Sorgue encircles the old town and is brimming with pavement cafes ready to give you your first taste of Provence.
Depending on your arrival time, your bike fitting will be today (or 9.00am tomorrow). If you are bringing your own bike, there is ample storage at the hotel for any bike cases/bags.
Overnight: L’Isle sur la Sorgue
An easy roll from L’Isle sur la Sorgue heads north through Pernes les Fontaines, home of the Comtadin Bike Museum, exhibiting Tour de France antiques to 19th century tandems. Continuing north via the ancient trading town of Carpentras, the route climbs through Cairanne onto the roman jewel of Provence, Vaison la Romaine.
Overnight: Vaison la Romaine
Ascent / Descent: 450m / 200m
Stretching the legs in anticipation of Mont Ventoux, today’s route follows the L’Ouveze River before swinging climbing to Merindol les Oliviers (worthy of a café stop). By now, you’re north of Mont Ventoux before the route turns south east and rolls via the town of Malaucene descending through Beaumes de Venise and via Crillon le Brave. A shallow ascent finishes the day at the cyclists' town of Bedoin.
Ascent / Descent: 1150 / 1040km
From your hotel, roll into Bedoin to warm up the legs. The summit is now a 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 nowhere to hide, the remaining KM’s vary between 5% and 11% and with the summit in sight pace yourself for the long drag to the summit of 1911m. Depending how feel, many people choose to descend via Maucelene which provides a punchy col on the return to Bedoin. Alternatively, descend to Salut and ascend from there.
Cycle: 55—80 km + (dependent on route)
Ascent: 1450m + (dependent on route)
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 Bedoin, 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 cyclist town of Sault is the perfect break for coffee or lunch. From here, the routes winds onto the Luberon region and the red-ochre town of Roussillon.
Ascent / Descent: 1140 / 1140m
You may well have succumbed to the charms of Roussillon today and plump for a day off the bike. If the legs are in good shape, the Luberon loop pedals from the ochre cliffs of Roussillon, via the market town of Apt to the hill stop town of Bonnieux. Peppered with pavement cafes, Bonnieux is perfectly time lunchstop! Onwards cycle the rise and fall of Luberon lanes through Menerbes and Goult before returning with one last climb into Roussillon.
Ascent / Descent: 1140 / 1140m
It maybe a cliché but it’s worth saving the best to last. A steady climb to sleepy Murs leads to a rolling descent into the chic, celebrity hilltop hangout of Gordes. Clinging to the rock face Gordes is worthy of a coffee stop on your journey west out of the Luberon Valley to Fontaine de Vaucluse and finally L’Isle sur la Sorgue.
Overnight: L’Isle sur la Sorgue
Ascent / Descent: 620 / 870m
Depending on your onward travel plans you may have time further explore L’Isle sur la Sorgue and if you are in town in Sunday, the lively markets are well worth a visit before heading off.
Selected to meet the needs of cyclists, each accommodation is full of regional character. Hotels are listed below, though on
occasion we may have to book you an alternative hotel, especially during
the busier periods of the year. We always book an equal or better
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.
Breakfast is included at your hotel each morning.Your route notes will suggest where you can eat lunch and dinners on the other evenings.
During the high season, you might be booked into alternative
accommodations which are not listed in the description. Any alternative
accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described.
Le Prevote is located in the old town of L’Isle sur la Sorgue. The River Sorgue runs through this former 17th century convent and immediately slows your pace for the week head.
A warm welcome to cyclists awaits at Buurhus. Only a couple minutes walk from the Roman Bridge and Roman old town there a number of local restaurants djacent to the hotel and being located in the square means you have the perfect spot for a post ride drink
Located 2 km from the centre, Hotel les Pins, provides cyclists with tranquil gardens, a terrace with pool and an excellent restaurant on site (L’Esprit Jardin). The hotel also has a spa for tired legs or non-cyclists.
A short stroll from the lively village centre, Sable d’Ocre has large inviting gardens, swimming pool set in a peaceful location.
This trip is available to start on any day from mid-May to October
and is subject to availability. Peak months in Bedoin are
June, July and August so we would suggest contacting us as soon as your
plans are finalised.
It should be noted that July and August are the hottest months in the Provence. It is important to take plenty of water to stay hydrated and to wear sunscreen or sun-protective clothing. The warm temperatures in the valley can drop significantly once climbing Mont Ventoux and weather is known to change quickly. Make sure to dress appropriately and you'll have a fantastic experience.
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.
The cycling in this region follows well surfaced roads through
villages, towns and into alpine conditions. Please always be mindful of other road-users, especially on roads shared with traffic. 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.
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 hotel 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 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.
All bike tours 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.
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.
L’Isles sur la Sorgue has a mainline train station. Hourly services connect through to Avignon TGV Station (33mins), where you can change for Paris, London and a small number of other European cities.
For more information on trains you can visit www.sncf.com
Avignon Airport is served by a limited number of low cost and international carriers. Airport buses into Avignon Centre can be accessed here. Journey time is 10 mins and costs around €5.
Marseille Airport is around 1 hour drive. The TGV station at the airport provides a very swift connection time of 20mins into Avignon centre. Please refer to www.sncf.com for more information.
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.
This trip is graded challenging. Daily distances are up to 80km with up to2000m of ascent when cycling Mont Ventoux. This is perfectly suit for road cyclists that are used to spending several hours in the saddle, ready to tackle long climbs in excess of 20km averaging 7.5%. If you are a regular club or sportive road cyclist and are looking for your first challenging week of cycling or are seeking an alternative to week of road cycling to mountainous regions this comes highly recommended.
We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as this region is extremely popular especially in the summer months.
May, June and September offer superbly sunny, warm days across Provence but the upper KM's of Mont 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 busier.