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Provence Bike & Boat: Avignon to the Camargue - L'Estello

8 Days & 7 Nights 5 Read 3 reviews
  • Cycling through Provence & the landscapes of Van Gogh
  • Enjoying the villages and vineyards around Avignon and Arles
  • Visiting the Pont du Gard, the highest Roman Aqueduct and UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • The wilderness of the Camargue with its wild white horses, flamingos, bulls and cowboys
  • Easy cycling on quiet cycle paths and country lanes
Discover the highlights of Provence on a bike and boat cruise from Avignon to the wilderness of the Camargue; Avignon, Pont du Gard, Arles, St Remy de Provence and the natural beauty of the Camargue. Your adventure begins when you board your comfortable barge moored in the Papal city of Avignon. Ringed by 800-year-old stone ramparts Avignon is a delightful maze of cobbled streets, magnificent architecture and leafy squares. For the first three days of your trip, you will visit the highlights of Van Gogh’s Provence; Avignon, Pont du Gard, Saint Remy de Provence, and Arles. The later part of your adventure explores the Camargue, which is Western Europe's largest river delta. The Camargue is a wild landscape of salt lagoons teeming with flamingos, rice paddies and cane fields. Home to herds of wild white Camargue Horses and farms where Europe's only cowboys - the Gardiens - raise fighting black bulls for the bullrings of the Languedoc and Spain.
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What To Expect

This Bike & Boat trip through the typical landscapes of Provence is the perfect introduction to cycling in France. Whilst exploring a different part of Provence each day you only need to unpack once and can enjoy your cycle each day knowing the boat will be waiting for you each evening. The small boats (approx. 20 guests each) have a friendly atmosphere and cabins offer the comfort you need.

Trip Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active holiday.

Activity:

Bike and Boat | A combination of cycling and cruising or sailing, your overnight accommodation will be on boat or barge style accommodation.

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travellers, Multi-Generational, Mixed Abilities, First Timers

As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveller this holiday would be suitable for is: 10 Years

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Foodie Adventures
  • Historical Journeys

Inspiration:

  • Classic

Grade & Terrain

This cycle tour is graded easy with daily distances ranging from 25 to 55km. Most routes have little to almost no ascents and the riding is mainly flat, especially in the Camargue region. The rides in the north of Arles present more ups and downs, although with some training these are easy to overcome. There is just one more demanding climb towards Baux de Provence, but you will be fully repaid with an extraordinary view.

The itinerary is mostly on secondary roads with light traffic; some short stretches on more busy roads are however inevitable. Please expect the ratio of 95% on asphalt roads and 5% on unpaved roads. There will also be a couple of sections on the boat to make the trip more enjoyable.

Navigation

You can choose to bike either on a self-guided or guided basis at no extra charge. The detailed directions and maps supplied with your info-pack offer you the option of either cycling independently or with the rest of the group, following the tour leader. When booking this bike and boat tour, please specify your chosen option (i.e. small group guided or self-guided).

Accommodation Information

You will spend each night on the boat in your very comfortable cabin onboard of L'Estello. Your boat is always docked at night and only sails during the day.

L'Estello

L’Estello is a Dutch Barge that was built in 1937 and has been completely refurbished to offer a high level of comfort without compromising her original charm. An intimate and cosy atmosphere is guaranteed as the boat only accommodates up to 20 guests in 10 double cabins (configuration; 1 x double cabin and 9 x twin cabins) of 7 to 8 square meters. Each cabin has two portholes (of which one is in the bathroom), air conditioning and en-suite facilities with a shower area. Bed sizes: 1.90/2 m x 0.75/0.80m.

The air-conditioned living area is divided into a restaurant with large picture windows and a bar area with comfortable sofas and armchairs. A sundeck with seating and a fixed awning gives plenty of outdoor space. Free WiFi is available in the restaurant/bar area, connection speeds may differ.

Single Cabins and Solo Cyclists

Single cabins are available, although a supplement is payable. This trip is available to solo cyclists and is perfect as there are plenty of people to chat with every day.

Meals on board

The meals onboard are substantial and healthy. Breakfast will be served as a buffet with coffee, tea, milk, orange juice, various kind of bread, sausage, cheese, honey, fruit, marmalade, muesli, cereals, etc. On days when lunch is included, you may make your own packed picnic lunch for your bike tour from the breakfast buffet, as bread, cheese, sausage, and fruit will be served extra. Please don’t forget to take plenty of water with you. Included dinners will comprise three courses such as soup or another starter, main menu, and dessert.

Dietary requirements are catered for but only on prior request. Please let us know in advance so we can forward your details. We must receive this notification at least 7 days in advance of departure. Depending on requirements there may, in some cases, be a charge.

Included
  • 7 x Overnight onboard in a twin share or double cabin
  • All meals (breakfast, packed lunch, dinner)
  • On board tour guide
  • Information pack, route description and maps
  • Bike Rental
  • Guided tour of Arles
  • Entrance to Pont du Gard
  • Port charges
  • Emergency support from the local tour leader and our office
Excluded
  • Travel to and or from Avignon and Aigues-Mortes
  • Snacks & Drinks
  • Personal Equipment
  • Travel Insurance
  • Bike Helmet
Extras
  • Helmet Rental
  • Electric Bike Rental

When To Go

This Bike & Boat adventure in Provence is available on selected departure dates between April and October. Provence boasts over 300 days of sunshine per year. The most beautiful time of year to travel to Provence is spring and autumn. In spring the wildflowers will be blooming and in the autumn it is quieter with lovely autumnal colours, whilst still being warm and sunny in the day time. The summer months of July and August are the hottest time of year and it should be noted that you only choose this time when you are accustomed to intense heat. It is important to always wear skin-protective clothing, wear plenty of sun cream and take plenty of water breaks.

Getting to the Start

Both Avignon and Aigues-Mortes are well served by several airports: Montpellier Mediterranée (MPL), Marseille Provence (MRS), Nîmes Garons (FNI), Lyon Saint Exupéry (LYS), Avignon Caumont (AVN).

Avignon is a 2h42 journey from Paris on the TGV train. We will send you full details of public transport and taxi connections in our pre-departure information pack as soon as your booking is confirmed.

Avignon is easily accessible by car from the A7 Highway from Lyon to Marseille. The pier is accessible by car and free and paid parking is available in Avignon.

There are train connections between Aigues-Mortes and Avignon. The journey takes about two hours and costs 15 Euro. Again full details are provided.

Equipment

Bike Rental

27-gear Shimano Deore unisex bikes in the appropriate frame sizes. They are puncture-proof, fully serviced and equipped with a trip computer, one pannier, water bottle and bike lock.  Additionally, self-guided cyclists are supplied with a map holder/front bag (one per bike) and a repair kit (one per couple).

Electric bike hire is available at an additional cost.

Helmet hire is not included and bringing your own is always more hygienic than hiring one.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Villeneuve-lès-Avignon Day 2 Circular ride from Avignon 19 miles / 30 km Day 3 Cycle to Aramon 25 miles / 40 km Day 4 Cycle to Vallabreguès 22 miles / 35 km Day 5 Cycle to Arles 35 miles / 55 km Day 6 Cycle to Aigues-Mortes 16 miles / 25 km Day 7 Circular ride from Aigues-Mortes 35 miles / 55 km Day 8 Disembark & Onward Travel

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