Biking in Provence Short Break5 Days & 4 Nights 5 Read 3 reviews
- Experience the best of Provence as you pedal between Avignon and Chateauneuf du Pape
- Cycle past rolling lavender fields and vineyards as you explore the Provençal countryside
- Wander the winding streets of Avignon—a UNESCO-listed city—complete with Papal Palace
- Sample delicious local cheese and fresh cherries in L’Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue on market day
- Savour the rich red wines of Chateauneuf du Pape synonymous with the southern Rhône
What To Expect
Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active holiday.
Inn to Inn Cycling, E-Biking | A classic point to point cycling holiday, staying in a different location each night, E-Bikes with electronic motors to assist available to hire on this holiday (subject to availability), to make things easier
This trip is suitable for:
Solo Travellers, Mixed Abilities
As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveller this holiday would be suitable for is: 15 Years
Ideal if you have an interest in:
- Foodie Adventures
- Wine, Whisky & More...
- Historical Journeys
Grade & Terrain
This trip is graded moderate overall. You should be in good physical fitness to fully enjoy the cycling on this tour. Daily routes vary from 22—41 km (13—25 miles) each day with one optional loop ride from Gordes. The terrain is undulating, but not especially challenging and with no technical descents. Daily ascent varies between 105m and 601m on the toughest day from Gordes to Bedoin. Make sure to take plenty of breaks especially if cycling in the heat of the day and stay hydrated.
If you cycle a few times each month as part of an active lifestyle and enjoy actively seeking new sights, this trip should suit you. E-bikes can also be requested if you would like a little extra boost during your cycling day.
French traffic generally has respect for the "velo" and where there isn’t a cycle lane (or shoulder) you should be given plenty of space, but you should be comfortable sharing the road with vehicles, as the first and final days of riding include short sections on single carriageway roads with faster flowing traffic.
The route is largely not signposted and follows a mixture of quiet country roads, cycle paths, and includes some short stretches on busier roads when there is normally a narrow cycle lane (or shoulder). We provide you with detailed turn-by-turn route notes, GPX tracks and maps in our GPS Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app. Simply download the routes to your phone for offline use and off you go!
Nights in hand-picked accommodations: a selection of guest houses and small hotels. Please note it is not possible to have a swimming pool on each night. When there isn't a restaurant at your accommodation you will have a choice of nearby eateries. We regularly use the listed properties but may accommodate you elsewhere if these are not available. However, they will be of a similar standard.
If you would like to add extra nights to your trip we recommend doing so in Avignon, and L'Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue. If you intend on taking a winery tour from Chateauneuf du Pape we can arrange an extra night's accommodation here also. If an extra touch of luxury will make the trip for you then take a look at Biking Provence In Style.
A continental breakfast will be provided by your accommodation every morning. Usually these are buffet or continental-style, consisting of yoghurt, cereal, breads, pastries, jams and fruit served alongside fresh coffee and tea. Dinners are not included, however some of the accommodations have their own restaurants, where your accommodation doesn't have its own restaurant you'll find there are a few dining options nearby.
Lunches are not included, but on each day you'll find small stores or cafes in which to purchase items for a picnic lunch. Your route notes give advice on where you can eat/pick-up lunch each day.
Wine Tastings & Vineyard Visits
The vineyards around Chateauneuf du Pape are part of the renowned AOC wine producing region of the Cotes du Rhone. On this trip you'll pedal past plenty of vineyards - for flexibility we haven't included any tours so you are free to pick and choose what wineries you'd like to visit. If an introduction is enough, then we recommend a tasting in Chateauneuf du Pape to whet your palate, otherwise it's best to book in advance for tours and tastings.
Solo Cyclists & Single Rooms
This trip is available to solo cyclists, although there is a supplement due to the fact that some of the costs (such as transfers) are not shared. Smaller double rooms are available for a single person on request and a supplement is payable.
- 4 Nights in hand-picked B&B's and small hotels
- 4 Breakfasts
- Luggage transfers
- Transfers on days 1 & 5 from Chateauneuf du Pape to Avignon TGV train station
- Information pack
- Access to route notes, detailed maps, and GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app
- 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our office
- Travel to / from Avignon
- Bike hire (standard to upgrade options)
- Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks
- Personal equipment
- Travel insurance (required)
- Additional nights before, during or after the walk
- Bike hire (standard hybrid bike)
- Upgrade to a road bike or e-bike subject to availability
When To Go
You can start on any day of the week from April to October, subject to availability. Peak holiday months in Provence are June, July and August so we suggest contacting us as soon as your plans are finalised if you wish to travel during this time. The lavender, that’s so iconic of region, normally blooms from mid-June until it’s harvested in mid-August.
Weather and Climate
July and August are the hottest months, with little to no rainfall, and temperatures frequently rise to well over 30 degrees Celcius. The months before and after are sunny and a little cooler, which could be preferable when cycling. Always make sure to stay hydrated, take plenty of water, and wear sunscreen and a sunhat.
Getting to the Start
The trip begins with an included taxi transfer (50 mins) from Avignon TGV Train Station to your first accommodation in L'Isle Sur La Sorgue for arrival before 7pm.
Avignon is easily accessible from Marseille and Lyon airports via train and shuttle bus in under 2 hours. Alternatively, if you are combining the trip with a visit to Paris, or it’s simply easier to get a direct flight to Paris, it’s a 4 hour train journey (with changes) to Avignon. Marseille and Lyon are well connected across Europe with direct flights, but if you’re flying from further afield we recommend taking an internal flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport or taking the train.
The trip also includes a private taxi transfer from Chateauneuf du Pape to Avignon TGV train station for ease on your onward travel day. This transfer can be amended to anytime before noon to suit your travel plans.
Your bags will be transferred between your accommodations as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.
The reviews for this trip, up until December 2019, are based on a previous similar itinerary. Since then we have relaunched the trip with improvements to accommodations and pedalled the route to make this trip even better!
Our pre-departure information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to bring with you to Provence. You’ll need to wear a helmet, bringing your own is always more comfortable than hiring one. We also recommend a rechargeable battery pack and a light weight handlebar mount for navigation.
High quality Trek 7.3, 27 speed hybrid bikes are available for hire. All bikes are equipped with a pannier, handlebar bag, trip computer and spare inner tube along with a pump. If you prefer the riding posture of a road bike to a hybrid you can choose to upgrade to a Canondale Synapse 105 (22 speed). Alternatively, for a little extra help on the hills request to upgrade to a Scott E-Sub (9 speed) e-bike. Please note that e-bikes are subject to availability.
If you’d like to hire a bike please let us know your height, and the frame size you currently ride. We’re happy to answer any questions you have about the hire bike. Alternatively, if you plan to bring your own bike please ensure it is thoroughly serviced, and is an appropriate hybrid bike for this trip.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.
This trip is graded ‘moderate’ overall. You should be in good physical fitness to fully enjoy the cycling on this tour. Daily routes vary from 22—41 km (13—25 miles) each day with one optional loop ride from Gordes. The terrain is undulating, but not especially challenging with no technical descents. Daily ascent varies between 105m and 601m on the toughest day from Gordes to Bedoin. Make sure to take plenty of breaks especially if cycling in the heat of the day and stay hydrated. If you cycle a few times each month as part of an active lifestyle and enjoy actively seeking new sights, this trip should suit you. E-bikes can be requested if you would like a little extra boost during your cycling day.
Baggage transfer as per your itinerary is included in the price of your trip. We ask you to keep your baggage to a maximum of 1 bag per person (maximum weight 20kg).
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive in Avignon and transfer to L'Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue
Travel to Avignon, easily reachable from Marseille and Lyon airports by train and shuttle bus in under 2 hours. Our local transfer partner will meet you at the TGV train station in Avignon for a 50 minute transfer to the town of L’Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue for your first overnight. If you are hiring bikes our local partner will meet you for a fitting this evening or the following morning.
The historic town is renowned for it’s antique markets so if possible we recommend arriving early to spend the afternoon wandering between the antique shops, boutiques and eateries lining the town’s winding streets. Why not indulge in a refreshing sorbet and dip a toe in the Sorgue River?
La 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 small family-run guest houses just a few minutes’ walk from the town centre. All rooms are located on the upper floor of the house and have private bathrooms. The garden offers a tranquil space for relaxation and a pool. Breakfast is a buffet of fresh, seasonal products from the region.
Located in the heart of town this hotel combines both elegance and refinement. As you cross the threshold you will immediately appreciate its personalized service, lovingly decorated public spaces and beautiful rooms.
Today’s ride winds its way through the vineyard and olive grove dotted countryside between L’Isle Sur La Sorgue and the hilltop village of Gordes. Stop en route in the village of Fontaine de Vaucluse—the site of the largest spring in France, and source of the Sorgue River. Enjoy a cool drink on a shady café terrace, walk along the banks of the river and gaze into the emerald waters that spring from the base of the imposing limestone cliffs before hopping back into the saddle and tackling the rolling terrain between Fontaine de Vaucluse and Gordes.
The uphill approach to Gordes is rewarded with unrivalled views onto the village—the buildings of Gordes look almost draped over their hilltop home as they extend down to the valley floor below. Why not spend the afternoon relaxing poolside before sampling the local cuisine?
Ascent/descent: +448m / -156m
A boutique style B&B consisting of four houses, in 1.4 hectares of land. Secure access is via a wrought iron gate with videophone. Breakfast is on a south-facing terrace with beautiful views over the Luberon Valley. There is also a relaxation area is in the park, with heated pool, pool house, and sauna.
Dating from the early 19th century, this character property with dry-stone walls is a charming, cosy 3-star hotel and complete with a heated pool in summer, a terraced garden and lovely guest rooms.
Hop back into the saddle for a challenging but rewarding day of pedalling punctuated by regional highlights. Soon after leaving Gordes you’ll pass the Abbaye Senanque—this 12th century Cistercian monastery has been home to monks for over 900 years. If you’re travelling during lavender season you’ll see why the abbey has become a regional icon—rows upon rows of lavender planted in fields around the stone abbey. After the ascent to Col Des Trois Termes enjoy descending through a spectacular limestone gorge leading to the lovely hilltop village of Venasque overlooking the vineyards below. Soon you’ll be cruising between vineyards of the Cote de Rhone to arrive in Bedoin—renowned among road cyclists and Tour de France fans for it’s position at the base of legendary Mont Ventoux.
Ascent/descent: +601m / -629m
This small guest house in Bedoin’s historic centre is less than a minute from the street where the Monday market is held. On other day’s of the week village-life is low-paced with the exception of road cyclists returning from their ascents of Mont Ventoux. There are plenty of nearby eateries to choose from.
Located in the countryside with views of Mont Ventoux Hotel Des Pins is complete with a pool, sprawling garden, terrace and a restaurant. There’s also a spa offering massages by appointment.
Leave the hills behind today for an easier ride through towns and villages of vineyard blanketed countryside to reach the wine-connoisseurs mecca of Chateauneuf du Pape. There are plenty of picnic spots and opportunities to lunch along the route as you wind your way across the rich AOC-vine growing plains to reach Chateauneuf du Pape.
After a delicious dinner, accompanied by local wine, why not take an evening stroll up to the chateau viewpoint to watch the sunset over the Provençal hills?
Ascent/descent: +224m / -445m
A small B&B in the historic centre of Chateauneuf du Pape village. Your host Danièle is a professional sommelier and worldwide wine lecturer, who will share her passion for wine with you from her traditional B&B. If you choose to you can take a vineyard tour, or tastings recommended by your knowledgeable host.
Situated in the heart of Chateauneuf du Pape but in a peaceful corner, La Pergola is a lovely B&B for your final night in wine country. Settle into your room and perhaps sample some wine from Brigitte’s family vineyard. In the morning you’ll enjoy delicious homemade jams at breakfast.
A small hotel in the heart of the town complete with its own restaurant. This family-run hotel with traditional decor has everything you’ll need for a comfortable stay in Chateauneuf du Pape, and is well-positioned for vineyard visits.
If you have time to discover more of France, why not consider one of our other cycling adventures in France?
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