Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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Classic sunflower and lavendar fields of Provence
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Highlights

  • Cycle the classic Luberon Valley of Provence
  • Lavender scented country lanes
  • Pedal & Picnic amongst the vineyards of Provence
  • Bewitching hilltop town of Bonnieux
  • Glowing red-ochre village of Roussillon

Pedal through classic Provence, cycling the Luberon’s seductive landscapes and myriad of ancient hilltop villages. By day, fuel the legs with rustic breads, fig jam and goats cheese, whilst in the evening relax with a chilled glass of local Grenache blanc.

From the emerald island town of L’Isle sur la Sorgue enjoy riverside dining before riding east into the lavender carpeted valley of the Luberon. Explore the bewitching hill town of Bonnieux, where crumbling ramparts meet stylish pavement cafes. Ride to the red-ochre artists town of Roussillon and onto the artists cliff top village of Gordes. With ample opportunity to relax poolside, the return trip to L’Isle sur la Sorgue journeys through the sleepy village of Fontaine de Vaucluse, source of the River Sorgue, ideal for your last platter of Provencal foods.

Day 1 Arrive L'Isle sur la Sorgue


Just a 30 minutes train journey from Avignon, L’Isle sur la Sorgue charms you from the moment you arrive. Peppered with riverside cafes and artisan shops should you arrive on a Sunday, the local market is the largest in the Luberon region.


Depending on your arrival time your bike fitting will be today or 9.00am the following morning. 


Overnight: L’Isle sur la Sorgue


Day 2 Cycle to Bonnieux

If you are in town on market day, then why not pick up some local produce for a picnic lunch before heading east into the lush Luberon Valley, carpeted with vineyards, olive orchards and fields of lavender. To reach Bonnieux requires some pedal power but the gradual climb to Bonnieux is punctuated with photo worthy views across the Luberon.


Overnight: Bonnieux


Distance: 35km


Day 3 Loop Ride to Menerbes

It’s easy to lose time in the charming lanes of Bonnieux but for those of you that wish to ride, today’s journey heads via the villages of Lacoste and Menerbes. A short downhill leads up into the sleepy village of Lacoste. From here, the route rises and falls to the artistic hangout of 12th century, Oppède Le Vieux. An afternoon of rolling cycling then leads back to Bonniuex.


Overnight: Bonnieux


Distance: 30km


Day 4 Cycle to Rousillon

Start the morning with a freewheel down to the town of Apt the gateway town for Haute Provence farmers  fruits, vegetables and crafts. Beyond Apt, lies Gargas where town life gives way to vineyards and the route gently climbs to the red-ochre village of Roussillon, where you will spend the next 3 nights. There is the choice to extend today’s route via the Saint Saturn les Apt if you so wish.


Overnight: Rousillon


Distance: 20km or 32km via Saint Saturn les Apt


Day 5 Day in Rousillon

The deep red colours of Roussillon offer a warm welcome, no matter the time of day. The former centre of Ochre mining, villagers today still paint properties in one of the 40 shades of red! A former residence of Samuel Beckett, it’s easy to forget about cycling today as there is time to explore the charismatic streets, viewpoints and poolside of your hotel.


Overnight: Roussillon


Day 6 Loop Ride to Gordes & Goult

Pedalling west, the must see village of Gordes clings spectacularly to the hillside. A popular summer artists retreat, Lhôte and Chagall have both been inspired by their time in Gordes. Tuesday is the famous farmers market and if you can’t make that, a visit up to the Renaissance Chateau is quintessential Provence architecture.


Overnight: Roussillon


Distance: 25km


Day 7 Return to L'Isle Sur la Sorgue

A freewheel down to Luberon Valley floor sweeps west onto an easy going cycle path to the emerald green waters of Fontaine Vaucluse. A staff favourite, Fontaine is an excellent  spot for a riverside lunch. Only a few  km’s from L’Isle sur la Sorgue there is no reason hurry on.


Overnight: L’Isle sur la Sorgue


Distance: 30km


Day 8 Onward Travel

Depending on your onward travel plans you may have time to further explore the streets  and cafes of L’Isle sur la Sorgue.


Accommodation

Each Provencal
accommodation is different and full of 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 alternative hotel or bed and breakfast.


Meals 

Included are 7 breakfasts, which usually consists of fresh pastries, breads, fruits, yogurts, cheeses, meats and granola. If you have special dietary requirements do let us know at the time of booking.


Lunches and dinners are not included. Never too far from a village, town or market your route notes list a number of local places to dine and of course, the smell of a boulangerie is always in the air!


Single Rooms

If you're travelling with friends or family but prefer your own room, single rooms are subject to availability and a supplementary payment. This trip is not available to solo cyclists.



 

 

 



Le Prevote – L’Isle sur la Sorgue



Le Prevote – L’Isle sur la Sorgue

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.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Les Terrasses du Luberon - Bonnieux



Les Terrasses du Luberon - Bonnieux

Family run, Les Terressaes du Luberon boasts far reaching views across to Mont Ventoux and pool to refresh cycling legs.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Sables d’Ocre – Roussillon

A short stroll from the lively village centre, Sable d’Ocre has large inviting gardens, swimming pool set in a peaceful location.


 

 

 

Availability

This trip is available to start on any day from April to October
and is subject to availability. Peak months in Provence are
June, July and August so we would suggest contacting us as soon as your
plans are finalised.


July and August are the hottest months with little to no rainfall. The temperatures rise into the 30 degree celsius during the day. The months before and after the high season will be sunny but 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.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

Cycling in this region follows well surfaced roads through villages, towns and farmland.  The roads are well signposted and are generally cycle friendly but please always be mindful of other road users. Our tried and tested detailed routes notes and maps, make for easy navigation during your trip.


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


Baggage Transfers

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). 


Rental Bikes


Trek 7.2 hybrid bikes are available for hire. All bikes are equipped with a pannier, trip computer and spare inner tube along with a pump.


Many people also choose to hire an EBike. The added battery power provides uphill assistance when required. For more information on how Ebikes work click here.


If you’d like to hire a bike, please let us know your height and frame size you currently ride. Alternatively we’re happy to answer any questions you have about the hire bike.


If you would prefer to bring your own bicycle please ensure it is thoroughly serviced and is an appropriate hybrid or touring bike for this trip. 

 


General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, rain gear (jacket and trousers), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard cycling gear such as good shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


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 L'Isle sur la Sorgue

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


Airports


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.


Included

  • 3 Nights in 3* hotels & 4 nights B&B's
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Baggage Transfer
  • Detailed route notes with maps
  • 24/7 UK telephone support

Excluded

  • Travel to / From Isle sur la Sorgue
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Bike Rental
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance
  • Entrance fees to museums and attractions

Extras

  • Additional nights accommodation
  • Single room supplement (if applicable)
  • Bike Rental
  • Transfers to / from L'Isle sur la Sorgue

How fit do I need to be?

This trip is graded easy to moderate and covers between 25km-35km on cycling days. If you cycle more than a handful of times a month as part of an active lifestyle and enjoy actively seeking new sights, this trip would suit you. Ebikes are always available if you would like a little more pedal boost during your cycling day. 

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as this holiday is extremely popular especially in the summer months.  Please note you can start this holiday on any day of the week. 

When is the best time of year?

April through to the start of June and late September into October will have warm days with cool nights and spring flowers in full bloom. You may also experience the famous Mistral winds for a day or two.

June into July will see lavender, sunflower and vineyards at their best. Temperatures creeping up to the mid-20’s and evenings perfect for enjoying a glass of wine on the terrace.

August is no doubt the hottest month, so you may want to considered starting earlier in the day or taking longer lunches to avoid riding in the heat of the day. 

How do the baggage transfers work?

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).

What happens if I can't cycle a stage? 

You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop. These costs are payable locally.

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