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Biking in Provence Short Break

5 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
Discover the highlights of Provence on this 5 day & 4 night self-guided cycling tour; from the antique market town of L’Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue to the renowned vineyards of Chateauneuf du Pape. Enjoy the varied terrain of Provence on a route that takes you on a loop from L’Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue to the delightful hilltop village of Gordes, inspiration to Renaissance artists, to Bedoin nestled at the foot of iconic Mont Ventoux before the trip comes to an end in Chateauneuf du Pape. Roll through the undulating Provençal countryside on routes that have been designed to allow time for relaxing, sight-seeing, and visiting vineyards in the afternoon. Like much of France, the love of food and wine is deeply ingrained in the local culture, but is perhaps more refined here than anywhere else in the country.

What To Expect

If you have limited time, or are searching for a short adventure as part of a longer holiday, then this trip could be perfect for you. A moderate cycling tour taking in the best of the region from charming towns, to hilltop villages. Enjoy shorter rides through rolling countryside on largely quiet country roads with plenty of places to stop and take in the Provençal scenes. Overnight in bike-friendly accommodations, and look forward to top-notch food and wine recommendations at the end of each day in the saddle!

Tour Style:

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

Activity:

Inn to Inn Biking, E-Biking | A classic point to point biking tour, staying in a different location each night, E-Bikes with electronic motors to assist available to hire on this tour (subject to availability), to make things easier

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travelers, Mixed Abilities

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Foodie Adventures
  • Wine, Whiskey & More...
  • Historical Journeys

Inspiration:

Activity Level & 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.

Navigation

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!

Accommodations

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.

Meals

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.

Included
  • 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
Excluded
  • Travel to / from Avignon
  • Bike hire (standard to upgrade options)
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance (required)
Extras
  • 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.

Luggage Transfer

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 trip 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 in the morning to suit your travel plans.

General Information

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! 

Equipment

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.

Travel Insurance

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.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Avignon and transfer to L'Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue Day 2 Cycle L’Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue to Gordes 14 miles / 22.5 km Day 3 Cycle Gordes to Bedoin 23 miles / 37 km Day 4 Cycle Bedoin to Chateauneuf du Pape 25 miles / 41 km Day 5 Onward travel

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