- LOOK model (until 2008)
- LOOK model Keo
- SPD Shimano Tourism
- SPD MTB
- Pedals MTB with lace
|Type of tour:||Self-guided|
|Distance:||52 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||Saturdays: April 5-Oct 18, 2014|
|Start city:||Orange, France|
|End city:||Orange, France|
Enjoy the beauty of Provence from the saddle!
Discover the countryside and enjoy the colors and lights which have attracted many famous painters. Admire the Roman influence in the area, the theater in Orange with its magnificent theater wall, the Pont-du-Gard, the excavation sites in Vaison-la-Romaine and the medieval village of Les Baux-de-Provence. Savor the culinary delights of the region, wines, cheeses and a cuisine seasoned with herbs of Provence.
You will find plenty of sporting challenges on this tour - the Plateau de Vaucluse, the Luberon, the Alpilles, and certainly the giant of Provence - Mont Ventoux. Boasting 300 sunny days a year, Provence is an ideal region for cyclists from mid-March until the end of October.
Learn more about self-guided tours.
Day 1: Individual arrival to Orange
Orange is regarded as the gateway to Provence. Celts lived here before the Romans invaded and settled for almost 300 years. For the Romans ‘Arausio’ which was the old name of Orange, was one of the most important towns in the Provincia Gallia Narbonensis.
Of the numerous Roman buildings and monuments originally built, you still can see parts of the City Wall, the Arc de Triumph and the Theatre, the stage wall of which the Sun King, Louis XIV, described as the most beautiful wall in his country.
Overnight in Orange.
Day 2: Orange - Vaison-la-Romaine (38, 52, or 70 miles/61, 83, or 112km)
From Orange to Vaison-la-Romaine the route is predominantly flat. This stage will take you through some of the best vineyards in Provence, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vacqueyras, Gigondas, Rasteau and Séguret, just the names of which make the hearts of the wine lovers flutter. On the way to Vaison-la-Romaine you will pass the impressive range of the Dentelles de Montmirail.
Vaison-la-Romaine is a city with a rich Roman heritage. One fifth of the Roman town, then called Vasio, has so far been excavated. You can see remains of houses of wealthy Roman citizen, an ancient water canalisation system, the columned hall of Pompeius, a 2000-year-old bridge and an old theatre. Vaison-la-Romaine also has a beautiful medieval quarter and some magnificent buildings dating from the 16th to 18th Century.
Overnight in Vaison-la-Romaine.
Day 3: Vaison - Mt. Ventoux - Vaison (47, 65, or 68 miles/75, 105, 110 km)
Today we have to face the giant of Provence – the Mont Ventoux. The 1909m high mountain rises abruptly from the countryside. In totally deforesting the mountain the Romans left the Mt. Ventoux with its characteristic bald appearance. Wind speeds of up to 250 km/h have been measured at summit. The first road over the mountain was built in 1882.
Overnight in Vaison-la-Romaine.
Day 4: Vaison-la-Romaine - Apt (56 or 68 miles/90 or 110km)
Today you cycle on quiet roads to the city of the candied fruits - Apt. Crossing through the Montagnes de Bluye and d'Albion we reach the centre of lavender cultivation, the village of Sault. Then crossing the Plateau d'Albion we will cycle downhill to Apt, nestled in the valley of Calavon.
Apt, situated on the river Calavon, is surrounded by numerous fruit trees. Here, since the 14th century fruits were picked, blanched and glazed ( the preparation method for candied fruits). The results can be admired in numerous displays of the many pastry shops and of course sampled.
Like most towns in Provence, Apt was also a settlement of the Celt-Ligures followed by the Romans. But in Apt, unlike other towns, the ruins are invisible – buried four to ten meters below the town.
Overnight in Apt.
Day 5: Apt - Luberon - Apt (50 or 65 miles/80 or 105 km)
The route today takes you into the Parc du Luberon and through some of the most beautiful villages in France. From Apt you cycle on a flat stretch to Céreste before crossing the Luberon for the first time. On the south side of the Luberon you pass typical small Provencal villages all with their preserved charm. On your way back you pass through the gorge of Lourmarin with its high white rock walls.
Overnight in Apt.
Day 6: Apt - St. Remy (55 or 64 miles/88 or 103km)
The day starts with a climb to Bonnieux followed by a 10km downhill run. On the other side of the Luberons you continue towards the river Durance. Through the flat valley of the Durance you cycle in the direction of the Alpilles, a small but charming mountain range between the Rhône and the Durance.
The Alpilles (the small Alps), is fascinating because of its rock formation. About 300,000 olive trees grow in this area, from which one of the best olive oils in France is produced.
Overnight in Apt.
Day 7: St. Remy - Orange (64 miles/80 or 103km)
First you cycle to the idyllically located Abbey St.-Michel-de-Frigolet, nestled in a low range of hills. Then you leave the Provence crossing the Rhone, and continue to Remoulins, where a trip to the famous Pont du Gard is an absolute must. Crossing the foothills of the Cévennes you cycle back to the Rhône and pass through the wine growing regions of Tavel and Lirac.
Overnight in Orange.
Day 8: Individual departure
Saturdays: April 5-Oct 18, 2014
|Low season:||Apr 5-Jun 28; Aug 30-Oct 18, 2014|
|High season:||Jul 5-Aug 23, 2014|
|Please note Mont Ventoux is closed until May 1 (depending on the snow, if it is closed you will cycle around Mont Ventoux and up to Le Chalet Reynard).|
These are sample hotels and may vary based on availability.
Day 1: Hotel Le Louvre, Orange
Days 2 and 3: Hotel Burrhus 1, Vaison la Romaine
Days 4 and 5: Hotel l'Aptois, Apt
Day 6: Hotel Canto Cigalo, St. Remy
Day 7: Hotel Le Louvre, Orange
Interested in visiting other areas before or after your tour? Visit our hotels page to learn more about lodging options.
Bikes available to be rented for this tour:
Equipment provided with road bike rental at no additional charge:
These pedal-systems available for this tour include:
Please indicate at time of booking which pedal system you would prefer. At booking you may also let us know if you intend to bring your own pedals.
If you wish to bring your own bike seat, please ensure that it is a universal seat post.
Helmets are not provided for rent with this tour. We recommend, for safety and hygiene reasons, that you bring your own bicycle helmet or plan to purchase one upon arrival.
Provence is a mountainous region with demanding "ups" and rewarding "downs." Sometimes the climbs are often as long as 6-12 miles/10-20 km, the longest being Mont Ventoux. In between there are always flat stretches.
Mostly the routes are well-paved roads avoiding the busier main roads where possible. Heavier traffic is unavoidable at the entrance and exits in the larger towns. Each day you can choose between two distances, approximately 47-71 miles (75- 115 km).
This Provence tour is challenging and has been created for experienced cyclists with a good level of physical fitness.
"Overall, the week was great. I thought the biking was just as challenging as the biking in Tuscany we did last year. Biking up Mont Ventoux was very hard, but we both made it and felt a real sense of accomplishment at the top along with the many other people who were there who had biked to the top. The scenery/choice of routes was fabulous although the directions for our self-guided trip were not as good as we think they should have been (I have no examples). The villages we stayed in were a bit smaller than the villages we stayed in in Tuscany, so getting onto quiet roads didn't seem to take as much time, and we liked that."
- Judy F.
Tour start and end
Nearest airport: Avignon (AVN)
Nearest train station: Orange (TGV station)
Tips on getting to and from your tour
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Of course, if your tour is coming up in the next week, you can also select "Forecast" to get the most current information on upcoming conditions.
With more than 40,000 monuments and 6,000 museums, France's history and tradition continue to thrive in Western Europe's largest country. Along with its history, France is at the forefront of modern development, a leader among European nations. A country of contrasts, France provides opportunities for all interests. Fashion, art and elegance prosper in the dynamic cities of Paris, Lyon, and Nice. Outside the cities, a variety of landscapes stretch over the remaining 80% of the country.
France's hexagonal shape is defined by the English Channel and Atlantic on the western coast with the Pyrenees and Alps sitting on the southwest and southeast borders. The Mediterranean Sea runs along the southern coast with the Rhine River flowing beside the German border. Visitors exploring the cities or countryside can bask in France’s pleasant climate, enjoying the stylish life, local wine and cuisine.
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Cancellation through the customer / substitute participant / change in booking
The customer can withdraw from the agreement at any time. We suggest declaring the withdrawal in writing. In case of withdrawal or non-participation without a previous withdrawal declaration we are authorized to charge the following cancellation fees:
In each case a cancellation insurance is recommendable.
Every registered trip participant can let a third party take his place, if we are informed up to three days before the beginning of the journey. BestSellerTravel can oppose the participation of a third party because of important reasons. The following withdrawal conditions are effective in such a situation. If a third party takes the place of the registered participant, the original contract is not affected. We are authorized to charge € 50, for the change in booking.
Changes with regard to number of participants, number or type of rooms, hotel category or catering are basically possible up to 14 days before the beginning of the journey. However, we will have to charge you an alternation fee for the arising expenses. We will charge € 50, -- for each change in booking.
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The trip price is based on one person in a double room. A single room can be booked - if available - for an extra charge. In some hotels, however, the number of available single rooms is limited, so that you might have to do at a pinch with a little bit simpler accommodation or be possibly accommodated in another hotel or private guest house. If, by way of exception, a single room cannot be made available, you will have to share a double room with one of the other participants. In such a case, of course, the extra price you have been charge will be proportionately refunded.
Children up to the age of 14 will receive a 25% discount on the travel price, if they sleep in the room of two full price payers (with an additional bed).
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