Provence  Bike Tour Reviews

  • Canal du Midi
    (4/5) Margaret 5 months ago

    Beautiful arrangements, somewhat difficult cycling

    · Canal du Midi: Carcassonne to Sete, the South of France and the Sea

    Carcassone is stunning. All of the hotels were good to excellent. The terrain is quite varied. The cycling was more difficult than I expected -- there are some serious climbs on the first two days, and most of the route is on public roads so you have to deal with cars. The tour company did their best to avoid traffic but they can't create a bike path where there is none. Fortunately, French drivers are used to bicyclists. I would recommend this trip to experienced cyclists but not to newbies.
    The preparatory material was good. We were given printed maps and also an app for our phones. Both were good but the app was great because you could use it while you were on the bike, and it gave you an audible warning if you got twenty meters off the trail. The app also kept track of the percentage of the daily ride you had covered, and had a few more features. This was the first time I'd had an app and I really appreciated it.

    How many tours have you completed?
    4 counting this one
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Somewhat harder
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    Countries included in this tour?
    France
    • 5/5 Value
    • 4/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 4/5 Tour documents
    • 3/5 Local tour company services
    • 3/5 Route selection
  • Discover the stunning region of Provence by bike!
    (4/5) Shannon McDougall 5 months ago

    Great Trip

    · Cycling Paradise of Provence - to and from Avignon

    This was a great trip with well organized logistics and routes. We downloaded a GPX file reader and found the daily routes were easy to follow. The files need to be updated for day 4 and day 6 as routes had a couple of deadends but we managed. Overall all a great trip, not too difficult!

    Countries included in this tour?
    France
  • Provence by Bike and Boat
    (2/5) Richard Rogers 5 months ago

    Not as I had expected

    · · Provence by Bike and Boat

    Not expecting to ride as a group. The riding involved more road riding and realize that a leader was necessary. The riding in Southern France is not as developed as Central Europe.

    Countries included in this tour?
    France
  • Provence’s History, Landscapes, and Luberon National Park
    (5/5) Charles Hammer 5 months ago

    What we hoped for; got more

    · Provence’s History, Landscapes, and Luberon National Park

    We chose this ride because the average daily ride is longer than some. Had been to other parts of Province before but this was new and special, enhanced hugely by what the guides brought to the experience. A cautionary note: there are several days of not so gradual elevations. Strong riders made the climbs on traditional bikes, but others really needed what the e bikes brought to the experience.

    What was the date of your tour?
    September 2023
    How many tours have you completed?
    3
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Somewhat harder
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    First-time bike tourists
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    Countries included in this tour?
    France
    • 5/5 Value
    • 4/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 4/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites
    (5/5) Eric Meer 5 months ago

    Great Trip for September!!

    · South of France: UNESCO World Heritage Sites

    Trip went very smoothly. Towns were beautiful and quaint, hotels were accommodating as advertised, ebikes were brilliant and easy to use. Would definitely recommend standard bike seats or gel seats vs. the wider ones. 4-5 days takes a toll on the sitting muscles :). Would recommend adding a 2nd night in Bezier and doing only 1 night in Carcassonne.

    Also, would recommend the company update it's map of Montpellier train station. The meeting point didn't match the map, but we figured it out.

    What was the date of your tour?
    September 2023
    How many tours have you completed?
    This was the first
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    Countries included in this tour?
    France
    • 5/5 Value
    • 4/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 4/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
  • Provence by Bike and Boat
    (5/5) Joanna Havener 6 months ago

    Loved every minute!

    · · Provence by Bike and Boat

    Our tour leader was fun, knowledgeable and very safety conscious. The route was almost all flat, only one big climb on Wednesday. The ship's crew was helpful and saw to it that my husband had potato chips in his lunch. They accommodated my wish for vegetarian meals. The small towns were charming and I loved learning about their history. Highly recommend this trip. (My husband and I are in our 70s and the ebikes were a great help to us.)

    Countries included in this tour?
    France
    • 12th century church (photo by Joanna Havener)
    • 12th century church (photo by Joanna Havener)
  • Provence by Bike and Boat
    (3/5) Annik Stahl 6 months ago

    Could have been better

    · · Provence by Bike and Boat

    The tour leader (Helmut) was great, as was the boat crew. There were some fun times biking but the miles and miles of harsh gravel was not in the description of the trip. (This was not "country roads" -- this was ROCKS and my back ached for days afterward.) Had I know, I would not have chosen this trip as I just had surgery. I found the food to be absolutely awful. The dinners were beond strange and hey, maybe something besides HAM HAM HAM every day for lunch? I lost 4 pounds during that trip.

    While I know there are some great trips to be had with this company (my dad has been on several and said this one was the worst). this was not one of them. Like I said, some fun time biking but not enough to recommend this trip.

    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Do you recommend this tour?
    No
    Countries included in this tour?
    France
    • 3/5 Value
    • 1/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 2/5 Hotels or boat
    • 2/5 Ease of navigation
    • 3/5 Tour documents
    • 1/5 Route selection
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • Provence by Bike and Boat
    (3/5) Charles Stahl 6 months ago

    A Bit Dissapointing

    · · Provence by Bike and Boat

    Compared to the previous five bike/barge trips I have done with company this tour was disappointing. The boat and it's crew were great, the cabins were clean and as comfortable as possible. No problems there. The breakfasts and afternoon snacks were plentiful and good. However, the dinners were often not edible. The Italian cook was very sweet, but the food was often unrecognizable and tasteless. I am not a fussy eater, but I along with my dinner companions often sent the food back uneaten.

    The printed material does say that riding is done mostly along country lanes, but the amount of riding on gravel was daunting. I feel that should be mentioned in the literature. The guide was extraordinary, both knowledgeable and well spoken, not to mention very approachable. The highlights were indeed highlights, but negotiating the busy streets while riding through small towns was scary at best. Perhaps doing this trip is mid-summer would be more picturesque, but the weather wouldn't be as perfect as it was for us in late August/early September. Had this been my first bike/barge adventure perhaps I would be less critical, but with many other tours co choose from, I would not recommend this particular tour.

    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    First-time bike tourists, Solo travelers, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    No
    Countries included in this tour?
    France
    • 4/5 Value
    • 1/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 3/5 Scenery
    • 2/5 Ease of navigation
    • 3/5 Tour documents
    • 4/5 Route selection
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • Provence by Bike and Boat
    (5/5) Jill Kaufman 6 months ago

    Amazing experience!

    · · Provence by Bike and Boat

    The small barge experience turned our group of strangers into good friends; the food was excellent; the routes and countryside beautiful; the tour guide was knowledgeable, skilled, and fun! This tour exceeded our expectations.

    What was the date of your tour?
    Late August 23
    How many tours have you completed?
    2
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    First-time bike tourists, Solo travelers
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    Countries included in this tour?
    France
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • Provence’s History, Landscapes, and Luberon National Park
    (5/5) Mark Johnson 6 months ago

    Avignon loop

    · Provence’s History, Landscapes, and Luberon National Park

    Sam is an excellent guide. Good size group:5.
    Good mix of scenery and activities.

    What was the date of your tour?
    August 2023
    How many tours have you completed?
    3
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    First-time bike tourists, Solo travelers
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    Countries included in this tour?
    France
    • 4/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 4/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Tour documents
    • 4/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • Provence by Bike and Boat
    (3/5) Linda Ewing 7 months ago

    Provence Bike Trip into the Countryside

    · · Provence by Bike and Boat

    Really enjoyed the bike trip through the Provence countryside which visited several picturesque towns along the way. Our guide Alex was wonderful; she had done her homework so was able to provide us the history of what we were seeing. Plus Alex was great fun and made sure everyone was safe and comfortable while riding. Barge on-board staff was also super responsive and friendly. All the local staff was excellent!

    My only criticism of the trip is the business model used by the barge company. The 'Caprice' boat itself is 'past its prime' --- old, really cramped room accommodations. We were unlucky and assigned what appeared to be the smallest double twin room that didn't even have space for the tiniest sink in the bathroom (it was installed next to my bed's pillow). In fact, all the rooms were smaller than on other barge boats I've been on. Also, the dining area was so tight you couldn't get out of your chair without your neighbor also moving. Bottomline, the company owners are squeezing too many people on the boat so they get more revenue.

    What was the date of your tour?
    July 15 - 22, 2023
    How many tours have you completed?
    3
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers
    Do you recommend this tour?
    No
    Countries included in this tour?
    France
    • 3/5 Value
    • 3/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 1/5 Hotels or boat
    • 4/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 4/5 Tour documents
    • 2/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • (3/5) Mary Gallagher 7 months ago

    Disappointing Accommodations

    · · Provence by Bike and Boat

    Recently returned from Provence bike and barge and very disappointed with cabin accommodations. Bathroom sink located in main cabin from which we heard gurgling and draining from other cabins. Also heard loud banging from floor probably due to mechanical issues due to location of cabin - farthest on the bow. Overall not suitable for guests. Crew, guide and food were great- but cabin (#1) was not acceptable.

    Countries included in this tour?
    France
  • (3/5) Jon Kramp 7 months ago

    A fine tour with issues

    · · Provence by Bike and Boat

    The bike/boat tour started off by my not being able to initially find the boat. The route of the tour is normally serviced by two boats with the boats sailing the route in opposite directions during each week. Due to low bookings, only one of the two boats servicing the route was in operation. The boat I expected to sail on was the one that was out of service and docked and it took some time to find the boat that was in service.

    The boat I actually sailed on, Caprice, is a converted cargo barge. The cabins contained the expected features for a 'standard' category passenger river vessel. However, the cabins are on the small side. The dining/lounge area was also on the small side considering that the boat was operating at full passenger capacity. Food service was very good and the crew was helpful. Snacks and drinks were available at the end of the days cycling.

    The biking route and sights seen along the way were as advertised. However, there were two cycling related issues:
    1) The tour description of 'There will be some hills' is correct for most days but that there were two climbs each of about 5km length.
    2) All but five of the tour members selected to book an electric bike for the tour. Only one of the tour members completed the tour without the use of a non-electric bike because of the slope and length of the climbs. Booking an electric bike for this tour is recommended for most people.

    One day of the tour included a continuous 5km stretch of gravel surface. The tour used multiple types of roads. The major roads were all in fine condition. The smaller one lane roads, mainly used by farmers to reach the fields, were often in poor condition with pot holes common. It should be noted that all of the bikes offered on the tour were if good quality and in good repair. During the tour there was only one minor issue with any of the bikes.

    It should be noted that some days on this tour were a bit long considering that temperatures were in the mid 90'sF to just over 100F range. On one day, for example, biking started about 8 AM and ended slightly before 6 PM. Hydration was an issue but the biking part of the tour included multiple stops each day to refill water bottles and/or purchase drinks.

    A printed map of the biking route was not provided and is not available. Those doing the tour non-guided, only done by 2 people on selected days on my tour departure, will need to have a mobile phone to access route information.

    What was the date of your tour?
    July 2023
    How many tours have you completed?
    5
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Much harder
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    Countries included in this tour?
    France
    • 4/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 3/5 Hotels or boat
    • 4/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 4/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • (3/5) Mary Gallagher 7 months ago

    Great biking - barge was ok

    · · Provence by Bike and Boat

    Biking in Provence was outstanding- but the cabin we stayed in (Cabin 1) was not satisfactory. Crew we’re great and tour leader was knowledgeable and experienced. Unfortunate about our accommodations.

    Countries included in this tour?
    France
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites
    (5/5) Helen Beban 8 months ago

    Languedoc Adventure

    · South of France: UNESCO World Heritage Sites

    Did this tour as a couple in our early seventies. We have done many cycle trips mostly self guided carrying our own luggage. This time we hired ebikes. Bikes were perfect. Hotels stunning. The trip notes comprehensive and the GPS really excellent. We had good communication. Meals average.
    We have feedback for Adventure France about the route: on the Canal day MIDI Day the trip notes and GPS gave different routes. This was unexpected and a bit confusing.
    We followed the Canal du MIDI using the trip notes it worked well. The route to the hotel in Carcassonne used many small roads with 4 way intersections. Difficult. Also used the traffic bridge and main roads. Using the cycle/ pedestrian bridge would have been much better. We loved the routes especially the fascinating rock formations on the first cycling day and the high route above the lake. Magic.

    Countries included in this tour?
    France
  • Discover the stunning region of Provence by bike!
    (5/5) Edouard Cornudet 8 months ago

    Amazing

    · Cycling Paradise of Provence - to and from Avignon

    France is perfect for cycling. And we follow all the instruction in the paper and arrive well everywhere. There were like 3 or 4 instructions in the whole book that weren't good but in general it was very well indicated. Organization was great and philip was also perfect as loos 3 tired in two days, every morning before the start he came with new tires to replace the old ones. Thanks!

    What was the date of your tour?
    June 2023
    How many tours have you completed?
    1
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    First-time bike tourists, Solo travelers, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    Countries included in this tour?
    France
    •  (photo by Edouard Cornudet)
    •  (photo by Edouard Cornudet)
    •  (photo by Edouard Cornudet)
    •  (photo by Edouard Cornudet)
    • 4/5 Value
    • 4/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 4/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 4/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
  • Provence by Bike and Boat
    (5/5) Jennifer Sutton 10 months ago

    Beyond expectations!

    · · Provence by Bike and Boat

    This slow way of travelling is perfect for savouring Provence on all levels…
    Captain Willy and crew were extremely friendly, attentive and helpful. Our bike tour guide Michela was very safety conscious as well as informative and inclusive, all done with her Italian humour! The schedule was packed but never rushed. It helped that our group was cohesive and respectful of each other…and punctual! The food was excellent and our bow berth beyond expectations.
    I have already recommended this tour to others!

    What was the date of your tour?
    April 22 from Avignon
    How many tours have you completed?
    2
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    Countries included in this tour?
    France
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • Garonne Canal
    (4/5) Robert Sterndale November 7, 2022

    A beautiful ride through mostly rural, agricultural France

    · Garonne Canal: From Bordeaux to Toulouse

    Bordeaux and Toulouse are interesting cities alright but most of our time was riding through an expansive agricultural area. Finding our way out of Bordeaux was not difficult. Once we reached the canal we "sailed" along the paved towpath all day, every day. The bike trail was mostly well maintained paved surface with a few stretches that were bumpy. We saw active pavement maintenance so it is being improved where needed.
    The Roadbook navigating program served well as a way finder except on the last day when it took us to the wrong place in Toulouse a couple kilometers or more across the city from our hotel. That was a hassle.
    Being of a certain age, we opted for e-bikes on this trip. These were pedal-assist type bikes which we all mastered quickly. The terrain was mostly very canal-flat but the e-boost was welcome for the occasional rise and toward the end of the day the boost was welcome. The hotels along the way were not right on the canal and some hill climbing was involved there.
    Bikes were well maintained and thoughtfully configured for our various heights but no orientation or training was provided for the bikes, they were just left at the starting hotel.
    We enjoyed the hotel/B&B stays. B&B hosts were gracious and accommodating. Rooms were clean and comfortable.
    We did this in late September which is the end of their tourist season. Weather was fine. Bike traffic was light.
    The canal trail provided a very scenic but repetitious view. We saw an interesting variety of agricultural activity along the way.

    What was the date of your tour?
    September 2022
    How many tours have you completed?
    9
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    First-time bike tourists, Solo travelers, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    No
    Countries included in this tour?
    France
    • 4/5 Value
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 4/5 Scenery
    • 4/5 Ease of navigation
    • 3/5 Route selection
  • Provence’s History, Landscapes, and Luberon National Park
    (4/5) David Coleman November 7, 2022

    Trip of my dreams

    · Provence’s History, Landscapes, and Luberon National Park

    Still looking for my refund from Bernard for an overpayment.
    Can get anyone to respond to my emails.Hope someone will respond to this inquiry. The trip was very enjoyable, great group of people. Sam was a wonderful guide

    Countries included in this tour?
    France
  • Garonne Canal
    (3/5) Thomas Wall November 7, 2022

    Enjoyable ride with lots of canal views

    · Garonne Canal: From Bordeaux to Toulouse

    In order to ensure we had dedicated bike paths I think we sacrificed variety. The scenery was beautiful but we saw a lot of the canal. Enjoyed the small towns and our hosts were great! Small hiccup with luggage transfer was a bit aggravating. All-in-all, an enjoyable trip.

    What was the date of your tour?
    September 2022
    How many tours have you completed?
    This was the second
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    First-time bike tourists, Solo travelers, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    No
    Countries included in this tour?
    France
    • 4/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 4/5 Hotels or boat
    • 4/5 Scenery
    • 4/5 Ease of navigation
    • 3/5 Local tour company services