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You bike through the Luberon and the Alpilles Natural Regional Parks. You cycle at the foot of the Mont Ventoux. You pedal through lavender fields and endless acres of vineyards. You ride to Gordes, Roussillon, Ménerbes, Lacoste and Bonnieux. And you pedal through Saint-Rémy-de-Provence on market day. Exploring Provence on a bike tour with DIGnGO is simply an adventure you’ll never forget.
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Start this week with a short minivan transfer from Avignon to the village of Sault. In town, sit at a café for lunch where you get your first taste of the Provence area. You also experience the first of the many beautiful sights you’ll be seeing throughout when you take in the town’s rustic medieval church, as well as the surrounding countryside.
After lunch, you engage in a brief bike fitting session before embarking on your first ride as a group. You begin by biking 11 miles downhill through the winding roads and majestic mountainside tunnels of the Gorges de la Nesque, an unforgettable natural structure carved over the course of millennia by the river and home to the ancient remnants of the indigenous Neanderthals.
Later that day, arrive in the town of Crillon le Brave where you’ll staying. The Hotel Crillon le Brave is nestled at the foot of Mont Ventoux, colloquially known as the giant of Provence and famed for its sometime involvement in the Tour de France.
Finally, you conclude your day with a sumptuous dinner at the hotel, prepared by Jerome Blanchet, one of the most talented French chefs of his generation.
Today’s Ride: 27 miles with 1,400 feet of climbing
Today, you leave Crillon le Brave, after a light breakfast overlooking scenic Mont Ventoux, to our next destination the beautiful town of Gordes where the hotel we’ll be calling home for the next two nights is located. On the way, enjoy an morning stopover at the village of St. Didier where you take in a wealth of breathtaking scenery and experience an authentically colorful Provencal market first hand.
Lunch on your own will be enjoyed in the nearby town of Venasque, widely considered to be one of France’s most beautiful villages.
In the afternoon, continue cycling to Gordes, a wonderland that includes old stone buildings clinging to the craggy faces of the area’s plateaus, as well as an authentic 12th century castle, beautiful cobblestone lanes, and a variety of monuments and local destinations. If you feel like ridding more mileage, head to the 12th century structure, the Abbaye de Senanque, peacefully nestled amidst a fragrant sea of lavender, as well as groves of majestic oak trees.
Your journey ends at the Bastide de Gordes, the beautiful hotel you’ll be calling home for a couple of days,
Last but not least, your first full day of biking through Provence ends with a delectable meal at a charming local restaurant serving the finest in authentic Provencal cuisine.
Today’s Ride: 33 miles with 3,000 feet of climbing
Short Option: 19 miles with 1,500 feet of climbing
Long Option: 41 miles with 4,100 feet of climbing
Your third day is spent undergoing a loop that leads you through a number of notable villages in the area, starting with Roussillon and then continuing on through Bonnieux, Lacoste, and Menerbes. Your first stop is the village of Roussillon, a location known for its beautiful orchards. Next, you actually cycle by one of the area’s most historic landmarks, the Pont Julien – a Roman bridge that dates all the way back to 300 BC. From there, you coast into nearby Bonnieux just in time for lunch on your own.
The post-lunch leg of our afternoon tour takes you to Lacoste, a picturesque chateau owned by world-famous designer Pierre Cardin, where you enjoy a few peaceful moments. Last, but certainly not least, you bike through the town of Menerbes, the town in which Peter Mayle penned his famous masterpiece about his unforgettable year in idyllic Provence. Just outside of the town you stop for a visit at a location known not only for its incredible wines but for its amazing corkscrew museum as well.
You then return home to Gordes for dinner on your own at one of the town restaurants. Alternatively and for those of you that want additional mileage, you can ride up the hill to the idyllic hamlet of Lioux.
Today’s Ride: 34 miles with 2,600 feet of climbing
Short Option: 19 miles with 1,400 feet of climbing
Long Option: 50 miles with 3,900 feet of climbing
Your fourth day on tour finds you bidding farewell to the lovely town of Gordes and preparing to bike your way down through the morning and afternoon to Les Baux de Provence where you’ll be spending the night. You start with a brisk morning journey to the Abbaye de Frigolet, where you begin the day’s ride. From there, you coast your way toward Saint Remy de Provence to enjoy the town’s famed market on market day itself – a unique experience indeed. After the market, you enjoy a light and delicious lunch at a Bistro of your choice as lunch is on your own.
The afternoon leg of your tour find you biking your way from Saint Remy de Provence straight into Les Baux de Provence and your hotel, Baumaniere Les Baux de Provence, for the next two nights.
In the evening, dinner is served at a local restaurant located a few minutes from your hotel where you have the opportunity to enjoy some of Provence’s finest culinary options.
Today’s Ride: 30 miles with 1,100 feet of climbing
Short Option: 16 miles with 300 feet of climbing
The fifth and final day of your tour once again introduces you to some of the area’s must-see destinations. You begin your beautiful day with a delicious breakfast right before launching into a stop at Mas de Gourgonier, where you sample some of the region’s best vintages. From there, you ride your way to the town of Eygaliere through one of the most beautiful routes of the entire trip. You take in a breathtaking countryside that includes majestic pine trees, fragrant olive groves, and the area’s most beautiful vineyards right before enjoying lunch on your own at a local restaurant.
After lunch, you begin your journey back home by taking a detour through the nearby village of Baux de Provence for an afternoon spent soaking up the town’s rustic ambience and exploring the local shops. Finally, you arrive back at your beautiful hotel just in time to enjoy another delicious Provence-style dinner at their gourmet restaurant, while you share the priceless memories you’ve created during your time together in Provence.
Today’s Ride: 33 miles with 2,200 feet of climbing
Short Option: 18 miles with 1,100 feet of climbing
Long Option: 43 miles with 2,800 feet of climbing
Enjoy breakfast at Baumaniere Les Baux de Provence one last time before meeting up with your trip leaders. From here, a short drive to the train station of Avignon marks the end of the tour and of this unforgettable trip through the Provence region.
Our bicycle tour through Provence was amazing and we thoroughly enjoyed the itinerary and all the scheduled activities. You did a great job! We had amazing trip leaders. We stayed at gorgeous properties! All in all, we had an absolutely fantastic time! Thank you!
We had incredible tour guides, always helpful and at-the-ready, but totally unobtrusive. We comfortably enjoyed our trip. We could not have asked for more accommodating trip leaders whose company we would more enjoy.
We just finished a 5 day bike tour of Provence. We enjoyed our two knowledgeable and engaging tour guides… very experienced in cycling and great to be with. We ended up with just the 6 of us on this trip, so we got some sort of a private experience. We loved the outstanding and well researched bike routes, and the great variety in physical challenge and mostly low traffic. We also loved the extraordinary accommodations and restaurants. We’re looking forward to doing it again. Picnic, wine tastings, olive oil tastings…all extraordinary!
We had very attentive and fun trip leaders. I loved the trip. I would have liked hybrid bikes with bar ends or horns on the ends of the handlebars to allow another option and to avoid wrist fatigue. Normally, I ride a road bike at home. We also loved the fantastic food. Thank you for a great bike trip.
We had fantastic trip leaders. We learned a lot about the region and I even learned a little bit of French. This bike tour was a great success because of them. We became good friends with them. On our next trip, if possible, we would like to have them as guides again. Thank you for a great cycling trip!