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Vélo En Provence tour
Cultural Cycling Vélo En Provence package

Vélo En Provence

Explore! Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
93%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
8 days
From: $ 1,220 $ 153 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • Orange - Discover the 1st century AD Roman treasures, from the Arc de Triomphe to the superb Roman theatre
  • Dentelles de Montmirail - Cycle beneath the towering rock formations; Alpine foothills rising up from the edge of the Rhône valley
  • Food and wine - Visit Châteauneuf du Pape, sample the wines and some of the region's gastronomic highlights along the way
  • St-Rémy-de-Provence - Wander the streets of this delightful market town at the foot of the Alpilles mountain range and one time home to Vincent Van Gogh
  • Cycle the Luberon - Visit the beautiful 8th century village of Gordes

Short Description

Riding our bikes through the heart of Provence, we visit ancient vineyards, hilltop villages and discover the landscapes that inspired Vincent Van Gogh to paint here. We cycle past the ancient 'bories' (stone houses) in the Luberon and the Roman remains in Orange and St-Rémy-de-Provence, perhaps stopping to visit the region's elegant Romanesque abbeys or to enjoy mouth-watering Provençal cuisine and local wines.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City N/A
End City Avignon TGV Train Station

Travel Theme

Cultural

Destinations

France

Cities & Attractions

N/A

Activities

Cycling

No Single Supplement
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Trip Includes

Included Bike

21 gear RTE 520 hybrid bikes with front suspension. Electric bikes (e-bikes) are available for an additional cost for the duration of the holiday. Please contact us for more details or to request your e-bike.

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Itinerary

Day 1 - Join trip Avignon train station

Description

We join our trip at Avignon TGV train station and then take a short drive to the pleasant Provençal town of Orange. Steeped in history dating from the early 1st century AD, there are many treasures to see, including the recently restored Arc de Triomphe to the still used Roman theatre.

If you wish to drive to the start of the trip please ask us for parking details.

Included Meals : None

Day 2 - Optional Ride to Châteauneuf du Pape, circular route back to Orange

Description

Having had a chance to familiarise ourselves with our bikes, we start by exploring the area around Orange. There is the opportunity to cycle south of the town through world famous vineyards to the small village of Chateuneuf du Pape. There will be ample time to sample some of the regions' famous wines and explore the ruins of the chateau which was built as a summer residence for the Popes of Avignon. After lunch we can return to Orange following the course of the mighty Rhone taking a break in the village of Caderouse, where ramparts encircle the village. Today provides for a gentle introductory ride, but alternatively you can just follow the local back roads through small, quiet villages to give a longer optional cycle route. Later this afternoon you may like to visit the large and well preserved Roman theatre and triumphal arch.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 35 kilometres (Total 112 metres ascent and 113 meters descent), plus optional extra 31 kilometres.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 3 - Cycle through stunning countryside and vineyards; ride to Carpentras

Description

We leave Orange, cycling east through the interesting village of Cameret-sur-Aigues and vineyards to Séguret at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail. Séguret is an open balcony on the Rhône Valley, sat beneath the medieval castle remains surrounded by vineyards which produce a very respectable Côte du Rhône. Inhabited since prehistoric times and enriched in Gallo-Romano times, today's village was built in the 10th century and belonged to the Papacy before becoming part of France revolution in 1793. Continuing on our way towards Carpentras we pass through the villages of Gigondas and then Vacqueras, birthplace of the troubadour poet Raimbaud. Along this section of the ride there are some excellent views of the limestone pinnacles and the opportunity to try some of the best Grenache wines produced in the foothills of the Dentelles. This is one place where you can view the lavender fields if travelling in July (Optional longer rides available).

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 47 kilometres (Total 269 metres ascent and 215 meters descent), plus optional extra 23 kilometres.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 4 - Free day or optional circular cycle route via Gordes back to Carpentras

Description

With three nights in Carpentras you may wish to take the opportunity to take a day off from cycling in which case, there are plenty of things to do and see in this historic and attractive town. The town is situated in an area where, in the 14th and 15th centuries, Jewish communities were protected, benefitting from the presence of the Popes in Avignon who granted them the freedom to worship and live peacefully, having been banished from the Kingdom of France. The Synagogue was built in 1367 and is one of the oldest in France. The Hotel Dieu in the town is an 18th century hospital with a well-preserved collection of apothecary jars, decorated walls and ceilings. Antique lovers will enjoy the Rue de Porte Mazan and the town's glass-covered shopping street. A short bus ride away is the city of Avignon and the amazing Palace of the Popes. For those that would prefer to ride, options include the strenuous climb up Mont Ventoux, or riding east of Carpentras to find some of the Luberon's prettiest villages. Three of them have made it into the list of the 'Les plus beaux villages' (most beautiful villages) of France, an association of 144 villages selected on the quality of their architecture, environment and patrimony. Riding through the lavender-hued vale, passing the simple Cistercian abbey of Senanque we continue south-east to arrive at Gordes where there may be time to experience the local street market. On the flanks of the Vaucluse plateau, just across the Luberon barrier, Gordes is a typical Provençal A maze of intricate lanes leads up to St Firmin's church and to the massive hulk of a Renaissance château perched on the top of the village (Optional longer rides available).

Our total cycling distance today is from 20 kilometres, up to 80 kilometres (Total 934 metres ascent and 934 meters descent)

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 5 - Cycle under southern slopes of Mount Ventoux to vineyard for wine tasting and lunch

Description

For those who cycled yesterday and would like to take a day off today you may wish to take time instead to explore Carpentras. The cycling route today gives us a taste of Provencal life, taking us through the lovely villages at the southern foot of Mount Ventoux, with a stop on the way for morning coffee, before reaching a local farm. Here we have a guided walk around the vineyards, olive groves and lavender fields and the chance for wine tasting. We have a picnic lunch amongst the olive groves, followed by time to relax and enjoy a dip in the farm swimming pool. In the late afternoon we cycle back through sleepy villages to our accommodation in Carpentras.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 42 kilometres (total 330 metres ascent and 330 metres descent)

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 6 - Crossing the river into the Bouche du Rhône; ride to St Rémy-de-Provence

Description

If you prefer not to cycle today it is possible to leave your luggage with the support vehicle as usual and use public buses to visit Avignon, travelling onto St Rémy-de-Provence after the visit. The cycling route takes us southeast through the market gardens of the Vaucluse and Bouche du Rhône regions following lanes across flat farmland and through delightful old villages. It is possible to make a short detour to the Grottes de Thouzon en route. These caves offer an easy walk along a horizontal gallery via the fossil bed of an underground river where you can discover the delicate beauty of the only natural cave developed for tourism in Provence. Our route crosses the Durance River to Noves, a typical village with two 14th century gateways and a 12th century church. Our destination for today is St Rémy-de-Provence the birthplace of Nostradamus and one time home to Van. (Optional 66 kilometre longer ride is available).

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 52 kilometres (total 84 metres ascent and 119 meters descent).

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 7 - Free day or optional circular cycle route via Les Baux back to St Rémy-de-Provence

Description

Riding west we cycle around the base of the Alpilles, passing Mas-Blanc-des-Alpilles, the smallest village in the department and surrounded by former agricultural land now used for market gardening and fruit trees. Close by we can visit the Barbegal Mill, a sixteen wheel water powered device constructed in the 3rd or 4th century. We continue cycling through olive groves, to visit Les Baux-de-Provence, another of France's most beautiful. Perched on a rocky spur, the village overlooks some staggeringly beautiful countryside. We finish with a delightful descent back into St Rémy-de-Provence.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 41 kilometres (Total 286 metres ascent and 285 meters descent)

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 8 - Trip ends Avignon train station

Description

After breakfast we drive from St-Rémy-de-Provence to the TGV train station in Avignon where the trip ends.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Availability

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Price From $ 1,220
Price Per Day: $ 153 per day
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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

30 Explore! Travel Reviews & Ratings

93%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 24
Great 3
Average 1
Disappointing 1
Terrible 1
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.5
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.5

Vélo En Provence

Write a Review

Great Tour Leader will come back in 2017

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
A great tour leader - friendly, personable, approachable, knowledgeable of the local area, sights and people. We plan to come back and cycle with Andrew again in 2017.
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Amazing tour guide

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Andrew, our guide, made the trip! He is patient, fun, easy-going, very well organized, knowledgeable. He chose amazing routes through the most beautiful countryside of Provence, minimizing traffic and maximizing peace and quiet and scenery. I appreciated that every day’s route was chosen with a lot of thought, so that each day’s ride offered a different landscape.
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Trip of a lifetime seeing the Arctic in a week

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I travelled as a solo traveller and was relieved to find that about half the boat was also solo travellers. It was a great adventure - on a ferry board for a week with the most amazing panoramic views around us every day. We were regularly out on smaller boats to see the bird cliffs up close, or to go onto land to walk around. We saw lots of amazing wildlife including walrus, blue whales, beluga whales, endless species of birds, and of course Polar Bears! The week went by too quickly. It was a great mix of wildlife and landscapes. Each day there was a different guide giving a presentation of everything from the biology of a polar bear, to the fauna found in the arctic circle. You could join in for as little or as much as you wanted. Definitely recommended.
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Super good tour guide, but the itinerary was rushed

5.0
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Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
Junk on Halong Bay, Homestay in Mekong Delta. Hoi An Our tour guide, Long, was excellent and did a super job of mixing history and political context with what we were seeing. He went out of his way to add to the tour, actually taking us to favorite restaurant on his night off. The children loved him and we enjoyed his professionalism and his personal narrative of Vietnam. I felt that the itinerary was very rushed for a family tour. I understand the non family tour is longer and actually that would have been better for the family too. In particular a very busy day in Hue followed a mostly sleepless night on the train. We could have done with more time in Hue, or different activities. Hue was a bad day as the kite making was dull, crowded, and hot, then we didn't get to fly kites as we had not made them. In the end we had little time at the Citadel as we had to transfer into a small bus to navigate the streets.
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Excellent

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
Mohammed was excellent!

Enjoy the trip

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The highlight of this trip was seeing Machu Picchu, which I loved it.

Details

Optional Activities

Optional Excursions

Orange - Roman Theatre - and other similar sites around Euros 5 each. Avignon from Carpentras or St Arles from St Remy De Provence - around Euros 12-14 per person return (depending on train type).

Accomodations

Accommodation Notes

Standard - Our mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en-suite facilities.

Guides

An Explore Leader is an integral part of any Explore trip and your trip will be led by one of our experienced Explore Leaders who have been handpicked and expertly trained. We believe that our Explore Leaders are the key to the success of our trips; they are passionate travellers who are bursting with first-hand local knowledge which they love to share. Your Explore Leader will also take care of all the planning and organisation throughout your journey. Their passionate approach will make this trip fun and inspiring, bringing the destination to life whether you're travelling alone or with others.

Tour Staff

Explore Tour Leader / Driver

Additional Information:

Cycling Information

On this trip we cycle 237 km over six days (an average of 40 km per day) with further more challenging optional rides available. One of the more challenging options is the classic Tour de France climb of Mont Ventoux. We use quiet, undulating roads although there will be several steeper sections. Maps are provided to cycle individually or in groups while the Explore Leader drives the support vehicle, except on circular routes when the Explore Leader will cycle with the group. We have graded the route as moderate. GPX files are available for this holiday.

Additional JIs for FI - Start Tour

On some occasions, the Eurostar Train from London St Pancras goes into Lille L'Europe Train Station but the on-going train to Avignon departs from Lille Flandres Train Station. The following information will assist you in making your way across Lille. Exit from Lille L'Europe Station, passing the shopping centre on the left hand side. Follow Avenue Le Corbusier and Place des Buisses to arrive at Lille Flandres Train Station. The total distance between the two stations is around 500m. Your Explore Leader will meet you by the signposted 'group meeting point' by the north exit of Avignon TGV station. This is centrally located at the bottom of the stairs and lift from the platforms. Driving: The joining hotel in Orange is situated in the heart of the town centre on Rue Pourtoules and there is public paid parking close by. The hotel does have a very small secure paid car park, but does not welcome vehicles being left for a week. Our recommendation is to drive to the end of trip hotel in St-Rémy-de-Provence situated on the D5 south of the town, where the hotel has a large secure paid car park. Take the bus from St-Rémy-de-Provence to Avignon and then the train to Orange to join the trip.

Additional JIs for LO - Start Tour

Your tour leader will meet you by the signposted 'group meeting point' by the north exit of Avignon TGV station. This is centrally located at the bottom of the stairs and lift from the platforms. Driving: The joining hotel in Orange is situated in the heart of the town centre on Rue Pourtoules and there is public paid parking close by. The hotel does have a very small secure paid car park, but does not welcome vehicles being left for a week. Our recommendation is to drive to the end of trip hotel in St-Rémy-de-Provence situated on the D5 south of the town, where the hotel has a large secure paid car park. Take the bus from St-Rémy-de-Provence to Avignon and then the train to Orange to join the trip.

Trip ID#:

explore-CVP

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