Arrival in Avignon
Arrival at the hotel. Free time in Avignon. Meeting at our store “Provence Bike” between 3 and 6 PM.
Should your first day be on a Sunday, then meeting at our store “Provence Bike” will be on Monday morning at 9 AM.
Avignon - Châteauneuf du Pape - Avignon
This day is dedicated to wine discovery: the “Tavel”, first rosé in France and the “Lirac” with its rare elegance (option), the “Châteauneuf du Pape”, a vintage wine which specificity is to grow on a ground full of pebbles (that accumulate heat during the day and give it back at night) and to use thirteen variety of vine. From Tavel, small village surrounded of vines to Châteauneuf du Pape, topped by the ruins of the castle which used to be the popes’ summer residence, small roads will offer you the pleasure of a discovery following your rhythm.± 48, 55, 57 or 63 km depending on the options chosen. Flat and hilly ground. Night in Avignon.
Avignon - Les Baux de Provence
Going south to the heart of Provence is the Alpilles chain, small hill (low difference in height) with chalky ridge shinning under the sun where painters such as Van Gogh came for inspiration. In St Rémy de Provence where Nostradamus, doctor and astrologist famous for his predictions, was born you will appreciate 2 well-preserved roman monuments: the Mausoleum and the municipal arch. There, was situated the rich Glanum city abandoned at the end of the 3rd century; now there are only ruins. On your way, stop to discover “l’elixir (liquor) du Révérand Père Gaucher” in the abbey of St Michel de Frigolet situated in the “Montagnette” (small hill which highest point is 170 m). ± 48 or ± 55 km depending on the option. Hilly. Night in Les Baux de Provence
Les Baux de Provence- Arles - Les Baux de Provence
Three options are proposed on this day: resting time in the hotel, visit of the village of Les Baux de Provence, or biking for about 51 km on flat ground including the visit of Arles. Les Baux de Provence village, with nice houses confined all together, is hung up on a roc where the view is magnificent: olive trees fields lying on the plain, cypress stretching to the sky, thick and short garrigue dotted with odor full thyme and rosemary, small villages spared in the landscape and, further on, we can guess the sea. Arles, roman capital, large religious center in the middle age, with its houses surrounding the arenas that is maybe the most spectacular monument. In the streets of the city is every Saturday morning a very typical market. And everywhere in the heart of the old city, the café’s terraces with shadow will offer you a fresh stop. ± 51 km for the itinerary Les Baux – Arles – Les Baux. Night in the same hotel in Les Baux de Provence.
Les Baux de Provence - Fontaine de Vaucluse/ Isle sur la Sorgue
On this day, you will cross the small hill of Les Alpilles (highest point: 390 meters only). On your way, nice villages are waiting for you. In Eygalières, against the hill under donjon vestiges, you will be able to have a rest at the foot of the 12th century chapel built in the roc, where it used to be a heathen temple dedicated to water. Then, biking by small plain roads, you are going to the east, to the Monts de Vaucluse, to reach the heart of the regional park of the Luberon.
± 50 km (small difference in height except to reach the Alpilles’ top: 200 m of positive difference in height). Night in Fontaine de Vaucluse or in Isle sur la Sorgue, on the riverside.
Fontaine de Vaucluse/ Isle sur la Sorgue, roundtrip
At the foot of a golden cliff, a spring – one of the most important in Europe – strongly gushes out (150 m3 / s at the period when water is high): Fontaine de Vaucluse site is famous thanks to its unique natural atmosphere, but it is also known thanks to the Italian humanist and poet Pétrarque (14th century). Further on, 2 villages are worth to visit: Gordes, hung up by the cliff front to the Luberon chain, with its nice stone houses, its paved and arched streets. Around the village are numerous “Bories” (hut made of dry stone) that will amaze you with their various shapes. Roussillon, totally different, is hung up on a small hill colored with red ocher. The houses walls are distempered with ocher, from red to yellow, contrasting with the dark green of the pine trees. At the top of the village, a viewpoint proposes a nice view on the plain, Gordes and the small villages around. ± 72 km, hilly. Night in the same hotel Fontaine de Vaucluse or in Isle sur la Sorgue.
Fontaine de Vaucluse/ Isle sur la Sorgue, roundtrip
Every Sunday morning in Isle sur la Sorgue take place an important antic market as well as a large Provencal market: this big village where the arms of the river are passing by becomes animated then. In every street of the village are stalls with shimmering colors, with inebriating odors… Provencal cloths, handicraft, cloths, pottery… vegetables, sweets, delicatessen, goat cheese, honey and jam… lavender, spices, Provencal herbs odors… exuberance, laughing, hustling… All meridian culture is here ! Escaping to north, you’ll go through quiet small roads to reach a nice village turned towards the plain of Carpentras: Venasque. From the top of the village, magnificent view on the plain and on the Mont Ventoux, highest point in Provence (1910 meters high). ± 47 km, hilly. Night in the same hotel Fontaine de Vaucluse or in Isle sur la Sorgue.
Transfer to Avignon
Transfer in the morning to Avignon. End of the tour.