Menu
  • more than 30 years of experience
  • wide range throughout Europe
  • guided and self-guided
  • good quality bikes

Provence, Lyon to Arles

Along the Rhone river to the land of Van Gogh

Lyon
Lyon

  • Start
  • Finish

Arles
Marseille

A brand new bike and boat tour in France featuring Lyon, in old Burgundy, and Provence! Your floating accommodation, the deluxe MS Provence, will cruise the Rhone river, from Lyon to Arles. You will cycle much of your itinerary on the Via Rhona, the Rhône Cycle Route, which follows the course of the mighty Rhône all the way down to its delta on the French Mediterranean coast.
Lyon, at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers is the third largest city in France. Its history goes back to the times of the Romans but was inhabited even before that by Celtic tribes. Here you begin or end your tour and you will find the historical and cultural essence of the region, known for its wine and cuisine. You will cycle a rolling landscape, dotted with imposing castles, ancient monasteries, and pass through delightful Provençal villages, vineyards, and fields of sunflowers and lavender that were so dear to the painter Vincent van Gogh.

  • Type of tour Guided, Self-guided
  • Level 2
  • Duration 8
  • Distance 45km, average per day
  • Lyon, World Heritage Site
  • Vienne et Valence, Villes d'Art et d'Histoire
  • Ampuis, the vines of Côte Rôtie
  • Port de l'Epervière: dramatic views
  • Viviers, from Roman times this little city attracted lords and merchants

Daily Program

1 km = 0,62 miles
Day 1

Saturday: Lyon, embarkation before 5 pm

Saturday: Lyon, embarkation before 5 pm

You are expected to arrive on our barge on Saturday the latest at 5 PM. When you arrive on board the ship, you can put your luggage away in your cabin and then enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. Time to meet the crew and your fellow travelers for this week.

Day 2

Sunday: Lyon - Vienne - Andance - Tournon-sur-Rhône

35KM
Sunday: Lyon - Vienne - Andance - Tournon-sur-Rhône

Get ready for incredible scenery, tastes, and fragrances! Sailing to Vienne where you start your cycle tour. You immediately bike into the nature reservation Île au Beurre where you can enjoy the peace and quietness of nature. The landscape slowly changes into that of vineyards as you enter the land of the Côte Rôtie.
The vineyards are unique because of the steep slopes facing the river and their stone walls. The landscape changes again, this time into the green landscape of the Ardèche countryside Here you can find the boat moored in Andance. During dinner, the ship will navigate to Tournon sur Rhône.

Day 3

Monday: Tournon sur Rhône - Valence - Le Pouzin

35KM
Monday: Tournon sur Rhône - Valence - Le Pouzin

Today you can choose from three cycling distances: 33 km, 58 km or 73 km.
On the short route this morning the captain and his crew start the day early to bring you to the city of Valence, where the boat will arrive after breakfast. This town with its colorful markets and it’s historic “Quartiers” is the starting point of your cycling day featuring the typical small villages of the Ardèche, historic sites, and the green meadows of a nature reserve towards Le Pouzin in the Drôme area.
The long route takes you inland to the Drôme region and the ancient city of Crest with its imposing defense tower that overlooks both the river and the city.
The third option is an exceptional one and needs pre-booking. From Tournon an old steam train takes you and your bike up to Lamastre, the starting place of the Dolce Via bike route. The next 73 kilometers you will ride along an old railway line that has been turned into a bike route. You ride through the imposing mountainous landscape of the Ardèche through tunnels and along ravines. The route is partly unpaved. A day for the good cyclists.

Day 4

Tuesday: Le Pouzin - Viviers

42KM
Tuesday: Le Pouzin - Viviers

Today the tour brings you pass the medieval abbey of Cruas and further along you will be crossing a memorable rope bridge in Rochemaure. Though built in built by Marc Seguin in 1858, the architect was inspired by the castle ramparts. This bridge can be seen as a symbolic passing from old to new, from history to the future. At the end of the day you will be parking your bike next to the boat and you can enjoy a stroll through the historic village of Viviers.

Day 5

Wednesday: Viviers - Avignon

40KM
Wednesday: Viviers - Avignon

After a morning sail, the bikes will be put ashore at Roquemaure. From here you will bike straight into the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. You might want to purchase a bottle of wine of the same name to take home! Once you pass the hilly landscape around Châteauneuf-du-Pape, you are rewarded with an almost completely flat bike path along the river. Soon you will enjoy a panoramic view of Avignon, the home of the Popes in the 14th century. In this city, you can wander the old streets, enjoy the French way of life on the squares with their terraces, and just breath the culture.

Day 6

Thursday: Avignon - Tarascon/Arles

50KM
Thursday: Avignon - Tarascon/Arles

Many choices today on the ride from the ancient city of Popes to the South.
The longer and easier route (58 km) takes you on a relaxed ride along the river on the Via Rhôna.
The shorter but more strenuous route is a breathtaking stage, which brings you to the Alpilles, with the perched villages of Les-Baux-de-Provence and Saint Rémy de Provence. A landscape of limestone cliffs and olive trees will accompany the trip.
For the very keen cyclists we have the option of a long ride inland (more than 70 km) that brings you to the best preserved Roman aqueduct in Europe: Pont du Gard.

Day 7

Friday: Tarascon/Arles - Arles

21KM
Friday: Tarascon/Arles - Arles

For those who want to explore Arles and all the cozy corners Van Gogh once painted we have prepared an nice short route of only 21 kilometers.
If you want to spend your last day cycling the longer option (50 km), we offer an interesting ride into to Camargue, the river delta of the Rhône. Here you will find salt marches and century old traces of human population. You might even see the famous Camargue wild horses.

Day 8

Saturday: Arles, end of the tour after breakfast

Saturday: Arles, end of the tour after breakfast

Travel Dates

Date Availability Departure Accomodation Category  
3/27/2021 - 4/3/2021 Available Lyon MS Provence Comfort de Luxe Book now
4/10/2021 - 4/17/2021 Available Lyon MS Provence Comfort de Luxe Book now
4/24/2021 - 5/1/2021 Available Lyon MS Provence Comfort de Luxe Book now
5/8/2021 - 5/15/2021 Available Lyon MS Provence Comfort de Luxe Book now
5/22/2021 - 5/29/2021 Available Lyon MS Provence Comfort de Luxe Book now
6/5/2021 - 6/12/2021 Available Lyon MS Provence Comfort de Luxe Book now
6/19/2021 - 6/26/2021 Available Lyon MS Provence Comfort de Luxe Book now
7/3/2021 - 7/10/2021 Available Lyon MS Provence Comfort de Luxe Book now
7/17/2021 - 7/24/2021 Available Lyon MS Provence Comfort de Luxe Book now
7/31/2021 - 8/7/2021 Available Lyon MS Provence Comfort de Luxe Book now
8/14/2021 - 8/21/2021 Available Lyon MS Provence Comfort de Luxe Book now
8/28/2021 - 9/4/2021 Available Lyon MS Provence Comfort de Luxe Book now
9/11/2021 - 9/18/2021 Available Lyon MS Provence Comfort de Luxe Book now
9/25/2021 - 10/2/2021 Available Lyon MS Provence Comfort de Luxe Book now
10/9/2021 - 10/16/2021 Available Lyon MS Provence Comfort de Luxe Book now

Tour prices

Accommodation Room Price Children 0-2 years Children 3-11 years
Prices are per cabin 0 0
MS Provence Imperial Suite from March 27 to April 10 + from July 10 to August 14 € 3898,- 0 0
MS Provence Imperial Suite from April 17 to July 3 + Oct. 16 € 4698,- 0 0
MS Provence Imperial Suite from August 21 to Oct. 9 € 4898,- 0 0
0 0
MS Provence Lavender Suite from March 27 to April 10 + from July 10 to August 14 € 2998,- 0 0
MS Provence Lavender Suite from April 17 to July 3 + Oct. 16 € 3798,- 0 0
MS Provence Lavender Suite from August 21 to Oct. 9 € 3998,- 0 0
0 0
MS Provence Soleil Suite from March 27 to April 10 + from July 10 to August 14 € 2898,- 0 0
MS Provence Soleil Suite from April 17 to July 3 + Oct. 16 € 3698,- 0 0
MS Provence Soleil Suite from August 21 to Oct. 9 € 3898,- 0 0
0 0
MS Provence Single Suite from March 27 to April 10 + from July 10 to August 14 € 1949,- 0 0
MS Provence Single Suite from April 17 to July 3 + Oct. 16 € 2349,- 0 0
MS Provence Single Suite from August 21 to Oct. 9 € 2449,- 0 0
Other rates, per person: 0 0
MS Provence Guided option € 150,- 0 0

Rent a bike

Image Name Type Price per week
Hybrid bicycle, 24-gears Hybrid bicycle, 24-gears Batavus Boulevard, incl. bike helmet €95
Electric bicycle, unisex Electric bicycle, unisex Batavus, step-through bicycle incl. bike helmet €180
Cycletours bicycle insurance Cycletours bicycle insurance No own-risk €20
Cycletours bicycle insurance E-bike Cycletours bicycle insurance E-bike No own-risk €40

Included

  • All nights on board, (Sat.-Sat. 8 days / 7 nights), cabin in the booked category;
  • Full board (7 x breakfast, 6 x self-made picnic lunch for bike tours, 7 x 4 course dinner)
  • Use of bed linen and towels
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • City walks with tour leader
  • Free WiFi (limited available)
  • Route information for self-guided option
  • GPS tracks (on request)
  • Support vehicle
  • Ferry fares on the route

Not included

  • Reservation costs € 20,- per party
  • Bicycle rent
  • Guided tour option for short and long routes; tour guide cycles with the group, max. 20 cyclists per group: € 150,- per person
  • Bicycle insurance (optional) € 20,- per bicycle
  • Bicycle insurance electric bike (optional) € 40,- per bicycle
  • Entrance fees to museums
  • Cancellation insurance
  • Drinks on board

Special details

  • Please take good notice of our Terms & Conditions.
  • If you have special meal requirements we ask you to mention this when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special
  • ngredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus. In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week.
  • Cycletours Holidays reserves the right to cancel tours with fewer than 12 participants up to 21 days prior to the date of departure.
  • The program is subject to change without notice.

Arrival
You are expected at the barge on Saturday afternoon, before 3 PM. You can bring your luggage earlier to the barge, but not before 11 AM. We are busy cleaning the barge, but we can provide you with suggestions to have a nice walk into town.
The mooring place of the barge in Arles is on the Rhône river near the city center.

Plane
There are a couple of options for your arrival and departure airports depending on your travel plans and tour start and end cities.
– Paris (CDG)
– Lyon (LYS)
– Marseille Provence (MRS)
*Remember that you can fly into one airport and out of another.

Train
– From Paris CDG airport to Lyon: TGV train from/to Paris CDG takes approx. 2 hours
– From Paris CDG airport to Arles: TGV train from/to Paris CDG takes approx. 5 hours

– From Lyon-Saint-Exupéry Airport (LYS) to Lyon: Tram Lyon Express (Rhône Express) to/from the city center.
– From Lyon-Saint-Exupéry Airport (LYS) to Arles: TGV train to/from Arles which will take approx. 2 hours.

– From Marseille Provence Airport (MRS) to Lyon: It is less convenient to use this airport for tour starts in Lyon as onward travel will require both bus and train travel with transfers. It would be most convenient to fly into Paris CDG or Lyon.
– From Marseille Provence Airport (MRS) to Arles: Arles city center is accessible by train and takes only about 1/2 hour travel time.

Car
Should you arrive by car, we strongly advise to arrive earlier to unload your luggage and find a parking place later.

End of the tour
The tour ends one week later in Arles on Saturday morning after breakfast at 10 AM. You will spend the night from Friday to Saturday on board in Arles. The mooring place of the barge in Arles is on the Rhône river near the city center.

Book this tour

Frequently asked questions

  • Can I bring along my own bicycle?

    Yes, you may. On most tours this has no bearing on the total cost of the trip, however, please mention this at time of booking. Sometimes an additional charge may be requested for the bicycle when transferring from one place to another.

  • Can you choose your own itinerary without a guide?

    Cyclists can choose a longer route than the group takes. The guide will gladly advise you on the choice of an alternative route.

  • Do you accommodate for special diets?

    Must be notified when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus.
    In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week. On some tours there also is an additional charge of  € 50, – for lactose-free meals.

  • Is WiFi on board available?

    Yes, free WiFi is limited available in lounge and on deck.

More questions

Price starting from € ,- * * There are no extra's included in this price

Accommodations

MS Provence
MS Provence

About the barge Provence

Designed specifically for the Rhône river, this custom-built ship has outside cabins and provides a small ship atmosphere that enhances the experience.
Take time to relax after your biking day, in the lounge, library, or on the sun deck. Your cabin features a flat-screen TV with CNN and movies, radio, direct-dial telephone, individual heating and air-conditioning controls, and private bath with shower. The picturesque villages and vineyards that make up the French countryside are best appreciated aboard a river ship that’s as relaxed as the region itself. Come on board and immerse in the French art de vivre .

The barge Provence entered service in 2000. The ship features three decks. Cabins are located on both the lower and main deck.  Passengers can relax after their biking day in the lounge, library, or on the sun deck (with jacuzzi).
The bar and lounge have panoramic floor to ceiling windows. On board there also is fitness equipment.

Cabins:

23 double occupancy cabins and 3 single cabins.
All cabins feature a flat-screen TV with CNN and movies; wireless internet*; radio; direct-dial telephone; individual heating and air-conditioning controls; private bath room with a spacious glass-enclosed shower; hairdryer; closet and storage space.

Four cabin types:

• 8 x Imperial Suite on the Main deck:
- Cabins with sliding doors to a balcony and full river views
- Located on the highest deck with passenger cabins, one deck below the sun deck, and on the same deck as the restaurant and lounge
- Cabins are 210 square feet plus balcony
- Twin beds (can be combined into double bed)
- Sofa and balcony chairs

• 11 x Lavender Suite on the Lower deck:
- Cabins with large portholes which do not open
- Cabins are 215 square feet
- Located on the bottom passenger deck, two decks below the Sun Deck and one deck below the restaurant and lounge
- Twin beds (can be combined into double bed)

• 4 x Soleil Suite on the Lower deck:
- Cabins with large portholes which do not open
- Cabins are 210 square feet
- Located on the bottom passenger deck, two decks below the Sun Deck and one deck below the bar, lounge, and dining room, near the stairs and underneath the bar
- Twin beds (can be combined into double bed)

• 3 x Single Suite on the Lower deck:
- Cabins with a porthole which does not open
- Cabins are 170 square feet
- Located on the bottom passenger deck, two decks below the Sun Deck and one deck below the bar, lounge, and dining room, near the stairs and underneath the bar
• Single bed

Complimentary wireless Internet access is available in all cabins, in addition to all common areas.
Signal strength varies and due to steel construction of ship, speed may not be what you are accustomed to.

  • Offical name MS Provence
  • Length 89 m
  • Width 9.44 m
  • Capacity 49 persons
  • Electricity 220 V Volts

Provence, Lyon to Arles

 

What others think of this tour

Leave your review