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France

Pedalling Provence

Self-Guided Leisure Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,345 P.P.
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Is there a more iconic destination in France than the sun-kissed land of Provence? We think not. Whilst the glitzy coastline was the traditional haunt of well-to-do tourists early in the 20th century, the idyllic, slow lifestyle of those living inland, tending to their olive groves, lavender fields and vineyards has become what most visitors come in search of.
This tour takes you on a journey through not only our favourite pocket of Provence, but the favourite of Vincent Van Gogh too. The colours of the landscape and the soft, hazy sunshine that is so reliably present in summer will make it abundantly clear why.
Starting and finishing in St-Remy-de-Provence, where Vincent spent the later years of his life, you’ll take in a loop around the Luberon valley, passing through some of the region's most-loved spots – from hilltop villages to ochre cliffs and lavender fields.
Other attractions of note include the hilltop fortress of Les Baux-de-Provence, a perched village with spectacular views of the Rhone valley and the quintessentially Provençal market village of l’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, known as the Venice of Provence.
All of these memorable places are linked together by a selection of picturesque cycling routes that traverse the landscape on a mix of quiet rural roads and cycle paths.
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Holiday Highlights

  • Riding through landscapes immortalised by the works of Vincent Van Gogh
  • Enjoying fine local produce, including excellent wines, olive oils and herbs
  • Soaking up the atmosphere of St-Remy-de-Provence with some al fresco dining and late night aperitifs
  • Explore the wonderfully varied Luberon valley, with hilltop villages, lavender fields and ochre cliffs
  • Riding through peaceful French countryside, olive groves and vineyards
  • Spotting the hilltop fortress of Les Baux-de-Provence

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Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival in St-Remy-de-Provence

Today you’ll make your way to St-Remy-de-Provence and settle into your hotel before a welcome briefing and bike fitting delivered by a member of the local team.

A short acclimatisation ride will be an option for early arrivals, or you may prefer a walk through this charming town’s narrow streets lined with boutiques and restaurants. The Roman ruins of Glanum are a 30 minute or so walk from your hotel, or take a stroll to St Paul’s Mausoleum.

Day 2
Les Baux-de-Provence Loop
27 Miles / 44 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 414 Metres Approx.

Today you have the chance to visit one of the area’s most renowned villages, the spectacular Les Baux-de-Provence. Famed for its hilltop fortress and the vast panoramas offered of the Alpilles, the Rhone valley and even the Cevennes mountains much further west.

The village itself is lined with boutiques, cafes, and restaurants, making it perfect for a long lazy lunch break. After your break freewheel down from the Alpilles on a wonderful twisting descent to the comfort of your hotel

Day 3
St-Remy-de-Provence to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse
26 Miles / 42 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 204 Metres Approx.

Your first point-to-point route starts by leaving St-Remy and picking up the Eurovelo 8 cycle path to for a flat, traffic free ride to Molleges, before crossing the Durance river at Cavaillon.

After leaving town the route winds north to the spectacular village of Fontaine-deVaucluse – home to the largest fresh water spring in Europe. You’ll ride into town along the banks of the river, with the emerald green water guiding you all the way to your hotel.

Drop the bikes off and take a short walk from the village to the source itself before enjoying an evening of al fresco dining.

Day 4
l’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue Loop
12 Miles / 19 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 148 Metres Approx.

A rest day is an option today for those wishing to spend more time exploring Fontaine-de-Vaucluse on foot.

Or for those of you still raring to go and wanting to ride we have a lovely short loop available, taking you to l’Isle-sur-laSorgue, often called the Venice of Provence due to the network of canals that criss-cross the town. It’s an impossibly picturesque spot and the Sunday market here is one of the best in France. After soaking it all up, a short ride returns you to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse for another night.

Day 5
Fontaine-de-Vaucluse to Roussillon
15 Miles / 25 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 551 Metres Approx.

You’ll leave the waterways behind today and venture further into the Luberon valley, paying a visit to one two of its most spectacular hilltop villages as you go. Whilst the ride is short, there are 3 hills on the route today, starting on the way out of Fontaine-deVaucluse – but don’t worry the scenery more than makes up for them!

After a stretch through countryside, passing vineyards and olive trees, the route climbs up to Gordes, a favoured holiday spot of A-list celebrities and a great vantage point over the Luberon valley. Dropping down to the valley floor, the route continues east, passing lavender fields as you approach the ochre cliffs of Roussillon.

Day 6
Roussillon to Bonnieux (via Menerbes & Lacoste)
19 Miles / 31 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 403 Metres Approx.

Having traversed the northern edge of the valley, it’s time to see what the south has to offer. A lovely descent starts the day, taking you to the ancient Pont Julien, a bridge constructed by the Romans. From hear you’ll pick up the Veloroute du Calavon for a short stretch along the valley floor, before heading for the hills and the village of Menerbes.

Those of you who’ve read “A Year in Provence” will no doubt recognise a few place names around here! Following a route through olive groves and cedar forests, the route turns east again, passing through Lacoste, on the way to your overnight stop in Bonnieux.

Day 7
Bonnieux to St-Remy-de-Provence
34 Miles / 55 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 173 Metres Approx.

A long day finishes the tour, but don’t worry – it’s almost all downhill! After descending once again to the valley floor, the route picks up the veloroute and follows it all the way back to Cavaillon on a gentle downhill gradient. You’ll have the pleasure of coasting along and looking up at all of the beautiful villages from a different angle.

Before arriving back in St-Remy-deProvence, a visit to bustling Eygalieres is a must. From here it’s a short spin back to the hotel for a final night in Provence.

Day 8
Departure from St-Remy-de-Provence
  • Meals: Breakfast

After a final breakfast in St-Remy-de-Provence it’s time to say au revoir!

Trip extensions are available on request with extra nights in nearby Avignon or Marseille recommended.

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The Cycling

Terrain

The route is predominantly flat, with one day taking you up a notable climb to Les Baux de Provence and a few hills up to the villages of Gordes, Roussillon and Lacoste. Most of the riding is on small, quiet roads (approx. 70%), generally with low levels of traffic. 20% of the route is on traffic-free cycle paths (in particular on the way into and out of St-Remy) and the other 10% sees you using cycle lanes.

We recommend a hybrid bike for this tour, however due to the nature of the terrain (mostly tarmac/asphalt and cycle lanes), a road bike would also be suitable.

Val d'Enfer, Baux-de-Provence - Rupert Shanks-12.jpg

Leisure Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 2: Gentle

Distances generally between 15-30 miles / 24-48 kms per day

For those looking for an easy-going route

Mainly on the flat

Some undulations and the odd cheeky challenge

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

Maybe you have recently got into cycling and would like to do more over consecutive days, or maybe you‘re looking for a more energetic alternative to your usual holiday? If you‘re looking for an opportunity to try some quiet roads, cycle paths or some accessible, cycle friendly routes these holidays might be for you. You’ll come across some gently undulating terrain and the odd cheeky challenge, so we’d generally expect those on a Grade 2 holiday to ride their bikes relatively frequently at home, perhaps commuting to work or heading out for some leisurely rides at the weekend.

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Dates & Prices

Daily departures available from 01 Apr – 20 Oct.

Choose your date
Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
Return Date
--/--/----
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,345.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms) in 3* hotels

B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) Welcome meeting

D) English speaking local representative (with welcome meeting)

E) Detailed route notes and maps (GPX files available on request)

F) Luggage transfers

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike rental (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

C) Meals not stated in the itinerary

D) Single room (available if required)

E) Travel insurance

F) Personal clothing and equipment

G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)

H) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route

I) Travel to/from hotel on arrival and departure day

J) Local tourist taxes

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The Essentials

Travel Options

This tour starts and finishes in St-Remy-de-Provence, a small village 25km south of Avignon, the nearest major city.

If travelling from the UK, you can catch the Eurostar to Paris. You’ll then need to transfer between Gare du Nord and Gare de Lyon by Metro (RER line D, 30 mins incl. walking) before making your way to Avignon TGV station by TGV train (2hr 45 mins).

If flying, most guests will fly into Marseille (MRS), a well served airport from several UK departure points, including most London airports, Bristol, Manchester and Edinburgh. From the airport a private taxi transfer is the easiest way to get to St-Remy-de-Provence or you can use public transport; catching the train to Cavaillon and jumping in a taxi from there, or a direct bus (line 57).

Alternatively you can fly to Paris (CDG) and catch the train from there to Avignon.

Direct flights and direct Eurostar trains to Avignon have been available in the past, but some schedules haven’t yet been released for 2023 – please let us know if you’d like more info on this option and we can look into this for you. Self-driving guests are also welcome and there is parking available at the hotel in St-Remy-de-Provence – please just let us know at the time of booking if we should hold a space.

We can help with train station transfers if required. Estimated price is as follows:

Avignon TGV Station to/from St-Remy-de-Provence – £130

This price is for a return transfer: Day 1 – Avignon TGV Station to hotel in St. Remy / Day 8 – Hotel in St.Remy to Avignon TGV Station.

This is for up to 3 people – Arriving / departing between 09.00 and 17.00. (Minibus prices for 4+ people and prices to/from other locations available on request.) This price is a total cost for a return transfer.

Please check with Skedaddle before making any travel arrangements so that we can ensure they fit in with the holiday schedule.

Accommodation

Accommodation (shared twin or double rooms) will be en suite, in high end 3 star hotels.

We have selected hotels that really showcase the area and this tour is really about great riding and great accommodation at the end of a day out on your bike. We can send a list of example hotels ahead of booking if you’d like an idea of the standard to expect.

Bike Hire

If you’d rather not bring along your own bike, we have bikes available to rent.

Rental bikes are typically Trek Verve 1 Equipped (or similar model) – An aluminium frame, mechanical disc brakes and Shimano gears suitable for the terrain. Depending on your height, the bikes may have a high crossbar (as above) or have a low step-through frame. Please let us know if you have a preference).

We also have electric bikes available. These are typically Trek Verve +1. A versatile electric trekking bike with a step-through frame geometry that makes it easy to mount and dismount. Equipped with a powerful Bosch motor, 500Wh battery, Shimano drive train and hydraulic disc brakes.

Rental bikes will come with a back pannier rack and bag, a mobile phone mount, a puncture repair kit and spare inner tubes and a water bottle holder. Rental helmets available on request. You are welcome to bring along your own pedals (and shoes) and / or saddle if preferred, please just let us know in advance.

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