ExperiencePlus! - Bicycle Tours since 1972

Bicycling the Best of Provence

  • Itinerary Summary

    Explore the best Provence has to offer. Culinary highlights include a splendid Mediterranean feast of Côtes-de-Rhône wines, exquisite olive oil from a local olive press and more Roman ruins than you will find even in Italy. France's small country roads will lead through the secrets behind the local artisans savoir-faire. And we'll give you the chance to taste it all from special visits and markets right up to special dinner at a local chef's home. You'll also visit the places where Van Gogh and Cézanne painted a majority of their most well-known paintings. This trip gives you a superb view of both medieval and Roman masterpieces such as the theater and arena in Arles, the impressive Pont du Gard, the ancient Roman town of Aix-en-Provence and the medieval jewel of Uzès. A great bike tour for friends or couples where one partner likes to ride more than the other.

    ***If you want to extend this tour by 3 days, check out our 11 day option Best of Provence Plus! the Luberon and Aix-en-Provence***

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    1. Day 1: Arrive in Arles

      Highlights: Roman monuments of Arles, gourmet dinner with a local chef

      Meet today at our hotel in Arles on the banks of the Rhône River. The Romans bridged the Rhône here during the 1st Century B.C., and today the city has a well-preserved Roman theater and arena. The latter is still used for Provençal bullfights. This evening, we'll enjoy a special introductory meal together in a local chef's home.

      Distance: Test Ride. Meals: D

      Lodging: Le Calendal

    2. Day 2: Bicycle to St Rémy

      Highlights: Market in Arles, charming St Rémy

      This morning Arles puts on one of the largest outdoor markets in France. You'll have plenty of time to check it all out before taking a short but scenic ride to St Rémy. This afternoon you can start visiting St Rémy or take an optional loop ride that goes through quaint medieval Provençal towns including Maillane, home to writer Frédéric Mistral, a proponent of Provençal culture and winner of the 1904 Nobel Prize for Literature.

      Distance: 28-43 km (17-27 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Le Castelet Alpilles

    3. Day 3: Bicycle to Les Baux-de-Provence

      Highlights: Les Baux, Roman ruins, Van Gogh sites

      St. Rémy is where Van Gogh painted several of his most famous works during a year's residence in the local sanitarium. You'll appreciate the views that inspired him as we support a ride to Les-Baux-de-Provence and into the Alpilles hills. There is much to explore in St Rémy this afternoon including the Roman ruins of Glanum, Van Gogh's sanitarium and the great shopping in town.

      Distance: 0-49 km (0-30 miles), your choice. Meals: B

      Lodging: Le Castelet Alpilles

    4. Day 4: Bicycle to St Quentin la Poterie

      Highlights: Pont-du-Gard, castle visit, ceramics of St. Quentin, olive mill visit

      We'll start the day with an olive oil tasting at a local olive press located just a few kilometers outside St Rémy. On our ride today we will cross the Rhône at Tarascon where you can visit the perfectly preserved 15th-century castle. Our route will then continue north to the Pont du Gard which is arguably the most extraordinary Roman ruin in all of Europe. It dates to 20 B.C. when it was built to support the aqueduct that carried water from Uzés to the Roman town of Nîmes. Later this afternoon we'll arrive in St Quentin la Poterie a small town with a long tradition of pottery making going back to prehistoric times. The craftsmen of St. Quentin contributed their pottery making skills to decorate the Palais des Papes in Avignon in the 14th Century.

      Distance: 62 km (38 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Clos de Pradines

    5. Day 5: Rest day in St Quentin la Poterie

      Highlights: Optional bike ride to local vineyards

      Optional bike ride to Uzes and local vineyards We'll be in St Quentin again tonight, so you can decide whether you want to ride today, relax by the pool, or enjoy exploring the winding streets of St Quentin. We will also offer a shuttle into medieval Uzès for those who wish. If you chose to get out on your bike, we'll take a loop ride south to Uzès and ride through rolling vineyard country.

      Distance: 0-43km (0-27 miles), your choice. Meals: B

      Lodging: Clos de Pradines

    6. Day 6: Bicycle to Séguret

      Highlights: Ceramics of St. Quentin, visit to Châteauneuf du Pape, Côtes du Rhône vineyards and villages

      Today we head into the heart of the Côtes du Rhone vineyards with some of the most prestigious wines in the south of France including the renowned Châteauneuf-du-Pape. We'll have a beautiful ride through small villages and open countryside before arriving at Châteauneuf where you can get a cafe lunch on your own, or picnic at the castle, a former summer palace of the Avignon Popes, followed by an optional wine tasting of your choice at any of the countless local wineries. Our route continues on to Séguret surrounded by vineyards and set against the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail mountains- our little paradise for the next two nights.

      Distance: 73 km (46 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: Domaine de Cabasse

    7. Day 7: Vaison-la-Romaine and Côtes-du-Rhône vineyards.

      Highlights: Roman vestiges and medieval castle in Vaison, picturesque wine villages (Sablet, Beaumes-de-Venise), optional climb up Mont Ventoux.

      You can take a day off the bikes and relax at the hotel or pedal our loop ride to Vaison-la-Romaine and the nearby quaint villages known for their wines. Vaison offers some great insight into Roman and medieval life and architecture with its Roman ruins, archeological museum, and imposing castle. The rest of the loop continues through wine country and Provençal villages with the giant Mont Ventoux set in the background. For who want to push your limits there is also the opportunity to ride 100km (62 miles) and ascend Mont Ventoux, the most illustrious Tour de France climb!

      Distance: 51 km (32 miles), or 100 km (62 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Domaine de Cabasse

    8. Day 8: End in Ségurets, France

      Highlights: Bon Voyage - Shuttle to the train station

      Our ride through Provence ends after breakfast, but Avignon with its Pope's Palace, the world's largest gothic edifice, is not far away. We'll offer a shuttle to the Avignon TGV train station. From there you can choose to stay for a visit or begin your trip home. Whatever you do, 'merci' for joining us!

      Meals: B

      ***Extend this trip 3 more days to include the Luberon villages and Aix en Provence with our Bicycling the Best of Provence Plus! the Luberon & Aix-en-Provence tour.***

    • Highlights

      Côtes du Rhones wine villages, Van Gogh country, Informative wine tasting, Olive mill visit, Châteauneuf du Pape, Uzès, Pont du Gard, Arles, special dinner at a local chef's home, Saint Rémy, The best of Roman Provence
    • Includes

      Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 8 days, 7 nights' accommodation; 4 dinners with wine & 7 breakfasts; special visits listed in itinerary plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

      France
    • Begin/End

      Arles / Vacqueyras
    • Arrive/Depart

      Paris: Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) or Orly Airport (ORY) or Marseille Provence Airport (MRS)
    • Total Distance

      209 - 347 km (129 - 214 miles)
    • Daily Distance

      30 - 50 km (19 - 31 miles) Avg per day with options
    • Rating

      201 Options for more or less riding. Several days have short distances and are on flat or rolling terrain with one or two moderate hills. A couple of days have more hilly terrain with some climbs of 2 to 3 miles.
    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Single Supplement Notes
    May 2-9, 2015 $3650 $550 Guaranteed to Go Book it
    Jun 12-19, 2015 $3650 $550 Space Running Out Book it
    Sep 18-25, 2015 $3650 $550 Sold Out. Book it
    Oct 2-9, 2015 $3650 $550 Book it

    * We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the single supplement rate. This fee will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available this fee will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

  • Stories

    • In ten years of active travel, with a variety of companies, this was among the best trips we have taken. We were simply stunned by Provence. And our tour leaders, being native Europeans, were superlative. Just the best. Period.

      Paul R., Baltimore, MD
    • I had high expectations for this trip, and it exceeded my expectations.

      Bonnie J., Loveland, CO
    • Wonderful biking, fabulous landscapes, picturesque villages and towns, extraordinary food and wine. I cannot wait until my next tour with ExperiencePlus!

      Madonna M., Eugene, OR
    • Fabulous mix of biking through villages of Provence and special cultural adventures planned by people who know what they are doing.

      Sherry B., Newton, MA
    • How would you describe this tour to a friend? Fun, beautiful, stimulating, cultural, enriching...

      Gary F., Ft Collins, CO
    • Bicycling on the quiet lanes through the olive groves and vineyards and then when we bicycled in the areas where we came around a bend to see a beautiful castle a top a hill. It must be said that having the chalk markings on the route is incredible. I love Experience Plus for that. Of course, the food and wine experiences too.

      Josephine C., Hilo, HI
    • It was a wonderful trip -- I''m talking about ExperiencePlus! to all my friends! Thank you.

      Turdy D., Harbor Springs, MI
    • A fabulous experience! Thank you.

      Ellen L., Boulder, CO
    • This was our 1st bike tour & we are ready to book another!! Terrific vacation

      Phil C., Littleton, CO
    • We returned to Cheyenne last night after a wonderful trip and wanted to thank you for a truly great trip.

      Sandra S. & Bob P., Cheyenne, WY
    • The Provence region was even better than we had hoped. I enjoyed the ancient towns, castles and Roman ruins and meeting the French people.

      Ron J.
      Windsor,
      CA
    • I'm hooked on bike touring! I loved all the small French towns that we visited - places I never would have found if I was on my own. I liked being able to get away from the tourist crowds and really experience Provence!

      Mike O.
      Florissant, MO
    • We look forward to our next tour with Experience Plus! We enjoyed the people we met on the Provence tour. A very compatible group, the guides were excellent and the routes were superb!

      Ludmila S., Prospect, KY
    • What was your favorite experience on this trip? There were many memorable moments and experiences - pehaps my birthday picnic beside the river looking up at the Pont du Gard - and then cycling across it - was a favourite. I also enjoyed the many interactions with French folks along the way who were good humoured and patient with my fractured French.

      Diane C., Gabriola, BC, Canada
    • What was your favorite experience on this trip? The hilltop towns of the Luberon and the variety the routes provided day to day. At times it felt as if we were riding in a totally different country from day to day.

      Gayle R., Whitefish Bay, WI
    • It is one of the great joys of our lives to be able to do your tours.

      June W.
      Saint Paul, MN
    • This is my first bike tour and my first trip to France and I loved both! It was so nice to take a trip and have someone else take care of most of the details. I look forward to another bike tour in France in the very near future...thanks for the wonderful experience!

      Prati W.
      New Berlin, WI
    • Everything was perfect, I wouldn't change a thing!

      Marilea S.
      San Diego, CA

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