Best of Provence Plus! the Luberon and Aix-en-Provence

Best of Provence Plus!
  • Length 11 days
  • From USD$5895
  • Style/Level Classic 3.0
  • Countries France
  • Begin/End Arles / Group transfer to Aix-en-Provence
See related tours

Explore the best Provence has to offer, including culinary highlights that make for 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 you to discover the secrets behind the local artisans savoir-faire. You’ll also visit the places where Van Gogh painted a majority of his most well-known paintings. For those of you who enjoy architecture, 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, and the medieval jewel of Uzès. To top it all off the final portion of the trip includes the small hilltop villages in the Luberon valley that made Peter Mayle’s “A Year in Provence” an international best-seller. This itinerary starts out at a more relaxed pace with numerous two-night stays, then finishes with flexible days where both short and long rides are possible. It is a great bike tour for friends or couples where one partner likes to ride more than the other.

***If this sounds great but you don’t have time for the full 11 days, check out our Bicycling the Best of Provence tour, which features the first 8 days of this itinerary.***

Highlights

  • Luberon villages, Saint Rémy, Special dinner at a local chef’s home, Pont du Gard, Châteauneuf du Pape, Olive mill visit, Informative wine tasting, Arles, The best of Roman Provence, Sénanque Abbey, Uzès, Van Gogh country, Côtes du Rhones wine villages, Mont Ventoux

Includes


Date Price Private room fee Note
Sep 13-23, 2024 USD$5895 USD$650 2 more to confirm the departure
Sep 27-Oct 7, 2024 USD$5895 USD$650
DateSep 13-23, 2024
PriceUSD$5895
Private room feeUSD$650
Note2 more to confirm the departure
DateSep 27-Oct 7, 2024
PriceUSD$5895
Private room feeUSD$650
Note

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  • Total distance 502 km (312 miles)
  • Average daily distance 56 km (35 miles)
  • Tour style Classic
  • Tour level 3.0

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. We will get our bikes fitted and enjoy a short test ride before a special introductory meal together in a local chef’s home.

Meals : Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Le Calendal

Highlights: Market in Arles or Saint Paul de Mausole, 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 explore St Rémy or take an extra 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.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Le Castelet des Alpilles

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.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Le Castelet des Alpilles

Highlights: Pont du Gard, castle visit, olive mill visit, Uzès

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 Uzès to the Roman town of Nîmes. We will stay in beautiful Uzès for the next two nights

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Entraigues

Highlights: Uzès and local vineyards

We’ll be in charming medieval Uzès again tonight, so you’re free to enjoy today’s loop ride south through rolling vineyards or spend the entire day wandering the labyrinth of cobblestone alleyways. All paths lead to the central Place aux Herbes, where you’ll find quaint cafés, restaurants, and shops where you can savor all of Provence’s sunny flavors.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Entraigues

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

Shortly after departing Uzes, we’ll arrive at 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. We continue to 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 café lunch on your own, or picnic at the castle, a former summer palace of the Avignon Popes. You can also partake in a 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.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Domaine de Cabasse

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, archaeological 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 those who want to push their limits there is also the opportunity to climb Mont Ventoux, the most illustrious Tour de France climb! You also have the option to take on Mont Ventoux (49 km) and forgo the loop ride. Regardless of what you decide it’s guaranteed to be an amazing day!

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Domaine de Cabasse

Highlights: Vénasque, Sénanque Abbey, Gordes, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse

Today we pedal south into the Luberon Natural Park with its spectacular hilltop villages. Scenic roads will lead you to the beautiful 11th century Cistercian Sénanque Abbey then up to the perched village of Gordes, one of the most prominent villages of the Luberon. We’ll enjoy a beautiful view of the valley as we wind our way down through the adjoining countryside and village of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse which was built around a mysterious spring of the Sorgue river that surges out from underneath a towering limestone cliff.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel du Poete

Highlights: Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Oppède-le-Vieux, Ménerbes, Lacoste, Lourmarin

Often referred to as the “Venice of Provence” Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is just a short ride away so be sure to stop and explore the incredible network of canals and water wheels. From there the route features the picturesque hilltop villages of the Luberon many of which were featured in Peter Mayle’s best seller “A Year in Provence”. Take your time and enjoy the great views, quaint streets, cafés, and impressive architecture that each place has to offer. After pedaling by the Marquis de Sade castle in Lacoste wind your way between the Grand Luberon and the Petit Luberon mountains by way of Bonnieux. You will be rewarded with a fantastic descent through the canyon to the village of Lourmarin. You can relax at the hotel this afternoon, visit the castle in Lourmarin or continue to explore the nearby villages on the southern side of the Grand Luberon.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Le Mas de Guilles

Highlights: Cucuron, La Tour d’Aigues, Scenic Provencal villages

Enjoy another day in our peaceful retreat in the Luberon countryside. Our loop takes you through scenic Provençal villages in the Grand Luberon. You can also opt to take a short ride to Lourmarin to people watch, have a delicious lunch, or visit the castle. Or simply relax poolside at our country-home hotel. Tonight we’ll enjoy an outstanding celebratory dinner together.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Le Mas de Guilles

Highlights: Bon Voyage

After breakfast this morning, our tour ends with a group transfer to Aix-en-Provence or the TGV train station. Your Tour Leaders will be full of suggestions of what to see in Aix, or even in nearby Marseilles. Thanks for cycling with us through the highlights of Provence. Whatever your plans are from here, bon voyage!

Meals : Breakfast

Visit our Tour Level page to learn more about terrain levels and how we determine day and tour levels.



Pre-trip planning checklist



  • Everything was perfect, I wouldn’t change a thing!

    Marilea S.San Diego, CA
  • 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
  • It is one of the great joys of our lives to be able to do your tours.

    June W. Saint Paul, MN