ExperiencePlus! Blog

Provence: Ruins, History, Artists, Authors, Wine, Culinary and Cycling Delights

Provence: Ruins, History, Artists, Authors, Wine, Culinary and Cycling Delights

If you’ve dreamed of bicycling through Provence we have three opportunities for you this fall; our Cycling Provence, Cycling Provence Plus! the Cevennes and our Bicycling through the Best of Provence tours take you to some of the most charming villages Provence has to offer.  The Provence region in France is rich in cultural experiences and places to visit, so we have designed our Provence tours to include two-night stays in several locations—allowing you to use that second day to cycle more miles while exploring the region, or to take a day off the bike to discover the town.

Here is a sampling of the experiences waiting for you while we cycle through Provence:

Ruins and History Provence has a large number of well-preserved ruins from the Roman Empire, offering a good look at the region’s historical heritage. The Pont du Gard aqueduct with it three-levels of aesthetically pleasing arches, the ancient theatre and triumphant arch in Orange, the ancient Roman city of Glanum, and the amphitheatre in Arles that still houses Provençal bullfights are a few of the well-known ruins that can be viewed along the way.

Artists and Authors We cycle through the towns described in Peter Mayle’s series of books on Provence (A Year in Provence, Toujours Provence, and Encore Provence); get a taste of the culinary culture described by Georgeanne Brennan in her A Pig in Provence: Good Food and Simple Pleasures in the South of France; visit Aix-en-Provence , the birthplace of the post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne; cycle past the castle where Pablo Picasso lived his last years; and spend time in St. Rémy where Vincent van Gogh painted several of his most famous works during a year’s residence in the local sanitarium. You will come to understand why they found the landscape so inspiring.

Wine and Culinary Provence delights wine and culinary enthusiasts with it exceptional cuisine, its olive oil, chocolates, and premiere wines. Our Best of Provence tour with its special emphasis on culinary events provides wine tastings of the famous villages of the Côtes du Rhône region. As a fan of that region, Directeur sportif Jonathan Vaughters has reported that he and his pro-cycling team Garmin-Slipstream look forward to enjoying Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines whenever they find themselves cycling there. Even if you do not cycle with the pros, we present you with wonderful Mediterranean feasts and regional wines on all of our Provence tours. Terrain and Routes Cycling in Provence allows you to choose from a variety of terrains and enjoy a cycling vacation suited to your style of riding. All are picturesque. France is renowned in the cycling world for its country lanes no more than the size of a bike path. Our Bicycling the Best of Provence tour covers the flat Rhône River Valley and the rolling hills of vineyard country. Our Cycling Provence tour covers the hilltop villages of the Luberon region and the oak and pine forests on the way to Montagne Ste. Victoire. Our Cycling Provence Plus! the Cevennes is a longer version of the previous tour and extends into the hilly country of the Cevennes mountain range in south central France. Travelers and staff alike describe the route in the foothills of the Cevennes into the town of Ganges to be one of their most scenic cycling days ever. If you are feeling land-locked or are simply fond of the coast, the Plus! tour ends at the seaside town of Sète; allowing you to dip your toes (or more) into the Mediterranean.

Choices and More Choices Can’t decide which of the three itineraries is perfect for you? Give us a call and we will be pleased to assist you.   Jonathan Hancock, our France Country Coordinator and head tour leader has been a resident of the region for a decade or so and can offer you the cycling vacation of a lifet