This bicycle trip takes you through small country roads where you'll discover the landscapes that inspired Van Gogh and Cézanne as well as the small hilltop villages in the Luberon valley that made Peter Mayle's "A Year in Provence" an international best-seller. You'll explore some of the best-preserved Roman monuments and medieval architecture in the world such as the Pont du Gard and the medieval jewel of Uzès. Our bicyclng itinerary has a relaxed rhythm with two-night stays in most locations. In additional to gourmet meals and excellent wine from local vineyards we've added a culinary touch with a visit to a local olive press and chocolatier.
***Extend this bicycle tour 3 more days for just $900 per person. Click here to review our Cycling Provence Plus! the Cevenne tour details page.***View Day-by-Day ItineraryHide Day-by-Day Itinerary
Day 1: Tour begins in Aix-en-Provence, France
Highlights: Introductions and bike fitting, special welcome dinner
Arrive in Aix-en-Provence today - an easy train ride from Paris or Marseille. We'll fit bicycles this afternoon and then you can explore this ancient Roman town, birthplace of the post-Impressionist painter, Paul Cézanne. We'll enjoy dinner together this evening.
Day 2: Loop ride around Mont Ste. Victoire
Highlights: Picasso's castle, landscapes of Cézanne
After breakfast you'll head east for a ride around Montagne Ste. Victoire. It's a delightful ride through vineyards and oak and pine forests, with tremendous views of the limestone mountain Cézanne painted over sixty times. Toward the end of the day you'll pedal by the castle where Picasso lived his last years and where he is buried.
Daily Mileage: 61 km (37 miles)
Day 3: Bicycle Aix to Lourmarin
Highlights: Vineyards and villages of Southern France
Pedal north from Aix today, through vineyards and villages, to a small town near the Luberon Regional Park. From the top of the village castle, you can see Montagne Ste. Victoire, where we were yesterday. If you need some extra mileage we can help with an optional extra ride this afternoon. Dinner together.
Daily Mileage: 46 km (28 miles)
Day 4: Rest day in Lourmarin
Highlights: Optional bicycle ride through towns featured in Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence
Take it easy this morning, as we'll be in the same hotel again tonight. For those wanting to get out on their bicycles, we'll recommend a ride around a spectacular limestone massif and into the Luberon, with its hilltop villages and great cycling. Or spend a leisurely day exploring the village shops and relaxing by the pool. It's your choice. Dinner together.
Daily Mileage: 51 km (32 miles), optional
Day 5: Bicycle to St Rémy
Highlights: Van Gogh country, charming St Rémy
We head into Van Gogh country today. You'll quickly see why he was so fascinated with the Provençal landscape as you pedal through it. Our destination is St. Rémy, a charming town at the base of the Alpilles with the ancient Roman city of Glanum rising above it. Van Gogh lived here for a year beginning in May 1889 and painted some of his best-known works as a patient at a local hospital. Dinner together.
Daily Mileage: 71 km (44 miles)
Day 6: Rest day in St. Rémy
Highlights: Optional bicycle ride to Les Baux, Roman ruins
This is a rest day to explore St. Rémy. Take in the local shops, visit Roman ruins and spend a relaxing afternoon at the hotel. Or, you can take a ride to nearby Les Baux, a fortified hilltop village. You decide.
Daily Mileage: 20-47 km, 12 miles with an optional 18 more.
Day 7: Bicycle St. Rémy to Uzès
Highlights: Medieval Beaucaire and Tarascon, castle visit, Pont du Gard
You'll follow the Rhone River north to the twin medieval towns of Beaucaire and Tarascon this morning. Stop to enjoy the castle in Tarascon before pedaling on to the Pont-du-Gard, the famous Roman aqueduct and bridge over the Gard River. Our destination is scenic Uzès where we'll enjoy dinner together.
Daily Mileage: 61 km (38 miles)
Day 8: Tour ends in Uzès
You're not far from Avignon or Nimes if you choose to continue exploring Provence a bit. Whatever your plans, Bon Voyage!
HighlightsSt. Rémy, Pont-du-Gard, hilltop villages of the Luberon, Aix-en-Provence - the cultural capital of Provence, Chocolatier and Olive Press visit, UzèsKeep in Mind: We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.
Includes8 days, 7 nights accommodation, 5 dinners with wine & 7 breakfasts plus "The Usual""The Usual" (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)
Arrive/DepartParis: Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), Orly Airport (ORY) or Marseille Provence Airport (MRS)
Total Distance310 - 337 km (191 - 208 miles)
Daily DistanceAverage per day mileage 52 - 56 km (32 - 35 miles)
Rating201 There are a couple of flat days but most of the rides are through hilly terrain.
TermsTerms & Conditions
Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes
* 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 private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.
- A self-guided walk in Aix-en-Provence
French Rail Map
Rich Young recommends a map of the rail lines in France.
Helpful web sites about France
Here is a list of URLs compiled by our staff to help you plan your travels to France.
Paola's favorite Ratatouille recipe
Ratatouille is a Provencal specialty
Provence by Lawrence Durrell
Read this book before you travel to the south of France, while relaxing in the Provencal sun, and again after you return home.
Purchasing French Train tickets from the US
Our own John Giebler contacted SNCF (the French National rail system) to inquire about the best way to get train tickets in advance from the USA. Here's what he found
- What to do with 36 hours in Aix-en-Provence
- Cézanne's Provence
ExperiencePlus! has contracted with national fitness expert Joe Friel to create customized, day by day, training programs to ensure you are ready for your biking tour.
We thought the hotels were centrally located, which was great. The two nights at the Relais and Silence were a very nice respite. There were so many wonderful experiences it's difficult to choose just one. My favorite day would have to be the "rest day" in Lourmarin. The climb up to Bonnieux was a great challenge but the tart at Henry Tomas's cafe was sure worth it. Late day descent puts any ride at Disney to shame! Thanks so much for such a great holiday. We will definitely be back for another "experience".Jennifer E., Fort Collns, CO
This tour was a great mix of shopping, sightseeing, relaxing and tours. Our tour guides were outstanding. They can make or break a trip and these three were the best we have had on any trips. They were accomodating, patient, knowledgeable and fun. We honestly cannot think of anything that was not great!Claire P.
[My favorite parts were] The time in Loumerain, the Cezanne exhibits, the fabulous dinners, and, as usual, the great chalk arrows.Marjorie L.
The overall route and the side cultural visits (e.g. Cathedral d'Images) near Les Baux were breathtaking.Marjorie L.