Cover the highlights of Provence at your own pace on this eight-day cycling tour. You'll start and end in the medieval walled city of Avignon, wheeling your way through the vineyards of the Côtes-du-Rhône, historic fortresses, charming villages, and mountain landscapes of the Provence region.

Highlights

  • Explore the walled city of Avignon
  • Sip wine at the vineyards of Côtes-du-Rhône
  • Venture through the Alpilles mountains
  • Meander through countryside towns

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Avignon Avignon
Day 2 Avignon Loop Through Côtes-du-Rhône Avignon
Day 3 Avignon to Les Baux-de-Provence Les Baux de Provence
Day 4 Arles Loop Les Baux de Provence
Day 5 Les Baux-de-Provence to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse or Isle-sur-la-Sorgue L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
Day 6 Gordes and Roussillon Loop L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
Day 7 Venasque Loop L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
Day 8 Depart Avignon  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Avignon

Avignon

Welcome to France! You'll arrive in Avignon, where the old walled city is home to gems like the Palais de Papes medieval Gothic palace and fortress that will introduce you to the history of Provence. Spend the day settling in before you meet for a briefing on the road ahead.

Day 2: Avignon Loop Through Côtes-du-Rhône

Castle in Avignon

You may recognize the names of some of today's villages from wine labels, like Tavel, Lirac, and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Choose between short or long trail options to make your way through the vineyards, stopping for a sip of acclaimed rosé, a swig of the region’s best-known red, or a new varietal you've never heard of.

Short Option: 29 miles (46 km), 805 feet (245 meters) of climbing
Long Option: 42 miles (67 km), 1,300 feet (395 meters) of climbing

Day 3: Avignon to Les Baux-de-Provence

Baux-de-Provence

Head south towards the Alpilles mountain range, whose beauty inspired 150 of Van Gogh's paintings. Take a stop in Tarascon for an interesting side trip, where the magnificent castle by the Rhône River is one of France's best-kept medieval fortresses. Also of interest is the Souleiado Museum, where the colorful Provençal fabric maker has been busy since 1806. You'll end in another spot immortalized by Van Gogh in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, worth a stop for its Roman remains and medieval buildings.

Today's mileage may vary depending on your route of choice, but note that all involve hills.

Cycling distance: 38 miles (60 km), 1,710 feet (520 meters) of climbing

Day 4: Arles Loop

Arles countryside

Choose to spend the day relaxing or hop back on your bike for a loop to.the Roman ruins at Arles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll through the ruins of the Roman amphitheater and visit the Saturday open-air market if you're there on a weekend.

Whether you're taking a ride or sleeping in, you should pay a visit to the nearby medieval fortress at Les Baux. Climb up to the fortress to take in the unobstructed views of the Alpilles mountains.

Cycling distance: 30 miles (48 km), 1,210 feet (370 meters) of climbing

Day 5: Les Baux-de-Provence to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse or Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

Ride through the awe-inspiring but still comfortably low-altitude Alpilles mountain range on today's route. Make a pit stop on the terraces of the village of Eygalières or amid the scenery of the Luberon Regional Park, before you stop for the evening in French lavender country in the small towns of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse or Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.

Cycling distance: 31 miles (49 km), 1,310 feet (400 meters) of climbing

Day 6: Gordes and Roussillon Loop

Roussillon

Regardless of your starting point, make sure you spend some time walking through Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, famous for its powerful spring gushing out of the ground. Get on the road with a climb through Luberon's hills, where you'll be rewarded with two of France's prettiest villages at Gordes and Rousillon. Take your time exploring the villages before you return to your starting point.

Cycling distance: 45 miles (72 km), 2,810 feet (860 meters) of climbing

Day 7: Venasque Loop

Venasque

Start off your day with a stroll through Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, making sure to catch the Sunday market if you're there at the right time,enjoying the colorful displays of Provençal fabrics and scents of lavender, herbs, and spices.

Today's ride goes through Venasque northwards towards Mont-Ventoux, the Giant of Provence, before looping back around.

Cycling distance: 28 miles (45 km), 2,110 feet (645 meters) of climbing

Day 8: Depart Avignon

Back to Avignon

Catch a transfer back to Avignon to set off toward home or onto your next adventure.

Map

Map of Provence Cycling Tour - 8 Days
Map of Provence Cycling Tour - 8 Days