With a history dating back to Roman times, today the Vaucluse is a patchwork of vineyards punctuated by olive groves and watched over by the silent majesty of Mt Ventoux - a Mecca for cyclists who come to challenge themselves in emulation of their Tour de France heroes. Our gentle 6 night cycling holiday, however, offers you a much more relaxed way to take in this fabulous region, one of the most fertile plains in southern France and home to such wine appellations as Gigondas, Vacqueyras and, further afield, Chateauneuf-du-Pape. It's also home to the Ventoux appellation which, although not as well-known as its cousins from the Rhone Valley, offers some fantastic wines at equally impressive prices. West of the mountain the skyline is dominated by the silhouette of the Dentelles de Montmirail (so named after a type of lace and not, as some would have it, their tooth-like appearance) whose Jurassic-era limestone is instrumental in growing the area's most famous produce.Highlights include C12 Vacqueyras, which lies in close proximity to the major names of the Southern Rhone as well as Orange and Vaison-la-Romaine with their UNESCO listed Roman World Heritage sites, and Beaumes-de-Venise, famous for its Muscat wine! From Mazan, birthplace of the Festival de Provence, you can head off to the lively village of Bedoin at the foot of 'The Giant of Provence', then on to sample a bespoke picnic and wine pairing in the grounds of Chateau Pesquie. On your way back you have the option to visit the perched village of Venasque before coming to Pernes-les-Fontaines with its delightful old town and over 40 ancient stone fountains.
This cycling tour is rated "1 bike +" indicating that some small sections of the route will be slightly more challenging than the overall grading of "1 bike".
|Meals||Continental breakfast and all evening meals|
|Tour Starts||Avignon TGV railway station 13:19 (pickup); transfer to hotel, 40 min (provided).|
|Tour Ends||Avignon TGV railway station 12:43 (transfer provided).|
|Rail Options||Rail Marseille to Avignon TGV 12:39/13:19. Return: Rail Avignon TGV to Marseille 12:43/13:25. Rail schedules from Paris on request.|
|Rail Supplement||Standard round trip rail; Prices starting from $42 per person, round trip 2nd class; from $61, 1st class. Rail from Paris: Inquire for prices/schedules from Paris.|
|Singles||Add $67 per night.|
|Other details||Child: Over 2 and under 12, sharing with 2 adults. Extra nights: We recommend Pernes les Fontaines, please inquire for details and prices. E bike rental: Inquire for prices.|
|Hotels||**** (2 nights), *** (4 nights)|