On this six night holiday you'll discover the beauty of Provence - a region where refinement and tradition blend beautifully and whose natural light and landscapes have served as inspiration to the likes of Van Gogh, Cezanne, Picasso and Dumas, not to mention Peter Mayle! You'll look out over a patchwork blanket of fields, olive groves, vineyards and, in the south east, apple orchards which cover the floor between the high mountains on either side. While the vineyards here may not be as well-known as those of the Rhone, Burgundy and Bordeaux, some superb wines are produced here - be sure to stop off for a tasting or two.
Your itinerary has been designed to give you a taste of the picturesque perched villages which pepper Provence's breathtaking, lavender-scented Luberon area. The hilly landscape of the region means the cycling can be challenging at times (gentler cycling options are available on the hardest day) but for each tough climb you'll be rewarded with a spectacular view. Starting in the medieval town of Pernes-les-Fontaines, famous for its numerous ancient stone fountains and lavoirs, you'll enjoy far-reaching views over the Luberon as you make your way to the ochre-red village of Roussillon passing vineyards, chateaux and castles on the way. You then head out along the Ochre Trail and along country lanes to pass through some of the most beautiful villages in Provence - each one offering stirring images along with a history which, in some places, stretches back over a thousand years - before your final stretch takes in sweeping apple orchards, typical French villages, quaint cafes and the fascinating network of caves at Grotte de Thouzon.
We've hand-picked a lovely selection of hotels for your holiday. The Hotel l'Hermitage in Pernes-les-Fontaines is set in 5 acres of grounds with a saltwater swimming pool and its own orangery; the Hotel les Sables d'Ocre in Roussillon sits amidst landscaped lawns with a relaxing pool area; while La Bastide du Bois Breant in Maubec provides a typically Provencal feel, sitting in its own woodland and boasting a lovely pool.
This cycling tour is rated "2 bikes +" indicating that some small sections of the route will be slightly more challenging than the overall grading of "2 bikes".
|Meals||Continental breakfast and 4 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 $88 per night|
|Other details||Child: Over 2 and under 12, sharing with 2 adults, inquire for prices. Extra nights: We recommend Pernes les Fontaines, please inquire for details and prices. E bike rental: Inquire for prices.|
|Hotels||*** (6 nights)|