This eight night holiday offers you a truly Provencal experience, taking in the lush countryside and mountain landscapes of beautiful Provence - the inspiration for many an artist and author, including Van Gogh, Cezanne and Picasso. Your cycle route explores the region's medieval towns and charming perched villages such as Gordes and Bonnieux, along with sprawling vineyards, curious caves and castle ruins, all against a vibrant backdrop of color - think rich ochre, delicate lavender and even white cherry blossom in spring. With a number of small wine producers dotted along your route, you can stop and taste some of the region's local wine in between cycles.
Your week starts in the medieval town of Pernes-les-Fontaines, before taking you past pretty L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, at the foot of the Vaucluse plateau. Surrounded by the River Sorgue, this is a charming town to potter around, its narrow streets filled with quaint cafes, little antique shops, old bridges and water wheels, not to mention a bustling market every Sunday. You then move on to the town of Fontaine-de- Vaucluse, overlooked by crumbling castle ruins and home to the source of the River Sorgue. After following the Ochre Trail to the famous Colorado Provencal, you'll explore the narrow streets and pastel-painted houses of medieval Saint-Saturninles- Apt, overlooked by sprawling castle remains and two C17 windmills. Your week ends with a visit to Thouzon's impressive cave with underground river, before you head home from Pernes-les-Fontaines.
You stay in a wonderful mix of hotels this week. Hotel l'Hermitage offers a relaxing stay in a C19 manor house with lovely grounds and a swimming pool; Mas de la Senancole in Les Imberts is your next stop, offering Provencal-style rooms, a heated outdoor pool and a spa with sauna, hot tub and massage room; your home in Apt is the cozy Hotel Sainte Anne, a small family-run hotel just across the river from the old town; and your final stop is Bastide du Bois Breant in Maubec, with its lovely pool and woodland setting.
|Meals||Continental breakfast and 6 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 $81 per night.|
|Other details||Child: Over 2 and under 12, sharing with 2 adults, inquire for prices. Extra nights: We recommend Pernes les Fontaines, prices from $111 per person, per night based on 2 people sharing a double room, B&B. E bike rental: Inquire for prices.|
|Hotels||*** (8 nights)|