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Vineyards of Vaucluse Cycling

from $2,379.00

For wine-lovers, this 8-night tour circles the famous Cotes de Rhone vineyards, and includes 2 nights in Vaison la Romaine – France’s most extensive Roman site with 6000-seat theater, baths, houses and streets. Swimming pools 6 nights out of 8.

  • Reviews 14 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Easy plus
    4/8
All about the Vineyards of Vaucluse Cycling.

In the heart of Provence, the Vaucluse is steeped in history. Originally Celtic, it was conquered by the Romans and is now rich in well-preserved Roman remains, especially at Orange and Vaison-la-Romaine where the large site is comparable to Pompeii. The skyline is dominated by the majestic silhouette of the Dentelles de Montmirail and dramatic Mont Ventoux.
On this eight night cycling holiday you get the best of both worlds: breathtaking scenery all around combined with easy pedalling on plains and gentle foothills dotted with lavender, orchards and the famous Cotes du Rhone vineyards. The towns and villages you pass through are particularly picturesque with their old quarters, weekly markets and chateaux.
We’ve arranged especially good evening meals with opportunities to sample both gourmet and local delicacies. Our hotels, which are all family-run, pride themselves on their Provencal cuisine and cellars full of fine local wines – one of which is located between the three world-famous vineyards of Beaumes de-Venise, Gigondas and Vacqueyras.
The town fete takes place in Vaison from 13-17 July. Join in the fun or come at a quieter time!

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • All continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals
  • 8 nights accommodation, hotel-to-hotel
  • Services of your local Headwater Representative
  • GPS Route directions and maps
  • RideWithGPS navigation app
  • RidePlus route options (more challenging routes)
  • High quality hybrid bikes
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Arrival & departure transfers (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels (inquire for prices and details)
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • E-Bike (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • RidePlus road bike (inquire for supplement)
  • Tandems available (inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Easy interest-packed cycling on Provencal plains and foothills
  • Famous Cotes du Rhone vineyards: Gigondas, Beaumes-de-Venise, Vacqueyras
  • Extensive Roman remains at Vaison-la- Romaine and UNESCO Orange
  • Colourful Provencal markets; numerous wine festivals; some of the prettiest villages in France
  • Friendly, family-run hotels, most with private pools; good local cuisine
  1. Day 1 Day 1 Arrive in Pernes-les-Fontaines

    Your *** hotel is just north of the village of Pernes-les-Fontaines. Plenty of time to relax and explore the hotel grounds before dinner. (Staying at Hotel l’Hermitage, Breakfast at hotel, evening meal at a local restaurant)

  2. Day 2 Day 2 Pernes les Fontaines to Bedoin 33km/20.5mi

    Leave Pernes-les- Fontaines this morning and head to the popular village of Saint-Didier, where you can opt to make the climb up the hill to the mediaeval settlement of Venasque (one of the prettiest villages in France) with its three Saracen towers. You’ll then follow lanes and tracks up past Malemort-du-Comtat and then dropping down into the mediaeval village of Mazan with its church wall that is made up of more than 60 Roman sarcophagi. Continue on through the vines with a back drop of Mont Ventoux as you climb steadily towards Bedoin. (Staying at Hotel Les Pins, Half Board)

  3. Day 3 Day 3 At Bedoin (Optional 19km/12mi)

    Explore the lively village of Bedoin, named for the C8 Bedouins who settled there and home to the imposing church of Saint-Antonin, with its unique Spanish style – so different from any other in Provence. Bedoin is also the gateway to Mont Ventoux for more hardy cyclists seeking a challenge! Follow established cycle routes to the Chateau Pesquie, which offers everything from a stroll in the vines, to a guided cellar tour, to a tasting, to a full picnic lunch in the gardens. (Staying at Hotel Les Pins, Half Board)

  4. Day 4 Day 4 Bedoin to Vaison-la-Romaine 32km/20mi

    After the picturesque perched village of Crillon-le-Brave you swing across the gentle Carpentras plain to Caromb, a partly fortified little town. A short, steep ascent takes you to the Lac du Paty, hidden amongst the trees. Continue downhill through forest, vineyards and cherry orchards to the fortified village of Malaucene (where Pope Clement V once lived). The final section is a flat bowl along country lanes to the Roman garrison town of Vaison la Romaine. (Staying at Hotel Burrhus, Breakfast only)

  5. Day 5 Day 5 At Vaison-la-Romaine

    Vaison has France’s most extensive Roman remains including a 6000-seat theatre, baths, houses and streets. There’s a fine C13 cathedral and cloisters, castle ruins and fortified gateway, and squares with cool central fountains. The two halves of the town are joined by a 2000-year-old single arch Roman bridge which, amazingly, is still in use; it’s well worth crossing to explore the narrow mediaeval streets and little squares of the Haute Ville. (Staying at Hotel Burrhus, Breakfast only)

  6. Day 6 Day 6 Vaison-la-Romaine to Vacqueyras 25km/16mi

    Today it’s via Roaix and across the Ouveze River to mediaeval Seguret – officially ranked among the most beautiful villages in France; its streets hug the slopes of the Dentelles de Montmirail. There’s a C15 fountain, a C14 belfry and a ruined feudal castle offering far-reaching views out across the Rhone Valley. Then it’s on through pretty Sablet and extensive vineyards to our friendly little hotel near Vacqueyras. (Staying at Hotel Montmirail, Half Board)

  7. Day 7 Day 7 At Vacqueyras

    Orange, a thriving regional centre, is 20km away. It has two marvellous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, an elaborately decorated triumphal arch and a beautifully preserved Roman theatre which hosts regular evening performances; your hotelier will help organise a taxi. Alternatively, why not simply relax by the hotel pool? (Staying at Hotel Montmirail, Half Board)

  8. Day 8 Day 8 Vacqueyras to Pernes-les-Fontaines 32km/20mi

    Your final day’s cycling takes you through the Cotes du Rhone vineyards, stops first at charming Vacqueyras where there are lots of caves. From here there’s an optional detour to mediaeval Carpentras – with a cathedral, atmospheric cobbled streets and weekly (Fri) market – before returning to fountain-filled Pernes-les-Fontaines. (Staying at Hotel l’Hermitage, Breakfast at hotel, evening meal at a local restaurant)

  9. Day 9 Day 9 Leave Pernes-les-Fontaines

    Please note that cycling helmets are compulsory in France for children under 12. As we are unable to provide these, we strongly recommend that you bring your own. Please see our Planning you holiday page for full details.

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Where you stay
Hotel l’Hermitage
This 19th century residence, transformed into a hotel, feels like an old family home. It is set amidst 2 hectares of grounds bedecked with fountains, many species of trees, and an orangery. The Hotel l’Hermitage is about 4km outside Pernes-les-Fontaines. The hotel also has a swimming pool in the heart of the property.
Hotel des Pins
Set among the pines at the very foot of Mt Ventoux, and just outside the lively village of Bedoin (popular among cyclists as the gateway to the mountain), is Hotel des Pins. This property perfectly blends the traditional and the modern with the outside boasting wooden shutters and a terracotta tile roof while inside each of the stylish rooms and suites are individually decorated in a contemporary style. Some have 4-poster or canopy beds, while upgraded rooms add balconies or terraces. There’s also an elegant restaurant along with a bar, a lounge, and a patio. Other features include pine-shaded gardens, an outdoor swimming pool and a space for massages.
Hotel Burrhus
The Hotel Burrhus boasts a fantastic location, right in the very heart of Vaison la- Romaine.
Hotel Montmirail
Just a short distance from both Vacqueyras and Gigondas is the Hotel Montmirail, a handsome C19 villa tucked away between vines and olive trees at the foot of the lace like peaks of the Dentelles de Montmirail. The hotel features a fine-dining restaurant and a relaxed bar, as well as a swimming pool and an expansive patio in the garden. Standard rooms feature free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and minibar, while upgraded rooms are decorated in a French country style and have views of the garden and pool. Please note that there are no twin rooms at this hotel.
Eating and Drinking

All continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals included.

Provençale cuisine is a blend of many influences from the plentiful sea, to neighbour Italy and the early Roman occupation. The soil is rich and the climate is conducive to producing a wide variety of fruit and vegetables.
Whilst not the most sophisticated of the French cuisines, most dishes use the excellent tasting local fresh produce. Cooking à la Provençale uses local olive oil, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines and wild herbs, all ripened by the sun to give an intensity of flavour. You can browse among the colours and smells, and make picnic purchases at the lively local markets.
The proximity of the sea makes fish and seafood an important element of the local cuisine. Regional dishes include the famous bouillabaisse, a rich fish stew served with aioli and rouille; the bourride – a lighter version of the bouillabaisse; pistou soupe (summer vegetable soup with a blend of garlic, basil and olive oil); authentic ratatouille, large colourful salads and delicious courgette flower fritters. Tapenade and anchoïade are savoury dips made with local olives and anchovies; pissaladière is an onion tart with olives and anchovies and is very likely to have come from the Romans.

Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/moderate)
Average daily distance on move on days: 30.25km (19 miles).
No. of days cycling: 4
Terrain: The cycling is mostly on plains or gentle foothills and we have used the quietest possible lanes to link the towns and villages. There are only occasional (unavoidable) short stretches on major roads. One or two parts of the countryside are fairly hilly, so take your time on the steeper climbs and admire the wonderful long-distance views.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace. A representative will be there to meet you, make sure the bikes are all set up and will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

On this eight night cycling holiday you get the best of both worlds: breathtaking scenery all around combined with easy pedalling on plains and gentle foothills dotted with lavender, orchards and the famous Cotes du Rhone vineyards. The towns and villages you pass through are particularly picturesque with their old quarters, weekly markets and chateaux.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 08/10/2019
5/5

Mr Winskill

Had a lovely time, got what we expected and Joey the Rep was absolutely fantastic. The only area of complaint was the Hotel des pins. Location and room fine, Food not that great. We could clearly see from the other guests that the food was very good but we got a set menu which was not great. On both nights they forgot I had a Nut and Fish allergy which wouldn't have been to big an issue if they had provided me with a reasonable replacement but on the second night the starter, Fish and Salad was replaced with just salad for me. The main course was poor compared to the other hotels and then they finished me off with stewed apple sprinkled with nuts, good job my allergy is mild. Having said all that lets not forget that the Hotel Montmirail was absolutely fantastic.

Reviewed On 02/09/2019
5/5

Mrs Hulme

A wonderful cycling holiday that had some hilly sections so the option of the e bike was great for the less fit, especially in the summer heat. Each hotel offered excellent service and food and the pools were lovely. We enjoyed the variety of quiet countryside hotels and the bustle of staying in Vaison with the fantastic Roman ruins to visit. The routes take you on quiet roads through vineyards and quaint villages with beautiful scenery every day.

Reviewed On 13/06/2019
4/5

Mr Woods

Our third cycling holiday ,great fun as always, and nice to travel around another different area.

Reviewed On 01/11/2018
4/5

Dr Atkinson

Wonderful holiday in a beautiful region with an excellent and charming rep. Marred by the anxiety for me (Jane) over the working of the new app, battery running out before reaching the destination and the lack of good and accurate back up directions. The apps need a bit of tweaking but will be good. Attachment to bikes need to be stronger and visible in strong sunlight.

Headwater response:
Thank you for your feedback. Overall it looks as though you had a lovely holiday . The team at Headwater are constantly reviewing what we do based on our customer feedback and can assure you that all that you have mentioned have been under review to improve.

Reviewed On 12/09/2018
5/5

Mr Katesmark

An excellent and varied exploration of the Vaucluse region of Provence, with opportunites to visit ancient Roman ruins, mediaeval villages and legendary Cotes-du-Rhone vineyards.

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May 9, 2021
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$2,449.00
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October 4, 2021
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