Cycle to the hilltop village of Les Baux on day 6
Enjoy the superb countryside as you cycle through this fertile land
One of the charming highlights of day 3
Discover the historic buildings of the region
Experience the bountiful and lively produce markets in Provence
Visit this magnificent ancient Roman structure on days 4 and 5, enjoying it from above and below
Take a stroll around the Roman structures after lunch on day 6
Enjoy the cycling and the good company
Spend time exploring the charms of Provence and make some friends along the way
Explore Provence on two wheels

Tour de Provence Roman: Cycling Holiday Provence

Duration
7 days
Site savings
$35
From
$3,378 USD

This cycling holiday of Provence is for the romantics, cyclists and Francophiles. But this tour is also ideal for French historians and cultural zealots. The Tour de Provence Roman, as the name suggests, is a cycling holiday in Provence, France that traces the very early history of the region, visiting famous historic towns including Arles, Uzes and Orange. And no visit to Provence is complete without a stop at the famous Pont du Gard in Avignon, where you will uncover some secrets on a guided visit and get the chance to explore this majestic structure from above and below. A beautiful, historic and culturally excellent trip with some incredible cycling experiences along the way.

  • Category
    Cultural & Historical
  • Type
    Fully Guided
  • Duration
    7 days
  • Culture Level
    Familiar
  • Skill Level
    2 - Novice
  • Activity Level
    2 - Moderate
  • Elevation
    2 - Moderate
  • Terrain
    Agricultural
  • Distance
    152.2 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    30.4 miles
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Tour de Vines
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Quick Stats

  • Duration
    7 days
  • Main Destination
    Provence & the French Riviera (Côte d’Azur)
  • Distance
    152.2 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    30.4 miles
  • Elevation
    2 - Moderate
  • Terrain
    Agricultural

Route Map (click to view larger image)

Itinerary Details

  1. Day 1Arrival

    A transfer is available from either of the Avignon train stations (the TGV or the centre ville), any of the hotels in Avignon, or from other nearby locations (e.g., Nîmes airport) by arrangement. You will arrive at the hotel near the market town of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, where bikes are fitted and adjusted to your individual requirements. Spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool, or take a short trip into the village, which is famous for its antiques and bric-a-brac market and stores.

    Early arrivals may wish to ride to the Fontaine de Vaucluse to see the famous resurgent spring of the river Sorgue. In the evening, after a briefing on the week’s ride, you will sit down to the first of many gourmet meals, washed down with one of the excellent wines from the slopes of Mont Ventoux, whose imposing profile dominates the region.

    • Hotel Mas De Cure Bourse
    • Dinner
  2. Day 2Mont Ventoux to Orange

    An easy start to the week’s touring as you cruise along tiny lanes in the shadow of Mont Ventoux towards Orange. A stop for coffee in the village of Bedarrides alongside the River Sorgues, then on to the highlight of the trip for wine lovers – a tasting at a vineyard of the celebrated Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe. After picnicking amongst the vines, it’s a short hop to Orange for the overnight stop. Here you will see some superb examples of triumphal Roman architecture, including the Theatre Antique, built around 10AD. The theatre, which is still used for concerts, is wonderfully preserved and seats over 10,000. A fascinating audio-visual tour is included in the trip.

    Your hotel is in the heart of the pedestrianized center of the town, so there is plenty of opportunity for exploring before dinner, or you can take a dip in the rooftop swimming pool!

    • 30.4 miles
    • Hotel in Orange
    • Breakfast and Dinner
  3. Day 3Cotes du Rhones villages

    Today you will set out across the flatlands of the Rhône River, which you will cross at Coustellet. You are now entering the vineyards of the Côtes du Rhône Villages, where every hamlet has its own take on how wine should be made. The route brings you to the bustling town of Bagnols-sur-Cèze, where the town hall houses early Picassos and works by Monet, Renoir and Gauguin in its low-key gallery.

    Back on the bikes, you will trace your way through a landscape of vineyards and cherry trees, then after climbing a low ridge (with a fantastic picnic spot), descend to St-Quentin-la-Poterie, which, as the name suggests, is a historic centre for ceramics, with artisan workshops selling their beautiful work direct to the public. The final stretch of the day takes you west of the magnificent medieval city of Uzès, to the village of Arpaillargues and the outstanding Chateau d’Arpaillargues, now a beautiful hotel where you will stay for two nights. You should arrive in time to relax in the garden or swim in the large pool.

    • 31.1 miles
    • Chateau d’Arpaillargues
    • Breakfast and Dinner
  4. Day 4Uzes and the Pont du Gard

    Boasting a beautiful cathedral with its “Tour Fenestrelle” or windowed tower, and the Chateau of the Duchy of Uzès, the town of Uzès has a wealth of medieval sites to visit, as well as plenty of boutiques to satisfy any shopping urges! You will cycle up the short hill into town first thing in order to make the most of the produce market (a great source for the makings of a picnic lunch), before rolling downhill out of town to the Pont du Gard, an aqueduct built by the Romans as part of a system to carry water from Uzès to Nîmes. It is an awe-inspiring feat of engineering and its harmony within its setting over the River Gard is remarkable. Rather than cycling the whole way to the bridge, you will complete the final part of the journey by canoe, taking in the splendor of the Gard gorges and the Pont itself from the water. You will have lunch within sight of the bridge, before making your way along back roads to Uzès through the garrigue, the rugged, beautiful country of the départment of Gard, taking in the scent of wild thyme and basil, and maybe spotting a wild boar in the undergrowth or a red kite wheeling overhead.

    • 19.9 miles
    • Chateau d’Arpaillargues
    • Breakfast and Dinner
  5. Day 5Cycling to Arles

    Heading south from Arpaillargues and skirting the city of Nimes, there is more dramatic, rugged scenery before you sweep out into the plains which reach to the Camargue and the Mediterranean. On the way, you will cross the Pont du Gard, this time on two wheels. From here it is easy cycling through a series of villages, each with a church showing the wrought ironwork belfries so characteristic of the area. A picnic lunch is followed by a wine tasting at the Chateau Morgues du Grès, a prestigious winery of the Costières de Nîmes appellation. After lunch, you will ride through the northern fringes of the Camargue, through paddies growing the red rice of the region, and fields of the black bulls which are bred for the bullrings of Arles and Nîmes. You will then cross the Rhône to your hotel in the heart of ancient Arles. You will arrive early in the afternoon, so there should be plenty of time before dinner to have a look around the immaculately preserved Roman Amphitheatre or next door’s equally impressive Roman Theatre, or to take a short walk to the Alyscamps Roman cemetery or the 15th century St-Trophîme Cathedral, with its shaded cloister. Elsewhere in Arles is the Van Gogh museum. You are guaranteed not to run short of things to see in Arles!

    • 34.8 miles
    • Hotel in Arles
    • Breakfast and Dinner
  6. Day 6Arles to Alpilles massif

    The last day of riding takes you east towards the Alpilles massif. Riding out of Arles along tiny back roads, where meeting a car is an event in itself, you will tackle a short stiff climb to the hilltop village of Les Baux. The bottom gear effort is richly rewarded by the sublime views and the town itself, which is dramatically perched on a rocky outcrop. From Les Baux, you will go over the Val d’Enfer (Valley of Hell, although it honestly isn’t that tough a ride!), stopping at the stunning Carrière de Lumière, a sound and light show in a converted quarry, which has to be seen to be believed. Then it is on via a gloriously twisty descent to the pretty little town of St-Rémy-de-Provence for lunch. St Rémy, the birthplace of Nostradamus, is also celebrated as the subject for many of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings. After lunch, you can stroll round the Roman arch and monuments known as Les Antiques, or visit the hospital of St-Paul-de-la-Mauseole, the sanitorium where Van Gogh committed himself after his argument with his best friend Paul Gauguin. The final stretch of riding takes flat, quiet lanes through orchards and melon fields, with a choice of a final hill or a flatter option before a short hop back to the Mas de Cure Bourse outside L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue for your final night’s celebration dinner.

    • 36 miles
    • Hotel Mas De Cure Bourse
    • Breakfast and Dinner
  7. Day 7Departure

    After breakfast, take the opportunity to swap numbers and emails. After maybe popping into the village for the amazing Saturday morning market, you will transfer back to Avignon for your onward journey.

    • Breakfast