With its quiet roads amidst fields of lavender, fine wines to taste, and wonderful food to eat, the Provence region of France is heaven on earth for the itinerant cyclist. Beginning in the village of Vaison-la-Romaine, we will cycle routes that will include the region’s market towns, wine-making villages and medieval cities. We’ll taste wine in centuries old caves, see Roman antiquities, visit hill-top castles steeped in history and stroll markets at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and others. We’ve been coming here for 20 years and can say there are few places as welcoming to those on a bicycle as this enchanting area of France.

Only Great Explorations:

Small groups, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences.
A ride you will never forget: cycling the wine route through Seguret, Gigondas and Vacqueras
Dine at restaurants you won’t find in guidebooks.
Distinctive, charming hotels too small for larger groups.
We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises.

Location

Avignon

Avignon, France

Starting Location

Vaison-la-Romaine

Vaison-la-Romaine, France

Day 1-2

Pernes les Fontaines

Pernes-les-Fontaines, France

Day 3-4

Gordes

Gordes, France

End Location

What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?

INCLUDED IN REGULAR TRIP

Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
6 nights lodging
All breakfasts, 2 lunches, and all dinners but 1
Entrance fees for selected historical sites and museums
Detailed map and route instructions
All baggage transportation
All transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off (see arrive/depart cities)

Particulars

EVENT DATES

2019

May 27 - June 2
Jun 3-9
Jun 10-16
Jun 24-30*
Sep 2-8
Sep 9-15
Sep 16-22

2020

May 25-31
Jun 1-7
Jun 8-14
Jun 22-28*
Aug 31-6
Sep 7-13
Sep 14-20

* family departure- on these departures we include things such as chocolate tastings, and activities such as a circus school with trapeze lessons for kids of all ages

Self-guided and custom trips also available and can start any day. Call or email for details.

TRIP SIZE

8-16 participants

TOTAL DAYS

7 days / 6 nights with 5 days cycling (arrival night hotel is included)

ARRIVE / DEPART

Vaison/Avignon

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Moderate
30-60+ km (20-40) miles daily including century options on 2 days
* longer options available

Van supported

TERRAIN

2 days gently rolling, 3 days are moderately rolling

COST

Land Cost (current year):
US $2550
Includes 6B/2L/5D

Single Supplement:
US $630

Bike Rental:
US $180

Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are U.S. dollars but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars also. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at info@great-explorations.com or by telephone at 604.730.1247

Our trip starts in Vaison which can be reached through Avignon, or Orange, by taxi or coach service.


1

Day 1-2

Vaison-la-Romaine

Our meeting time is at 4 pm. We will visit the Roman ruins and then enjoy a welcome wine reception at the hotel before dinner at a local restaurant. Next day, start by visiting the local market here, one of the oldest in France. Next, we will set off on bikes on a delightful ride to Entrechaux which nestles around a hilltop castle in ruins and Mollans-sur-Ouvèze clusters around a high-arched bridge marked on each side by a tower and a tiny chapel. Back in Vaison we will dine at Bistro d’ O, a favourite of food impresario Patricia Wells, who has a home in Vaison.

2

Day 3-4

Pernes les Fontaines

Wind your way among the wine villages of the Dentelles de Montmirail, stopping to explore Sablet, Gigondas and Vacqueyras. Séguret is an artists’ colony with charming shops and galleries. We will stop to taste wine at a local wine maker and learn about the wine in this region. Spend the night outside Pernes-les-Fontaines at a charming chateau with extensive grounds and large pool. Dinner will be at a wonderful restaurant that isn’t in any guidebooks and yet is one of our favourite dining experiences in all of France. Next day, there are options to reach Châteauneuf-du-Pape where a wine museum and endless tasting opportunities await, or alternatively, a loop to Bedoin and up Mt. Ventoux (shuttle option) and back via an extraordinary descent of the Gorge du Nesque. Explore Pernes-les-Fontaines, with its twisting streets, houses painted in a rainbow of blues, pinks, and greens, and fountains gently splashing in squares lined by plane trees.On this night, we will go into Carpentras to dine in another fabulous restaurant.

3

Day 5-6

Gordes

On to the beautiful Luberon Valley. Pedal past Petrarch’s Fontaine de Vaucluse, then through Ménerbes, the village of Peter Mayle. Your destination is Gordes, a stunning perched town with artists’ studios, cozy cafés and arcaded medieval lanes. Next day, enjoy a day ride from Gordes; discover the red shades of Roussillon and find the ruins of the castle of the Marquis de Sade at Lacoste. Pedal to the nearby Bories Village and Sénanque Abbey, set in a beautiful secluded valley. Our final night, will begin with wine reception before dinner and festivities.

4

Day 7

Transfer to Avignon (by 10:00 am) for trains onward.

Hôtel Beffroi, Vaison-La-Romaine

Located in the medieval village, this chateau features lovely gardens and a pool. It is in one of the most beautiful 16th century mansions in the Old City of Vaison; you can enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside.


Hôtel L'Hermitage, Pernes-les-Fontaines

A charming 3-star hotel in a former family mansion, set in grounds with 100-year old plane trees. There are lovely gardens and a large swimming pool. Francoise and her daughter Caroline are charming hosts.


Hôtel Mas des Romarins, Gordes

A charming boutique 3-star hotel with views over Gordes, and an inviting pool and gardens. The town is only a five minute walk away. Gordes was immortalized in the book, ‘A Year in Provence’ by Peter Mayle.



			

Trip Reviews

September 23, 2013

“Provence was exactly as we imagined it would be. Very beautiful! We are not serious bikers, and have never attempted a trip like this and were pleasantly surprised that we were able to complete such a journey. The guides were fabulous and really made sure we were okay all the way along!”

December 4, 2018

“Enjoyed everything. Scenery, food and guides were excellent!”

December 4, 2018

“Veronika and Yanika bent over backwards to accommodate our requests.”

December 4, 2018

“Being on a guided trip for the first time was wonderful. I really enjoyed having the guess work sorted by our wonderful guides. We just got to follow along! That was really nice. Provence was spectacular. We enjoyed sunny warm climes and that was a real highlight. An extension of an already stunning summer.”

December 4, 2018

“Peters knowledge of the area was spectacular!!”

December 4, 2018

“This was my first guided trip and I thoroughly enjoyed not having to read the map for directions! Beautiful scenery and plenty of challenges on the hills! The people, guides, scenery and challenges of the terrain were all wonderful! The friendliness of the French in Provence was nice too.”

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