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European Adventure Tours

Cycle Provence

From €1,715pp tour-only
Depart From
Avignon, France
Departure Date
Multiple departures from April - Oct 2021
8 Days
Arles, France
From €1,715pp tour-only
Enquire Now

Pedal through the picturesque landscapes and quaint villages of Provence on this active cycling adventure.

Wend your way past neat rows of vineyards, beneath towering aqueducts and through forests on this active cycling adventure through Provence.

This journey through Southern France is an idyllic blend of scenic trail riding, historical sights and wine tasting. Visit the serene gardens of St Remy to see where Vincent van Gogh created his famous works.

Savour regional red wines at a vineyard outside Avignon. Walk the cobbled streets of Les Baux and marvel at the stunning views from atop its limestone cliffs.

Why you'll love this trip:

  • Cycle through the same landscapes that inspired some of Vincent van Gogh's greatest masterpieces
  • Encounter rich Roman history and architecture in the historic towns of Arles and Orange
  • Stop in at famous vineyards outside Avignon and savour iconic French wines
  • Pass by fragrant fields en route to the spectacular three-tiered city of Pont du Gard
  • Search for wild white horses outside Camargue as you cycle to the Mediterranean Sea

Is this trip right for you?

This trip covers quite some distance, with cycling for up to 60 kilometres a day on varied terrain with a few hills. As well as obviously the ability to confidently ride a bike, in reality you only require a reasonable level of fitness to participate.

On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker.

There’s the possibility of a few hiccups along the way – a puncture here and there – but there’s no doubt this is an incredibly rewarding adventure.

You'll be spending your nights in hotels all the way, ranging from comfortable to basic level, but they'll always be authentic and a great opportunity to interact with the locals and fellow travellers.

The weather in this region can be varied depending on the season. Be prepared to get sweaty and for the occasional rainstorm, which may require a change of plans.

If you feel like doing all the riding but with less effort we have the option of hiring an electric bike (e-bike) on this trip.

Day 1: Avignon

Today is arrival day. There are no activities planned for today except for a welcome meeting at 6pm. If arriving early, perhaps pay a visit to the historic Palais des Papes and the Pont d’Avignon, or simply take some time to explore the leafy streets of this French city. 

Riding distance: none

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Optional Activities:

  • Pont d`Avignon (Bridge of Avignon) - EUR5
  • Palais des Papes - EUR15
  • Museum of the Petit Palace - EUR6
  • Museum Calvet - EUR6

Meals Included: There are no meals included on this day.

Day 2: Orange

After breakfast there will be a bike fitting session for the group followed by a short test ride to ensure everyone's equipment has been set up properly. 

Depart Avignon and cycle approximately 35 kilometres on quiet and flat country roads en route to Orange. Along the way, pass through the famous wine region of Chateauneuf du Pape and stop to enjoy a vineyard visit.

Sample (in moderation) some of the red wine the region is so famous for then continue on the road to Orange. Note that the terrain will become a little more hilly as you approach Orange.

After checking in to the hotel in Orange and cleaning up, head out on an orientation walk of this compact town, visiting the Arc de Triomphe d'Orange and the outstanding Roman Theatre, one of the best preserved Roman theatres in Europe.

Ride distance: approx. 35 kms / 22 miles

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities:

  • Orange Roman Theatre
  • Optional Activities
  • Chateauneuf-du-Pape - Wine tasting - Free
  • Orange Triumphal Roman Arch - Free
  • Orange Art and History Museum - EUR6

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 3: Uzes (& optional Mont Ventoux)

Leave Orange behind and ride the quiet roads south to the delightful walled Provencal commune of Caderousse. Here, cross the mighty Rhone river and pass the medieval village of Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres, cycling past the vineyards producing Lirac wines, the favourite wines of historic kings and the papal community in Avignon.

Continue west through wine country and on to the legendary Pont du Gard, widely considered to be one of the world’s best preserved examples of a Roman Aqueduct. Towering high above the Gardon River, this three-tiered stone masterpiece never fails to impress.

On a quiet day there may even be an opportunity to ride across it! After visiting the Pont du Gard we proceed west to the small town of Uzes with its graceful circuit of boulevards and cute cafes.

Ride distance: approx. 60 kms / 37 miles

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities:

  • Pont du Gard Entrance
  • Optional Activities
  • Uzes - Medieval Garden - EUR2
  • Uzes - Cathedral - Free

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4: Saint Remy

Today is a long day in the saddle that will be rewarded with impressive sights along the way. Hopefully the infamous mistral wind will be blowing from the northwest, providing a tailwind all the way to Saint Remy!

Winding back across the Rhone, travel beneath the old city gate and into the small town of Tarascon. Take a short break from cycling to visit the imposing medieval castle, before sitting on the riverbank to learn about the legend of the Tarasque, the namesake of the town.

After lunch, continue to the charming village of Saint-Remy-de-Provence. In distinct contrast to the surrounding larger cities and towns, Saint Remy displays a typically Provencal way of life.

Visit the serene gardens of Saint-Paul Asylum where Vincent van Gogh was a self-admitted patient and where he painted many works of art, including ‘Irises’ and the famous ‘The Starry Night’.

Ride distance: approx. 50 kms / 31 miles

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities:

  • Saint Remy - Van Gogh Asylum visit

Optional Activities:

  • Saint Remy - Glanum Archaelogical Site - EUR8
  • Saint Remy - St Paul de Mausole Monastery - EUR5

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5: Saint Remy (& optional Mont Ventoux ride)

Today is a free day off the bike to explore charming Saint Remy and it's surrounds. Indulge your inner Van Gogh, chill out in a Provencal cafe or if you are still keen for a ride our crew can suggest a short ride around the local area.

For those wanting a real cycling challenge we offer you the option of cycling up the legendary Mont Ventoux on a carbon road bike. Driving from Saint Remy to Bedoin early you will be riding on the mountain as the sun rises to beat the infamous Ventoux winds and summer heat.

The unguided ride should take 3-4hrs, leaving enough time to grab a coffee and croissant before you rejoin your driver in Bedoin and then drive back in Saint Remy for a well-earned rest. This is at an additional cost - please book our 'Mont Ventoux Extension (AMXV)

Ride distance: None

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities:

  • Castle Visit - Les Baux de Provence

Optional Activities:

  • Les Baux de Provence - Carriere des Lumieres - EUR12
  • Les Baux de Provence - St Vincent Church - Free

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6: Les Baux & Arles

Hit the road again after breakfast. Today you start with a short 10 kilometre ride to the magical hilltop commune of Les Baux-de-Provence. Although the distance is short, it is also one of the more difficult rides. For those not wanting to ride uphill, your support vehicle is always available.

The first climb through the forest is over quite quickly and is rewarded with a short but beautiful descent on possibly the smoothest road in all of France. Carry on through olive groves and vineyards before arriving at Les Baux, declared “one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France” thanks to its narrow cobbled streets and jaw dropping views of the surrounding countryside. Visit Chateau des Baux, which sits perched on a limestone cliff with magnificent 360 degree views.

After visiting Les Baux it’s time to hop back on the bikes for a short ride through the Val d’Enfer (Valley of Hell) and its beautiful white limestone rock formations. From here, it is a pleasant downhill and flat ride to Fontvieille then follow the peaceful Canal d'Arles alonside the Rhone River all the way into Arles (approximately 40 kilometres).

Park the bikes and enjoy an orientation walk of this popular Roman town, passing by many famous sites such as the Place de la République, Van Gogh’s Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum and the UNESCO World Heritage listed Roman Amphitheatre.

For those wanting to explore further there are countless museums, Roman buildings and reminders of Vincent Van Gogh’s glorious paintings on every street.

Ride distance: approx. 50kms / 30miles

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities:

  • Arles Amphitheatre

Optional Activities:

  • Musee de Arles Antique - EUR8
  • Reattu Museum - EUR8
  • Vincent Van Gogh Foundation - EUR9

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 7: Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer/Arles

Swap vineyards for waves on a ride south to the capital of the Camargue, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea (approximately 45 kilometres). Set on the Rhône River delta, the lakes of Camargue are a bird spotters paradise and home to more than 400 species of birds. The area is also known for its famous white Camarguais horse, often seen running free around Camargue. The ride one way form Arles to the Med is approx. 45kms.

After lunch we return to Arles by vehicle. If you are feeling fit you may choose to ride back to Arles but please note that this is optional and will not be supported by either the leader or our vehicle as that is driving back to Arles.

Tonight the group will enjoy a final dinner together.

Ride distance: approx. 45 kms / 28 miles

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Optional Activities:

  • Saintes Maries de la Mer - Boat Tour 90 minutes - EUR12
  • Saintes Maries de la Mer - Ornitology Park - Flamingos - EUR8
  • Saintes Maries de la Mer - Cathedral Rooftop Climb - EUR2

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 8: Arles

This cycling adventure comes to an end. Say farewell to your new friends and depart Arles at any time. 

Ride distance: none

Meals Included: Breakfast

Price is based on 2 adults sharing and includes the following:

  • Meals: 7 breakfasts
  • Transport: bicycle, support vehicle
  • Accommodation: hotel (7 nights)

Included activities:

  • Orange Roman Theatre
  • Pont du Gard Entrance
  • Saint Remy - Van Gogh Asylum visit
  • Castle Visit - Les Baux de Provence
  • Arles Amphitheatre

Please ask us about adding great value:

  • Flights- we'll find the best fares for your chosen departure dates
  • Travel insurance
Subject to availability. Terms & conditions apply.

For more information please call us on 021 427 7094 or 01 696 5135, request a call back using the red button, email info@shandontravel.ie or submit an enquiry through the form below.

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