France: Landscapes of Provence

Self-Guided Biking Tour, France: Landscapes of ProvenceSelf-Guided Biking Tour, France: Landscapes of Provence

France

Landscapes of Provence

overview

Biking is an ideal way to experience Provence. The pace here is leisurely, which means plenty of time to explore this region’s harmonious beauty, and sample its myriad selections of food and wine. On routes framed by lavender, sunflowers, and the stately peaks of Mont Ventoux, you’ll encounter quaint villages and hilltop towns with narrow stone streets, inviting bistros, and energetic market squares. Pedal to medieval Carpentras and its olive-oil museum, then see the château at Crillon-le-Brave. In Vaison-la- Romaine, home of France’s most remarkable archaeological site, there are 4,500-year-old Roman ruins, while in Avignon artworks and cultural sites will amaze you. HeadwaterExplore the 12thcentury castle in the village of Le Barroux and enter prehistoric caves in Beaumes-de-Venise. Throughout it all, you’ll savor incomparably delicious Provençal feasts and sample some of the world’s finest wines at internationally acclaimed Côtes du Rhône vineyards like Gigondas and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

14 Reasons to Visit Provence ►

Activity Level
Easy to moderate;
14-24 miles daily
Meet
Avignon, France
Depart
Avignon, France
Daily Itinerary
Download printable
itinerary
Reading List
Recommended
pre-trip reading
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Self-Guided Biking 
9 days, 8 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes

  • Breakfast and dinner daily; beverages not Included
  • All accommodations while on tour
  • Local transfers as noted in the itinerary
  • Luggage transfers between the hotels
  • Detailed route notes and maps
  • High quality bicycle with 21-speed Shimano gears (helmet not provided), tire repair kit, lock, map/route note holder, and panniers
  • Basic travel insurance coverage
  • 24-hour emergency service
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the CW and Headwater staff
Compare Dates & Prices
Prices Starting from...
Season
2+ travelers
Single Supplement
Solo Surcharge
2014
May 1 - 21
$2,168
$518
$0
May 23 - 31
$2,379
$518
$0
June 2 - 12
$2,257
$518
$0
June 14 - July 8
$2,379
$518
$0
July 10 - Aug 25
$2,448
$518
$0
Aug 27 - 31
$2,379
$518
$0
Sept 2 - 20
$2,257
$518
$0
Sept 22 - 28
$2,168
$518
$0
2015
May 1 - 21
$2,276
$544
$0
May 23 - 31
$2,498
$544
$0
June 2 - 12
$2,370
$544
$0
June 14 - July 8
$2,498
$544
$0
July 10 - Aug 25
$2,570
$544
$0
Aug 27 - 31
$2,498
$544
$0
Sept 2 - 20
$2,370
$544
$0
Sept 22 - 28
$2,276
$544
$0

*Price is based on per person, double occupancy.

Number of Travelers
Total in your party
Price From
per person double occupancy

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

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Itinerary and Accommodations

Days
Destination
1
Pernes-les-Fontaines
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2
Beaumes-de-Venise
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3
Beaumes-de-Venise
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4
Vaison-la-Romaine
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5
Vaison-la-Romaine
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6
Cairanne
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7
Cairanne
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8
Pernes-les-Fontaines
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9
Pernes-les-Fontaines
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Day 1

Pernes-les-Fontaines

Arrive for dinner in Pernes les Fontaines

Your three-star hotel is in its own grounds just north of the village of Pernes les Fontaines.

Hôtel l’Hermitage

Pernes-les-Fontaines, France

A welcoming family-run hotel set in expansive grounds and gardens adorned with stone fountains and statues. The 19th century maison bourgeoise offers 20 charming rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, and preferred rates for spa services. Guests are transferred to nearby restaurants for dinner. As its name suggests, the village of Pernes-les-Fontaines features 40 ancient fountains of various styles dating from the 18th century as well as a costume museum with lace and ancient linen and fabrics.

Day 2

Beaumes-de-Venise

Pernes les Fontaines to Beaumes de Venise 29km/18mi

An easy flat cycle across the Comtadine plain, with the majestic Mont Ventoux (1912m) and the jagged limestone pinnacles of Les Dentelles de Montmirail as a dramatic backdrop. A quick stop at Mazan—look out for the strange church wall made up of more than 60 Roman sarcophagi—then up winding country lanes to our friendly family-run hotel set in lovely tranquil surrounds in the heart of the Beaumes de Venise vineyards. Each of the six Provençal style bedrooms opens onto its own terrace and garden, and meals are taken on the vine-covered terrace by the pool.

Le Grand Jardin

Beaumes-de-Venise, France

An intimate hotel, set between mountains and vineyards, comprised of Provençal-style individual bungalows, each with its own terrace and garden. Spacious rooms have classic Provençal décor and furniture. Dinner is served, weather permitting, on the terrace overlooking the swimming pool. A pleasant and bustling market town, Beaumes-de-Venise has cafés and shops in shady squares with weathered stone fountains, and a medieval quarter.

Day 3

Beaumes-de-Venise

At Beaumes de Venise

You are spoiled for choice today: Beaumes de Venise vineyards, olive oil museum, or the cobbled streets of nearby picturesque Bedoin, named after the C8 Bedouins who settled here. You might like to make a leisurely visit to the nearby château at Crillon-le-Brave or stroll through the stunning Dentelles de Montmirail to Gigondas, famous for its ruby-red wine—masses of ta sting opportunities. Lots of circular walks available too, or simply relax by the pool.

Le Grand Jardin

Beaumes-de-Venise, France

An intimate hotel, set between mountains and vineyards, comprised of Provençal-style individual bungalows, each with its own terrace and garden. Spacious rooms have classic Provençal décor and furniture. Dinner is served, weather permitting, on the terrace overlooking the swimming pool. A pleasant and bustling market town, Beaumes-de-Venise has cafés and shops in shady squares with weathered stone fountains, and a medieval quarter.

Day 4

Vaison-la-Romaine

Beaumes de Venise to Vaison-la-Romaine 32km/20mi

Fabulous views of Les Dentelles this morning as you wind your way up to the pretty village of Suzette and then on to Le Barroux with its impressive château. Your route continues through forests, vineyards and cherry orchards, to a lunch stop at the fortified village of Malaucène (where Pope Clement Vonce lived). The final section is an easy paced cycle along country lanes to the Roman garrison town of Vaison-la-Romaine, where you stay in our artistic hotel in the town center. Evening meals are arranged (included) at local restaurants within easy walking distance.

Hôtel Burrhus

Vaison-la-Romaine, France

Located in the historic heart of the ancient town of Vaison-la-Romaine, this recently renovated hotel reflects its owner’s love of art. Artwork is featured in each individually decorated ultramodern guest room, as well as throughout public spaces in regular art exhibitions. Known for its Roman ruins such as the 2,000-year old bridge still in use and theater, it also has Iron Age remains, and a medieval quarter of narrow winding streets.

Day 5

Vaison-la-Romaine

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 t he narrow mediaeval streets and little squares of the Haute Ville.

Hôtel Burrhus

Vaison-la-Romaine, France

Located in the historic heart of the ancient town of Vaison-la-Romaine, this recently renovated hotel reflects its owner’s love of art. Artwork is featured in each individually decorated ultramodern guest room, as well as throughout public spaces in regular art exhibitions. Known for its Roman ruins such as the 2,000-year old bridge still in use and theater, it also has Iron Age remains, and a medieval quarter of narrow winding streets.

Day 6

Cairanne

Vaison-la-Romaine to Cairanne 29km/18mi

Via Roaix and across the Ouvèze River to mediaeval Séguret—officially ranked among the most beautiful villages in France—the streets of which 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 Rhône Valley. Then it’s on through pretty Sablet and extensive vineyards to our friendly little hotel in Cairanne.

Auberge Castel Mireio

Cairanne, France

A welcoming family-run hotel just outside the village of Cairanne in the heart of the Côtes du Rhône wine country. Guestrooms are furnished with Provençal fabrics and wood furniture and overlook the swimming pool. Excellent Provençal cuisine is prepared by the chef-owner who is also an expert in the local wines. The 12th-century village has a number of easy walking routes (map available at tourist office) and a 17th-century church built outside the walls to separate plague victims from uninfected townspeople.

Day 7

Cairanne

At Cairanne

Orange, a thriving regional center, is 12 km away. It has two marvelous World Heritage sites—an elaborately decorated triumphal arch and a beautifully-preserved Roman theatre which hosts regular evening performances—no problem to arrange a taxi. Or explore the local Cairanne vineyards—lots to choose from—or simply relax by the hotel pool.

Auberge Castel Mireio

Cairanne, France

A welcoming family-run hotel just outside the village of Cairanne in the heart of the Côtes du Rhône wine country. Guestrooms are furnished with Provençal fabrics and wood furniture and overlook the swimming pool. Excellent Provençal cuisine is prepared by the chef-owner who is also an expert in the local wines. The 12th-century village has a number of easy walking routes (map available at tourist office) and a 17th-century church built outside the walls to separate plague victims from uninfected townspeople.

Day 8

Pernes-les-Fontaines

Cairanne to Pernes les Fontaines 40km/25mi

Your final day’s cycling takes you through the Côte du Rhône vineyards, stopping first at charming Vacqueyras where there are lots of caves. From here there’s an optional detour to mediaeval Carpentras—cathedral, atmospheric cobbled streets and weekly (Fri) market—before returning to fountain-filled Pernes les Fontaines.

Hôtel l’Hermitage

Pernes-les-Fontaines, France

A welcoming family-run hotel set in expansive grounds and gardens adorned with stone fountains and statues. The 19th century maison bourgeoise offers 20 charming rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, and preferred rates for spa services. Guests are transferred to nearby restaurants for dinner. As its name suggests, the village of Pernes-les-Fontaines features 40 ancient fountains of various styles dating from the 18th century as well as a costume museum with lace and ancient linen and fabrics.

Day 9

Pernes-les-Fontaines

Leave Pernes-les-Fontaines

 

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a CW adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call CW at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

Guest Comments

S. Kamon, Ohio, June 2013

This was our first biking trip so we didn't quite know what to expect. Any concerns we might have had were erased when we were met at the train station in Avignon. Such knowledgeable, friendly and helpful people! Directions were very precise and helpful. Bikes were very comfortable. We all appreciated the down day after each cycling day. It gave us time to really explore the surrounding villages or just rest up for the next day of cycling. Provence is beautiful! I would recommend this trip to anyone!

C. Toevs, New York, June 2012

The written materials and route descriptions managed one's expectations well. Lovely trip. Local contact was helpful.

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