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1
introductory

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • self guided cycle
Accommodation
  • 7 nights in 2 and 3 star hotels
Meals
  • 3 Dinners
  • 7 Breakfasts

8 Days£1340GBP

Overview

Trip Code: PBR

Trip highlights


  • Cycling through stunning Provence scenery past olive groves and vineyards
  • Exploring the great towns of Arles, St Remy and Tarascon
  • Experiencing the timelessness of the landscapes made famous by Van Gogh
  • Enjoying the exceptional local cuisine
  • Soaking up the hospitality of small family run hotels

The sublime landscapes and pretty villages of Provence have been an inspiration for artists for centuries. To really appreciate the countryside the ideal means of travel through the region is by bike. Fields of lavender and poppies, old olive groves and vine covered hills, orchards brimming with fruit and crumbling farmhouses are characteristic of the landscape. Explore historic relics from prehistoric to Roman times, and take your time to soak up the sights and sample the wine and produce of the Cotes du Rhone and greater Provence. Splendid churches, medieval castles and picture-book Montagnette villages along the way provide an excuse for frequent stops. The two nights in St Remy de Provence, the birthplace of Nostradamus and the town where Van Gogh spent his last years painting some of his best works, are one of the many highlights of this inspiring cycling journey.

Countries:

France

Starting Point:

Barbentane

Finishing Point:

Graveson / Barbentane


The neighbouring towns of Barbentane and Graveson offer a great start to your cycle trip in Provence, just a 15 minute taxi ride from Avignon TGV rail station. On arrival at your hotel, relax and enjoy the gardens and in most cases, the swimming pool. You can also wander into the nearby town. During the afternoon our bike specialist will deliver your bike and make any necessary adjustments. If you will be arriving late this evening your bike will be waiting for you at the hotel. Dinner at the hotel.

Meals:  D

After breakfast, begin cycling to Tarascon. Depending on your hotel the previous night, you'll cycle through the foothills of the Alpilles to reach Tarascon or alternatively via the Abbey of St Michel de Friogolet. Whichever route you take, today is full of superb scenery through typical villages of Provence. Situated on the Rhone River, Tarascon has some interesting sights. Its well preserved castle was once home to Count Rene d’Anjou, the King of Provence, and has an excellent display of tapestries and earthenware jars. The Musee des Tissues Souleiado (fabric museum) is also worth exploring. If you arrive on a Tuesday, this is market day and it's well worth spending some time checking out the local specialties. Across the river are some great 17th and 18th century houses. Our comprehensive route notes will provide further tips for exploring this pretty town. Own arrangements for dinner tonight and accommodation in a 2-star hotel in the centre of Tarascon. Ascent: 113m/370ft, descent 122m/400ft

Meals:  B

Today the cycle takes you north into rugged and rocky scenery close to the town of Fontvieille. Here you can see the windmills (including Daudet’s Mill as described in the short stories ‘Lettres de mon Loulin’, written by Alphonse Daudet in 1869), some interesting churches and the Musee de Daudet. Continue to historic Arles, which dates from the 7th century BC and was a major Gallo-Roman city. Here you should visit the Arena and the Roman Theatre, and you can cycle along its canal to the reconstructed Van Gogh bridge, the setting of the painter's famous “Pont de Langlois” works. The Frank Gehry-designed Luma-Arles is worth a visit. Our usual hotel is in the old centre of Arles. Own arrangements for dinner this evening. Ascent: 166m/544ft, descent 158m/518ft

Meals:  B

Today’s cycle is quite short, giving you time to explore the area. From Arles you cycle via Barbegal Castle then there’s a short steep climb to Les Baux, a picturesque Medieval village atop a fortified rocky site with a royal history and ruins to explore. There are some great museums in the village including the History Museum and the Olive Museum, and the nearby Carrieres des Lumieres is well worth a visit. Dinner and overnight at Les Baux. The usual hotel is a charming 3 star with pool. Ascent: 481m/1578ft, descent 307m/1007ft

Meals:  B,D

From Les Baux you ride to Maussane along a back road, from which there are gorgeous views of the Alpilles, and continue to Saint Rémy. The year before his death, Vincent van Gogh spent time in an asylum in this town and also in nearby Arles. The colours and light were an inspiration in his paintings. Other artists who have been attracted to the area include Picasso, Gauguin, Matisse and Cézanne. There is ample opportunity to explore the delightful town of Saint Remy, including the house where Nostradamus was born and its pretty squares and shops. Overnight in a 3-star hotel with swimming pool. Ascent: 483m/1584ft, descent 348m/1141ft

Meals:  B

Free day to spend time exploring the town further including the Van Gogh walking trail to discover where his great works were painted. Own arrangements for dinner tonight.

Meals:  B

Today you will cycle along back roads across the market garden plains of Châteaurenard to your starting hotel in either Barbentane or Graveson. Dinner at the hotel. Ascent: 174m/570ft, descent 215m/705ft

Meals:  B,D

The trip concludes after breakfast. It is a 15 minute taxi ride to Avignon TGV station, from where you can take the train to Paris (3hrs) including Charles de Gaulle airport.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 3 dinners – breakfasts are continental style and generally consist of croissants, breads, jams, cheese, yoghurt, coffee, tea and juices. Dinner will consist of 3 courses which usually include some regional specialties. There are usually, but not always, 3 choices for each course.
  • Dinners are based on the basic set menu available at the restaurant. These are usually of a high standard and often reflective of the local cuisine. However, it is usually possible to upgrade to the a-la-carte menu or a more superior set menu for an additional cost. Such an arrangement must be made directly with the hotel or restaurant.
  • 7 nights in 2 and 3 star hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities.
  • Digital information pack including smartphone app with maps and roadbook
  • Luggage Transfer, 1 piece maximum 20kg, supplement applies for excess
  • 21 or 24 speed bike rental with helmet, panniers, pump, repair kit and lock (electric bike available on request - supplement applies). Child bikes are also available on request
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to and from Barbentane/Graveson
  • Meals not listed as included, drinks
  • Travel insurance
  • Guide – this is a self guided cycling holiday
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Entrance fees not listed as included
  • Transfers not listed as included
  • Transfers by taxi or public transport if you need to skip a stage
  • Excess luggage
  • We recommend bringing a handlebar phone holder - to follow the route using the navigational app
  • Optional: Paper documents supplied locally, request at time of booking, supplement applies
  • Items of a personal nature

Bike information


Suitability

introductory

1

INTRODUCTORY – GRADE 1 Daily cycles are a leisurely 21 to 28km / 13 to 17.5mi on undulating to sometimes mountainous terrain (the ride to Les Baux is steep but short). The cycling is on a combination of low traffic side roads with some crossings and short stints on higher traffic roads required. The accent is on keeping a relaxed pace to take in all of the attractions, with time to stop and take photos. You will need a reasonable level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure. This trip is suitable for beginners and children (electric bikes, children’s bikes and trailers are available on request).


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Apr to 31 Oct

Notes

H
High Season
Note:
High season 1 May - 30 Sep, supplement applies
Note:
Child price based on child aged 3-11 sharing with 2 adults.

Priceper person from

Adult£1340GBP

Child£870GBP** See right for further details.

Options & Supplements*
  • E-Bike SupplementGBP£140
  • Single Supplement - low seasonGBP£420
  • Solo Traveller Supplement - low seasonGBP£450
  • Single supplement - high seasonGBP£480
  • Solo Traveller Supplement - high seasonGBP£520
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Personal Experience

We've been walking and cycling the planet for over four decades and are passionate about delivering exceptional service. Combined, we’ve travelled to virtually every corner of Europe, and are eager to share the many benefits of travelling on foot or by bike.

Great Value & Quality

Our well priced trips offer great value for money. Included in your package are comprehensive route notes, maps & guide books along with bag transfers and locally run accommodation. We take the stress out of organising your holiday.

Self-Guided Specialists

We have been operating active self guided holidays since 1973. We handle all the necessary logistics so that you can relax and explore your destination at your own pace. Many of our tours depart daily, giving you even greater flexibility.

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