Van Gogh's Provence – Short Break
Cycle in the beautiful area known as the 'Rome' of Provence. Here, you will ride along some of the spots that inspired the artist Vincent van Gogh in his latter years, where his paintings developed more colourfully thanks to the beautiful local landscapes of sunflowers, olive trees, to name just a hint of this inspiration - enjoy the stunning sights and smells for yourself as you meander throughRomanesque chapels, Roman ruins and perched medieval villages, as well as the valleys of pine forests and aromatic herbs - in the most enjoyable way possible; by bike!
Savour the joie de vivre of Provence on this excellent short break mini tour - short on time, but full of fantastic possibilities!
**This tour is also available as a longer duration - please enquire further for details.
Need to Know
Day 2: St Rémy ‘loop’ cycle: 35km / 22 miles
Cycling into the quaint town of Barbentane firstly, before a little climb up the Montagnette – literally meaning “little mountain”– where your wide-sweeping views of the plains are accompanied by beautiful pine and aromatic herbs scents. From there, lies the monastery of St. Michel de Frigolet, built over eight centuries. You cycle through the charming villages of Graveson and Maillane, before reaching Saint Rémy de Provence once again, where Van Gogh lived the last year of his life.
Day 3: St Rémy to Maussane: 28km / 18 miles
Leaving St. Rémy, pass Saint Paul de Mausole firstly, the monastery where Van Gogh actually spent the last year of his life. Adjacent to it is Roman archaeological site Glanum. Your route continues along winding streets of the Alpilles mountains, through pine trees and wildflowers until you reach Fontvieille and Les Baux de Provence. Les Baux is listed among the most beautiful villages in France, a town perched on a huge rock, crowned by the ruins of a castle. Take time to explore Les Baux before continuing to end the ride in Maussane (Thursdays, local market).
Day 4: Maussane. Trip ends after breakfast in Maussane. You could catch a bus back to Avignon, or onwards to the Provencal “Rome” town of Arles. Private transfer available.
Hybrid bikes in both man and woman frames, with all sizes available (including child frames), are included in the cost of this tour. We suggest 'hybrid' type bicycles to hire on this tour, as they are ideal for the nature of the route and the terrain involved, as well as offering a reasonable level of comfort over the daily distances shown. However, upon request, road bikes can be provided for a little extra supplement of £10 / $15 per day, while fun and popular electric bikes are also an option at £15 / $20 daily too.
Bikes are provided fully equipped with helmets, pump and puncture repair kit, pannier bags, handlebar map holder and bike computer, included in the total cost.
Please note, should you have specific questions related to the bicycles on offer, don't hesitate to ask.
This is a SELF-GUIDED cycle tour, while comprehensive maps and route notes are provided. It is available from around mid-March to mid-October, while the months of July and August are of course the busier times and the weather can be very warm to cycle, however this does not mean it would not be enjoyable! We ask for 48 hours to confirm our tours (as per the Pedal & Break booking guarantee*), yet this may be slightly longer in the aforementioned peak July and August period.
The hotels provided here are of a good standard, some 2* and 3* that are traditional French hotels offering a warm welcome being particularly 'cycle friendly'. They are specifically selected as being ideal places to relax after a hard day's cycling while offering a taste of the local culture. In Séguret and in keeping with the theme of the tour, a wine tasting session is included in your stay.
However, we can provide variations of hotels upon request with possible upgrades available, which could adjust the cost.
Most of our tours are available from early April until the end of October to enable you to make the most of the weather and scenery with some available year round. There is no ‘best’ time to go, this is really down to personal preference and your requirements however, peak summer months like July and August can be warm in southern Europe and busier so we would recommend these to sun worshippers. We would suggest that around May, June and September are the preferable months for comfortable and optimum cycling experience.
What clothing and kit should I bring?
Each individual tour provides slight variations in kit provided so we would always recommend checking your individual booking. In all cases bicycles are provided along with full puncture repair kit. In the majority of cases helmets will be provided and you will be given this information as part of the booking process. Where these are not provided there is the option to add this on or bring your own. Clothing is not provided but we would recommend suitable, comfortable clothing to cover all eventualities! Lycra and padded short are not mandatory but we would recommend these for your comfort. Breathable fabrics and light layers with a shower proof jacket will enhance your experience and we would also recommend comfortable footwear.
How do I carry this clothing and kit from A to B?
You don’t! Whilst we would recommend taking a small backpack or loading your panniers with daily essentials such as a light cycle jacket, water, snacks and your phone and camera the great news is your main luggage will be transported by ourselves between your accommodations allowing you to enjoy you day baggage free. We usually ask you to leave this the morning of the day you depart the particular hotel and should arrive by late afternoon at your next destination but we always aim to have this there before you.
How fit do I need to be to do the tours?
Every tour description gives an indication of the level of suitability along with details on the distances and terrains covered. However, the majority of our tours on Pedal & Break are open and suitable for all with a reasonable level of fitness and all age groups. As we say Lycra is optional and we actively encourage and truly welcome those on a first time cycling holiday. You also do not all need to be the same level to enjoy our holidays as a group. A basic level of cycling is a must in order to be confident on the roads and routes and we would recommend a good base level of fitness. Our routes are designed to enjoy the scenery at a leisurely pace with sightseeing and refreshment stops factored in, after all this is your holiday! The days should not be viewed as a leg of the Tour de France and don’t require you to cycle flat out from dawn till dusk. The e-bike is also an excellent option for those needing a ‘boost’. As a husband and wife partnership on our first holiday this worked perfectly for us and enabled us to enjoy our holiday together stress free.
What is an e-bike?
An e-bike is an electric bike and does not require a license and nor should it be confused with a moped or scooter! An e-bike will be available on most of our tours and is the perfect option for the slightly more apprehensive cyclist, simply as these bikes provide the ideal boost when the legs feel a little tired or when facing a hilly section. You are still required to pedal as the bike is a modified standard bicycle and the e-bike merely gives you a helping hand. The electric element can be turned on and off as you like but from personal experience having this at a low level throughout with an extra boost added for setting off at junctions and up hills enabled my wife to enjoy her first cycling tour alongside me throughout and gave her the confidence she needed.